How does a cooperative benefit poor people
The money - good cause or bad mammon? - Part 2
The service on this Sunday was prepared by a team. Everyone has made their own thoughts on the topic. This resulted in three small contributions. This article is by Lydia Salge, the articles by Jürgen Gabriel and Udo Kelle can be found under the links (please click on the name).
From rich grain farmers - Oikocredit investment
The story of the rich grain farmer can teach us that happiness does not lie in greed and hoarding money. Someone has amassed a fortune and now he thinks he has made good provisions for the future. But we don't know what the future will bring.
Nowadays our savings, our assets, can be wiped out, e.g. by catastrophes, financial crises or pandemics. The rich grain farmer could have enjoyed his abundance right away!
But enjoying something alone doesn't make you happy either. Happiness and enjoyment can only be achieved in a social context, in a community. The Bible teaches us that we collect treasure from God when we give away some of our wealth when we share with others.
Now, once again, to prepare for the future: It certainly makes sense to save money, make provisions and invest the money that you don't currently need. But one shouldn't act as selfishly as the rich grain farmer! One shouldn't think: what brings in the most? One can also think: Where can I do something good with my money?
This brings me to a specific matter, a form of investment that is possible today and in which I invest money so that it benefits poor people.
I would like to introduce them briefly:
It is the ecumenical development cooperative, or “Oikocredit” for short, which has existed since 1980. It's an international credit union. People in Germany and Europe give a certain amount of money, from € 200 to a lot, to the Oikocredit cooperative as an investment, not as a donation. Oikocredit gives this money to partner organizations in 60 countries around the world that invest in local projects in Africa, Asia and South America. Such projects generate profit, e.g. agricultural cooperatives, craft cooperatives and also microfinance organizations that use a loan from Oikocredit to grant small loans to individuals or groups who otherwise have no access to credit.
The projects must be of such a nature that it can be expected that the loan granted will increase their productivity to the extent that repayment of the loan and the agreed interest will be possible.
Most of Oikocredit's projects are successful, stable and profitable. If the economic situation is good, Oikocredit can pay its investors a dividend - never higher than 2%, for 2019 due to the corona development 0%.
Oikocredit regularly informs its investors about the development of the projects. This is how you learn about the people you lend your money to. You can cancel your participation in Oikocredit at any time and get the money back.
The motto is: How money becomes GOOD money.
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