My organization, Umby, a peer-to-peer microinsurance startup, has a vision of ending poverty around the world. This is definitely an ambitious goal, but the hope is that microinsurance has the power to do just that. By allowing individuals living in poverty to invest in savings, education, and new ventures, microinsurance can break the poverty cycle and help whole generations of families.
While Umby is certainly not in a position to end poverty all by itself, we do have the opportunity to raise awareness of people living on less than $4 USD a day – the realities of their lives and, most importantly, what their needs are. In the US, we certainly have to face the reality of poverty in certain ways: walk down the street in any urban area in the country and you will see people living outside, many of whom are asking for our help. But it is still easy to ignore what poverty is really like for those that experience it, especially those that are living in a context that is vastly different than the one here in the US. I think one of the most valuable aspects of Umby’s work is the peer-to-peer aspect. The eventual platform will allow people with the resources to provide support to directly connect with those who would be receiving the microinsurance. This allows for powerful connections. It will raise awareness of the realities of international poverty to those of us who have the immense privilege of living in the US.
This has also been my role. As I reflected last week, my role as a Marketing Intern means that I am in charge of informing people who’ve never heard of microinsurance, as well as trying to bring to life the realities of living in some of the poorest countries in the world. I believe that this ties into the idea of raising awareness, and hopefully will lead to people making donations to support microinsurance for families experiencing poverty.
This is a small step towards ending international poverty. Of course, a simple raising of awareness is not going to be enough to end poverty, especially in countries where there is a lack of infrastructure and/or a corrupt, unstable government. However, I believe that getting privileged people interested in these conversations and issues is a wonderful step on the way towards reaching a poverty-free world. The more people are willing to work together to address these problems, the faster they will be eliminated.