In 2006 Mohammad Yunus and the Organization he had founded,
Grameen Bank, won the Nobel Peace Prize. It's not hard to see why.
By creating a way for people, mostly women, who banks considered
untouchables, or as we say in America, bad credit risks, to get micro
loans to start or expand small businesses he had helped almost twelve
million get better lives for themselves and their families. Paula
Yoo's Twenty-two Cents: Muhummad Yunus and the Village Bank brings
this truly inspiring to life for our children.
Yunus grew up in a family where education and service were
highly valued. He was able to study economics abroad and become a
university professor in his newly liberated homeland of Bangladesh.
The desperate poverty he saw around him drew him out of that ivory
tower and into the streets. He met women who were kept impoverished
by usurious money lenders. But what if they could get the small
advances they needed at modest interest rates?
There are so many things going wrong in the world today it can
be easy for kids and adults to feel discouraged and wonder what one
person can do. Twenty-two Cents reminds us that one person with
determination and the ability to think outside the box can accomplish
quite a lot.
And, by the way, 97% of Grameen Bank's customers pay off their
loans. I don't know what you think, but they don't sound like poor
credit risks to me.
On a personal note, last Friday was Orono Arts Cafe. The date had
been changed from the second Friday to the first Friday. I didn't
have a clue. I was reading in sweats, a sweatshirt, and sock monkey
slippers when Terrie knocked on the door. She gives me rides.
Probably a more normal person would have said, oops, sorry. But I
grabbed a poetry notebook, threw on my coat, and went with her. I
shared Christmas poems which people really enjoyed. I knew they would
much rather see me in sweats and slippers than not at all. Oh, yeah,
Sunday someone gave me a sock monkey and baby sock monkey.
A great big shout out goes out to the Orono Arts Cafe gang. We are
family. Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod