Wokai takes a contemporary approach to the task of helping to pull people out of poverty. By implementing modern methods, they are revolutionizing how you can assist China’s poor.
Often the first question that comes to mind when considering contributing to a charity is – where does my money go? Despite the array of worthy causes, it’s hard to know whether your money will actually go to helping people or get lost somewhere along the way. If your goal is to actually reach individuals and help people, Wokai promises a more transparent, direct approach.
Joining Wokai’s site, you get to see exactly how your money is being spent, and who is benefiting from it. Wokai’s direct-to-individual approach allows you to track your donation much like you would an investment.
Wokai practices distributed lending, which means that numerous people can allocate portions of their donation to different individuals. The average loan is merely several hundred U.S. dollars.
There’s a Chinese proverb that says: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
That’s sort of what differentiates Wokai from a charity. It isn’t giving people money, it’s making tiny loans available to enable them to gain a foothold. Your contribution is the small boost that allows them to purchase the fishing pole!
A registered non-profit, featured in publications such as Time, Newsweek, MSNBC, and CNBC, Wokai was founded by two American women in 2007. They’ve come up with a smart formula for helping that has harnessed contemporary micro-finance techniques and tapped the distributed power of the Internet to assist people who need it most.
Unfortunately, some people are under the impression that people are poor because they’re not smart. On the contrary, China’s rural poor suffer from a lack of economic opportunities. Through Wokai, you’re helping people who are struggling to make a better life for themselves.
Using Wokai is a simple process that can be summed up in three words: contribute, track, and redistribute. First you select a recipient or recipients to support; next you track their progress; and finally, once their loan is repaid, you redistribute your money, and the process begins all over again.
Wokai Launch Event
On Friday, November 20th, Wokai is holding a launch event in Hong Kong. It’s a chance to learn more about the organization and immediately begin helping.
The event is being held at SML, the new restaurant opened by the same people behind The Pressroom and The Pawn. It will be hosted on the restaurant’s large outdoor patio. The crowd will be a good one – Wokai’s been gaining a buzz around town, particularly among the city’s urban professionals.
Casey Wilson, one of the founders will be speaking at the event, as will special guest Jennifer Meehan, of the Grameen Foundation. This is a great opportunity to have your questions answered face to face and meet the Hong Kong Wokai team. For more background info, have a look at this article.
Tickets are $750 HKD, and include a four-course dinner with complimentary wine. From what I understand, you can set up your online profile and begin participating immediately. You can get more information about the event and purchase tickets here.
If you can’t attend the dinner, there are other ways to contribute. Check out the Wokai website for more information, or contact members of the Hong Kong Wokai team here: George Zeng, [email protected] or Daniela Che, [email protected].
Perhaps several generations ago, your own family may have experienced financial hardship. Now is your chance to help another Chinese family succeed.
Wokai Launch Event
7:30pm Friday, November 20th, 2009
11/F, Food Forum, Times Square (on the outdoor patio!)
1 Matheson Street
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong