Natalie Portman is giving speeches in American colleges trying to increase the visibility of microfinacing as a solution to world poverty. She spoke at Stanford last night to a sold out crowd who were glad someone with such fame is bringing attention to the world of microfinance. The movie star has served as Ambassador of Hope for the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA International) since 2003 when she graduated from Harvard.
Microfinancing focuses on making small loans available to people in poverty with the aim of allowing them to set up ways to start earning money themselves, or to escape harmful home lives. FINCA is especially focused on women. Portman said, “When you meet a mother who is forced to sign a letter with a thumb print because she can’t read or write and then you meet her daughter who is graduating from university to go to med school, this change all in one generation is simply overwhelming. And it’s only because of microfinance.”