Lesson Six

flame.gif (1381 bytes)   flame.gif (1381 bytes)   flame.gif (1381 bytes)   flame.gif (1381 bytes)   flame.gif (1381 bytes)   flame.gif (1381 bytes)  


Community Service – Making a Difference

Now that everyone is getting connected, they are asking the questions of why and “what’s in it for me?” Most particularly are those in poverty situations who may not yet see how they can benefit.

Below are just a few outstanding examples of innovative ways to use the Internet, combining caring and connectivity to  help others. Take just a few minutes at each of the sites below to see what they are doing.

VIEW: Freerice.org 
www.freerice.org  Take a vocabulary quiz and win rice to feed the hungry with every correct answer.

 www.kiva.org  Any citizen can offer a microloans to help start small businesses in poverty stricken communities in other countries. For Example, you can loan an Afghan baker $25 so he can open a second bakery and hire 4 new workers and get your money back along with photos of the smiling faces of those you helped create a sustainable business. Very small amounts of money by our standards can make big, big differences in the lives of others.

VIEW: Microplace
Purchased by eBay as a major microloan innovations site.

The Grameen Foundation and the Grameen Bank
Ten years ago, microloans of $50-$100 were given to teams of five women in Bangladesh allowing them to create sustainable small businesses and repay the loans. The innovation was that all five women in each loan group had to repay their loans or none could get future loans. The result was a 97% repayment rate. It was determined the men were not as responsible as the women, so the program is only for women.

VIEW the Grameen America web site
          New York has just started a similar program for American women in poverty

VIEW the first CNN video from the Grameen Video Library
          and VIEW the last video “Women Make Better Borrowers.”

http://www.wiego.org  Women in the informal economy, globalizing and organizing, 2 page flyer at http://www.wiego.org/reports/GEC_flyer_2009.pdf

President Obama has tripled the funding for Americorps www.usaservice.org  and as presented in the last lesson, advises all American to get involved with community service, and retraining. Did you know you could volunteer to be an Americorps VISTA for one year, and receive your living expenses AND $4000 for college?

Return to the Lesson Six home page