UMW Leads National Two Dollar Challenge

UMW students participating in a previous Two Dollar Challenge.

Nearly half the world’s population lives on less than $2 a day. And this April, students at colleges and universities across the nation will too. For the ninth consecutive year, the University of Mary Washington will lead the national Two Dollar Challenge to raise awareness of global poverty April 6-10. The 5-day awareness program challenges college and high school students across the United States to live on just two dollars a day. Participants buy food, hygiene products and other necessities out of two dollars a day while following other rules designed to simulate obstacles faced by people living in poverty. Founded at UMW in 2006, the Two Dollar Challenge is now a national educational movement in partnership with Oxfam America and Results. The challenge is run by eight UMW students and Professor of Economics Shawn Humphrey – all on $50 and volunteer support. At UMW, students will spend the week living and sleeping in make-shift shelters built from cardboard boxes and … [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 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...]

Poverty Action Conference at UMW Brings Together Students and Experts

Poverty Action Conference Logo_cropped

Hundreds of students and experts from across the country converged at the University of Mary Washington from Friday, Oct. 5 to Saturday, Oct. 6 for the Poverty Action Conference. The conference, hosted by Two Dollar Challenge, allowed students to share development project ideas and present their work to panels of experts in the field. The two-day conference included more than 15 presentations from students representing universities such as New York University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California at Berkeley. The students shared their work on issues ranging from education and community development to waste management, entrepreneurship and microfinance. “The Poverty Action Conference creates a learning environment that puts students in the spotlight by providing them with the opportunity to receive constructive feedback, network and share ideas with other like-minded individuals,” said Shawn Humphrey, associate professor of economics at UMW … [Read more...]

Ask Me Why I’m Living on $2 a Day


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UMW-Based Group to Launch Month of Microfinance in April


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...]