Seattle Post Intelligencer: Father of microloans sees end to poverty
Envision a world with poverty museums -- places where children would go to learn of a dismal way of life extinct, of malnourishment, illiteracy and premature death.
When 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus mentioned the concept Tuesday in speeches at the Microsoft campus and later at the University of Washington, he got chuckles from the audiences.
But Yunus was serious.
"We can create this day very soon. It doesn't have to be a pipe dream. It can happen," he said at the UW. "That's the task we have ahead of us."
His idea of lending small sums to the world's poorest citizens has already pulled millions out of poverty. For the 3 billion people who live on less than $2 a day, a loan as small as $50 can jump-start a business such as raising chickens or sewing.
The concept's popularity has grown like gangbusters in recent years, and Seattle has become a hub for the microfinance movement, with several supporting organizations based here.
"Poverty is not created by the poor people. It is not their fault," Yunus told Microsoft employees. ...