Contents: UU World Back Issue

What You and Your Congregation Can Do

By Dorothy May Emerson

  • Plan a worship service and educational program for October 23, 2005, named by Oikocredit as Microcredit Sunday. If that date isn't possible, choose another. Share the good news that ending poverty is possible and engage members in contributing their energy and resources. For worship materials, contact Oikocredit's Terry Provance at usa.sa@oikocredit.org or (202) 265-0607.
  • Change your checking and savings accounts to a community development bank or credit union that provides microloans. These financial institutions operate much like their traditional counterparts except that they focus on providing capital for people in low-income communities. (See "Investment Guide," below.)
  • Make personal investments and encourage your congregation to invest in a community development financial institution that provides microloans. Minimum loans start at $1,000. Congregations may double their impact by applying to the UUA to match investments of $2,000 to $10,000. Contact Jerry Gabert, UUA treasurer and vice president of finance, at jgabert@uua.org or (617) 948-4305.
  • Consider sponsoring a village bank through the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA). With a $5,000 donation, you or your congregation can choose the country where your bank will be established. Once the donation is processed, you will receive a packet of information about your bank. You may then make arrangements to visit. Contact finca at (202) 682-1510 or info@villagebanking.org, or visit www.villagebanking.org.


Learn more about community loan funds, credit unions, and community development banks in your area:

For more information about international microfinance, including a listing and rating of microfinance institutions, visit Mix Market.

If you are working with a financial professional, you may want to invest through the Calvert Foundation. The foundation, associated with the for-profit Calvert Group of mutual funds, is a nonprofit organization devoted to ending poverty through investing, financing affordable housing and community services, and funding small and micro businesses.

 Contents: UU World Back Issue
UU World : Page 38

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