"A Portrait of a Microloan" by Amy K. Wright

Varanasi, India 2014

There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won’t go.
For me, India is such a place.

When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes and sounds...

I had been seeing the world in black & white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor.
— Keith Bellows- National Geographic



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The Story

As a team member at Whole Foods Market, I was given the incredible gift of visiting India in 2012 & 2014.  Each trip included a visit to groups of women, in rural villages, who are receiving microloans from Whole Planet Foundation’s India partner CASHPOR Micro Credit.

Whole Planet Foundation’s mission is to alleviate poverty through microlending programs in communities where Whole Foods Market sources products, and CASHPOR Micro Credit is a poverty-focused, non-profit company that provides microfinance exclusively to women living below the poverty line in India.  

These microloans are used to purchase various items to start their own businesses, such as goats, or weaving materials, and enable each woman to create an opportunity that would otherwise not be available to her.  On average, most of these women are living on less than $2 a day, and this level of poverty prohibits them from gaining access to a loan from a traditional bank.
 
To put it very simply... a microloan = hope
 
And this hope offers a practical way to become an equal business partner with her husband; to feed and clothe her children and gain access to education - many of the basics in my life that I take for granted.

I am profoundly changed by my experience of meeting these vibrant and beautiful women in India, who are being empowered to change their own lives.  

The experience of walking through their homes, and meeting their children, husbands, mothers and fathers is something I will carry with me forever.  Witnessing the power of microlending has changed my entire perspective on poverty, both in the United States and around the world, because I have seen the way that it transforms lives in very simple and practical ways.

If you interested in learning about how you can be involved in empowering women around the world through microloans go to www.wholeplanetfoundation.org
 

Microcredit is about giving hope.

When you’re talking about making loans to women whose income is less than $2 a day, you can easily make the leap to see what a microloan can make possible.
— Natalie Portman- Actress and "Ambassador of Hope" for FINCA, a Whole Planet Foundation microfinance partner

 

Photography by Amy K. Wright

*all rights reserved 2017