For A Noble For A Noble
I completed the book Banker to the Poor
two days ago and cannot but raise my hat
to Professor Yunus and all the men and
women who have helped to turn his
vision into a reality.
I write from Nigeria where I can draw
several similarities with Bangladesh, in
terms of poverty. I believe the Grameen
model will work effectively in my country
as well, but I am honestly at a loss as
to how to go about addressing these challenges.
TCan you assist us by providing me with
information regarding what we need to
put in place to tap into your knowledge
base and expertise in this most noble
campaign to eradicate poverty?
Jun 26, 2005.
Since our last correspondence, the
Turkish Grameen Microcredit Project
(TGMP) enjoyed some media limelight,
as our Diyarbakir branch was visited by
the Honorable Finance Minister of
Turkey, Mr. Kemal Unakitan. He visited
one center where he observed how the
microcredit operations take place,
including the center meeting, posting
attendance, loan disbursements, etc. The
Minister took the opportunity to speak to
each of the 25 members, inquiring after
the reasons for their joining TGMP and
the details of how they use microcredit.
When at the end of the meeting, the
Center Chief concluded by leading all
members to chant their pledge in
Turkish, which means "Discipline, unity,
courage and hard work brings prosperity
to our families", the Minister was so
moved that he cheered for our members
and wished them all the success in their
Mr. Unakitan pledged the continuing
support of his government to promote
microcredit for poverty alleviation. He
was also very gracious to thank Prof.
Aziz Akgul, founder of TGMP, and our
Grameen team for working towards this
goal. The media coverage we received
from the electronic and print media following
this visit will definitely help us in
promoting microcredit in Turkey.
In other news, TGMP crossed the
breakeven point from February. Now we
are a financially self-sufficient organization.
We have also introduced family
planning issues in our group recognition
and center meeting discussions. Before
this, we were requested not to discuss
this as it was a very sensitive issue in
Turkey. But we realized that our current
and prospective members are actually
willing to talk this issue openly. This is
definitely an important step for TGMP
to more meaningfully contribute to
social development, alongside providing
Shamsul Alam Khan Chowdhury
Turkish Grameen Microcredit Project
June 26, 2005.
Greetings from Jobra Center, Canada!
It is a historic day to write you this report,
with lot of emotion. It was July 11th, 2004,
we had an opportunity to meet you during
your visit to Canada at the Hilton
Foundation Jury meeting, in Toronto. You
gave us one year time frame and asked me
to send you report on our project. With
your inspiration, we have put together the
Jobra Center Plan of Action. Here I am
attaching the project summary and it is our
great pleasure to report to you that, the
Jobra Center Laundry Co-op has been
approved for funding from Community
Economic Development Corporation
(CDEC, www.cdec-centrenord.org) and
received government mandate as a
Solidarity Cooperative (www.cde.coop). I
would like to take this opportunity to thank
you personally and share this accomplishment
with all Grameen pioneers, especially
the poverty stricken villagers of Jobra!
We are planning to launch our project in
September 2005. We are expecting to send
you a complete business plan along with
the grand opening schedule. We believe,
with your guidance and advice, Jobra
Center is ready to embark on the implementation
of the Grameen philosophy in
Mohammad Didarul Hassan
1901 Golford Street, #20
Montreal, Quebec, H2H-1G8, Canada
July 13, 2005..
I knew very little about Grameen experience
until a few years back, when I saw
Prof. Yunus on BBC Hard Talk. Afew days
back, my son gave me a book titled Banker
to the Poor, which was fantastic reading; I
feel sorry that I had it by almost 7 years
later. Now I have also visited your website
and know a little more about Grameen. I
wish I could experience this amazing
world of Grameen. I don't know yet if I can
ever replicate, but surely I would always
love to do this in Pakistan.
I also want to
try my hand to write a comprehensive
book on Grameen in Urdu- the national
language of Pakistan.
I have an MA in economics; I feel quite
young at 54, and I am managing an NGO
in education sector, in Hyderabad,
Pakistan. Please let me know the possibilities
of my joining a training program with
you in Bangladesh.t.
June 29, 2005.
Checking GB Track
My name is Gloria Billy, originally
Tanzanian, 26 years of age. I work with
UNAIDS Namibia. At the moment I have
been reading journals on Grameen Bank
for my MA in International and
Community Development, at Deakin
University. I think it is a perfect model and
I agree with you totally that replication is
on country specific needs. I would like to
commend you for the work so brilliantly
done. Since I work for the UN, we also
have had quite a number of donor organizations
giving money to local projects for
reasons known to them only, but the
Grameen has given me hope. On that
important note could you enlighten me on
the following please:
Why has the track record of the GB been
disjointed over time and where do you
examine the relevance of the 'schism' to
the track record of the GB?
Your assistance will be much appreciated,
just to say that the GB model coming from
a Third World Country and working, has
killed many Western egos. I am extremely
proud of you, you have achieved what
many have failed, keep up the good work.
Namibia, May 18, 2005.
I am a 35 year old banker looking for a
purpose in life. I have been active in various
charitable works, namely thru Tzu
Chi Philippines - Cebu Chapter, with
their medical missions. But somehow, I
was introduced to Grameen banking
through a lawyer friend who told me to
replicate it here in my hometown Cebu,
Can you guide me what I should do? The
thing here is, there are a lot of people who
are engaged in selling fish and vegetables
aside from the side walk vendors. But
their funding actually comes from money
lenders, who would collect 20% add on
per month, aside from the fact that they
are collecting it daily pro rata.
I have been a banker most of my life,
only to see that even the big businessmen
are also in the mercy of the banks, especially
if there are economic fluctuations.
So much the worse for the unfortunate
brothers and sisters who live below the
I would greatly appreciate any news or
guidelines, to set up or replicate your
Grameen banking system in the
Philippines, with Cebu as a start. I deeply
rejoice that such a humane system of
micro finance was able to change the
lives of people in various parts of the
Roger Y. Chao Jr
The Philippines , Jun 7, 2005.
My name is Nicoletta Fagiolo and I am an
independent filmmaker. I have filmed a 42
minutes advocacy documentary on
Bangladesh and microfinance that I mailed
to you last week. The documentary was
financed out of my own pocket and I am
trying to sell it. I have sent a copy to
Feltrinelli publishing house to see if they
would be interested in adding the DVD to
a copy of your autobiography. I am waiting
for a reply for them, but of course would
first need to know if you like the documentary.
Please let me know if there are any viewing
problems and I can make other copies.
June 13, 2005.