Empowered Community


The recent (2006) announcement that the Nobel Peace prize has been won by Dr. Muhammad Yunus has caught my attention. Part of the prize is shared by a banking system called Grameen bank.

The bank is supposedly working on the principles of community effort, mutual
trust, accountability, and micro credit. It is designed to offer small
loans to poor people in groups of 5, who are otherwise not credit worthy.
The primary requirement for loan eligibility seems to be collective
accountability of groups to repay. Because there is no requirement to back their loans
with collateral, the poor have been able to invest in some trade for their livelihood.

The conditions for loan have helped improve social and economic awareness.

This system appears to have uplifted and improved the lives of many poor
communities in Bangladesh, among whom a big percentage is said to be women. This indeed is a system of community, networking and collective effort that has not only made a success story but also has received a distinguished recognition.

Follow the links for more of this story.


Comment from danielle martin on October 27, 2006 - 4:33pm

Hey Kamala,

We actually watched a video on Dr. Yunus at our VISTA Leader training over the summer! They used him as an example of a leader thinking out of the box to fight poverty. I think it was a PBS special, narrated by Robert Redford. There's a bunch of videos of him on Google Video and a whole bunch of stuff on Wikipedia. Very inspiring.