The blue sweater book pdf
The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline NovogratzThis is a thought-provoking, intense memoir by Novogratz as she recounts leaving her high-profile First World banking job in order to travel to the Third World to seek the causes and solutions of extreme poverty, eventually spending years in Rwanda, Pakistan and India, while intermittently taking up further training back in the USA.
It all started with the Blue Sweater that she gave away to Goodwill, a charitable institution – 11 years later, she spotted the same sweater on a little, poor boy in Africa while on a visit there – and thus began her journey, brought by the belief that the inter-connected world can affect everyone in ways never imagined.
Freshly graduated, with little skills, resources or insight, she jumped into the continent of Africa with a steely resolve to make a difference, to use her privileged life in a way that could alleviate the sufferings of the poorest of the poor.
Spending two years in Rwanda, focusing on empowering women economically, she realized why millions of dollars in charity did little to solve poverty – despite Rwanda being almost corruption-free, peaceful and inhabited by a hard-working, diligent population. Learning to navigate through the difficulties, she, along with other women, set up Duterimbere, a microfinance institution that not only succeeded, but grew to be the biggest institution in the next 20 years in Rwanda, simultaneously liberating women economically and raising a significant population over the poverty-line.
Away in the USA for further training during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, she returns there periodically over the next 10 years to understand how people who had lived all their lives as neighbours and even spouses could kill each other. And the numbers were horrible – 8,00,000 Rwandans were killed in a span of 3 months, destroying completely the economy and any hope of reconstruction. And yet, Rwanda prospered once again.
Later, she worked in Pakistan as well as India, setting up the Acumen Fund, observing how different initiatives were hugely successful there in providing quality services to the very poor despite limited resources and immense corruption.
To summarize, the memoir talks about her changing perspectives about poverty, its reasons and its solutions. She talks lucidly, from a practical, rather than a theoretical/intellectual perspective the hurdles in the path of poverty alleviation, and how empowerment of the poor themselves is the most successful idea in the long run.
Empowerment to her is inclusive of various aspects – trust-building, economic, cultural, health services, allocation and management of resources, affordable innovations, investment and philanthropy. Her observations on philanthropy and why it fails despite its best intentions is particularly insightful.
As she herself said, “Solutions to poverty must be driven by discipline, accountability and market-strength, not easy sentimentality. It is about building solutions from the perspective of the poor people themselves rather than imposing grand theories and plans upon them.”
Written in a very lucid, simple way, the book is an invaluable study into the work of a handful of dedicated individuals across the world bent upon making the world a better place for the most unprivileged by listening to them closely and applying common sense and hard work to alleviate their inhuman conditions of life. And in the process, she also draws my embarrassed attention to my passivity, my lack of significant contribution to the squalor around me.
Jacqueline Shares Her Blue Sweater Story
The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World
Jacqueline Novogratz born is an American entrepreneur and author. She is the founder and CEO of Acumen , a non-profit global venture capital fund whose goal is to use entrepreneurial approaches to address global poverty. Jacqueline Novogratz was born in  in the US, the eldest of seven children. Army , and her mother, Barbara, ran an antiques business. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia , where she studied economics and international relations. Novogratz started her career at Chase Manhattan Bank in ,  as an international credit analyst.
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Look Inside. Feb 16, ISBN The Blue Sweater is the inspiring story of a woman who left a career in international banking to spend her life on a quest to understand global poverty and find powerful new ways of tackling it. It all started back home in Virginia, with the blue sweater, a gift that quickly became her prized possession—until the day she outgrew it and gave it away to Goodwill. Eleven years later in Africa, she spotted a young boy wearing that very sweater, with her name still on the tag inside. That the sweater had made its trek all the way to Rwanda was ample evidence, she thought, of how we are all connected, how our actions—and inaction—touch people every day across the globe, people we may never know or meet.