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  #161  
Old 03-19-2005, 05:38 AM
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More photos from the Womed Award
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  #162  
Old 03-19-2005, 05:47 AM
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On March 4th, Mathilde was present at a meeting on the benefits and working of microcredit;

Here's her speech, it's in Dutch, I'll give a translation of it.

Mijnheer de Minister,
Dames en Heren,
Geachte actoren uit de microkrediet-sector,

Vorige week was ik op zending in Mali. Ik heb daar met verschillende micro-ondernemers kunnen spreken. Ik was diep onder de indruk van hun enthousiasme en hun engagement. Zij werken met grote vastberadenheid om uit de armoede te raken en streven naar een betere toekomst. Vooral de vrouwen zijn zeer actief en goed vertegenwoordigd in de sector van het microkrediet.

Tijdens mijn gesprekken kon ik persoonlijk vaststellen dat deze microcliŽnten niet van liefdadigheid wensen te leven, maar dat ze integendeel kansen willen grijpen en scheppen: een handeltje in schoenen of fruit, een juwelenzaak, een melkerij, een veemarkt...het zijn maar enkele voorbeelden.
Dankzij de toegang tot financiŽle dienstverleningen kunnen deze personen met een bescheiden inkomen hun eigen onderneming opstarten, hun leningen terugbetalen, sparen, en een betere toekomst voor hun kinderen garanderen.
Een dergelijk groot commercieel potentieel dient verder ontwikkeld te worden.

Microfinanciering is een belangrijk instrument in de strijd tegen armoede, maar het is geen wondermiddel!
Bovendien blijven hinderpalen bestaan die mensen uit de ontwikkelingslanden beletten op volwaardige wijze deel te nemen aan de economische en financiŽle wereld.

We moeten de kans grijpen die dit Internationale Jaar van het microkrediet ons biedt om inclusieve financieringsinstrumenten te promoten. Deze geven op hun beurt micro-ondernemers de mogelijkheid zich economisch te manifesteren en zich op menselijk vlak te ontwikkelen.

Toen ik het mandaat van Gezant van de Verenigde Naties voor microkrediet aanvaardde, heb ik mij tevens geŽngageerd in die richting.

Ik wens hier ook in herinnering te brengen dat armoede nog al te vaak een vrouwelijk gezicht heeft. Het zijn nochtans overwegend vrouwen, de drijvende kracht van de familie, talentvol en innovatierijk, die een beroep doen op de diensten van de microfinancieringsinstellingen. Niet alleen omdat ze een toegang tot financiŽle diensten wensen die ze trouwens nodig hebben, maar waarschijnlijk vooral om hun status, hun levensomstandigheden en die van hun kinderen te verbeteren, hen een degelijke opvoeding te geven, en een betere toegang tot gezondheidszorg.

Dames en Heren,

Ik ben werkelijk heel blij dat U zo talrijk aanwezig bent op dit seminarie over microfinanciering te Brussel. Als vertegenwoordigers van microfinancieringsinstellingen, van sociale investeerders, organisaties die de sector van de microfinanciering ondersteunen, niet-gouvernementele organisaties, en publieke overheden... , heeft U aanvaard wereldwijd die mensen te steunen die bescheiden bedragen wensen te lenen om een eigen bedrijfje te beginnen, en dit niettegenstaande hun zeer geringe inkomen. De laatste twee dagen heeft U de uitdagingen verbonden aan het microkredietensysteem onderzocht, met inbegrip van economische en financiŽle hindernissen die arme mensen ondervinden om te kunnen deelnemen.

Van mijn kant, wens ik in het bijzonder het belang te onderstrepen van de sociale impact van microfinanciering.
Onze aandacht voor de sociale gevolgen van het microkrediet moet hand in hand gaan met onze inspanningen voor financiŽle duurzaamheid van microfinanciering.
In uw werk dient er een evenwicht te zijn tussen enerzijds economische en financiŽle overwegingen en anderzijds de sociale impact er van. Het belang van sociale inclusie en de versterking van de maatschappij mag niet worden vergeten.
In de loop van het seminarie is uit de kwaliteit van uw werkzaamheden ook uw engagement gebleken, evenals de besluitvaardigheid van alle actoren van de sector; de wil om uw werkzaamheden nog te verbeteren.

Ik nodig U uit deze solidariteit met de micro-ondernemers verder te zetten, niet alleen tijdens het Internationale Jaar van het microkrediet, maar ook na 2005.
Alleen duurzame inspanningen kunnen met succes worden bekroond!

Ik dank U voor uw aandacht.
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  #163  
Old 03-19-2005, 03:46 PM
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Translation of her speech

Mister Minister,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear actors in the microcredit branch,

Last week I was on mission in Mali. I got the chance to speak to various micro-entrepreneurs. I was deeply impressed by their enthusiasm and their commitment. They' re trying with great determination to get out of poverty and they aim towards a better future. especially women are very active and well represented in the microcredit branch.

During my conversations, I noticed personally that these microclients don't whish to live on charity, but that on the contrary they want to grasp and create opportunities: a small business in shoes or fruit, a jewelryshop, a milk factory, a cattle market...It are only a few examples.
Thanks to the admittance to financial services these people can start their own business with a small income, they can pay back their loans, save money and garantee a better future for their children.
Such a great commercial potential deserves to be developped further.

Microfinance is an important instrument in the battle against poverty, but it's no miracle solution!
Furthermore there continue to exist obstacles that keep people in development countries from participating fully in the economic and financial world.

We have to grasp the chance that the International Year of the Microcredit offers us to promote inclusive finance instruments. These will give micro-entrepreneurs the ability to manifest themselves economically and to develop as human beings.

When I accepted the mandate as Emissory of the United Nations for the microcredit, I promised to work for that cause.

I whish to remind here that poverty still too often bares a female face. None the less it are mainly women, the thriving force of the family, full of talent and the will to innovate, who appeal to the services of microcredit institutions. Not only because they wish to have an admittance to the financial services they really need, but probably mainly to improve their status, their conditions of life and those of their children, to give them a decent education and a better access to health care.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I'm really very pleased that so many of you are present at this seminary on microfinance in Brussels. As representants of microfinance institutions, social investors, organisations who support the microfinance branch, non government organisations, and public authorities, ... , you have accepted to help people all over the world who would like a small contribution to set up their own small business, in spite of their very small income. These last two days you have investigated the challanges that go with the system of microfinance, as well as the economic and financial obstacles that poor people have to face when they want to participate in the system.

From my side, I would like to emphasize the particular importance of the social impact microfinance has.
Our attention for the social results of microfinance should go together with our efforts for its financial durability.
In your work there should be a balance between the economic and financial considerations on the one hand, and their social impact on the other hand. The importance of social inclusion and the reinforcement of society should not be forgotten.
In the course of the seminary the quality of your work has proved your commitment, and the decisiveness of all actors in this branch; the will to even improve your activities.

I invite you to continue this solidarity with the micro-entrepreneurs, not just during the International Year of Microfinance, but also after 2005.
Only durable efforts will be rewarded with success!

I thank you for your attention.
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  #164  
Old 03-19-2005, 11:26 PM
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Thanks you so much Hannelore.
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  #165  
Old 03-20-2005, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannelore
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  #166  
Old 03-20-2005, 10:29 AM
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At the funeral of Josephine-Charlotte, their aunt.
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  #167  
Old 03-20-2005, 10:30 AM
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At the christmas concert
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  #168  
Old 03-20-2005, 10:42 AM
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We've reached that "magic" number.

Thank you to all for your contributions. You can find the new thread at http://www.theroyalforums.com/forums...912#post187912
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