The 'Yes' Lens

Emily Wanderer's picture and story blog of saying "YES" to new experiences and perspectives.
Even gluten-freers can have a ‘beer’ at work #lunchbreak Congrats @toochy_girl !!!

Even gluten-freers can have a ‘beer’ at work #lunchbreak Congrats @toochy_girl !!!

My office is made out of containers; how amazing is that?!

My office is made out of containers; how amazing is that?!

#worlddomination #yoga #pdx

#worlddomination #yoga #pdx

#ElevatingImpact summit today! Gun Denhart discussing impact innovations at @mercycorps I’m proud to be wearing my Mercy Corps name tag today! :)

#ElevatingImpact summit today! Gun Denhart discussing impact innovations at @mercycorps I’m proud to be wearing my Mercy Corps name tag today! :)

desert-dreamer:

The silent recolonisation of #Africa is happening on a mass scale via land grabbing. The new #colonisation is dressed in the language of economic development, but is doing the opposite. There are further plans to ease land ownership laws across the continent to favour foreign multinationals. And the #African Union and our own governments are complicit in this plan. What can people do besides protest? The first Africa Conference on #LandGrab is set to take place in South Africa on 27–30 Oct. 2014.

Organizations and entrepreneurs are working on tech solutions to this global problem. Like colonization, land grabbing, takes productive land from smallholder farmers and rural communities, changing economics and much more. Check out TerraTek: http://i-lab.harvard.edu/venture-incubation/resident-teams/terratek

desert-dreamer:

The silent recolonisation of #Africa is happening on a mass scale via land grabbing. The new #colonisation is dressed in the language of economic development, but is doing the opposite. There are further plans to ease land ownership laws across the continent to favour foreign multinationals. And the #African Union and our own governments are complicit in this plan. What can people do besides protest? The first Africa Conference on #LandGrab is set to take place in South Africa on 27–30 Oct. 2014.

Organizations and entrepreneurs are working on tech solutions to this global problem. Like colonization, land grabbing, takes productive land from smallholder farmers and rural communities, changing economics and much more. Check out TerraTek: http://i-lab.harvard.edu/venture-incubation/resident-teams/terratek

Happy Mother’s Day to the women who gave me my goof, kept me grounded—who works tirelessly for her family, and dedicated her life in and out of work to better the community she lives in. I just hope I can be half as amazing as she is.❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Happy Mother’s Day to the women who gave me my goof, kept me grounded—who works tirelessly for her family, and dedicated her life in and out of work to better the community she lives in. I just hope I can be half as amazing as she is.❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

🌷Run…just for fun.

globalmatters:

Alleviating Poverty, One Visa Transaction at a Time
Visa employee shares how her work helps increase financial inclusion in her home country 
For Lorna Atiles, the last 20 years at Visa have been an adventurous ride full of passion, commitment and conviction.  
“I was there the day we distributed the cards to the very first group of beneficiaries. The expression of gratitude in those faces is something I will never forget.”
Lorna is originally from Moca, Dominican Republic, a town with nearly 174,000 people and best known for its agricultural production and strong political background. Her path to Visa was via Banco Popular, which continues to be one of Visa’s most prominent clients in the region. Today, she is Senior Business Development Leader for the Caribbean, responsible for managing relationships with more than 200 financial institutions. She also identifies new business opportunities and potential sales leads, and develops strategic plans that speak to current economic and regulatory landscapes as well as prospective client negotiations. But it was one accomplishment while at Visa that makes her glow with pride.
Alleviating poverty
In 2004, the new President elect in the Dominican Republic commissioned a pilot program later called Solidaridad, which would help alleviate the imminent issue of poverty. The Solidaridad program currently provides funds to those in need within different categories – gas (home and transportation), health, education, food, and others.
Visa had a solid footprint in the market and processed domestic transactions through VisaNet since the 80’s. Visa was brought on board to work with ADDESS (the newly created Subsidy Administration Agency) and the United Nations to help with this pilot. And Lorna was tapped to help get the project off the ground.
“I remember the very first meeting on Solidaridad,” said Lorna. “Someone asked me early on in the negotiations, ‘You think this segment will be able to use plastic, and much less at the point of sale?’ I told them “Of course, if Dominicans go to live abroad and prosper, what makes you think they won’t learn how to use a card?” 
Lorna was right about card usage. Not only have Dominicans become accustomed to using Visa’s Solidaridad debit cards for subsidy support at the point-of-sale, they now adopt electronic payments for commercial transactions. 
More than a pilot
After its initial roll out with 200,000 cards in circulation and massive promotional and educational efforts in place, the program became a reality for the Dominican Republic’s government and for all involved. 
“I was there the day we distributed the cards to the very first group of beneficiaries,” she said. “The expression of gratitude in those faces is something I will never forget. I realized then, the extent of the problem [poverty] in my own country, and became immediately vested in defending the integrity of the program so that the best interest of the beneficiary remained at the top of everyone’s agenda.” 
Through the Solidaridad Program, thousands of mom and pop shops, known as colmados, became terminalized to accept the cards where the subsidies were being distributed. Expanding acceptance across the territory raised the entrepreneurial bar, and meant that Visa had to answer to a separate set of needs - formation, constant assistance and high-level servicing.  
Support and survival
After nine years, the Solidaridad Program has nearly 1 million issued cards. Lorna attributes much of the success to the unfaltering commitment of all parties involved to solve for the need of the Dominican people. 
“It is so gratifying to see how much the program has grown through the years,” she said. “As a Visa employee, I am honored to be part of the team that pioneered the program. I am thankful that we [Visa] never lost sight of what we needed to achieve, and opted to do great by doing good.” 

globalmatters:

Alleviating Poverty, One Visa Transaction at a Time

Visa employee shares how her work helps increase financial inclusion in her home country 

For Lorna Atiles, the last 20 years at Visa have been an adventurous ride full of passion, commitment and conviction.  

“I was there the day we distributed the cards to the very first group of beneficiaries. The expression of gratitude in those faces is something I will never forget.”

Lorna is originally from Moca, Dominican Republic, a town with nearly 174,000 people and best known for its agricultural production and strong political background. Her path to Visa was via Banco Popular, which continues to be one of Visa’s most prominent clients in the region. Today, she is Senior Business Development Leader for the Caribbean, responsible for managing relationships with more than 200 financial institutions. She also identifies new business opportunities and potential sales leads, and develops strategic plans that speak to current economic and regulatory landscapes as well as prospective client negotiations. But it was one accomplishment while at Visa that makes her glow with pride.

Alleviating poverty

In 2004, the new President elect in the Dominican Republic commissioned a pilot program later called Solidaridad, which would help alleviate the imminent issue of poverty. The Solidaridad program currently provides funds to those in need within different categories – gas (home and transportation), health, education, food, and others.

Visa had a solid footprint in the market and processed domestic transactions through VisaNet since the 80’s. Visa was brought on board to work with ADDESS (the newly created Subsidy Administration Agency) and the United Nations to help with this pilot. And Lorna was tapped to help get the project off the ground.

“I remember the very first meeting on Solidaridad,” said Lorna. “Someone asked me early on in the negotiations, ‘You think this segment will be able to use plastic, and much less at the point of sale?’ I told them “Of course, if Dominicans go to live abroad and prosper, what makes you think they won’t learn how to use a card?” 

Lorna was right about card usage. Not only have Dominicans become accustomed to using Visa’s Solidaridad debit cards for subsidy support at the point-of-sale, they now adopt electronic payments for commercial transactions. 

More than a pilot

After its initial roll out with 200,000 cards in circulation and massive promotional and educational efforts in place, the program became a reality for the Dominican Republic’s government and for all involved. 

“I was there the day we distributed the cards to the very first group of beneficiaries,” she said. “The expression of gratitude in those faces is something I will never forget. I realized then, the extent of the problem [poverty] in my own country, and became immediately vested in defending the integrity of the program so that the best interest of the beneficiary remained at the top of everyone’s agenda.” 

Through the Solidaridad Program, thousands of mom and pop shops, known as colmados, became terminalized to accept the cards where the subsidies were being distributed. Expanding acceptance across the territory raised the entrepreneurial bar, and meant that Visa had to answer to a separate set of needs - formation, constant assistance and high-level servicing.  

Support and survival

After nine years, the Solidaridad Program has nearly 1 million issued cards. Lorna attributes much of the success to the unfaltering commitment of all parties involved to solve for the need of the Dominican people. 

“It is so gratifying to see how much the program has grown through the years,” she said. “As a Visa employee, I am honored to be part of the team that pioneered the program. I am thankful that we [Visa] never lost sight of what we needed to achieve, and opted to do great by doing good.” 

Loving #NewSeasons even more! These new tags help customers buy from companies that do good for the world. (at New Seasons Market)

Loving #NewSeasons even more! These new tags help customers buy from companies that do good for the world. (at New Seasons Market)

Repost EverGift Blog: “The DREAM Project + EverGift Go Social!”

Over the past 3 years, EverGift and its long time friend, The DREAM Project, located the Dominican Republic, have been slowly cooking up the idea of partnership. In Fall 2013, everything fell together when a very special group of students entered The DREAM Project’s A Ganar program, a Partners of the Americas program focusing on reintegrating at-risk-youth into school or work. Twelve women were chosen to go through caregiver training; upon completion of the program in June 2014, each will have certifications from the Dominican Republic Ministry of Health as well as English language classes and Montessori Child Development technique training. These abilities are virtually unheard-of among Dominican childcare workers, though parents in our surveys stated they would pay $12.50 per hour for an on-demand sitter with these skills (that’s up from $1.25/hr, the regional average for full time nannies.) With tourism growing and tourist services making up the principal GDP in this region, there is certainly demand and great opportunity for these women to capitalize on. 

In January 2014, TRIUM Legacy Fund stepped up to distribute loan funds for the development of a nanny association made up of A Ganar students. One exeptional A Ganar student has shown great entrepreneurial spirit: she as well as another star employee was selected to lead the start-up efforts. EverGift Program Coordinator Emily Wanderer (and author of this blog post), has been working hands-on with the two leaders, the group of student caregivers and other staff at A Ganar to get the association off the ground. 

There has been great head-way over the last two weeks. One short week from now, EverGift will be hands-off and the students will continue setting up their business plan, working on contracts, and will present their completed project proposal to the TRIUM + EverGift Action Representative on April 15th in hope receiving an interest-free loan to cover start-up costs. If successful, the business is set to begin placing nannies with families between Puerto Plata and Cabarete this coming June. While we’re proud that this is the first association of nannies in the region, we are also proud to announce that the association is by all definitions a social business

Please stay tuned to find out more about what makes this a social business and much more!