Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nicaragua: Day 2

The second day in Nicaragua was truly an eye opener for me, as it has enabled me to see the impact of Social Businesses in the lives of underprivileged people here. Although we had read literature about the impact of social business in developing countries, but being on the ground, and seeing how these organizations are operating in some of the poorest neighborhoods in Nicaragua showed us the true value of social business.  Today, for example, we visited two non-profit organizations in Managua: Supply Hope and Communidad Connect. I was really fascinated about how these two organizations are addressing the problems that have not only taken away lives of many infants in Nicaragua, but also left the very same people in poverty generation after generation. One of these problems, which are also common to many other developing countries, is lack of clean water. If I recall correctly, Jon Thompson, the founder of Communidad Connect, mentioned that lack of clean water is responsible for forty percent of infant mortality in the country, a staggering number. His organization has been helping to address the problem of clean water in the country, as they have started the water filtering project in Nicaragua to provide people with clear water. Not only they started the water filtering project, but they also have been trying to educate people about the importance of drinking clean water, which can prevent many of the common diseases in the country, such as diarrhea, parasites, etc. Supply Hope, a non-profit organization which is empowering families to break the cycle of poverty, also addressing the problems that have threatened the lives of underprivileged people. Similar to Communidad connect’s clean water initiative, Supply Hope also has imitative to educate people about the benefits of eating healthy. Their borrowers, for example, only sell things that are healthy, as opposed to selling junks foods which may be popular and hard to compete against. I like the concept of Micro-franchises which seems to be a very successful model for the borrower of Supply Hope. Through his model, borrower not only receiving the money to start-up their business, but also receiving training and equipment to start and sustain a successful business. I believe some of the ideas from this model can be incorporated in the model that GLOBE is operating on, which will help our borrowers to be better equipped to face the challenges of starting up a business and sustain the business for a long time. 

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