Thursday, October 16, 2008

Delayed Blog Action Day Contribution

I was so busy this last days that I missed the “Blog Action Day” event on October 15, 2008! Because of my social involvement in Diku Dilenga [1], I want to participate even if I am a little bit late :)

This year, the Blog Action Day [2] topic is “poverty”.

In 2001, I joined volunteers of the Montreal RESULTS group [3] The main goal of this group is to lobby the governments (federal, provincial, etc.) to ensure that money invested in International Development targets the really poor! Many actions have been very successful but, IMHO, it is too dependent on the current government policies... My abilities to help reaching the Millennium Development Goals [4] were limited.

The 8 Millennium Development Goals
(Icons from UN site [4])

End of 2007, I have been asked to give a hand to start a Canadian chapter for Diku Dilenga, NGO/NPO offering mainly microcredit to poor people. The model of Diku Dilenga is based on the successful example of Jamii Bora [5]. Rev. Tambwe Musangelu, the legal official of Diku Dilenga in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), worked closely with Ms. Ingrid Munro. To understand the philosophy of the organization and to learn about how successful the operations in Kenya are, you should look at the conference given by Ms. Ingrid Munro at the Microcredit Summit that took place in Halifax, Canada, in 2006 (the year Mr. Mohammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank received the Nobel Peace Prize).

Operations of Diku Dilenga are progressing slowly because our core counts very few volunteers and because the legal process of the registration is still in progress (organization registered as non-profit, but not yet as a charity). Money has already be sent on individual basis, for example, and we are looking at opportunities to organize fund raising events. A child pairing program is also in progress. We have many other ideas we hope to realize in 2009-2010 that will make a big difference for poor people in DRC.

With my experience, I am persuaded that support poor entrepreneurs with micro-loans is good mechanism to help them, their families, and their relations going out of poverty. It is a respectful and sustainable tool that also serve their country (because it is less corruption prone, for example).

So I invite anyone to take a close look at which achievements have been made with microcredit (Grameen Bank, Jamii Bora). Once convinced that is a good practice, do not hesitate to donate through Kiva [6] for example which accepts donation by 25$ increments. If you want to be involved in Diku Dilenga, leave me a comment ;)

A+, Dom
  1. Diku Dilenga is an NGO/NPO acting in Democratic Republic of the Congo with a chapter in Canada which mainly offers financial and technical supports.
  2. Blog Action Day website.
  3. RESULTS Canada website.
  4. Description of the Millennium Development Goals, on United Nations website.
  5. Jamii Bora is a sister organization acting in Kenya.
  6. , probably the fastest web-based NPO which funded more that 25,000 loans, with a 99+ per cent repayment rate!

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