UMW’s Month of Microfinance a Platform for Global Discussion

#MicrofinanceCanBe Campaign Submission

The University of Mary Washington will host the fourth annual Month of Microfinance this April, leveraging the month as a platform for a global discussion surrounding the results of a new study questioning microfinance’s impact on poverty. … [Read more...]

Students Live on $2 a Day to Raise Money and Awareness for Poverty Issues

The students spent the week in a homemade shelter on Ball Circle. Photo by Leigh Williams '14

For a week at the beginning of April, senior Andrew Walz and more than 35 fellow students moved out of their residence halls at the University of Mary Washington and tried to ignore the smell of food from campus dining halls. … [Read more...]

UMW Student-Run Business Launches Online Platform

UMW students visit an artisan in a Honduran village

The University of Mary Washington student-run business, Esfuerzo de Amor, launched an online platform to sell its products on Friday, Nov. 9. The site is the result of the combined efforts of senior Aaron Leung, UMW’s Center for Economic Development and the UMW Bookstore. Esfuerzo de Amor is run by La Ceiba MFI. The business sells its products, which are made by women in two communities in Honduras, in UMW’s bookstore and at Heritage Gifts in downtown Fredericksburg. Artisans from La Brisas and Villa Soleada craft the clutches from recycled chip bags and soda labels they find littering the area. The project, which originated in 2008, was started by UMW student Rachel Mason. Mason taught women in Siete de Abril to make the clutches; now the artisans also create bracelets, earrings, hairbands, key chains and more. The project started as a way to decrease the amount of trash burned in the streets, but has evolved into a way to help women in poverty. Seventy percent of the profit … [Read more...]

La Ceiba Kicks Off Fundraising Campaign with Film Premier

The La Ceiba team in Honduras in January 2012

La Ceiba, a University of Mary Washington-based collegiate microfinance institution, premiered a film of its operations on Tuesday, March 20 as part of its spring fundraising campaign. Founded in 2008 by Shawn Humphrey, associate professor of economics, La Ceiba provides financial, social and educational support to communities in El Progreso, Honduras, in partnership with Students Helping Honduras and UMW. The film explores UMW students’ recent trip to Honduras. “Each year, upon our return from Honduras, my students and I confront the difficulty of fully articulating our experience to family and friends,” Humphrey said. “They care about what we do and are curious to know all about it. However, despite what we say, nothing seems to fully capture the texture and emotional impact of Honduras. This film does it for us and we are so excited to share it with the UMW community.” La Ceiba hopes to raise $5,000 by the end of the semester to fund the four areas of its program: … [Read more...]