UMW Students Lead Global Microfinance Movement

The Two Dollar Challenge, part of the Month of Microfinance, raises awareness and funds for poverty-related causes.

More than 85 global microfinance partners have joined the University of Mary Washington in the Month of Microfinance. Throughout the month of April, students at UMW and other participating colleges, universities and high schools will host and participate in campus events related to providing financial services to low-income people who would otherwise be unable to get assistance. A grassroots movement founded at UMW, the Month of Microfinance (MoMF) is in its second year. This year, dozens of international partners are supporting MoMF, including Kiva, Whole Foods Market’s Whole Planet Foundation and Accion. The program highlights local and global events with the goal of providing a value-driven and positive impact for clients. MoMF facilitates connections between students and the microfinance community through conversation and learning. Muhammad Yunus, recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, advocated for microfinance principles in a … [Read more...]

UMW Students Raise Awareness of Poverty Through $2 Challenge

UMW students led by Professor Shawn Humphrey (second from left) build a shelter as part of the $2 a Day Challenge

One student pooled his $2 with a friend to buy a jar of generic peanut butter. Another planned to buy rice and beans. Associate Professor of Economics Shawn Humphrey used his $10 for the week up-front to buy basic groceries to last him until Friday. Humphrey and 35 UMW students are participating in the annual $2 a Day Challenge, an experiential learning exercise aimed at raising awareness and funds for poverty-related causes. For the week, they will live in a self-made structure on Ball Circle and spend only $2 each day on food and other expenses. In the process, they hope to raise more than $2,000 for La Ceiba, a microfinance institution, while shedding light on poverty issues. “The $2 a Day Challenge was born out of the classroom,” Humphrey said. “Education is the primary focus.” The $2 a Day Challenge, founded by Humphrey, is in its sixth year at UMW. The program is part of the larger TDC organization, which also includes the Month of Microfinance movement and the … [Read more...]

UMW-Based Group to Launch Month of Microfinance in April

MoMF-Logo

The 2012 Month of Microfinance, based at the University of Mary Washington, will make its national debut this April at dozens of college campuses across the country. The Month of Microfinance, a coalition of student-led and student-focused organizations dedicated to microfinance, is led by the founders of TDC and includes seven collegiate microfinance clubs: La Ceiba, MFI Connect, Campus MFI, Penn Microfinance, The Phoenix Fund and High School Kiva. With 42 partners, including, Kiva, Opportunity International, Accion USA, BRAC USA and Grameen America, the national movement is growing. During April, students at participating colleges, universities and high schools will host and participate in campus events related to microfinance for increased awareness and fundraising. Each student-hosted event will focus on the definition of microfinance, the groups that benefit from microfinance and the relationship between client-centered and profit driven microfinance. “I think it is fair … [Read more...]