People living in the most extreme poverty in the world do not just survive: they often enjoy rich family relationships, build vibrant communities and exude deep faith. Their ingenuity, persistence, generosity and self-reliance contain teachings for those of us who happen to have been born into relative economic stability.
That is the inspiration and the theme ofUnPoverty: Rich Lessons from the Working Poor, a new book written by Mark Lutz, the senior vice-president of global philanthropy for Opportunity. His book is a series of vignettes, introducing you to people living in extreme poverty, inspiring you with the knowledge that with just a small opportunity, these individuals can be big change agents in their own lives and in their communities.
After more than two decades of working closely with people living in extreme economic poverty in developing nations, Lutz believes that what he calls “unpoverty” is possible. He envisions a world in which we eradicate global poverty by empowering the economically marginalized, but emotionally wealthy, offering them the tools to create a more financially stable future–with the goal of completely eliminating extreme poverty for the more than one billion people who live on $1 a day.
Says Lutz: “The purpose of UnPoverty is to convince the reader that we can eradicate extreme poverty in our lifetime if we act strategically. I shine the spotlight on poor people so the readers see them in a new light and want to act on their behalf. Each chapter is a different lesson I’m learning from the poor. Each lesson is illustrated by the stories ofhttp://www.opportunity.org/media-center/stories/Opportunity clients[/intlink]. My prayer is that thousands of readers will decide to invest in the poor, and that many of those will choose to do so by supporting the working solution of http://www.opportunity.org/our-work/microfinance[/intlink] that Opportunity offers its clients.”
Praise for UnPoverty:
- “Mark Lutz has captured what I have seen to be true over and over again around the world. We have much to learn from the resilience, determination and generosity of the families in these stories and countless more who are able to do so much if only given a chance.” –Jonathan T.M. Reckford, CEO, Habitat for Humanity International
- “Instead of stirring feelings of pity in his readers, Mark Lutz reveals the resilience, perseverance, wisdom, and willingness of the working poor. Through his personal interactions with those living in incomprehensible poverty, as well as his own genuine “ah-ha” moments, the author builds a deeper level of understanding. By joining hands with the poor, we can go beyond good intentions to genuine change.” –Sammy T. Mah, President and CEO, World Relief
- “Our abundance can render us tone-deaf to the needs of the extremely poor. We are proud of ourselves when we make a difference. Mark shows us how.” –Claudia Kennedy, U.S. Army Lt. General (Ret.), speaker at Opportunity’s http://www.opportunity.org/opportunity-international-conference/Fall Microfinance Conference[/intlink]
- “How powerful–to be mentored by the marginalized about what it means to be generous and to live with dignity. Through personal vignettes I discovered unconventional wisdom that if heeded will see ‘unpoverty’ as our global footprint.” –Paula A. Curtis, President and CEO,Opportunity International Canada
UnPoverty is now available to purchase. Visit unpoverty.org to learn more.