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Creative Christmas Gifts: Economic Development

Photo: ©2013 Gloria Das/World Vision

Photo: ©2013 Gloria Das/World Vision

We’re Sharing Big Dreams This Christmas!

Economic Development: In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, 67 million more people worldwide are jobless than projected before the crisis. This has had a profound impact on the world’s poor. About 20 percent of the global population (1.2 billion people) lives on less than $1.25 a day, and 2.5 billion people have no access to the banking services that could provide them with tools to build a better future. Many desperately poor families have a strong desire to work and a solid idea for a small business—but they need help to get started.

World Vision is working to create and sustain over 300,000 jobs by providing basic financial and business services like microloans, enhanced market knowledge, and savings vehicles. By equipping families to earn more income and increase their assets, we’ll be helping over 1.3 million children to experience greater well-being.

One of our innovative approaches includes the implementation of mobile loan software, which decreases operating costs and enables us to serve loan clients more effectively and efficiently. Because women typically invest the greatest percentage of additional earnings in their families and communities, our efforts also place particular emphasis on vocational training and loans that equip women to start or expand small businesses. Through these efforts, we’re helping improve perceptions of women’s value as we improve their access to economic resources.

Women of Vision has selected to support World Vision’s Economic Development projects in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic and Rwanda this year. Here we have gathered some of our favorite options from World Vision’s Gift Catalog that address Economic Development needs. If you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas, consider one of these options:

Micro Loan for a Woman
Women work nearly two-thirds of the world’s working hours – produce half of the world’s food – yet earn only 10 percent of the world’s income. Female entrepreneurs use approximately 92 cents of each dollar of extra income on their children’s health and education. Micro loans can give women the opportunity they need to rise above their circumstances. Providing Micro loans to women help to create an environment of respect and show that women have a valuable role in the economic development of communities.

Sewing Machine and Training
A sewing machine helps lift a woman out of poverty and creates new jobs in her community. To a woman or girl in need in a country like Zambia, Ghana, or Ecuador, the sewing machine you provide can be a doorway to a better life. You’ll help a woman make a decent living as a seamstress to support herself and her family.

The World Vision Gift Catalog offers hundreds of ways to reflect the spirit of the Christmas season. With items across various prices and categories that help lift children, families, and even entire communities out of poverty, you can bring meaningful assistance to those in need — and let loved ones know that you did so in their honor by emailing or printing out a card to present on Christmas Day. Browse the catalog for yourself and find an item by which you can show loved ones how much you appreciate them.

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