Why I’m grateful this Thanksgiving season

Michael Schlein with Lidya team in Lagos, Nigeria.

As we gather with our families for Thanksgiving this week in the United States, I want to thank the people who have helped Accion give others the financial tools they need to build better lives.

Accion’s supporters and partners helped us provide savings, insurance, credit, payments, and other high-quality financial services to those in need. These tools make it easier for ailing people to purchase medicine, for families to pay tuition, for entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses; they provide our clients with some measure of protection against life’s inevitable challenges.

Over the past year, our work has helped Accion make a difference all around the world by:

  • Ensuring that over 30 million Indian families and entrepreneurs could launch businesses, purchase homes, and hire more employees through our partnership with IFMR Holdings.
  • Helping South Africans with HIV and diabetes obtain insurance and receive medical treatments through our partnership with AllLife.
  • Using satellite imagery to help African farmers grow more food and raise better crops by supporting Apollo.
  • Setting higher standards for global microfinance, ensuring that more than 40 million clients could rely on fair pricing, transparency, and complaint resolution by promoting the Smart Campaign, the world’s first global financial protection standard.

Even in the best of years, these achievements would mean a great deal. Yet natural disasters — earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes — made 2017 especially difficult for our partners, their employees, and their clients in Mexico, Peru, India, and even in the U.S. These events reminded us that our clients are among the world’s most vulnerable people; they need insurance, savings, credit, and other essential financial tools. These basic tools help families and businesses get back on their feet, get back to work, and provide for their children.

To all of our supporters and partners: thank you! We could not do our work without you.

As we look ahead to 2018, we ask you for your continued support. Whether it’s entrepreneurs in India, patients in South Africa, or farmers in Kenya, we can work together to make an important difference in peoples’ lives and ensure that they have the tools they need to thrive.

Again, thank you and happy holidays.

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