Melissa’s Village funding circle was founded by Melissa Faith Klar. Together with her friends and family, Melissa hopes to support some of the women whom she met while visiting Chiapas, Mexico. After visiting Chiapas, Melissa asked her friends to support Melissa’s Village, funding microcredit loans in Chiapas.
The great African American mystic and activist Howard Thurman from the 40’s once counseled a young man:
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go, do that, because what the world needs is the people who have come alive.”
In the heart of Mexico’s southern-most state is the town of San Cristobal de las Casas. It is a light and airy city. Diverse indigenous communities flock there to trade goods and ideas among crumbling colonial churches and pastel- colored houses. Tzotzil and Tzeltal communities of indigenous peoples continue to define the soul of the city.
I had attended a fundraiser party hosted by NamasteDirect two weeks prior to departing in December of 2006 for southern Mexico. I was interested and very impressed in the micro-lending that was implemented in Guatemala and Mexico by NamasteDirect. At the event, I fortunately had the opportunity to meet Katia Corroy, the executive director of ALSOL in Chiapas, and I asked her if traveled to her town in Chiapas, if she could take me in the field and see how the process worked. OFF I WENT.
I was overwhelmed by the extreme poverty in this area, yet amazed by the natural resources that this area has. The kindness of the people was my inspiration. These indigenous people have a chance to live out of poverty. They are very rich in culture, they make beautiful handicrafts, and they live in a beautiful unspoiled and pure region of our continent. I KNEW I COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
My intention is kindness and the possibility of a new life for their families.
I just had a simple idea about how easy it is to help people that earn as little 50 cents per day for a family of five.
I am inviting my friends and acquaintances to join me in creating a village of love and compassion and helping one by one to end poverty in North America. Donating a minimum of $20 to my village will start to end poverty. The poverty level in Chiapas means that these people live on $180 per year. These women need to make $365 to rise out of extreme poverty. It sounds simple and it is.
NamasteDirect works with AlSol in Chiapas, Mexico and with other partner organizations in Guatemala, providing funds for the microcredit loans that are this first-step out of poverty. Women invest the loans into starting small businesses that will increase their household incomes and help them to escape poverty.