Teach People How to Fish Instead of Giving them Fish

Joe Johnson Mercy Foundation truly believes in the old and well known saying above. This is the main reason why his Mercy Foundation does not rely on donations. Donations have to be sustained by either present donors continuously giving money, or the foundation has to convince new people to donate. Joseph Johnson believes that the best method to help reduce poverty all over the world is to be self sustaining. What’s more, the poor themselves are capable of pulling themselves out of poverty when given the chance. The CEO of the Welfont Group, Joseph Johnson uses the profits from his business as micro loans disbursed through the Mercy Foundation to help the poor start or improve their businesses. For many of the poor living in poverty in Third World countries, micro loans like the ones given by the Mercy Foundation could indeed be a lifeline. They could spell the difference between having enough food or starving.


The Philosophy of the Mercy Foundation

The Mercy Foundation firmly believes that the poor should be given the opportunity to create capital instead of just relying on donations from well meaning donors just so they would be able to buy their bare necessities. Joseph Johnson is confident that the poor are perfectly capable of starting and growing their own businesses. All they need is a little bit of financial help. The Mercy Foundation is also very proud to announce that the repayment rate on its micro loans is a staggering 99 percent. While typical banks view giving loans to the poor as risky as they do not trust them to repay their loans, the 99 percent repayment rate has proven that the poor are trustworthy and capable of taking care of themselves when given the chance. Moreover, the practice of lending micro loans would help the poor practice and hone their business acumen, a skill that would serve them well in the future, however their circumstances change.

The Long Arm of the Mercy Foundation

The Mercy Foundation regularly gives out micro loans to the poor living in all six continents and across more than fifty countries. Its micro loans have been used to support small businesses across a wide range of industries like transportation, wholesale, construction, education, art, health, and so on. One example is what Nani, 51 years old, wants to do with her micro loan. Hailing from Georgia, the wife and mother to one daughter needs extra cash to purchase more milk cows. As of now, her family already owns four milk cows and four calves. Nani milks the cows and uses the milk to make cheese products. Her family also tends a nut garden and a small plot of land for growing maize. If Nani received the micro loan her family needs very badly, she will be able to buy more milk cows that would help the whole family increase their sales. Nani’s family is hoping that the increased profits would afford them to be able to renovate their dilapidated old house.