FinanceAsia raises $42,842 for Grameen Foundation

Thanks to major donors such as HSBC, Goldman Sachs, and Citi, and the raffle ticket buyers at our annual Awards for Achievement dinner in February, we raised $42,842 for the Grameen Foundation.
Jennifer Meehan, Grameen Foundation
Jennifer Meehan, Grameen Foundation

We are pleased to announce that FinanceAsia has raised $42,842 for the Grameen Foundation, the charity we have been supporting for the past two-and-a-half years.

HSBC contributed $20,000 to the effort, Goldman Sachs gave $10,000 and Citi donated $5,000. In addition to that, we raised HK$61,172 ($7,842) by selling raffle tickets at our annual Awards for Achievement gala dinner, which was held on February 4 this year. Thanks to all of you who contributed.

Grameen Foundation's mission is to ensure that poor people, especially the poorest and those living in harder-to-reach areas, have access to microfinance and technology and, as a result of access to these services, move themselves out of poverty.

To do this, Grameen Foundation collaborates with local organisations around the globe to provide products and services that allow it to: reach deeper into poor communities with microfinance and technology services; provide access to microfinance and technology services among the poor and poorest in harder-to-reach areas and currently unserved/underserved areas; and measure who is being reached to ensure they are moving out of poverty over time.

In Asia, Grameen Foundation focuses on five core countries -- China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines. Together, these countries are home to more than 60% of the world's poor people and more than 70% of the world's poorest people. As of March 31, 2009, Grameen Foundation was collaborating with 23 local organisations that collectively were reaching more than 5.5 million poor people in the region. Grameen Foundation currently has resources on the ground in all countries in which it operates except Pakistan. Hong Kong currently serves as its regional hub.

In 2010

This year, Grameen Foundation is focusing particularly on reaching the unserved and underserved poor. For example, in India microfinance is largely a southern phenomenon, while poverty is in the north. In the Philippines, microfinance is largely an urban and just-outside-urban areas phenomenon, while poverty is largely in the rural areas. Grameen Foundation plans to focus its products and services to shift these imbalances, in deep collaboration and partnership with others.

The organisation will also focus this year on ensuring that the poor are actually being reached and that the tools offered are empowering them to move out of poverty. It has developed its own poverty index to help measure this.

The foundation was created in 1996 by Alex Counts -- a Fulbright scholar in Bangladesh who spent six years in the country -- to capture the excitement and enthusiasm generated by Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank to expand access to microfinance services for the poor globally. Professor Yunus was a founding member of Grameen Foundation's board of directors and currently serves as board director emeritus.

Photo by Samantha Sin.

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