Books Worth a Look

  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave - This book is a must read. Better than anything else I've read, it takes you vividly into the life of a person in the 3rd world who has no choice but to escape. It is brilliantly written & works well as an audio book. Often I've sent info about the wonderful refugees I've met in Europe. We know only so much of their plight as it is painful for them to recall much less live through again by recounting it. But over time it is clear what they've lived through. This book is excellent as you discover the horrors of their world. Somewhat how to me, it is like being in Europe near a Concentration Camp. One has an obligation to visit it. 'Never to Forget.' In this case, to have our eyes opened.
  • Garbage King by Eliz Laird - The book is set on the streets on Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia and here lives Mamo and his sister Tiggist. When Mamo's "uncle" offers a job, he soon sets out on a bus to work. Little does he know that he is actually being sold into slavery...

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Tour in which the cost goes to Micro-Loans for impoverished women - without interest charge!

Investours - an investment in very poor women as they work to obtain a micro-loan. PLEASE DO take at least a quick look at the site:

A wonderful yet simple idea. Those interested pay $50 for a 6 hour venture to Teotitlán del Valle.

You visit two groups of 3 women each. They live in simple, clean but very poor homes. They have come together to obtain a loan of $ 100 = $1300 (pesos) each. Though small this is sizeable here. It allows them to obtain materials etc. to start a small business: weaving, tortilla production, dyed material etc. to be sold in the local market.

They are to pay the loan back & then may apply for a 2nd & 3rd. There is no interest charged. The son of the School´s founder, Carlos, began this particular micro-business. Unlike many, he charges no interest. All $ 50 goes to the loan.

As the provider of the $50 (60.6 British pounds or 67.25 Euro) your group meets afterwards over lunch to determine which group gets the loan that week - not an easy decision. No matter, after three tries, a group will obtain a loan. Most do so by the 2nd try. Apparently they learned a lot.

e is much to say about the visit - incredibly beautiful small woven rugs & resourceful women. It was very difficult to contain my emotions when I saw just how poor & weather worn they are. Vibrant & gracious.

No comments:


Thoughts on the amazing people I get to meet.

Rich, my 19 year old friend, soon to be Franciscan and recent community member at Haley House in Boston. An article he wrote.