Monday, July 30, 2007

Lulu Wanted To Be Selfish And Not Share

so terrible, yah?
The thing is, if I share, that means the odds would be greater that I can't go.
but that's so NOT Lulu.
Good things are meant to be shared.

I first heard of Dr Muhammad Yunus in 2001 when I was in holiday in London.
Staying in my cousin's house alone with nothing much to do, I searched through her book shelves for a book to read.

I picked up the book "Banker to the Poor: The Autobiography of Muhammad Yunus"

I was amazed and totally awed by the work he had started.

In 1974, Professor Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist from Chittagong University, led his students on a field trip to a poor village. They interviewed a woman who made bamboo stools, and learnt that she had to borrow the equivalent of 15p to buy raw bamboo for each stool made. After repaying the middleman, sometimes at rates as high as 10% a week, she was left with a penny profit margin. Had she been able to borrow at more advantageous rates, she would have been able to amass an economic cushion and raise herself above subsistence level.
Realizing that there must be something terribly wrong with the economics he was teaching, Yunus took matters into his own hands, and from his own pocket lent the equivalent of 17pounds to 42 basket-weavers. He found that it was possible with this tiny amount not only to help them survive, but also to create the spark of personal initiative and enterprise necessary to pull themselves out of poverty.

from Biography of Dr. Muhammad Yunus

Basically, Dr Muhammad Yunus and the bank which he later set up known today as the Grameen Bank, provides small loans and training to lenders, mainly women, to do their little cottage industries.

To put it in a local setting, maybe you know of some poor woman, really, really poor.
Maybe she is unable to go out to work because she has to take care of her children at home.
In your conversations with her, you learn that she hand-sews baju kurungs for the young girls staying around the squatter settlement.
Because she stitches it with her hands, she can only do one every two weeks.
Ah..... if she had a sewing machine, she would be able to sew more, much-much more and supplement her income manyfold.
a sewing machine at least costs RM300.
(sorry for the low blow but...) she does not stay in Ijok.
She kais pagi, makan pagi, kais petang, makan petang. How could she afford RM300?
Borrow from the ahLongs?
That would lead her into a life of perpetual slavery should she ever miss a payment.

This is where microcredit comes in.
Small loans, with no collateral in the right hands would go very far.

Can you see how microcredit would work in this woman's life?

Unlike conventional bank Grameen Bank provides credits (Microcredit) to the poor people without any collateral.
As of May, 2006, it has 6.61 million borrowers, 97 percent of whom are women. General banking conception is poor people would not be able to repay; in fact, repayment rates of Grameen Bank reached 99 percent and millions of people came out of poverty using Microcredit concept of Dr. Muhammad Yunus.

WOW to the man and the bank!

so, what's this selfish-selfish stuff?
well, Dr Muhammad Yunus will be speaking at Khazanah Global Lectures On 15 August 2007.

Lulu really wants to hear THE MAN speak.

The Khazanah Merdeka Series Programme is by invitation of Khazanah Nasional. However, there are limited seats available for the public at all KMS programmes. Lulu filled in the registeration form, and what she got was that they can only confirm 3 days before the event. ANd if it is oversubscribed, it will be a lucky draw kinda thing.
Meaning, if I share this with you all, I will have to count on being those di-cabut bertuah.

But some things, and some people, and some great ideas are just too good to not be shared.

If you are keen, and leave is not a problem, or if you are an admirer of Grameen Bank, do fill up the registration form.
I hope to be able to make it, and see you there.

if you havent clicked yet, Dr Yunus and the Grameen Bank were the joint receipients of the Nobel Peace Price in 2006.

further reading
Ten Indicators to Assess Poverty level
The 16 decisions of Grameen Bank,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/lang,en/


Shawn Tan said...

I've always found it interesting that banks only loan money to people who have money and don't give loans to people who truly need them. I never could grasp this concept.

PS: Still love your lulu-ness!

lucia said...

yes i heard of dr muhammad yunus before sometime ago. a big salute to this man, dr muhammad yunus! i admire him very much for starting the grameen bank to help the poor. indeed this is what we need - "teach the poor how to fish, instead of give the poor a fish".

i am involved in one of the church's society that helps the poor where we 'adopt' some families and gave them cash and ration monthly. this micro-credit concept would come in handy. can teach them how to save and make a living on their own so that they don't depend on our monthly ration.

i would love to attend the talk by dr muhammad yunus but unfortunately it is not in penang.

lulu, make sure you go and come back and tell us all about it. kalau ada notes, take and send to me please!
(oh i must also search for the book to read)

zaitgha said...

saw a documentary on him a few weeks ago...very aspiring

Husin Lempoyang said...


Can Microcredit help Husin Lempoyang sell more human than camel?

Now a lot of human selling Husin Lempoyang out. And Malaysians do not buy camel from me but import for slaughter for Aid Adha?

Very noble man this Dr MUhammad Yunos. His assumption is simple, poor people are more responsible to repy debt and it proves.

Orang susah tahu berterima kasih.

Orang senang tahu
complain complain complain ... dan mencuri dan menipu!!! Orang begini sangat berjiwa Malaysia dan tidak mengira bangsa.