In 2007 Safaricom, one of the largest mobile networks in Kenya, started a money transfer service using mobile phones called M-Pesa. In the past, money transfers were expensive, slow, and inconvenient for those living miles from the nearest bank. Now, with M-Pesa, people are able to quickly send and access small loans, which is having a dramatic impact on local economies. What researchers are finding is that access to mobile money strengthens local economies by providing people with a safety net during emergencies, incorporating lower income families into the formal banking system, and offering more people a secure way to save money in a country with “one of the lowest savings rates in the world.”
M-Pesa is a beginning. Mobile money is spreading — 100 countries have it, although nowhere else is it as widespread and successful as in Kenya. It’s also a platform for other innovations that lead to other ways to help people live better.”
Read more on nytimes.com
EVEN THE RAINFOREST IS BETTER OFF WHEN WOMEN HAVE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHCARE
Is there a correlation between offering reproductive health services and improving conservation efforts? Years ago, while advocating for rainforest conservation measures in Guatemala, a group of environmentalists from Fundaeco were alarmed to find high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality in the communities in which they were working. The group shifted its mission towards providing better access to healthcare for women in these areas. Surprisingly, however, they found a potential link between providing women with better reproductive health and education and local conservation efforts. There’s not yet enough evidence on the topic to prove a direct correlation.
For now, those involved in this kind of strategy are soldiering on, hoping that enough anecdotal evidence might compel other groups to give this holistic approach a shot. At the end of the day, even if a direct link between women’s health and conservation can’t be established, is working together towards a common goal really such a bad idea?”
Read more on motherboard.vice.com
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