"Let the poor find their dignity in labor; participate in social affairs equally; and create their own destinies through their own efforts." - Xiong Ning, June 26, 2007
Xiong Ning wrote that in a letter to Professor Yunus just before she was killed in a car accident on her way to distribute disaster releif supplies to the poor in Qinghai .
The letter goes on:
" As a Chinese person, I love my country very much and I shall "fight" like a soldier to change the status of China's poor people. Here I am wondering how I can start a Chinese Grameen Bank under present national conditions, and how this Chinese Grameen Bank, like your Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, is not just a bank, but it can care about all aspects of poor people. Let the poor find their dignity in labor; participate in social affairs equally; and create their own destinies through their own efforts."
And just one year later, Muhammad Yunus received that letter and responded:
Xiong Ning's passion for poverty alleviation reminds me of why we started Wokai. It is about helping people who do not have the resources to help themselves. It is not about the day-to-day trials and tribulations we face as a start-up non-profit: "What is the next fundraiser?" , "How do we recruit more volunteers?" "When will our website be done?", but instead about the end game: putting more capital in more people's hands to provide them with the opportunity to change the path of their existence.
Thank you Xiong Ning for reminding me of what it is all about. And thank you Muhammad Yunus for elevating Xiong Ning's story - and the need for China microfinance - to the world.