By the time I launched into my opening story about Winkly and Jane in Malawi the classroom at Illinois College was pretty full. About 60 students and faculty were there for my discussion of micro-finance and my passionate defense of micro-grants as the best pathway out of poverty.
In the three minutes before I remembered to press record on my iphone, I started with some thank yous to Joe Genetin-Pilawa (who invited me) and IC’s Leadership Program (for sponsoring the evening).
Then I launched into the story of Jane and Winkly, who live in Manyamula village in Malawi. They are a hard-working family but they lacked access to credit. I flipped to the powerpoint slide of their old house (with mud bricks and a thatched roof) and talked about some of the problems with a thatched roof, which has to be replaced every season…
Over the next 45 minutes I talk about micro-loans, crowd-funding, indebtedness, sharing the gift, and generosity. Feel free to listen and/or look through the slides!