FXB USA is thrilled to share voices and experiences of our diverse interns who greatly contribute to our work. Today, we are sharing Marina Zoullas’ perspective on the FXBVillage Model and her passion for inspiring young people to help eradicate global poverty. Marina Zoullas is a high school student in New York City who is passionate about empowering women living in extreme poverty around the world. She has been involved in supporting microfinance initiatives in Ghana and started a women’s collective, Give and Gain, that supports women through the fair trade and handmade products they produce.
For the past couple of years I have been very interested in women’s issues and in supporting initiatives that empower women to build a sustainable income by generating business or trade. It has been proven that an increase in female labor force results in faster economic growth. I learned about FXB through a friend. I was immediately drawn to FXB’s model to end the cycle of poverty. I am very impressed to learn how FXB realizes that you cannot just help a family with a financial program in a vacuum.
Among other programs, FXB has developed the FXBVillage Model, a holistic approach which deals with five main drivers of poverty: lack of nutrition, health, education, housing and income. The FXBVillage Model is a very successful three year program that helps families build a sustainable form of income through a small business. FXB understands that to achieve financial sustainable independence there are other drivers of poverty that need to be taken care of. One of the things that appeals the most to me is that FXB’s programs are implemented through the women in the families, as they tend to be the heads of the households.
Global poverty is one of the greatest ailments of our society. We as the younger generations have to get more involved. We need to create awareness and to push our governments to put pressure on countries that do not provide certain basic rights to its citizens such as education, health and nutrition. Of course, sometimes those countries are in an economic or political chaos in which case the more developed countries need to partner with developing countries to jointly tackle this challenge. We as the younger generation must create a global partnership so, as one, we can make sure that the 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals get implemented and we can eradicate poverty once and for all.