Unitus Supporters Inspired by Trip to India

November 1, 2007 Posted by Update

This September, a group of 11 Unitus supporters and several staff members set out for Bangalore, India, embarking on an unforgettable week of learning, discovery, and adventure. The 2007 Partner Expedition was led by Unitus board member Dave Richards and his wife Sharon, COO Ed Bland, Donor & Investor Relations VP Diana Reid, and Campaign Coordinator Kari Hammett-Caster.

Together with a number of members of the Unitus Bangalore team, the group visited Unitus partners Ujjivan and Grameen Koota to learn more about microfinance in the field. Some of the biggest highlights of the trip were visits to outlying villages to attend loan meetings and talk with the women borrowers. Seeing these women light up with pride—when talking about their businesses, the opportunity to send their children to school, or their next big entrepreneurial idea—was a true inspiration for everyone.

On his blog, Dave Richards has posted videos, pictures, and his impressions of the trip—such as the difference he noticed between new borrowers and those who are on their 3rd or 4th loan cycle:

“I had heard about how microfinance empowers women. Now I have seen it. The loan officers we met with say that they see this again and again as women grow in their confidence and self-worth as they continue to run their businesses, pay back loans and earn additional profits which they then get to invest in their families and to further expand their business efforts. But there’s nothing better than experiencing this firsthand!”

> Read more from Dave Richards at: DefeatPoverty.com