Another couple of projects focus on something called "micro-finance" or "micro-credit," which is making small loans available to individuals in poverty, so they can start and run small businesses and thus improve their financial situation. One of these is Grameen Foundation USA (http://www.gfusa.org/), whose mission is "to empower the world's poorest people to lift themselves out of poverty with dignity through access to financial services and to information."
I'm increasingly convinced that some social change is going to have to come through political struggle and large organizations of people banding together to demand that governments and large organizations stop abusing and exploiting them.
But, having grown up in a culture which taught that if you educate yourself, work hard, and are financially responsible, you have a good chance of becoming successful enough to be comfortable and to use your influence to help others, and also being aware that having some money helps a heck of a lot when one has a goal of making more money, I'm attracted to the notion of micro-credit. What I don't know is whether in today's world (which I perceive as full of large heartless entities trying to exploit everything they can get their hands on) it really works to reduce poverty, and whether reducing poverty by helping individuals run and grow businesses also eventually helps reduce poverty in those individuals' communities.
I wonder if anyone reading this has any additional knowledge about micro-credit in general or about Grameen Foundation in specific.