In my journey to live more simply and meaningfully, I’m trying to learn about practical ways to make a difference in relation to people who have less than I do in the world.
What if you knew an entrepreneur who needed fifty dollars for a business to feed her family for a year? You loaned her fifty dollars, and she paid it back with interest over time. That same fifty dollars and interest were then loaned to another business person, and then another. And what if ten of us did this together, a hundred, or a thousand of us did it around the world? Together. What if you could follow and see how your entrepreneur was doing in her business? Well, this is already happening and we can be a part of it.
They pool the generosity of people like us to provide entrepreneurs in the poorest parts of the world with small loans. The loans help these hardworking but impoverished individuals build retail, manufacturing, farming, or other businesses. If you’ve heard of microfinance, that’s what this is: small loans that can have a very big (and lasting) impact in the life of entrepreneurs, their family, and their community.
Do you know anyone who has participated in Opportunity International? I’d love to hear about this or other programs you know about that is making a difference.
You can read more about its history in Wikipedia here. Several videos on YouTube can be viewed here.
Their Mission and Vision
Our vision is a world in which all people have the opportunity to provide for their families and build a fulfilling life.
Our belief is that small-scale entrepreneurs can be big change agents in overcoming global poverty.
Our mission is to empower people to work their way out of chronic poverty, transforming their lives, their children’s futures and their communities.
Our method is to provide microfinance services, including lending, savings, insurance and transformational training, to people in need. To do this, we build and work through sustainable, local microfinance institutions.
Our motivation is to respond to Jesus Christ’s call to love and serve the poor.
This is just one of the ways you and I can make a difference in being generous to the world. Our faith calls us to respond to persons in need, regardless what faith tradition we have in our hearts.
What are you doing to be radically generous to those less fortunate? Share with us below. I want to learn from you and your experience.