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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Letter to the Editor: Another day, another 50

Published: February 10, 2006
Section: Opinions

Its hard to believe that the 5th annual Oxfam Collegiate Click Drive is nearly upon us. In four years, the program has raised over $100,000 to help people work their way out of dire poverty. The Click Drive works on the basis of microcredit small loans that enable poor individuals and communities to invest in a better future. While these small loans might not seem like much, they can put poor families back on their feet, enable children to stay in school rather than enter the workforce at a young age, and encourage the economic independence of women.

By clicking on banner ads at twice a day, each user can raise 50 a day which will be donated to the Calvert Foundation the leading non-profit financial institution which encourages socially responsible investment. By simply visiting a website and clicking on banners, you can help some of the worlds poorest individuals find a way out of poverty with minimal effort.

While the concept of microcredit and investment can sometimes be a hard one to wrap ones head around, as college students we have quite a parallel situation. While this is not the case for all among us, the majority of us will be graduating college having taken out loans to pay for it. While we dread the day we have to pay them, we made a choice a choice to invest in our future. By taking these loans, they have allowed us to improve our minds in order to achieve a brighter future than we could have without this education.

Likewise, highly impoverished individuals and communities can also invest in their future to lead to a brighter tomorrow. They can use the money to build businesses, educate their children and overcome the structures that perpetuate poverty.
Possibly the best part is that this over $100,000 is ever growing. Unlike simple charity which needs to be constantly renewed, microcredit loans are repaid and lent out again so that more people can invest in their lives and their communities. Microcredit loans greatly reduce the barriers to investment for the worlds poor, offering them a way out that is beneficial to them, economically sound, and self-sustaining.

Many of us have received loans to better ourselves and our country through our education at below market rates and with more flexible terms because we as a society realize the importance of our investment in our collective futures. By helping microcredit lenders raise the funds to lend out to impoverished individuals, we are able to offer a similar opportunity to those who come from a less privileged background than ourselves we offer them the chance to get out of poverty. With a simple two clicks a day, you can offer a brighter future to those who need your help.
Sean Patrick Hogan '07