July 2011 Global Conference Call: nothing micro about it


July 13, 2011
Ken Patterson

2011 July Global Conf. Call: Microfinance for Reaching Poorest

Joanne Carter, Executive Director, gave a great account of the International Conference, noting that around 230 meetings were held with members of Congress from 29 states, and $16000 was raised.

The President of Freedom From Hunger, Chris Dunford, joined us as guest speaker on the call. Dunford gave a powerful account of the power of microfinance for reaching the very poor and how critical RESULTS’ efforts have been in assuring that those who can benefit most have access. He talked about how the “engineers” of microfinance programs at USAID talk about how “impossible” it is to reach the poorest, yet are the same people who ultimately design the systems to do the impossible. It is the work of RESULTS to push them to design what we all know is challenging, though worth pursuing because it is the right thing to do, and in the end, doable.

Jen Maurer, Senior Legislative Associate, gave an account of or work on the microfinance sign on letter to USAID (80 signers as of 7/13). She challenged us to gather 100 signers by 7/14 to send a strong message to USAID that they must comply with the 2004 microfinance law that requires them to invest 50% of US microfinance dollars in programs that reach the very poor. Call your representative and ask him/her to sign on. Jen also gave us an overview of our legislative calendar for the coming months, which will focus on education and microfinance heavily.

Ken Patterson lead the Grassroots Cafe, calling on 6 activists to share about their experience at the International Conference. The shares were powerful and gave a true sense of what it’s like to be in DC changing the world.

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