Everything I’d like to pass on is in the above link.
Mel, of Mel’s Kitchen Cafe wrote a beautiful post about her trip to Ghana on the continent of Africa. Mel is one of my favorite food bloggers and a person I’d be honored to call a friend. This post – the trip, the photos, the organization…
Please, at least take a look.
Now that I have a moment, I do have more to say.
I love that Mentors International is truly a mentoring program. It is the “Give a person a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.
Mentors International funds low interest microloans (typically $125.00 U.S.) to people who participate in the business education, guidance and administration that is provided by local village staff. It is not a big “U.S. we know best” presence in each location. For anyone reading this who has not clicked through to either Mel’s post or Mentors International Main Page: the first location was in the Phillipines. Ghana is the most recent. They also have mentor/lending organizations in Guatemala, Peru, El Salvador and Honduras.
From their page: How we work
We reach the world’s impoverished across four continents.
Mentors International has established six partner organizations—one in each of the primary regions of the Philippines (Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao), and one each in Guatemala, Peru, El Salvador, Honduras, and Ghana.
Each organization has its own local board of directors and staff, but is a legal subsidiary of Mentors International and is supervised by the U.S. management team. Mentors provides start-up support, training, operational funding, and loan capital for its partner organizations.
We employ only humanitarian-minded individuals in our partner organizations.
Mentors International hires individuals who are native to the countries in which they work and who have demonstrated a desire to serve those in need. The employees are trained in a variety of business settings and have significant skills to pass on to their clients. A combination of these qualities, mixed with integrity and sincerity, set them apart in an otherwise challenging environment.
The Mentors International Main Page has links to the details of Mentors International, details on each organization and stories of those who changed their lives with a loan of $125 and community support. The site also explains their high rate of success and loan payback which enables them to loan the money again and again either helping new entrepreneurs or expansion funds for those that are ready: an example, a woman who set up a store to sell soft drinks to her village and paid the initial loan in 3 months versus the 6 month term…got a 2nd loan in order to buy a second hand refrigerator so she could sell cold drinks. This story and photos are in more detail on Mel’s post.
If you are inspired to donate, you can donate directly to any of the organizations. Donating through Mel’s post is a donation to the Ghana organization.