Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Proposed bill to honor Yunus (HR 2000, S. 846)

"To me poor people are like bonsai trees. When you plant the best seed of the tallest tree in a flower-pot, you get a replica of the tallest tree, only inches tall. There is nothing wrong with the seed you planted, only the soil-base that is too inadequate. Poor people are bonsai people. There is nothing wrong in their seeds. Simply, society never gave them the base to grow on. All it needs to get the poor people out of poverty for us to create an enabling environment for them. Once the poor can unleash their energy and creativity, poverty will disappear very quickly." -Dr Muhammad Yunus

These are the words of Dr. Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and board member of RESULTS. I am happy to say that four IL members of Congress support HR 2000 which seeks to award Dr. Yunus with the Congressional Gold Medal to in recognition of his contributions to the fight against global poverty. Senator Durbin introduced the bill in the Senate (with Senator Bennett). Senator Burris has added his name to the it and Representatives Schakowsky and Kirk have cosponsored the bill in the House.

Honoring Dr. Yunus before Congress will raise public and congressional awareness of the power of microfinance to change lives and help build congressional support . It will also send a strong signal to USAID and the World Bank that the U.S. is committed to microfinance for the very poor and expects the our foreign aid and the World Bank to do the same.

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