Shilmundi is a village in southeastern Bangladesh, very nearly the poorest and certainly the most densely populated country in the world. The inhabitants of Shilmundi live on the edge of poverty, for the big banks in Bangladesh -- like so many other banks around the world -- don't lend money to the rural poor.
But the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee does. Set up to fight the overwhelming poverty of the 1970s, it's now the largest lender of micro-credit loans in the world. Three million village poor, virtually all women, take out loans of up to $300 a year, and there's a 90% repayment rate.
Credit Where Credit is Due recounts how taking out a loan revolutionized the lives of village women Jahanara, Bilkis, Nargis, Minara, Majeda and Shonda -- not only increasing their incomes but also helping to improve their, and their children's, health.
The producer of this program has collected extensive resources at www.tve.org/life/archive/life16main.html
The other titles in the series are:
1. Life: The Story So Far - How the globalized world economy affects ordinary people.
2. Geraldo Off-Line - Globalized economy affects Brazilian factory worker.
3. From Docklands to Dhaka - English MD travels to Bangladesh to improve community health.
4. An Act of Faith: The Phelophepa Health Train - A group of health professionals tours the most deprived regions of South Africa providing care.
5. The Philadelphia Story - Globalized economy affects American jobs.
6. The Boxer - Young male looks to escape Mexican poverty by becoming a boxer in the United States.
7. The Seattle Syndrome - Were the WTO protesters right in their effort to protect workers and the environment from exploitation?
8. The Right to Choose - Women are denied human rights in Ethiopia and northern Nigeria.
9. At the End of a Gun: Women and War - The devastating effect that the civil war in Sri Lanka is having on women.
10. The Summit - The UN General Assembly meets to review progress on social justice worldwide.
11. All Different, All Equal - Examines progress in women's rights globally.
12. India Inhales - Activists combat tobacco companies that target India.
13. The Silver Age - Growing population of elderly worldwide seeks purpose and care.
14. The Cost of Living - AIDS drugs unaffordable in developing countries.
15. The Posse - Rap group in Sao Paulo, Brazil, expresses social problems.
17. Regopstaan's Dream - Bushmen fight to live on ancestral land in South Africa.
18. Untouchable? - The caste system and bonded labor are still alive and well in India.
19. Because They're Worth It - Micro-credit, education, health information, and hope provided to impoverished Chinese.
20. For a Few Pennies More - Iodine deficiency causes health problems in Indonesia.
21. In the Name of Honour - Kurdish women fight for their rights in Northern Iraq.
22. God Among the Children - Community organization works with at-risk youth in Boston.
23. Without Rights - Palestinians are denied human rights.
24. Lost Generations - Poor health and poverty condemn people in India to sub-standard lives.
25. Educating Lucia - The odds are against girls getting an education in Zimbabwe and throughout much of Africa.
26. A-OK? - Examines prospects for Vitamin A distribution programs in Guatemala and Ghana necessary for children's health.
27. Bolivian Blues - Explores the success of new initiative to reduce widespread poverty.
28. The Outsiders - Explores the moral and economic dilemmas that adolescents face in the Ukraine today.
29. The Debt Police - Uganda seeks external debt relief and fights internal corruption.
30. The On-going Story - Final episode examines the international community's commitment to linking social and economic development with human rights.
NOTE: A second series called City Life is now available.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2000
Copyright Date: 2000
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-480-X
VHS ISBN: 1-56029-855-3
"Whereas globalization has concentrated unprecedented wealth among the rich, micro-credit programs have stimulated inspiring self-sufficiency among those stranded by the new economy."
Timothy McGettigan, Professor of Sociology, University of Southern Colorado
"Shows that aid programs do not have to be capital intensive and for major projects. Instead it brings out the uniqueness and effectiveness of Bangladesh's rural credit system...A useful discussion on the socioeconomic impact of economically empowering women and the consequences for gender relations."
Dr. Amit Gupta, Stonehill College