I first heard of Dr. Yunus sometime after 2006 when he had won the Nobel Peace Prize for his “efforts to create economic and social development from below.” If you haven’t heard of Dr. Yunus, that description doesn’t even begin to tell the story of the way his life’s work has positively impacted so many people.
From the Nobel Committee announcement, “Muhammad Yunus has shown himself to be a leader who has managed to translate visions into practical action for the benefit of millions of people, not only in Bangladesh, but also in many other countries. Loans to poor people without any financial security had appeared to be an impossible idea. From modest beginnings three decades ago, Yunus has, first and foremost through Grameen Bank, developed micro-credit into an ever more important instrument in the struggle against poverty.”
In a 2005 speech Dr. Yunus said, “. . . .each individual person is very important. Each person has tremendous potential. She alone can influence the lives of others within communities, nations-within and beyond her own time. Each of us has much more hidden inside of us than what we have had a chance to explore so far. Unless we create [an] enabling environment to discover the limits of our potential–we will never know what we have inside of us. [This program] has given me an unshakable faith in the creativity of human beings. That leads me to believe that human beings are not born to suffer the misery of hunger and poverty. They suffer now and did in the past because we turn our mind away from the issue.”