Help to Self-help
More than 50 percent of farmers in the areas where Better Globe Forestry Ltd (BGF) operates live below the international poverty line of $1.90 per day. It is in these areas we together can make the most significant difference, far more than by the traditional means of charity and aid.
To give people help when they need help is perfectly natural and very important. However, it is worth considering the true meaning of help, and whether some types of “help” is actually a hindrance.
Lately, there has been a growing awareness of how charity donations end up harming the people they were supposed to assist. Our solution to this is social entrepreneurship and to support BGF’s efforts to work closely with the local communities so that they get the support they need to grow.
Purchasing power is the foundation of the economic cycle
Creating jobs is one of the crucial elements of BGF’s concept to tackle poverty and corruption. Those living in the areas where BGF typically chooses to establish operations, usually lack opportunities to find paid work. When they start working for BGF, it is often the first job they have, and that allows them to have real purchasing power.
Those who have a salary and money in their pockets can buy things and use their purchasing power to buy from someone else that needs customers, who, in turn, earns money for their family, and so on.
Most of us are living in a completely different world than the people we support. And we sometimes forget what drives our world. Our way of life is only possible because we have purchasing power and money flowing through our society.
In many places, like the semi-desert areas far from cities and large communities, purchasing power is low, and cash flow is limited. As a result, the areas become even more unpopulated. Those who can move, do so to areas where they think they might find employment or income opportunities. Jobs, however, are seldom found, and shantytowns are instead growing around the big cities. As a consequence, crime increases, and with that corruption, and vice versa.
Purchasing power is crucial for adults to resist the temptation to leave the elderly and, in some cases, their children, to move to the slums around big cities, in search of a livelihood.
The attraction of purchasing power
All the communities in the world today, ranging from the smallest fishing village to major cities like New York, exist because trade is attracted to purchasing power. The small villages in the areas where Better Globe Forestry Ltd operate seem to grow in size.
Some villages have doubled or multiplied in just a few short years simply because people live and move to where jobs and potential customers can be found. They provide a service that gives them an income, that they can live off because others have the ability to pay for it.
This is why we no longer live in villages but instead have towns with schools, police, hospitals, libraries, and many other services that exist – thanks to the merchants being there and because there are employers who are creating purchasing power by giving salaries to those who work. For families to be able to stay together in the village where they are born, they have to be able to make a living there.
One way to support the people in these areas is by financing new ways to make a living through microloan banks. Those who receive loans in the banks, which we help to fund through BGF, also become stakeholders in the bank. The members of these community-owned banks also receive basic training in economics and the conservation of resources. They may also get advice on how to create a business that allows them to pay back the microloan.
After that, they can take an even larger loan and create better conditions for themselves, their families, and the community where they work. These microloan banks are owned and operated entirely by the villagers, but Better Globe AS’s customers fund them via the donation package.
As villages become larger and purchasing power increases, the same goes for the collective opportunities and political incentives to build infrastructure, roads and water channels, etc. In this part of the world, they currently have basic needs for roads and water supplies of various kinds, but in the long term, there are other issues to consider, like healthcare, supporting education, culture, etc.
This way of working, where Better Globe’s contribution is the engine of this continuous change through BGF, ultimately leads to sustainable communities. Since our model is based on business activities carried out by the locals themselves, by their own initiative, it becomes a sustainable system that allows us to provide help to self-help. And because our customers get two trees they profit from when they purchase the donation package, it also becomes economically viable for our customers to make a difference with this unique product for social change.
Start saving some of your money in trees
If you want to join in and make a difference, contribute to a better world, and manage your savings in an ethical, sustainable, and long-term way, click on the link to our shop.