One Sunday I read a history of MEDA: Ministry to Small Entrepreneurs, in a magazine called Marketplace. It described the past 50 years in this very interesting business ministry.
MEDA stands for Mennonite Economic Development Associates. It was started by a handful of Christian business men in both the USA and Canada, in 1953, with a novel approach; they would extend risk capital in poor countries to plain farmers and poor individuals who had ideas for micro-businesses, but no cash. By helping such people get a start, they'd help them to support their families and often whole communities too.
Have you ever wished you could get a financial boost to start a small business, but found the banks won't even give you "Have a good day"?
It takes a long time to bring a dream to pass if nobody else believes in you or gives you a hand. How much quicker you succeed if at the right moment, special funds come into your hands, right?
That's what MEDA has done for more than 50 (now it would be 70+) years.
Their first projects were in Paraguay and Bolivia, but they have worked in Africa too, and in Haiti, (where they taught people to grow cocoa beans for the big Hershey chocolate manufacturer with the company's assistance with the training), Jamacia, and Russia, and many others.
Although they've learned costly lessons with some investments, generally the people they have helped have thrived and repaid the loans.
I'd love to learn more; it is so fascinating! I feel like the Ugly Duckling who has found her own kind when I see what MEDA is doing.
So many of my daydreams are of doing well in business so that I can help others to start up too. I am greatly encouraged. Rather than loans, I've thought of training people for viable jobs, especially in the internet marketing and technology areas.
I've been sloughing through on a shoestring too short to wrap around a finger, and though I'm grateful for the learning stages at a pace I could handle, I realize that the next stage will depend on the funds that come in to make the right moves. Once that comes - look out!
Fortunately, I have lots of faith, which feeds my determination and discipline, and I know - I really know - success is coming!
Already, I'm picturing myself training others to do it too. What's more, I'll support MEDA in their good work.
(Their site is, https://www.meda.org)
Ruth Marlene Friesen
The Responsible One