Putting a Face to Poverty

With stats all across the globe reading “ Worldwide 600 million children are living in extreme poverty” and “ Almost half the world —over 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day” it can seem overwhelming and hopeless to those of us living above the poverty line. Questions like “ what can I do?” and “ Will I even make a difference?” can cross our minds.

It’s also often easy to try and ignore or avoid any emotion when you read facts so daunting and huge. But after many trips to our partner programs in East Africa to work on developing microfinance projects as a way to eradicate extreme poverty, we’ve found that putting a face to poverty helps make the world a little less big, and helps the huge and scary facts become understandable.

MEET: Polina grew up in the rural area surrounding Bukoba, Tanzania. Her family was poor, but they insisted that she get an education. Polina has completed Form Four (equivalent to a high school education in the US), and has acquired secretarial, administrative, and computer skills. She now is the office assistant to the board of BUWEA, and, given her young age, enthusiasm, and potential, is considered a future leader for this group.

Today, Polina works intentionally with BUWEA, a women’s group in Tanzania. Members use loans from the Revolving Fund for small income generating activities to help create sustainable income and a sustainable life for themselves.