February 10, 2011

One man. 8 million women.

One man and 8 million women…

So my friend has been doing this really important project for the past four years on the inspiring work of Muhammad Yunus.  Most people may know him from his Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 or for his best selling book “Banker To the Poor”.

I’ve watched as she toiled away on this complex topic trying to do justice to showing the details of this one man’s amazing body of work.  She went there knowing only about his microcredit program, but was shocked when she’d get off the elevator on different floors in his building and see that he was up to SO MUCH MORE than just microcredit.  As if helping 8 million women directly, was not a tall enough order…

What she walked away with and what she wants to share with the world is this beautiful story of empowerment and how much each of us actually may be capable of doing if we put our mind to it.  As Yunus says in the film “money is the tool by which people discover themselves.”  The film demonstrates the hard work that microcredit really takes and that it can be self-sustaining, but it is also about so much more than just money.  It is social work and teaching the people the basics from sanitation to planting fruits and vegetables for food self-sufficiency.  It also stresses the message of the importance of savings, something we need to remember here too.

The film also shows how just as poor people are denied access to financial services, they have also been left out in the cold on so many other vital services – from healthcare and education to even cell phones.  And it shows how the combination of cell phones and solar panels was actually a life-saver during times of natural disasters, giving people enough warning to get to shelters.

This is an important film for everyone who wants to make the world a better place because it shows the reality of a successful holistic approach to getting to the root causes of some of the world’s gravest problems.  The film is called Bonsai, and if you watch this clip, you’ll know why… http://kck.st/gu4YT5

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Mathew Gerson  |  Contribution: 2,220