In April 2017, Bankers Without Borders® reached out to me with a volunteer opportunity to work with Livelyhoods, a Nairobi-based organization delivering life-changing products and opportunities to communities across Kenya. Having recently opened their sixteenth branch office and on the lookout for ways to expand and scale operations, Livelyhoods was seeking support in their efforts to better understand drivers of branch performance and to define a branch level operating strategy that would ensure sustainability across the organization.
… At first blush, all seemingly straightforward goals,... Read More
I awoke to the shrill horn-blast of an on-coming boat. Traffic of all sorts exists in the Philippines: even out in the water en route to a lake island at 5:46 in the morning. I shook myself to a semi-conscious state and discovered that the world around me had already been wide-awake a long time ago. Bankas, Filipino bamboo boats, charged across the waters carrying students to school, merchants splayed their wares across their ponderous boats, a few elderly men sat by the shores fishing, with a pyramid of silvery fish by their sides as trophies. A surprising jolt of energy and busyness coursed... Read More
Bankers without Borders has welcomed the first wave of summer interns to Grameen Foundation! Summer is a busy and exciting time; the extra support allows our teams, interns included, to tackle challenging problems and explore innovative solutions. Each intern has a special project that will directly support the direction of some programs. Our interns will be working across various teams including Mobile Agriculture, Legal, Development, Marketing, and Monitoring & Evaluation. Throughout the summer they will have the opportunity to meet key stakeholders in the sector and interact with... Read More
Friends…Some final thoughts from my India volunteer assignment, (ok more than a few thoughts, it’s a bit longer than the others)……
India, Grameen Loans, and Unintended Consequences
The advantage of having previously spent valuable time in India, combined with the access to the really smart and insightful people at Varam Capital where I was volunteering, allowed me to partially peel away at the complex onion which is India and Indian society.
In this case, it was interesting to get a range of perspectives and to hear about some of the challenges behind the otherwise huge success of the... Read More
How many Indian women from lower economic classes does it take to change a lightbulb? No…I am not being pejorative! Actually it takes some 15 to 20 eager and entrepreneurial Indian women assembled in a neighborhood borrowing group to change the lightbulb. And in banding together, they truly bring new light to their homes, their children, their communities, to their independence.
Many of you might already be familiar with Grameen Bank and Muhammad Yunus. Some 20 years ago, he launched this idea in poor neighborhoods of rural Bangladesh where he set out to empower women in... Read More
It's week one and already it seems like an eternity since I have been in the US. Living in India is a mind-boggling experience for a westerner (or should I say “this westerner”, even though I have lived in India before). Each day brings a new experience, usually one that alters the way you view the world or makes you fundamentally question the way you view yourself. It’s that profound.
How can a country with a significant level of poverty be so spiritual in nature even among the many who struggle to make basic ends meet? How can a country that has vital infrastructure needs like reliable... Read More
Grameen Foundation and Freedom from Hunger are proud to announce that we have joined forces to form a single unified organization. Under the banner of Grameen Foundation, our mission is to enable the poor, especially women, to create a world without hunger and poverty.
This is more than mere words. It is an unflagging commitment to focus our resources and combined expertise on charting new paths out of poverty with programs that expand financial inclusion, enhance health, strengthen resilience and improve livelihoods for the world’s poorest people.
Through combining the programs,... Read More
While we continue to appreciate our BwB volunteers throughout Pro Bono Week, we wanted to highlight a recent engagement we had involving university students. In the spring of 2016, Bankers without Borders deployed 4 graduate students from Vanderbilt University (Kevin Kelly, Eileen Remley, Emily K. Sheldon, and Sid Raghuraman) to work closely with GhScientific, an organization based in Accra, Ghana, that serves as a hub for people interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
The volunteer consultants were brought in to help GhScientific think through its sustainability... Read More
In honor of Pro Bono Week, Bankers without Borders would like to take the opportunity to send a big shout out to all of our 22,000 supporters from 173 countries who volunteered with more than 210 social enterprises around the world.
We are recognizing some of our most inspiring volunteers and are sharing their stories and accomplishments in our 2016 Diamond Volunteer Book. While our volunteers may come from a variety of backgrounds and countries, they are all unified in their commitment to Bankers without Borders and Grameen Foundation's mission of ending abject poverty.
We hope you'll be as... Read More
(Photo Credit: Francis Minien)
This past summer, Bankers without Borders®, Grameen Foundation’s volunteer initiative, engaged a team of seven employees from Capco, to research the needs, opportunities, and barriers that may inhibit poor women from using digital financial services and understand how organizations - microfinance institutions, banks, MNOs, or other digital financial providers - could deliver services tailored specifically for women.
Gracie Hollis, one of the volunteer leads on the project, jumped at the opportunity to volunteer. Gracie first learned about Grameen Foundation... Read More