Please forward this email to other groups who might like to join in our discussions.
This email is about three things
- Our next online meeting
- An idea to discuss from the World Without Poverty (WWP) book
- A letter that also has the idea about small things adding up to make a big difference.
1. Our next online meeting
The next First Thursday meeting in the chat room http://www.worknets.org/chat/base/
has kindly said that he will be responsible for welcoming people (I will be at a conference - I don't know if there will be Internet access ). Fred plans to go to the cyber cafe for 3pm to 4pm his
time - East African Time. I think that is 13.00-14.00 in London
(British Summer TIme) and 12.00 - 13.00 GMT - but it is definitely
3pm to 4pm East African Time. Please make sure his journey is
worthwhile and join him in the chatroom.
The planned focus for the chat will be World Without Poverty - but
of course the chat can cover other things too. It is up to the people
who attend to decide what they want to discuss. You do not need to have
the Mohammed Yunus book in order to join in the discussions about his
ideas. We will share ideas from the book gradually through the
<<<<<<<<<<<<< 2.An idea to
discuss from the World Without Poverty (WWP) book
chapter 11 of his book "Creating a World Without Poverty" Mohammed
Yunus challenges his readers to agree something they can do locally,
something that is achievable by just two or three people. The rest of
his book is really building up to this challenge. I say that because
the rest of his book is a true story about wonderful social changes
that have been made in Bangledesh through the work and ideas of
Mohammed Yunus and the people connected with him. He shares the story
of these successes - to inspire the rest of us to make a difference as
Mohammed Yunus keeps emphasising that the big programmes he now
leads in Bangledesh did not start with a big national or international
plan. He started locally, with small local steps, solving problems for
individual people, and then replicating good ideas that work.
The first person he helped was a woman who made beautiful bamboo
stools. Although she made and sold these beautiful stools she remained
in terrible poverty. Mohammed Yunus wondered how this could be. She
explained to him that she never had enough money to buy the bamboo to
make the stools. She had to work through a
middle man who exploited her. He provided her with the bamboo but on
one condition. When she had made the stool she could not sell it on the
open market. It was his bamboo, so she had to sell the finished stool
back to him, and he did not give her a fair price for her work. She was
trapped by this middle-man.
Mohammed Yunus made her a small loan so that she could afford to
buy her bamboo outright. She could then sell her stools for a fair
price and she was not trapped any more - and she was able to repay the
loan. It was not a large amount.
We need to start looking for other examples like that, real local
examples around the study groups. Is there anyone in a situation like
the woman who made stools? Or in some other situation of working hard,
but needing a small loan just to make things work properly? It needs to
be a small loan - like for the woman needing the bamboo - and it would
be necessary to work out how soon it would be paid back.
Perhaps we can find lots of ideas, and make a list of them, and
then choose the best ones to try. If the loan needed is not large
(something like the bamboo) and it would be repaid, then it should be
possible to arrange the loan. Even if we could only manage a loan for
the best idea on the list it would be a start. We would have to choose
the first idea very carefully - because if we choose right then the
loan will be repaid and it can be used for the next idea on the list,
and so on and on.
Let us start to discuss possibilities. We will need lots of ideas
to toss about, (good ideas. bad ideas. interesting ideas - all kinds of
ideas). Mixing lots of ideas together leads to new ideas - especially
if all ieadea are accepted and no-one judges ideas as "good" or" bad"
at the start. Ideas all mixed in together can grow into excellent
ideas. From our ideas we will make real plans. Then we will need to
learn how to do the financial calculations to decide which idea is best.
Let us think who we coudl make a small start to help someone like the maker of the bamboo stools.
3. A letter that also has the idea about small things adding up to make
a big difference. <<<<<<<<<
Andrius forwarded the message below to holistic-helping. I am
sharing it with LearningFromEachOther with reference to World Without
Poverty for this reason. It gives a message of encouragement to us
saying "Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once,
but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our
reach". This is very much the message of Mohammed Yunus in his book
Creatign a World Without Povery.
> I want to share with you the following inspiring message I picked up from
> another Yahoo Group called Dragon Dreaming, led by John Croft:
> It was posted in April 2003 and attributed to author Clarissa Pinkola
> Estes but does not say when it was written.
> If you haven't time to read the whole thing just savour this passage:
> "Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of
> stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our
> reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another
> soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help
> immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will
> cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is
> needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding
> to, adding more, continuing."
> Best wishes
> John Rogers