Cooperative for Poverty

A World without Poverty in 2020

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I’ve been given the infinite power to eradicate poverty by the year 2020 by Susan Campbell. I’d like to thank her for that, by the way. On that very same day, I was invited to join a Cooperative Development Committee with the Credit Union League of CT and the guest speaker was Victor Miguel Corro, Vice President of the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions International Partnerships & Training. One of the slides in his PowerPoint presentation was of about 8 men sitting in a circle in Afghanistan, in the desert, as Board of Directors for a credit union to determine if they were going to lend money to a local resident to start a new venture.

Another slide was a photo of a woman in Colombia standing next to two representatives from her local credit union. Each morning, one representative lends the lady money to sell her potatoes and at the end of the day the other representative comes to her to collect payment for the loan and 10-15% of her earnings to save money for herself. That may only be about 15 cents, but it’s a daily savings. They bring the credit union to her since she cannot afford to travel to the credit union herself. Wow, this gave me the chills when I connected the concepts of bringing funding and democracy right to the poor with the credit union movement and our mission for this course on wealth and inequality. Credit Unions alone aren’t going to eradicate poverty but changing our view of the financial system may be a big start. We know we cannot do anything about poverty without finance, so I say we start there.

 

Barbara Gunterman

photo courtesy of Woccu

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