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MUHAMMAD YUNUS: Poverty is a kind of a darkness around you. You don’t see any hope, any
ray of hope. You live every day the same way, in the darkness. You don’t have a future.
NARRATOR: In the early 70s, a young Muhammad Yunus, then an economics professor, left the
city to do research in local villages like this one.
MUHAMMAD YUNUS: Here I am teaching elegant theories of economics in the classroom and
people are dying outside the classroom and we have nothing to do about it.
NARRATOR: He found people making many beautiful products, yet they remained desperately poor.
To an economist, it didn’t make sense. Something was missing.
MUHAMMAD YUNUS: If you look around, who are the people really working? It’s the poor.
They work their pants off.
NARRATOR: Professor Yunus realized that the only way the villagers could buy supplies
to create small businesses was with high interest loans from unscrupulous moneylenders. There
was no other option.
MUHAMMAD YUNUS: And money lenders were imposing very terrible conditionalities on them, like
you have to sell your product to me at the price that I decide, etc-- that kind of thing.
NARRATOR: In one village, Muhammad Yunus found that he could provide life-changing loans
to forty-two people. They would cost a total of twenty-seven dollars-- an average of sixty-four
cents each. He personally made the loans.
MUHAMMAD YUNUS: And I was shocked! Here we talk about millions of dollars and billions
of dollars in development assistance to help the economy grow and so on. We never paid
any attention to people who needed such a small amount of money.
NARRATOR: That was the beginning of an idea that grew into the Grameen Bank, a bank for
the rural poor. In the language of Bangladesh, Grameen means rural. It’s also the idea
for which Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.
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Muhammad Yunus Attacks Poverty with Microcredit

4825 Folder Collection
Ah published on August 16, 2014    Chin Tung Hsu translated    Lucy Fan reviewed
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