Ripples of Change
By Reject Apathy
November 17, 2011
Sarah started her business cooking doughnuts on a cement slab in front of her home—which meant a rainy day could wash away her livelihood. Several years and loans later, though, she has built up her baking business and even employs members of her community.
World Vision Micro works to bring this sort of self-sustaining development to impoverished communities around the world—one microloan at a time. Micro just is one piece of the puzzle, but it’s an important one that leads to a ripple effect of positive changes: People earn an income and then reinvest in their community by buying food, clothing, paying for education or improving their homes.
In order to create true, lasting change, World Vision commits to a community for 12-18 years, which allows time to help educate and train local leaders to take ownership of projects. In another effort to continue the ripple effect, once an entrepreneur has repaid his or her loan, that loan is provided to another worthy entrepreneur within the same community.
Just like access to safe water improves the health and nutrition for children and adults, giving a loan to an entrepreneur to start a small business stimulates the economy. Microfinance gives hardworking people the opportunity to move from dependence on aid to financial self-sustainability—empowering them to change their own lives and the lives of their children.Sarah has already seen the positive effects that her business’s success has on her children.
“The children feel good about our life now,” she says. “They are proud that we have a bakery and a shop. I hear them tell their friends. The other day Christine told her father that when she finishes university she will come and help us expand the business and improve it. To tell you the truth, Kadet has lifted me!”
The key to long-term change is breaking the poverty cycle. With your donation, a business is established and perhaps more jobs are created from that one business—especially when entrepreneurs like Sarah employ members of their community. When that loan is repaid, your donation goes to help another business become a reality. And then another. This new cycle of success strengthens as it grows. Soon the community has a sustainable economy.
Though Sarah’s childhood was marked by poverty and the inability to attend school, she has been able to give her children a different life. “It gives me joy to see my children now,” she says. “They eat well and even have enough to share with their teachers and friends! Even though I could not continue my schooling, my desire is that through this business my children can learn—up to university—that’s what I tell them and I know they can do it.”
Microloans are more than just giving someone a check. By giving a loan through World Vision Micro, those who receive it are empowered to lift themselves out of poverty, and in turn create a better future for their communities.
And they ensure that no small businesses need to worry about their business being rained out.