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The Trickle-Up Solution to Global Poverty

The Trickle Up aid foundation is turning traditional conceptions of foreign aid on its head, saying that, “investing in individuals at the grassroots level is the most powerful antidote to extreme poverty.”

Attempts to address global poverty have typically originated in large, global corporations whose tactics have been to give foreign aid or to invest in business at the highest level of society in the assumption that benefits from newfound societal organization and prosperity would “eventually trickle down to the rest of the population.”

Glen and Mildred Robbins Leet, the founders of Trickle Up, however, rejected this model as the only way to help the world’s poor, maintaining that the foreign aid money given to developing countries often got lost in corruption at the top societal levels, never quite reaching the country’s poorest members that needed the help most.

Thus, Trickle Up sought a change. Glen and Mildred believed in individuals’ power to create lasting change for themselves, and started a program in which they gave $100 grants to ten people in developing countries, urging them to launch their own microbusinesses.

Along with the small sum of money, the Leets’ model also provided basic business ownership training to their fund recipients, The Trickle Up method relies on the idea that humans feel empowered when they feel trusted and encouraged.

Trickle Up primarily focuses on women as agents of change because they believe that if women have equitable access to and control over resources, a country’s economic development will follow

Trickle Up’s website provides ample information about understanding the program’s ideology, the grant system, and rural poverty itself in an attempt to spread awareness and invite action. By empowering the world’s poor directly, Trickle Up is building a much-needed foundation for a human-rights driven and economically stable developing world.

 – Alexandra Bruschi

Source: Trickle Up
Photo: Life