Stories from our team
I am a computer science student who joined MMI last year. I worked with a microfinance company which attempted to alleviate poverty through giving small loans to disadvantaged people.
My team and I measured how much this program improved the lives of loan recipients. Through MMI I was given two rare opportunities - to use computer science for social impact and to learn about social impact from my colleagues and the microfinance company.
In my degree, I found that my subjects didn’t always concern itself with social impact. It was great to be able to utilise specialist knowledge of systems and code for something that actually impacted human beings. It gave me a sense I was helping a good cause. Most of all, I think my team and the rest of the MMI committee was what made the experience extremely memorable. I’ve learned a great deal from my team members, of which some had worked in NGOs and in a Central Bank. I’ve also never met a group that of people so passionate and motivated about social impact and helping people in need, and I learn new things from them all the time. MMI, had most of all, helped me grow professionally and as a person.
- Kyaw was part of the Samoa Initiative and is studying a Bachelor of Science
Being a part of the Initiatives team has managed to teach me a lot about the ever-emerging development issues in our era. Interacting with organisations at the forefront of development has given me exposure to real challenges in the implementation of any development strategy, in particular, microfinancing. Working on the ground has given me a fresh perspective on the matter.
On top of that, I was able to develop project management skills that required me to plan, delegate and execute tasks. Some projects even gave me the opportunity to apply specific concepts learned in my curriculum as an Economics and Finance major. MMI also provided the opportunity to get mentorship from industry professionals and academics on projects. The best part is, all of it is transferable in the workplace.
- Afzal was part of the Indonesia Initiative and graduated from a Bachelor of Commerce
Last year, I was able to go to Samoa with my MMI team. I learnt so much about microfinance and development, and was able to apply the theory that I have studied in class to the real world. In addition, I was able to explore Samoa with a diverse group of students and work with Samoans to better understand their country. As an Arts student completing a minor in Development Studies, I am grateful for my firsthand experience in the discipline, something that I would not have been able to obtain with other university groups.
- Alessandra was part of the Samoa Initiative and is studying a Bachelor of Arts
People we impact
Minga is the owner of a roadside shop selling bananas in the village of Comoro, Timor Leste. Our Initiative team met and interviewed Minga during their project trip. Timor Leste has had a tumultuous history, soon after gaining independence in 1975, they were invaded by Indonesia and fought a 25-year war of independence. In families like Minga’s, many people lost their lives during the war. Minga is now the primary income earner in her family, and supports ten dependents on her profits of $2 a day. Minga is one of the microfinance clients that MMI has assisted in Timor Leste.
Maria is the owner of a roadship shop selling goods in the village of Terra-Santa, Timor Leste. Our Initiative team found Maria throughout the different sucos and aldeias in the village. In shops like Maria’s, women sell goods such as shampoo, rice, coffee and toilet paper. Maria is the primary income earner in her family, and supports a household of nine. After providing for the food and education of the household, Maria has about $5 a week left to save. Maria is one of the microfinance clients that MMI has helped in Timor Leste.