Microfinance School


How can poor get out of poverty? This is their daily survival question. Through six short documentary films you will meet poor in Bolivia, Mali, Uganda and Bangladesh that try to obtain a better life through microfinance. Some manage. Some fall into debt. There is no magical solution, only hard work. The films will put what you learn from the news into a broader context.

There is written vast amount of articles and books about microfinance over the last decade. It was in many ways presented as the ultimate instrument to reduce poverty worldwide. Microfinance was in-cluded in most organizations in the global aid and development sector, and from there more and more common also in financial institutions. It became huge. But what goes up, must come down. Today microfinance draws a lot of critical attention. It was not the magic solution to end poverty so many hoped. Some can’t repay their loans and have sunk even deeper into poverty. The interest charged is often many times the rates in commercial banks.

“Microfinance School” offers information for the next stage in this process. Microfinance is neither good nor bad, but one of several tools for those involved in the survival question: How to bring poor out of poverty. This will never be easy, and there are no fixed solutions. In these films you meet people that work directly with microfinance either as borrowers or lenders. It is there sto-ries and explanations we must listen to get the broader understanding of logics of poverty and how to fight against it.

Strømme Foundation and Snöball Film AS initiated the project.

Strømme Foundation is a Norwegian international development organization helping poor people in the global South. Our vision is a world free from poverty. Our two most important tools are educa-tion and microfinance. By providing people with knowledge and skills, the possibility to save and ac-cess to small loans, we give them the ladder leading out of poverty. But the poor have to climb it themselves. This is what we call “Help for self-help”.

Snöball Film AS is Norway’s leading production company of educational films. Our vision is to pro-duce films that can contribute to the broader understanding of complicated mechanisms in society, science and economy. Our films are non-commercial and free to use in all forms.