I have the best god daughter in the world.
When she turned 8, Annelise gave me $50 to help “poor women in Africa” knowing that I support MicroLoan Foundation Australia through my business. This money was saved from doing chores (valued at around 50c each!) and even contributing a little of the money she received for her birthday and for Christmas.
When she turned 9, she gave me $60 and was pretty chuffed, as was I and my co-Fairy Goddess (as we prefer to call ourselves). Fairy Goddess Di announced that she would match Annelise’s donation from now on.
So when she turned 10 last month, Annelise could barely contain her excitement to present me with $155.50. She counted out every last note and coin as I tried not to cry.
“It will help the poor women and they can help their families, too,” she said.
Yep, you got it in one, Annelise.
When I worked for the United Nations Development Program in Vietnam in the late 1990s (a zillion years ago now!), I began to understand just how vital it was to support women and how inevitable it was that if you do, they will invariably improve the lives of their families.
The more I worked in international aid, the more this appeared universally accepted. I also began to learn about microfinance … giving small loans, often exclusively to women as in MicroLoan Foundation Australia’s case, who are ignored by the traditional banking sector because they are, well, women and because they are poor.
What I love about MicroLoan Foundation Australia is that they don’t just give women a loan; they expect them to attend training sessions where they learn about running a business. They have to pay back the loan, with interest … just as they would as a business woman dealing with a bank.
Knowledge and respect can make us all unstoppable.
And with 10-year-olds like Annelise in the world, dedicated to making a difference as she has done for three years now, I feel even more hopeful for the future.
Until next time
Carol (aka Fairy Goddess Carol ) & CCx