Join Global Grassroots Leaders Attacking Haiti's Poverty

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Join Global Grassroots Leaders Attacking Haiti's Poverty

Post by admin » Sun Oct 10, 2004 9:54 am

From: Microcredit Summit Campaign
Join Global Grassroots Leaders Attacking Haiti's Poverty

Five seasoned practitioners from Asia, Africa, and Latin America will gather in Haiti in mid-November. Their assignment: Solve the problem of economic dependency for Haiti's most vulnerable.

Fonkoze (FON-dasyon KO-le ZE-pòl) and Zanmi Lasante (Partners In Health) are organizing the working summit to attack Third World problems with Third World experience. Fonkoze is Haiti's largest microfinance institution. Zanmi Lasante is the leading non-governmental provider of rural primary medical care in Haiti.

Dr. Paul Farmer, founder of Zanmi Lasante, says: "I am tired of bringing people on the edge of death from tuberculosis, AIDS or other diseases to the point where they can become economically active, then watching them suffer because they have no way to make a living." Farmer's work in central Haiti is the subject of the bestseller Mountains Beyond Mountains by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder.

The organizers invite you to take part by receiving email updates before, during and after the November 14-19, 2004 summit. You can also interact via our website with these experts as they design their solution for Haiti. You will be party to the birth of the solution. To join the summit, email:

"We want to explode the myth that we don't know how to end extreme poverty," says Anne Hastings, Fonkoze's director.

"We know it can be done because we do it every day," adds summit participant Rabeya Yasmin, manager of BRAC's program for the ultra-poor in Bangladesh. "In our program, 75% of participating women have achieved a sustainable livelihood over a 2-year period, at a cost of $291 per person."

"Microfinance is a way out of poverty for those ready to participate," says
Hastings. "But those in extreme poverty are not yet ready. Getting them ready is our challenge."

The summit's concrete and interactive format will "immerse the practitioners in the reality of Haiti, then quickly bring them out of that and into intensive working sessions, drawing on their deep experience in radically different cultures," says Hastings.

"We're pushing the boundaries of problem-solving methodology, by fostering intensive cross-cultural interaction among expert practitioners. The purpose is to design the programs that will transform the most destitute from recipients of charity to independent heads of households."

For more information or to receive summit updates, email:

To follow the summit online, visit:

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