I joined the Peace Corps for many reasons, but the biggest one of all was to serve. Serve my country, serve others, serve the world. In the world of international development, it can be hard to know what works and if it makes a difference. From two years of primary research, I can say: The Village and Savings Loan Association works.
The Village Savings & Loan Association, created by CARE International, is a global microfinance model that provides access to capital and a means of savings for the most impoverished and illiterate members of our world. If you care to learn more logistics, see my previous post or watch the video below.
I've had the opportunity of creating and maintaining 14 of these groups with 375 members. Ninety percent of the participants are women and 80% are illiterate. Our average group ROI is 30% annually and the project is done in almost 60 countries with 6 millions participants worldwide. Like I said, it works.