A group of students at the University of Arizona traveled to different parts of the world to create unforgettable experiences and memories. What we found was extreme poverty. After seeing people suffer from living under the international poverty line, we each thought to ourselves:
“How can I make a difference in the world? How can a few students make an impact?”
A little over a year ago, we found a way to help. Starting Loans Across Borders, the University of Arizona’s only micro finance club, is our way to make a difference. We have introduced the club to the Tucson community by hosting an Oxfam Hunger Banquet and selling crafted goods at Tucson Meet Yourself made by Ghanaian entrepreneurs. During the Spring 2013 semester, we came into contact with Christiane Milev, a founder and the current director of Village Exchange International/Ghana, a nonprofit organization we are working with to give micro loans to local Ghanaian entrepreneurs.
Tucson Meet Yourself
Why Micro Finance is Important and How it Works
Have you ever heard the saying: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”?
Micro finance is the financial embodiment of this principal. We don’t just give people money; we loan money to people to start and grow their own businesses so that they have the ability to move themselves and their communities out of poverty. When they repay their loan, the money, including a small amount of interest, is re-invested in another entrepreneur.
We make this possible by partnering with organizations like Village Exchange International/Ghana (VEG). VEG is in Ghana working directly with these local entrepreneurs and has programs to inform villagers of these opportunities and aid them through the process. VEG will be having weekly meetings with the loan recipients to help keep them on track towards repaying their loans. Loans Across Borders club members and contributors to this campaign will receive updates on these weekly meetings and the progress that is being made.
How You can Help
Twelve women in Ghana need loans to help them grow their businesses. We need your help to raise $5,000 to give these twelve women the money they need and the power to become self-sufficient. Below are three of the women we are hoping to provide loans for:
Rejoice Akoeda is a 41-year old mother of 3 children. Rejoice is a seamstress and has been working in her shop for 8years. She is planning to expand her project by selling clothes in the future. She is currently requesting a loan from VEG to buy new cloths so as to earn enough to support her household.
Madam Mina Ansah is a mother of four children who lost the husband about six years ago. She is currently engaged in the production of palm Kernel both within her locality and beyond. Mina who is 38 years dreams of expanding her current business through the VEG micro finance program.
Patience Adraku has been making and selling Palm Oil for the past four years in order to support her household. She has an enterprising spirit and with the intention to generate income she decided to start her own oil business. She started to make the Palm Oil in her house and sell it to her friends, neighbors and others she knew. The business has grown so much since then; she now sells to schools, soap manufactures and event organizers. Patience is asking for this loan in order to buy machinery to produce enough and buy raw materials (palm fruits, firewood, and tanks) to create a positive growth in her business.
A small donation is enough to change the financial coarse of an entire family.
Even if you can’t donate, make a difference in the lives of these women by spreading the word. Tweet about our campaign and share our story on Facebook.
Why donate to us?
We are a group of aspiring business professionals about to graduate from college. It is important to us that we get involved abroad not only to help those in extreme poverty, but also to participate in the realization that we are citizens of the world and that we can have an impact outside of our college community. We will take this lesson of humility and giving to others with us as we graduate and move to other stages in our lives.
Every bit of money we raise will go directly towards providing micro loans and we can’t wait to share our progress with you!