Blog posts from Oikocredit UK
In northern India, the Ambootia Tea Group (DOTEPL) is using social impact investment to boost financial security and improve the livelihoods of its employees.
Tea pickers from Oikocredit social enterprise partner, Ambootia. Darjeeling India. Photograph: Opmeer Reports.
In India, around 300 million of its 1.2 billion inhabitants live below the $1.25 a day poverty line. When Oikocredit began operations 40 years ago, the number was almost the same, with around 320 million people living below the poverty line. In 1978, India’s mortality rate was estimated at 14.2%*. In this context, Oikocredit granted its first ever loan in India to finance housing loans for low-income earners in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu.
What beats people-watching? People-watching-people-watching-people.
Having a layover at Dubai Airport en route to India for my first time means I get to see humanity in all its diversity in an exciting new place. However, as soon as I start expecting to be surprised, I realise you would see exactly the same on any Saturday in Amsterdam: women in full traditional dress, hand in hand with husbands; men in faded T-shirts; women in leggings and halter neck tops, and men with traditional head-dress and ankle-length robes. As I stand around and watch for a little while, I notice all of us watching one another. And, occasionally I catch the smiles, particularly at one another’s children…because everyone seems to smile where children are concerned.
This year Oikocredit celebrates its 40th anniversary as a cooperative - 40 years of lending investors’ capital to partner organisations, in order to help disadvantaged people in developing countries build their businesses, support their families, sustain their communities and help protect the planet.