17 October 2006


The international call to Make Poverty History gained new momentum this week as millions of people around the globe participated in the Stand-Up against poverty event.

Stand-Up Day was part of an ongoing campaign to maintain pressure on governments to live up to their commitments to achieve the Millenium Development Goals. Readers of this bulletin are urged to support these calls to ensure the elimination of poverty and the building of a just and sustainable world.

Those living in Victoria have a unique opportunity to demonstrate their concern to world leaders at next month’s G20 meeting in Melbourne. Details of actions and events in which those concerned can participate are to be found at the Australian Make Poverty History website.

On a related issue the work of Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank in enabling extremely impoverished people (mostly women) to engage in self-employment projects that allow them to generate an income and, in many cases, begin to build wealth and exit poverty, was acknowledged recently in the awarding of the 2006 Nobel Peace prize.

The award highlights the importance of micro-credit schemes which have been developed in many parts of the world to assist the poor who lack collateral, steady employment and a verifiable credit history, and therefore cannot meet even the most minimum qualifications to gain access to traditional credit.

The Good Shepherd Sisters Youth and Family Services operates Australia’s oldest and largest micro-credit network (NILS - No interest Loans Scheme) to assist low-income families.

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