Update from the Field

December 24, 2006

Zhi Jenni Myers


…The Real Medicine Foundation came with the main plan of microfinance to help small businesses, either by funding the villager for a food stall, a bicycle or a sewing machine. Microfinance is a concept that had recently caught a fair amount of press due to the latest Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus being a micro-financier himself. It is not just giving fish but giving the equipment to fish. It is a method of aid that is practical, long-lasting and its effects, multiplying.

Within minutes of discussion, we realized that the government aid for shelter had been delayed, and that people were still living in vulnerable tents. Therefore in this situation, microfinance can perhaps be considered as a secondary need – important but not as urgent as say, food and shelter. The microfinance project would impact them so powerfully… but at a time when they could not even think straight from having no shelter, it seemed early. If I am not mistaken, it was like giving a drowning man a wet suit when he needs a life jacket. Read more in the Journal available for download below. 

Country Page: Indonesia Initiative Page: Community Savings Project