Archives For Poverty Alleviation

Life in Haiti hasn’t been easy for a long time. More than half the population lives on less than $2.40 a month, while wealth and power are concentrated in the hands of a select few. For the last several months, government corruption, fuel shortages, spiraling inflation, contaminated drinking water, and food scarcity have caused many Haitians to rise up in protest against a government that has been largely deaf to their cries. These protests are making international headlines. Continue Reading…

Dried apricot, raspberry, brown sugar. No, these aren’t candle scents; they’re the delicate flavors of specialty coffees sourced from the highlands of Burundi and Rwanda. In my very caffeinated opinion, coffees from these two hilly countries in East Africa are among the world’s most delicious, and yes, they even fight poverty. Continue Reading…

by Anna Hofmann (third from left), Writing and Research Intern

Listening is hard. True listening is an active and engaged process, we’re told.

But listening doesn’t feel that difficult or demanding. Yet, I’m learning that listening—true listening—doesn’t just require my full attention; it’s also risky. Here’s what I mean: Continue Reading…

by Robert Morris, HOPE Savings Group Technical Advisor

Savings groups are often described in simple terms: a small number of people who save their money together and take small loans from those savings. But when you look a little deeper—and hear what these facilitators were describing—groups are much more complex than they first appear. Some of the issues they face are complicated, like hedging, trading in futures, and calculating inflationary risk! Continue Reading…

Growing up in poverty in rural Malawi, Phanny raised her siblings on her own. Struggling to get by, she remembers often going to bed hungry. With few options to support themselves, Phanny and her siblings would collect firewood to sell over 10 miles from their home. And like many Malawians in her situation, she got married as a teenager, seeing few opportunities to develop herself on her own. Yet after having a daughter, life became even more challenging, and she and her husband struggled to put food on the table. Continue Reading…

Mauvalyn Bowen - Wedding

A passion for entrepreneurship can be kindled in a number of different ways.

For some, it’s the classic childhood lemonade stand that initially piques interest; others point to a formative internship or mentor; and for others, it’s building upon an earlier innovation. For Mauvalyn Bowen, a member of HOPE’s local board in Minnesota, it was riding on the back of a donkey as she and her mother (pictured above, along with Mauvlyn’s father and husband) made their weekly trek to market. Continue Reading…