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Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Poor's Bank

This post translated from ruli_pribadi@yahoo.com post on PAS-ITB mailing list, the article posted here using explicit permission from the writer.

Approximately 100 years ago, man seek method to flying the sky. Many has doubt on this dream, some thought they were bunch of nuts. But however, in the year of 1903, Wright brothers has flew their first airplane, it only flew for 12 second for 120 feet distance, this is the seed of hope that world will change to a better place, and it was only 65 years later that 1st human arrive on the moon. (Muhammad Yunus Speech in the Micro Credit Summit 1997)

Just a century ago, man assumed going to space was impossible. But these days, in this very 21st Century we witness how the edge of possibility has change. We might have had flew the sky furthermore the space and deny the impossibility of the idea, however the adge of possibility here beneath the sky in our own earth still likely to be the same, we always taught that poverty was absolute, something unchangeable, then we are comforted to believe that without further search.

In a country where social welfare seems to be an imposibility; in a country where woman classified as marginal citizen, overwhelming starvation, political instability exist due to frequent coup d'etat and natural disaster happen so often
a phenomenal banking institution had been created, a seed of revolutionary school of thought in combating poverty across the earth.

Muhammad Yunus, a professor in Economics was disturbed by economic study that justify the presence of poverty caused by people unwillingness to be productive; in his search, he found that poverty in Bangladesh primarily caused by nonavailability of people access towards economic assets. Poorest people of Bangladesh always marginalized by banking system; labeled as a
non-bankable group, chained by religiousity and old custom; help by government or world institution rarely get into their hand.

The poor which physically weak does not require a donation, for donation only increase their burden, take their incentif and rape their pride, Yunus has found that within everybody’s will there is enterpreneurship available to be valued. The poor survivability was an undeniable proof that they still have willingness to strife, Yunus has proven that beggar, small enterpreneur, house mother has a competency for being a succesful enterpreneur.

Grameen Bank launch a micro credit for the poorest and for they who have willingness to improve their life quality. The credit scheme was given to a group of people, for they can cheer one another. For this scheme, Yunus claim that micro credit not a naif altruistic action, but they have a profit reasoning, NPL for micro credit only accounted for 2%, far superior to investment credit that usually consist of 3-4% NPL.

For 25 year since its establishment Greemen Bank always account a profit balance, this became a proof that the poor also credible for credit stream.

By witnessing this unprecedented fight against poverty, is it not that we reflect upon our own nation, is there anything we could do about it?

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