Professor Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for masterminding the development of Microcredit, widely acclaimed as one of the most effective tools for poverty alleviation.
Whilst it is becoming increasingly clear that microcredit is neither a universal panacea, nor, in fact, the entry point of personal enterprise that was hoped for, there is no doubt that, across the world, it remains one of the most valuable tools available for aid and development.
The innovation was one of the earliest examples of self help in a developing nation. And whilst Bangladesh, as a developing nation with much stacked against it, not least the virtual ‘ground zero’ devastation following its genocidal Liberation War in 1971, and the regular extreme weather disasters to which it is subjected, continues to be the world’s largest user of the home made programme of microcredit, it has more to show by the way of self help.
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed was the founder of what has become the world’s largest NGO, BRAC, whose ground breaking human development programmes, developed in Bangladesh, have now been taken up in many less developed nations across Asia and Africa.
Since sustainable tourism is now widely recognised as one of the most effective forms of development aid to less developed nations, it is perhaps unsurprising that Tiger Tours, a social enterprise initiative, home grown in Bangladesh, should offer visits to explore ground breaking aid and development initiatives in the nation where they began.
There are, perhaps, few things more inspiring than to be privileged to be close to the spectacle of helping people to help themselves. For many, it’s a life changing experience.