American RadioWorks |
Photos: Stephen Smith

Thirsty Planet

Scientists say most people on Earth will first experience climate change in terms of water -- either too much or too little. This documentary explores some of the most pressing water problems and some innovative solutions by visiting two countries where water issues are critical: India and Israel. A vast and ecologically diverse country, India suffers from water problems found across the globe: flooding, drought, pollution, and lack of access by the poor. In Israel, a combination of cutting-edge technology and sweeping government policy has largely solved the nation's long struggle with water scarcity. But the benefits of abundant water are not shared equally throughout Israel and the West Bank.

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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Get banks to fund a microcredit program for poor in the United States

File under: income, microfinance, geneva global, opportunity international, HOPE International, mediamavens.com, enrichment.com

4 (1 votes)

From: Mike S., Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Microcredit (or microfinance) is working in developing countries. Poor, working people (primarily women) are given a small loan, funded by donors through an NGO (non-governmental organization), to operate a small business. This lifts them and their family out of intractable, chronic poverty.

Microcredit hasn't had a real launch in the United States, because the small loans would obviously have to be larger here than what they would be in the developing world.

Let a bank -- e.g., Bank of America -- sponsor a fund that would be targeted to poor, working people in each of the market areas of each branch bank. Monies to loan out would come in through bank customer donations (the bank could appeal to customers to give "x" dollars each month from their checking accounts), and through a percentage of the bank's own monies. The bank would work with one or more acknowledged microfinance agencies for distribution.

The public relations for the bank would be terrific; this could be a customer magnet for new accounts, far offsetting whatever the bank would be doling out.


Comments:

Tina W.
From Minneapolis, MN

Like with many things in the US I would be afraid it would be exploited. However it could work if the people "donating" the money got their money back when the borrower begins paying back the loan. This is how Prosper Marketplace, Inc works. But, I like this idea. Give everyone who wants it a reason to be proud of themselves, and feel good about giving back to their local economy. The biggest problem as I see it, is that you have to use people in order to get ahead these days. This is why I will never have enough to make ends meet. But a bunch of small local businesses who can even barter would be good. A little money is exchanged, a promise to help when needed, and the heart of our communities could be returned too.


American RadioWorks |
Photos: Stephen Smith

Thirsty Planet

Scientists say most people on Earth will first experience climate change in terms of water -- either too much or too little. This documentary explores some of the most pressing water problems and some innovative solutions by visiting two countries where water issues are critical: India and Israel. A vast and ecologically diverse country, India suffers from water problems found across the globe: flooding, drought, pollution, and lack of access by the poor. In Israel, a combination of cutting-edge technology and sweeping government policy has largely solved the nation's long struggle with water scarcity. But the benefits of abundant water are not shared equally throughout Israel and the West Bank.

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  • 05.12.16

    Victims, not criminals: Rebranding teen sex trafficking

    The nation is changing the way it thinks about teen sex trafficking. States have decriminalized it for teens and offered help, and some are attacking the demand for commercial sex.
  • 05.12.16

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    Estimating the number of human trafficking victims in the United States is notoriously difficult.
  • 05.12.16

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    In much of India, getting enough water is a low-tech affair. In some places, women draw water by hand; in others suicide rates among farmers have risen because drought and dropping water tables make their lives difficult.
  • 05.12.16

    Israel: Using technology, engineering to cut reliance on Galilee

    Water has been a matter of national security for Israel since the nation's inception. Drought and growth have pushed the country to use desalination, wastewater recycling and other technology and engineering feats to address the demand. But it's a different picture where Palestinians are involved.