power of helping the poor learn practical skills, start livelihoods and save
– Trickle Up (www.trickleup.org), an international poverty
alleviation organization that empowers people living on less than $1.25 a day to take the first
steps out of poverty, has released a documentary that profiles the impact of its work and the
people it affects.
“The Test of Poverty” follows two women living in extreme poverty in West Bengal, India, as
they participate in Trickle Up’s program and work to change the effects that generations of
poverty have had on their families’ lives. The film shows that addressing the needs of the ultra
poor – those living on less than $1.25 day – involves more than just providing them with capital,
and must be viewed through a wider lens. The film also captures the powerful effects that
increased self‐confidence and empowerment that come from participating in Trickle Up’s
program have in helping women break the vicious cycle of extreme poverty.
As the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty approaches on October 17th, “The Test
of Poverty” underscores the theme designated by the United Nations: "From Poverty to Decent
Work: bridging the gap." According to the UN, this day of observance comes at a time when
people living in poverty are even more uncertain about employment stability, working
conditions, training opportunities and the availability of social protection.
“The Test of Poverty” was directed by Gautam Bose and produced with support from the
Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), which is spearheading a global effort to
understand how safety nets, livelihoods, and microfinance can be sequenced to create
pathways for the poorest to graduate out of extreme poverty.
Trickle Up takes a comprehensive approach to addressing the needs of the ultra poor. The
organization provides seed capital, training and savings support to kick‐start microenterprises
and create a savings habit that endures. The grants buy things like tools, seeds and fertilizer,
and goats—assets that help build income and stability. The savings groups work like community
banks; the members save money, make loans to each other, and pay interest that grows the
group fund. In 2009 alone, Trickle Up served over 10,000 new participants. Each new or
expanded enterprise impacts five lives, which means over 55,000 lives have been touched.Launching on the eve of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, film showcases the power of helping the poor learn practical skills, start livelihoods and save.
The Test of Poverty shows how Trickle Up helps the ultra-poor holistically and with lasting results.
To view a shorter 4 minute version, please visit: