[Not so] Out of my element
Anthropology and International Peace Studies do not necessarily lend themselves to careers in banking, or more specifically micro-finance. At least, that is what I thought while meditating on my areas of expertise upon receiving my NGO placement at Aastha Credit Co-Operative Society Ltd. before leaving the country. Though acquiring an understanding of the loans and savings packages, along with various other inter-workings of micro-finance took time, Aastha's focus on women's empowerment through their Self-Help Group loan structure allowed me to tap into my passions for developmental studies and women's empowerment. I felt more at home than I had anticipated, and witnessing economic empowerment opened my eyes to the power it holds as a vehicle for female empowerment. Over the course of the summer, my site parter and I supplied text and media for Aastha's newly unveiled website, and conducted field research on best Self-Help Group practices, the findings of which culminated in a training video for Aastha's beneficiaries.