The Poor Don’t Need Another Prophet: A People-Centered Approach to Microfinance and Education in Bolivia
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Introduction: As international aid agencies increasingly embrace microfinance, the darling of international development, questions are beginning to surface. Who benefits from this savings and lending system that claims to target the poor? Does an increase in social capital of the poor lead to an enhancement of human capital in terms of socialization and education; does that in turn contribute to the fostering of microfinance practices? What kinds of linkages do these institutions need to sustain and replicate their practices? While these are pertinent avenues to investigate, in this essay I seek to address that which is of basic concern in terms of the perceived capacity and capability of the poor: can the poorest of the poor build on their existing social capital through microfinance? To address these questions, this article will examine the growing trend of microfinance practices in Bolivia, drawing out some of its pluralities and complexities as it intersects with the poor.
- child labor