View of my kitchen sink

20 Apr 2007

Last night I watched part of a programme on micro loans - the idea is to give small loans to people in dire poverty to help them pay off their debts and start a small business to help support their families. These loans are usually made to the women of the family because it has been found that the money then benefits the whole family : the children are fed, clothed and educated. Fewer loans were made to men because it had been found they were less likely to repay the money and the family saw fewer benefits of increased income. In most cases these women were most concerned with having enough money to ensure a regular food supply for their families and the hope of an easier life for their children. One mentioned that she now felt a need to keep increasing her income because her children kept asking for more and more. Those profiled all seemed to have kept their families together, often also helping their husbands to start successful businesses.

I was touched by the courage of these women who had faced such hardships just maintaining a family, something I certainly take for granted. Having a husband who is both willing and able to support his family, having been educated myself so that I can earn a good income if needed and living in a country such as Australia with significant government safety nets to protect me from dire poverty I doubt I would ever have to face such hardship. Most of us don't need or want the big expensive things: we need a safe home, enough food and clean water, access to an education and health care, freedom of thought and religion and purposeful work. These families were given an opportunity to have some of these basics by being given a helping hand.

Yesterday was National Hanging Out day in the US. In Tiny Tassie the morning sky was grey and not very promising . Would the wet washing ever dry, did I actually care? Nope I headed off for a day in town catching up on errands and doing some people watching.

4 Responses to “View of my kitchen sink”

  1. The 19th was a great drying day in the UK, warm weather and a blue sky from dawn to dusk. I hung my washing before work and it was all ready to fold and iron when I got home. I hope there was lots of support for Hanging Out day throughout the world.

  2. I've heard something similar to this in the UK. I think it's a brilliant idea. If a woman can run a small business and make it successful she can achieve autonomy.

    I *think* there's research out there about the reason why women go into self-employment...I know many women start out by "selling their surpluss". That is to say, they have a hobbey, make extra things, sell these thing and the business growns and grows. The whole community benefitting from fair and honest trade. It's another of those silent revolutions that women are very much part of, like self-sufficiency and home schooling. Interesting stuff.

  3. HI Natalie, the countries featured in the show I watched were Bangladesh, the Phillipines and Kenya as well as the US but to a lesser extent.As you said the whole community seemed to benefit from the success of one family and the women's self esteem grew because they were no longer living with such grinding poverty and they had helped themselves.

  4. does the same thing, you can give a microloan of US$25 to help someone in the third world start a business. It's a really good idea and can make a huge difference for many families.

    We always hang our washing out, and in summer almost anything is dry in half an hour, quicker and more effective than any drier could ever be. In winter we hang it from clothes horses and from our bannister, which works wonders!


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.