Whole Planet to Alleviate Poverty in the World

Whole Planet Foundation is kicking off its 2012 Prosperity Campaign at Whole Foods Market, with the goal of raising $4.1 million to fund poverty alleviation projects across the globe and in the U.S.

Through Facebook, shoppers can submit a 25 – 350 word essay on how their small actions are making a big impact for a chance to win a trip for two to India from Intrepid Travel.

On this seven-day adventure, travelers will experience the power of microcredit firsthand as they meet with loan recipients and take in India’s vibrant sights, sounds and flavors.

[ Also Read: 10 Simple Reasons I Love My Country India ]

For details and to enter, visit facebook.com/wholeplanetfoundation and select the “Whole Planet Foundation: Small Change for Big Change” tab. The deadline to enter is March 18. Winners will be announced on April 2.

This year, in addition to growing its programs in developing-world communities, Whole Planet Foundation has expanded its partnership with Grameen America, a nonprofit microfinance organization that offers microloans to financially empower low-income entrepreneurs, by providing $850,000 in funding.

[ Also Read: Golden Age of Travel to Create Jobs Globally ]

With no collateral, credit history or a contract required, microloans offer many low-income women their first chance to gain financial independence, launch their own businesses and start a new life.

Prosperity from their food carts, door-to-door cosmetic sales, at-home bakeries and flower shops are helping women provide healthier meals, better housing and a solid education for themselves and their children.

[ Also Read: Sexy Bikinis to Create Jobs in South Africa ]

The 2012 Prosperity Campaign runs through March 31. To get involved, shoppers can enjoy fundraising opportunities at Whole Foods Market locations in the U.S. – from wine tastings, fashion shows and silent auctions, to charity races and microbrewry events – or donate their small change for big change at store checkouts and online at wholeplanetfoundation.org.

To date, Whole Planet Foundation says it has committed more than $26.5 million and disbursed more than $15.5 million through microfinance partners in 50 countries, positively impacting more than a million people worldwide.

In the picture above: Diyarbakir, a microcredit client of Whole Planet Foundation partner Turkish Grameen Microcredit Program, used her loan to expand her goat farming business in Turkey. Photo courtesy of Whole Planet Foundation / Diane Bondareff.

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