ENDING POVERTY in our generation is within reach. This is amazing news for those of us who devote our lives to chasing this dream. Jim Yong Kim, former World Bank Group President states,“This new forecast of poverty falling into the single digits should give us new momentum and help us focus even more clearly on the most effective strategies to end extreme poverty.” For most of us, trying to comprehend what poverty is like is impossible. Most of us live with pantries full of food – we’ve hardly missed a meal let alone experienced prolonged hunger. Clean water is always a few steps away and never in short supply.

How far we go in education is a question of intent and motivation – not tough choices on who misses out. Yet, these basic life necessities we take for granted represent major hurdles for 900 million people in the world. 98% of them are in developing countries, and two-thirds of this group live in Asia. MOST of them have as much individual capability as you and I. Unfortunately for them, they were born into a life that creates few options. There’s them……and then there’s us. So, what now? Let’s work together to help END THEIR POVERTY.

MICROLOANS PROGRAMS TO START OR EXPAND FAMILY BUSINESSES

Talk to any person who is trapped in poverty, and usually they have been dreaming about starting a small business of some kind. There are usually two things holding them back from doing this: (1) lack of funds to buy capital, inventory, or animals to get started; and, (2) a nagging concern that their dream many be just that – a fanciful dream that will fail. Experience also tells us there is a third point many do not even consider and that is (3) a lack of knowledge and experience about how to manage their new business well, including their ability to formulate and stick to a plan and save money for the longer term. It’s on this last point that even the best of business ideas ultimately fail.

Our programs focus on addressing all three of these issues. Programs may range from a small loan being provided to help Mary in the Philippines buy raw materials for her to clean and repackage for sale at a profit in the local market; Shanti in Nepal using Captivating  loan funds to buy fertilizer to increase her farm yields; or Tsereng in remote China receiving 2 quality piglets to start her pig breeding business. The options are unlimited.

In addition to this we provide all loan recipients with education, expertise and support on their chosen business venture. Mary is taught how to save some of her profits so she does not need to rely on more loans in the future and Tsereng learns the importance of the latest feeding and vaccination methods that will further enhance her business yields.

Why do we do this? Sitting closely behind Mary and Tsereng (and the hundreds of other families we will reach this year) are their children – eager, interested, and hopeful that school will continue for them. We all know that education is the key weapon against poverty. Solving the poverty of the family is the most efficient, cost effective, and dignified method of helping parents keep their kids in school. We have multiple programs we hope to roll out this year with your help.

MICROLOAN AND NEW BUSINESS PROGRAMS

MENTORING AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS TO HELP PEOPLE PROGRESS

This past decade has seen incredible growth in Microfinance Institutions (MFI) in many locations. This is a wonderful development and has created another exciting avenue for Captivating to help the poor. But, our experience shows us that without the necessary skills and business disciplines in place, new ideas and businesses have a high risk of failure.

In 2016 we launched a new series of initiatives aimed at establishing the intellectual capital needed to make progress possible. They address soft skills such as life skills, guidance and expertise to reduce the risks of new business failure or helping to position a girl to land that better job. In essence, we are holding the hand of the individual or family as they progress through the early stages of their new opportunity. Captivating works with Nepal-based partners to help women step towards independence; post-school age girls will join our ‘My First Job program in China aimed at seeing them advance safely into their first job and to middle school dropouts will get a second chance at their dream job. All of these women are mentored through their journey. It is tough and demands their full dedication and commitment, but the results are worth it.



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