An Exit Strategy From Poverty
Humanitarian aid to the developing and under-developed world has been a hotly debated issue around the globe for decades, with the focus being on how these poor nations can be given aid and if the aid is only creating more barriers than it is breaking them down. The prevalent belief now is that previous models of humanitarian aid have been band-aid fixes for an enduring, wide-scale problem. There appears to be a sea change occurring with humanitarian aid, however, spurred by economic and social reforms to previous aid models.
This change, examined at the most simple level is influenced by the proverb “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. ” An organization at the head of the tide of this sea change is Sustainable Comprehensive Humanitarian Assistance and Planning (SCHAP). SCHAP represents a movement away from aid from nation states and NGOs to more independent work by non-profit organizations – with a different economic sense than before.
This new sense focuses aid not on the previous ‘head-above-water’ emergency temporary fixes, but rather on the development of the poor nations and their people, to get them out of the water altogether. It is the sustainable and comprehensive on which SCHAP endeavors itself, seeing it not just as part of the name of their organization, but as the name of a “new humanitarian ideology” (SCHAP 1) where assistance and planning are critical to the creation of a self empowering infrastructure based on the thinking and development of the suffering regions and communities (SCHAP 1).
It is this focus on sustainability and providing aid in a comprehensive manner that SCHAP shares with the organizations it works with and takes inspiration from, like the revolutionary Grameen Bank. What SCHAP brings to poor nations is a unique aid perspective from a business-sense, where entrepreneurship and lending reforms are paramount. SCHAP’s vision is that this sea change will see developing and under-developed nations become truly profitable in not only an economic sense, but also socially, culturally and politically.
SCHAP, in other words, does not wish to provide the fish, but rather to help create a nation of fishermen. 2. SCHAP’s HUMANITARIAN AID PLATFORM SCHAP is a non-profit organization working in poor nations, and their mission is two-pronged: to bring sustainable solutions to humans living with extreme disadvantages in an effort to empower them with tools, resources, information and vision requisite for development and an increased quality of life, while also teaching the correct principles of sustainable and comprehensive humanitarian work to aspiring philanthropists. SCHAP 1) SCHAP brings an approach that focuses on internal development rather than external fixes or influences. With access to developmental skills and tools and proper education, SCHAP states that change will come from the spread of principles, technology and information from within communities (1). SCHAP’s non-profit status means that it can devote the entirety of its resources and donations to the communities of poor nations.
Founder and President Cory Glazier emphasizes that every dollar that goes to SCHAP goes into the cost of their projects, and that with a fully volunteer staff, they can grow unabated by the freedom from the need for funds (KPBS 1). An aspect of SCHAP that has garnered it not only success in its application in villages like Matoso, Kenya, but also global attention, is from its focus on planning that examines the issues at the heart of the communities and builds aid from those issues in a way that respects the local cultural and social integrity.
Glazier maintains that by looking at the roots of an issue rather than just the implications of those issues (which includes speaking with people in the villages), a better understanding is gained as to how these people’s circumstances got to be the way they are and what must be done (SCHAP 1) to promote development to cross the poverty line. By better understanding the circumstances that led to and that propagate the conditions the people of poor nations face, SCHAP is uniquely equipped with the knowledge to create a plan that implements a comprehensive multi-dimensional platform to create permanent solutions.
Paul Polak sees this sort of planning as being “routine for large businesses or for any entrepreneur seeking to start-up venture capital, but it is rare for development organizations” (18). Polak’s wealth of experience with humanitarian aid has given him an exclusive perspective on what is needed in order to end poverty in the poor nations, and he sees learning from a real-life context from those who are suffering and not ignoring the obvious as leading to creation of world-changing ideas (18).
SCHAP’s focus on the internal development rather than the external addresses what Jeffrey Sachs sees as the influence of the developed world and how the poor nations must break the barriers that have beset them as well as the barriers that foreign aid has unwittingly erected. Sach’s identification that “a country’s fate is crucially determined by its specific linkages to the rest of the world” (128) is one that SCHAP recognizes and looks to fix with promoting the internal development of communities to unwrap themselves from the more burdensome linkages, such as crippling terms of debt or the inability to gain credit.
Sach carries forward on his premise of the effect of specific linkages with the rest of the world, suggesting two remedies that SCHAP champions, which are the concept of economic transformation of a broad-based sense and the possibilities of a practical nature that arise from conceptual thinking on a large-scale (128).
The true promising potential of SCHAP is seen in how its fundamentals mirror what a United States Institute of Peace symposium in October 1995 outlined as to what was needed to create a more positive impact by NGOs on foreign aid, which were improved planning, more accurate assessment of needs, providing aid with the longest term benefit to specifically targeted groups and empowering local institutions (Smock 1).
With SCHAP focusing on sustainable and comprehensive planning, it is operating within a new framework that is given a freedom as a result from working independently of governments and International bodies that have been heavily involved in foreign aid that has largely been ineffectual. Operating in this manner, SCHAP is not guilty of what David Smock admonishes NGOs for, which is functioning merely as agents for the implementation of foreign aid from governments and the United Nations (2). The most unique aspect of SCHAP is its local approach regarding aid.
By focusing on a community, not only is the task less daunting for a smaller organization such as SCHAP, but it also plays to the organization’s strength of knowing the root of local issues. This knowledge entails a respect for the social and cultural identity of these communities and the importance that the sphere of a community is to the larger cultural and social national identity. It is tribalism mixed with 21st century economics, and it is this ‘best of both worlds’ framework which SCHAP is hoping to use to bring the people of poor nations out of poverty – for good.
To evaluate the work that SCHAP is doing, its potential for long term developmental benefits and the support it has from other institutions that assist it or provide a parallel framework, three key areas that SCHAP is focused on should be examined. Firstly is SCHAP’s focus on providing the people of poor nations with an exit strategy from poverty by a business-oriented tilt towards entrepreneurship and the formation of a solid financial foundation from micro-credit.
Another key area of concern for SCHAP is attention towards education, which will not only raise the quality of life for the people in the communities, but a focus on the development of children will lead to long-lasting benefits that will carry on for generations. Lastly, SCHAP is obviously promoting improvements in the health of the people of poor nations with such necessities as clean water and access to and knowledge of better nutrition. These three key areas of concern are part of the building blocks of the comprehensive vision that SCHAP holds of bringing an end to poverty for the people of poor nations – on their terms. . Providing an Exit Strategy from Poverty Foreign aid has largely been stopgap measures in emergency situations, with money and manpower being poured into poor areas to provide food and resources without addressing the causes of the problems that plague poor nations. This aid has managed to staunch some of the bleeding that poverty steadily provides, but it is only by giving the poor nations an independence from foreign aid and providing the tools and knowledge needed to ascend beyond poverty that these nations and, more importantly, their people will prosper.
What SCHAP endeavors to provide the people of communities like Matoso, Kenya is an exit strategy from poverty that focuses on providing the means for not only self-sustainment but also profit. It is from Glazier that SCHAP’s unique foundation is formed, as he has a background business, which he uses to his advantage and to the advantage of his organization and the people they help escape poverty.
To use Matoso as a case study, Glazier and SCHAP put together what he calls a “business plan for the village” (KPBS 1), which focuses on what is needed to increase the quality of life for the village as a whole and for families and individuals that live within it by promoting their own development. Glazier sees the inherent barriers that a cashless community faces in trying to interact with a cash community (1), such as a financial institution or a financially supportive NGO or nation state. SCHAP’s business plan is to break those barriers.
SCHAP’s exit strategy from poverty for the people of poor nations involves teaching the principles of entrepreneurship, how to optimize businesses and the benefits of microcredit (SCHAP 1). The passing of this knowledge is intended to create sustainable rural development promoted by the entrepreneurship of local members of the community, which would create a market environment within the community (SCHAP 1). SCHAP recognizes that the potential of local entrepreneurs by to be business leaders and wishes to empower them with training and assistance to reach this potential.
Implementation of this strategy includes business development workshops in the communities, teaching those in the communities to develop business plans and how to qualify for microcredit and to train and hire members of the community to serve as business development leaders to carry on the initiatives set out by SCHAP (SHAP 1). Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Prize winner for creating the ‘grandfather’ institution of micro-credit, the Grameen Bank, acknowledges the capabilities of the people of poor nations to be successful entrepreneurs and that the support of organizations with the objectives of SCHAP can create stepping stones out of poverty.
Yunus sees entrepreneurship as a universal ability that allows people to choose to work for themselves rather than waiting for jobs to be created for them (54). Yunus likens the business development by local entrepreneurs to the growth of healthy bonsai trees, as the seed of a tall tree planted in a shallow pot will grow to resemble a tall tree but will be stunted; the seed is fine, but the soil needs to be adequate to promote proper growth (54). The ‘seed’ that foreign aid has provided in the past was well intended but the framework was inadequate to create real change to the situation of poverty.
The business-driven initiatives of SCHAP look to create deep, fertile soil to promote the ascension beyond poverty. Another aspect of SCHAP’s exit strategy from poverty involves the access to microcredit in order to bring the impoverished into the financial sphere. Not only will microcredit allow for entrepreneurial growth, but it will also promote financial stability for future inevitabilities of families well beyond business. By providing microcredit and supportive training to qualified members of the communities, sustainable financial situations can be created and maintained.
SCHAP looks to achieve this not only with access to microcredit, but by also working with the local entrepreneurs with developing a business plan and to achieve the qualifications for credit (SCHAP 1). This is a long-term initiative that looks to empowering the people of poor nations and breaking down the barriers that traditional financial institutions have erected by marginalizing – and even entirely dismissing – the people of poor nations. Breaking these barriers is what motivated Yunus to create the Grameen Bank to serve as a financial institution to the poor.
Yunus’ evaluation of the treatment of the people of poor nations led him to the realization that banks considered the poor as unworthy of credit and as a result, the poor were prevented from entering into – and profiting from – the financial system, and from this broken system Yunus sought to create a financial institution that would worthy of the people (49). In the traditional financial system, the people of the poor nations are non-entities. Traditional financial institutions are concerned with making money, and providing funds to risky ventures is not in those banks best interests.
Without credit, the poor cannot create a foundation to develop a long-term self-sustaining life and save money. The conditions that have created and perpetuated poverty in developing and under-developed nations are not the only obstacle that the poor must overcome in order to escape poverty. The barriers created by the traditional financial institutions hold back the development that the poor are capable of achieving given they are allowed access to what the rest of the world has had for decades.
Turning up a nose to the people of poor nations’ need for credit is a hypocritical stance that ignores the realities of the markets in the Western World. Credit is arguably how the middle class in the West survives, and when that bubble bursts, the effects show how pervasive credit is in the economy of these countries. Look no further than the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States and the resulting economic instability for an example of the vast need for credit inherent in the developed world. To deny the developing and under-developed world credit is to deny their potential and their rights.
Yunus created the Grameen Bank to allow access to credit for the poor to generate self-employment and income for them (Yunus 54). The Grameen Bank operates under Yunus’ principles of microcredit, which does enforce on the poor the rules and laws of traditional banks, but rather recognizes them upon their own worth (49). Microcredit provides microloans – small loans with small interest rates – to those without collateral or previous credit. Microcredit, and the other facets of microfinance promote entrepreneurship and the ability to develop the stability needed for long-term sustainability above the poverty line.
The Grameen Bank’s use of microcredit and its unique lending terms allow for the challenging of what Yunus calls the “financial apartheid” (51), as traditional lending terms, especially interest rates, are entirely unreasonable for the people of poor nations. While the average person in the Western World is around 20 to 25 per cent, poor people, who are ‘graciously allowed’ to be burdened by traditional banks with payday loans, are facing annual interest rates around 250 per cent (51).
Yunus faced widespread criticism from those appalled at his disregard for the low-risk activity of traditional financial institutions and willingness to apparently throw money away without any chance of seeing any sort of return. Yunus was literally banking on the potential he saw in the people of poor nations, and his work not only yielded financial returns, but also allowed for the economic development of poor communities. The success of the Grameen Bank and its microcredit platform is seen in the over 2500 branches that currently provide loans to over seven million poor, totaling six Billion Dollars (51) since the Banks’ inception in 1983.
The repayment rate on those loans stands at 98. 6 per cent – a blow to critics of microcredit and the Grameen Bank – and most importantly, 64 per cent of borrowers that have been involved with the Bank for five or more years have risen above the poverty line (52). SCHAP utilizes microcredit to promote development in communities because it allows for flexibility and growth that is within the reach of poor entrepreneurs. A study by Daryl Collins et al. howed that when given access to loans, the poor members of communities acted in a responsible manner that promoted sustainability, with savings being contributed to the bank weekly, and withdrawals being made only between two or three times in a financial quarter (161). The study also found that ease of use brought about increased development, as the introduction of the passbook savings account saw a dramatic rise in savings made by the poor members of the communities (162).
The efficacy of the Grameen Bank and microcredit, then, can be seen in the quantitative evidence, but the true human impact can be seen on the quality of life of those borrowers. In these communities, the priority of families if of course the children, to not only provide them with the essentials for a healthy, productive life, but also to be given the tools and skills to continue the entrepreneurial activities. The Grameen Pension Savings (GPS) is a facet of the microcredit initiatives that greatly benefit children with the long-term stability of saving profits.
The GPS offers a low interest rate to borrowers in exchange for the promise of a regular savings of at least one dollar per month for the term of the loan, which is either five or 10 years. The plan is not restricted to retirement resources, as it promotes the saving of funds for the social, cultural and familial inevitabilities, such as children’s schooling and weddings (168). While the structure of the GPS promotes savings discipline, it also is freeing in terms of its end-of-term options, as at the end of a GPS term, savings can be transferred into a deposit account at the bank and a new GPS can be started (168).
Programs such as the GPS promote the sort of sustainable development that SCHAP is initiating in these communities, which will allow for the people to pick themselves up out of the hole of poverty and propagate the economic, social and cultural integrity of the community, the region and the nation at large. The Asia-Pacific Review highlighted the advantages of microcredit to organizations such as SCHAP and their initiatives: micro-credit is a dream come true for donors and non-governmental organizations…loans are invested in pre-existing survival skills, enabling the poorest to be magically transformed into entrepreneurs.
That way, micro-credit’s supporters claim, lending to the poor shows that capitalism can benefit all, not just the rich. (xii) It is not magic that will transform the people of these communities into entrepreneurs, but the hard work of organizations like SCHAP and, more importantly, the hard work and dedication of the local members of the communities. One aspect of entrepreneurialism that SCHAP is channeling that hard work and resources into is the ensuring of ongoing regional economic development through a focus on agriculture (SCHAP 1).
Polak has studied such agricultural reform with great attention, and has found that foreign aid to poor communities has provided only enough knowledge of farming to barely keep their heads above water. His experience in these communities found that the focus of agriculture was on the products and means of producing such that provided only enough to eat, but not near enough to reach a surplus on which money could be made on the market.
Polak found that the difficulties of such practices come from two sources: an ingrained traditional in the culture of these communities and the propagation of such practices by government agricultural aid agents that applied Western knowledge of crop production for sustenance (84). Polak saw the potential for the economic benefits and an increase in quality of life in agricultural reforms, specifically in small-acreage farms. This potential arose from the ideals of the Green Revolution, for which its creator Norman Borlaug received a Nobel Prize.
The Green Revolution refers to the sustainable change in food production, with a focus on small-acreage farmers, which would create an increase in food supply, new jobs and reasonable income from the selling of surplus food products (85). What agricultural reforms like the Green Revolution provide for small-acreage subsistence farmers is the opportunity to not to just live hand-to-mouth and remain reliant upon foreign aid donations, but to operate in a profitable manner that will allow them to be active members of the marketplace and to have the ability to purchase the food and resources they need.
This is the sustainability that SCHAP endeavors to help provide, hence their attention to agriculture as a means for entrepreneurial success. The means for this success suggested by Polak concerning agricultural reform are teaching small-acreage farmers green revolution strategies, including using high yield varieties of crops already being produced, the use of fertilizers and proper irrigation to increase the yield of their food crops to enter the marketplace (84). SCHAP has used a business plan approach to agriculture to create cash flow in the village of Matoso.
They took a plot of land and created – with the help of those in the community – a large garden. This garden served to not only get the economic ball rolling in the community to combat poverty, but also served as an example for the local members of the community as to how to develop a marketplace to benefit them by creating capital. In order to gain access to such healthcare products such as malaria medication or contraceptives, members of the communities could work in the garden and farm area in exchange for the medications, which SCHAP would provide.
They did this, not to undermine the economy of the community, but to promote the knowledge and skills of producing time, effort and product into money (KPBS 1). By promoting entrepreneurship in this manner, SCHAP created a cycle of cash flow by purchasing medications and providing those medications to the community and then selling back the produce from the garden and farm area, (KPBS 1) in hopes of overcoming the stagnation of poverty with a new engine of commerce.
This promotion of commerce with agriculture is not only an access point for local members of the community to qualify for microcredit, but also the creation of a sustainable way of life that promotes the growth beyond poverty. Lisa Avery points out that microcredit has gained recognition on the world stage as an effective mechanism for the empowerment of the people of poor nations in an economic and social sense (224), but her work also shows the importance of SCHAP’s comprehensive focus on battling poverty.
The need for effective aid is to be multi-dimensional, and Avery recognizes this factor in the relationship between entrepreneurial pursuits and the support of microcredit and education and health, as she discovered that the children of borrowers from microcredit institutions like the Grameen Bank had much higher rates of enrollment in schools and that their medical needs were more likely to be met (209).
4. SCHAP’s Focus on Education. SCHAP’s comprehensive focus is supported by the Asia & Pacific Review, whose study findings led them to suggest that unless microcredit is couple with sufficient support in other areas, the poor borrowers, especially women, will find their capacity to generate income in decline (xii). A focus of SCHAP in addition to entrepreneurship is education, which speaks as much to sustainable development within these communities just as much as economic activity. SCHAP operates with heavy attention on primary education by introducing school buildings and the tools and skills to provide the educational framework within them.
Yunus exemplifies the authoritative voice of support for SCHAP’s initiatives, arguing that “the first and foremost task of development is to turn on the engine of creativity inside each person” (56). Yunus also looks to the next generation of the members of these communities to be the focus of reducing or eliminating poverty, and maintains that any program directed towards children should be considered a prime development program, just as important, if not more so, than the development of infrastructure (55).
In terms of the comprehensive approach to battling poverty, Yunus agrees this approach must be taken, as he argues that economic development must include the exploration of creative potential of the individual which, when enabled, will prove more important than any quantitative economic factor (56). This sense of education leading to economic growth not only shows the efficacy of the comprehensive approach of organizations like SCHAP, but also highlights the focus on the long-term sustainability of these communities and their people.
By focusing attention and resources on children at a prime stage of development, the impressions made will last beyond their generation, as they will be passed on for many more to come. SCHAP’s primary education goals are to create schools and to create activities that foster learning and creative exploration for the children, as many of these communities have no formal primary educational programs and the education institutions that do exist are highly ineffective, which has resulted in high illiteracy rates and basic learning skills, especially in children under nine years of age (SCHAP 1).
Construction of school buildings are repairs to existing structures is an example of a hands-on fix, while SCHAP looks to empower the community to provide education by providing training and jobs for local teachers as well as needed resources (1).
Sustainability of these programs is addressed with the covering of overhead with small school fees, which are made possible by the economic reforms within these communities with entrepreneurship and access to marketplace due to agricultural reforms. The multitude of benefits from this focus on primary education is due in no small part to the role that poor education plays in the derailment of any long-term attempts at ending poverty in these communities.
Lisa Avery found that children that do not receive schooling during their critical formative years will only serve to continue the cycle of the illiterate and uneducated in the communities, and that low levels of education contribute to the continuation of poverty, as a result of higher birth rates and those children competing in the families for resources already stretched too thin and they are left out of the workplace (212) due to lack of skills.
The Academy for Education Development looks to primary education programs such as those of SCHAP as promoting the learning of skills and the articulation of ideas that promote the acquisition of knowledge and the means for development, but also in the acquisition of the processes and habits of reasoning that promote lifelong learning and the development of the community as a result of learning. An important aspect of SCHAP’s focus on education within the context of a community is that with local education there is also an instilling of cultural value systems.
These value systems are just as important as the knowledge of the world around the students, as an understanding of where they come from and what it means to belong to that community, regional and national culture promotes the continuation of those cultural traditions and values to future generations. This is an empowering facet of the nature of these communities, not only to preserve the culture, but to also serve as a sense of independence from nations and cultures that they previously relied so heavily upon. In this way, every member of the community can be a teacher, and there is much to be learnt from them by the children.
SCHAP recognizes this and involves parents and other elder members of communities within the educational programs to promote cultural learning. This is essential for not only the children, but also for the other members of the community to reinforce the cultural value and belief systems. The Academy for Education Development regards this activity as highly effective in doing so, recommending that for the success of such primary educational programs, parental involvement should be encouraged, not just as guests or family members but as contributing members of the community (23).
Having parents and members of the community involved in primary school programs as SCHAP does promotes linkage between school and the community and home, where what is learned from each sphere can be transferred and shared between members. While the positive aspects of learning within a community are emphasized by SCHAP, so to are initiatives to overcome the aspects of the community that may impede learning. One such initiative is the creation of a “micro library” consisting of a collection of approximately 1,000 books on a wide variety of topics, along with providing assistance for studying the materials (SCHAP 1).
What SCHAP is trying to do with these libraries is not just to provide another centre for learning, but also to combat the “closed system of information” (1) that communities become. Making new knowledge, skills and resources available to the community promotes an increase in development (1) in the economic, social, cultural and political spheres of the local region. Education works in tandem with business development to create a foundation from which to rise above poverty, but another issue that must be addressed before work can be done or learning is to be made, and that is the health of those in the communities. . SCHAP’s Focus on Health Health is obviously an important issue in the lives of people in poor nations and foreign aid’s attempt at solving. Unfortunately a large amount of funds and manpower has been put into emergency situations regarding health, but very little has been done to address the roots of health issues that are simplistic and relatively cheap in comparison to wide-spread relief efforts of the past.
A health focus that comes from SCHAP’s knowledge of the fundamental roots of issues in these communities involves the access to clean water. The conditions of water in developing and under-developed nations is dangerously poor due to contamination from agricultural run-off, ineffective or non-existent waste management and illness-causing pathogens. By creating a clean water system in these communities, SCHAP is producing a permanent fix to the root health issue by providing a “sustainable, maintainable, expandable and replicable” (1) resource.
One initiative to achieve this system is with the building and installation of a water filtration system that is simplistic and requires low maintenance, so that the members of the community can maintain existing systems and build and install more elsewhere. An IDRC study by Blanca Jimenez et al. recommends such simple filtration systems for communities such as these, with filtration removing dangerous particulate matter and illness-causing pathogens from the water (3).
The IDRC also sees the benefit of access and propagation of these basic systems, as they are infinitely more cost effective than wider-spread regional programs that require significant funds and resources, such as the installation of water treatment plants (3). Another health focus of SCHAP that not only addresses a fundamental issue of poor health of the impoverished but also illuminates how health is linked with education and work in creating an escape from poverty is nutrition.
The plan for improved nutrition involves the education of the community, particularly children, as to what is necessary in terms of food to keep them healthy, but also an education as to what agricultural output is most nutritional (SCHAP 1). While medications can be costly and difficult to obtain because of limited supply, addressing a health concern such as nutrition gets to the origins of issues before they can multiply or become fatal. Many people in poor nations die from illnesses that would be easily preventable with basic education and forethought into such things as nutrition.
Engle et al. has examined the linkage between nutrition and child development, finding that illnesses that come from poor nutrition, such as anemia, impede such development (230). The prevention of childhood development that malnutrition causes is caused by a disruption of neural circuitry that can lead to permanent difficulties with cognitive skills (230). Early intervention in the form of nutritional education and agricultural reform is shown to combat this development impediment.
To use anemia as an example, it occurs because of an iron deficiency. SCHAP initiatives would include the promoting of the growth of iron rich plants, which the IDRC has found to have positive effects on the childhood development of motor-skills, emotional maturity and language and other social skills (Jimenez 2). The initiatives of SCHAP in this context once again present a comprehensive approach to combating poverty, by promoting a healthy lifestyle and the means to achieve it, which can be passed down for generations to come. . Conclusion While only touching on a few of SCHAP’s initiatives for communities in poor nations, what is made clear is that a reformed, comprehensive approach that focuses on sustainable long-term results has the great potential for creating an exit strategy from poverty for these nations and to untie these nations from the cumbersome umbilical cord of foreign aid. What SCHAP is doing by setting up programs and initiatives in these communities is not a hand out, but a helping hand.
By giving the tools and the means to create their own resources to these communities, SCHAP is contributing to the fight against poverty in ways that are far-reaching and long lasting. The emphasis made by Cory Glazier on listening to the members of these communities shows a simplistic approach to revolutionary, life-changing ideas. It implies the communication with and involvement of the people of these communities who not only have a right to have say in foreign aid that is given to them, but who also have a responsibility to create the changes that will end poverty in their nations.
While SCHAP has shown great potential and has made great improvements in villages such as Matoso, the reality is that there must be hundreds more organizations like SCHAP to join the battle. It is not a battle that these organizations, such as SCHAP or their supporting institutions such as the Grameen Bank, can win, but it is in arming the people of these poor nations that the battle can indeed be won.