Microfinance and Sustainable Development – Cassidy Fish

April 28, 2024

The Wisconsin Microfinance mission is deeply rooted in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. While we focus on many of the economic goals, we also recognize and honor the environmental goals. The benefits of a clean, safe, and sustainable world apply to all people, rich and poor.

This April we want to recognize and celebrate a focus on the environment through Earth Month. Earth month is an expansion of the Earth Day movement which was created 54 years ago to educate citizens on the impacts of environmental issues around the world. Because we live in an interconnected world, environmental issues all around the globe impact people living in the countries in which we have programs.

When celebrating Earth Month, we recognize the importance of addressing issues such as water pollution, climate change, and the accumulation of waste. Just as the world is impacted by these issues, so are our borrowers in Haiti, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, and Pakistan. By raising the visibility of these issues, we hope to demonstrate that everyone deserves a clean world. Our mission is to make a difference in the lives of our borrowers, and that includes ensuring our borrowers have a clean and sustainable world.

Earth Day first started as an event celebrated exclusively in the United States, but over the years, Earth Day has grown to be a truly global celebration. This international growth is paralleled by the growth of microfinance. The roots of the microfinance movements date back to the 1970’s when Muhammad Yunus introduced the idea of very small loans to village women in Bangladesh. Now, microfinance institutions exist in virtually every country in the world.

Wisconsin Microfinance supports the activities around Earth Day. Sharing the importance of a clean environment with people of all ages advances an appreciation of the delicate systems we live within. Just as Earth Day has grown overtime, so too has the recognition of the needs of the very poor. We hope that one day, people will come together to recognize the importance of empowering the poor to change the world for the better.