It is sad but true that at this day and age, there are still people who believe that the poor deserve to be poor because they are stupid and lazy. The Joe Johnson Mercy Foundation prefers to heed the words of Abraham Lincoln, “I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” Instead of condemning them or being condescending towards them, the Joe Johnson Mercy Foundation truly believes that the poor are actually capable of escaping poverty and even thrive if they are just given the chance and a little bit of help.

The Mission Statement of the Mercy Foundation

When it comes down to what anyone could do to support poverty alleviation, many shy away because the problem of poverty is so huge and its causes so complex. However, Joe Johnson’s Mercy Foundation aims high. Indeed, its mission statement reads, “To become the leading life improvement organization by helping people in need learn how to create a brighter future and more productive life for themselves, their families and their communities.” It tries to stay true to its lofty goal by giving micro loans to the poor, many living in Third World countries to start or expand their businesses. The foundation differs from most other charity organizations because it does not rely on donations. Rather, it disburses micro loans and reinvests the interest back into other micro loans. This way, the whole system is self sustaining, unlike the donations system that has to continually rely on donations coming in. The 99 percent repayment rate of micro loans and abundance of success stories prove that the poor are indeed not lazy and stupid. They simply need a chance and a little bit of help to improve their living conditions.

Meet Paula from Nicaragua

Paula, now forty years old, is used to struggling just for the bare necessities. Denied an education due to her poverty stricken family not able to afford school fees, she had to start working from a very young age. Wanting to help both herself and her family, Paula started a small grocery store in her hometown, selling local staples like rice, beans, milk, bread, fruits, vegetables, soft drinks, sugar and so on. As word of mouth started to spread about her products, more customers came and asked Paula if she could also sell other products. Paula is eager to satisfy her customers’ demands, but she lacks the necessary funds to buy the extra items. This is the time when a micro loan from the Mercy Foundation would do wonder s for her grocery store business. It is obvious that Paula is neither lazy nor stupid. Her lack of extra funds is due to her circumstances, not her ability or personality. The mercy Foundation would be more than happy to give a micro loan to Paula so that she would be able to expand her small business, make more profits and help her family improve their quality of life.