MyFight Fights Poverty in Third World Countries via Microfinance Loans
Proceeds from T-shirts help indigent women sustain and grow their businesses to support their families
BILLINGS, Mont., Jan. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MyFight, a Montana-based nonprofit, is helping fight poverty in underdeveloped nations by empowering women to sustain and expand their rural community businesses through microfinance loans, so that they can support themselves and their families.
MyFight raises funds by selling its line of colorful and eclectic, MyFight-themed T-shirts. A percentage of proceeds are given to the Adelante Foundation, which makes microfinance loans to impoverished female entrepreneurs in Honduras. The T-shirts are designed by artists from throughout the United States. Prices range from $7 to $25.
"We don't want to feed the hungry, we want to end hunger," said Jesse Murphy, founder of MyFight. "Investing in these women through microfinance is quite simply investing in the end of poverty. It is the innovation and tenacity of these women that will stop at nothing until they can put dinner in front of their kids, and send them to school ensuring that, for them, the story of poverty comes to an end."
MyFight is helping women such as Honduras native Margareta of Flor de Campo, who uses her baking skills to, ironically, put food on her own table to feed her children. Margareta spent eight hours a day making tortillas and only two hours a day selling them.
After receiving a $100 microloan, Margareta was able to purchase a tortilla press. This allowed her to make three times the number of tortillas in four hours and devote the remainder of her time to selling them. As business grew, she was able to hire her neighbor and put her children through school. Within six months, Margareta paid back the loan, and the money then went to finance another woman's business venture.
Microfinance involves loaning money to the poor in order for them to start and grow small businesses. However, most banks do not view the poor as viable clients and will not lend them money said Mike Wiesner of Colorado-based Adelante Foundation.
"Popular misconceptions are that the poor will not repay, and that they will not have the discipline to invest the microloan in a business," said Wiesner, executive director of the Adelante Foundation. "The experience of Adelante and other microfinance institutions has proved otherwise. For example, a repayment rate of 97 percent among Adelante clients in 2011 confirms that lending to the poor is viable."
MyFight was created by Jesse Murphy and Abram Hagstrom who met in 2009 and realized they shared a passion to want to effect real change in the world by fighting poverty, oppression and social injustice in Third World countries. They soon joined forces and launched MyFight.
"When you see injustice you can't turn from it," Murphy said. "When you meet a mother who tells you that the best hope she can give to her daughter is to give her to an orphanage, you can't accept that. When two boys, no older than 10, break out into a bloody fist fight for survival, you can't sit by and watch. It doesn't have to be this way. But we don't fight primarily because the problems are so bad, we fight because the solutions are so beautiful."
To purchase a T-shirt to help a woman in need of a microfinance loan or to learn more about MyFight, visit www.myfight.org.
MyFight is a movement to abolish extreme poverty. When you buy T-shirts from MyFight, the nonprofit makes loans to impoverished families, which helps them escape the prison of poverty. One hundred percent of their profits are used to further the Fight.
About Adelante Foundation
Adelante is driven by the desire to see its clients achieve positive outcomes in their lives. Each decision that is made at Adelante is considered within the context of its mission, which is to improve the standard of living of women and their families in rural Honduras. Adelante has expanded tremendously since its creation, but the objective year to year never changes: help more Honduran women climb out of poverty.
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