[personal profile] basketball_girl08
Jessica Jackley first heard about the poor when she was six years old through her sunday school teacher. It is our job to help the poor by giving food, clothing, and shelter because this is what Jesus asked of us. Thereafter the excitement turned to frustration when her hard work turn out to be not enough. Jackley felt like a failure until she distant herself to the poor imagining what Jesus said that the poor will always be with us. After a while, Jackley began to feel the guilt for the things she possessed and ashamed by not giving enough to make things better. Jackley generalized this idea that the poor lived with sadness, hopelessness, devastation, and nothing else. She still gave money as her "contribution" instead of genuine generosity and excitement to help the less fortunate. It became like a trade, to relieve the guilt or shame, to not be bothered by this sad news rather than relieving someone else's pain and suffering. Disguising the true meaning of loving the poor and touching another person's life.
Afterwards, Jackley's perspective once changed again when she heard Dr. Muhammad Yunus. Jackley saw a different method to help the poor by lending a small amount of money to help someone start or grow a business. She was also amazed when she heard a different standpoint that the poor was not just poor, that it was also strong, smart, hardworking entrepreneurs that helps their lives and their family's lives better. Dr. Yunus lends them a little bit of capital to catalyst their hard work much faster. Jackley was ecstatic to this idea so she quit her job and moved to East Africa for three months to interview these entrepreneurs that received 100 dollars to start or grow a business. She started to become friends and learned their personal stories. How this small capital help their way of living a bit better by providing their children to go to school, things that made them feel proud. It was very humbling to see their growth and the fact that they never once asked for a donation nor feel bad for them but what they ask is a loan to start or grow a business.
She started an experiment and created a website with her partner Matthew called Kiva where she posted pictures and stories of her new friends from East Africa to help provide money to continue their businesses as loans. Today Kiva is a great success facilitating more than 150 millions dollars, in little 25 dollar bits from lenders and entrepreneurs. She realized that the true meaning of entrepreneurship is seizing the opportunity to make tomorrow better than today and having not just the money but the encouragement from the community as well to strive to get better is such a good combination.
We all care and want to help the less fortunate but what stops us is that we don't know where to start or simply afraid to try. And to be able to change the world is not always about the materialistic things, rather by believing and motivating one another that we can all do amazing things in the world. Continue to believe, be hopeful and see the good things in all of us.

TED talk by Jessica Jackley http://www.ted.com/talks/jessica_jackley_poverty_money_and_love.html



June 2013

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