PovertyCure is a project I have been leading for the last several years and I invite you take a look.
When we see poverty, our first reaction is often to ask, “What can I do?” But the better question is “How do people in the developing world create prosperity for their families and communities? The goal of the PovertyCure project is to re-frame the discussion about poverty around the centrality of the human person created in the image of God with creative capacity and to encourage entrepreneurial solutions to poverty.
The project consists of several elements:
Introduction to the Series
- The PovertyCure DVD-Series is 152 minute, 6-part documentary style series that I directed and hosted. My colleagues and I did close to 200 interviews and filmed in 20 countries. Simon Scionka did a beautiful job with the filming and editing. I produced this together with Jim Fitzgerald and ColdWater Media. Have a look at their portfolio.
- A rich website with issue pages, a blog and short video clips, podcasts, and links to our partners and social media. We now have over 1 million followers on Facebook
- An international network of over 300 organizations doing work in over 140 countries. If you are looking to get involved, whether it be with helping orphans or building businesses the network is a good place to start.
- Library with recommended reading including the PovertyCure Book Series on topics including Fair Trade coffee, foreign aid, and globalization
Episode 1: Charity that Hurts
Episode 2: SMEs and the Missing Middle
“The solution to poverty the world has been seeking. Innovative, challenging and beautiful, PovertyCure will touch your heart and transform your life -and the lives of countless others.”
— Raymond Arroyo, New York Times Best Selling Author, Host of The World Over Live
“There is no better resource for churches and individuals who want to make an impact on poverty than the PovertyCure DVD Series. Calling us to consider root causes of poverty, the PovertyCure curriculum helps us to identify our role to bring about lasting change, dignity, and eternal hope to individuals living in poverty around the world. Watch this series and be inspired by solutions that actually work.”
— Peter Greer, President & CEO of Hope International (Pennsylvania)
“An amazing journey … Michael Matheson Miller is one of the best thinkers and articulators I know when it comes to what makes persons and societies flourish.”
— John Stonestreet, Speaker & Author for Breakpoint and Summit Ministries (Colorado)
“A “must watch” for any community wanting to help the poor. This series is sure to become a staple for small groups seeking how to better help poor communities in real ways. This should be a prerequisite for any NGO, missions group or aid organization before they try to ‘help.'”
— Shelley Clay, Founder of The Apparent Project (Haiti)
” The response to Pope Francis’ plea for the poor begins with PovertyCure. A real world answer to a real world problem. PovertyCure goes beyond traditional models of assistance. It recognizes the intrinsic relationship between economic development and the God-given dignity of the human person. If you’re looking for a sustainable, Christian way to think about poverty, you’ve found it.”
— Matthew Leonard, Author, Prayer Works! Getting a Grip on Catholic Spirituality
“Trillions of dollars in aid has resulted in little real progress over the last several decades. What we need today is a new paradigm for fighting poverty. A paradigm rooted in the ideas and practices that release the poor from their circumstances. PovertyCure leads the way in teaching leaders and aid organizations how to design, implement, and measure real poverty solutions. As the CEO of an organization that uses aid as one way to alleviate poverty, I am excited to use the PovertyCure principles with our staff in nine countries. The principles of economic empowerment and local ownership have the power to transform a generation currently stuck in poverty, and partly kept there because we have continued to promote aid instead of true poverty solutions.”
— Tom Davis, CEO of Children’s Hope Chest & Author of Red Letters – Living a Faith that Bleeds and Fields of the Fatherless
“Stellar presentation! For my friends and I it was an incredibly rewarding experience. So many students raved about how well done the video was and how it really inspired them to change their perspective on giving and focus more on empowerment of the poor.”
— Meghann Bowman, Student at Taylor University (Indiana)
“Recently, there have been a number of important books that have began to shift action in the right direction, but nothing engages the intellect like the PovertyCure Series. I have found no better tool for understanding the `why’ and the `how’ than PovertyCure. It is a must see and must share for those who desire to make a significant impact. Whether you’re a leader of a poverty-focused non-profit, missions group, food kitchen, or simply have a passion to make a difference, this series will be a game changer.”
— Robert Mudd, COO of Children’s HopeChest (Colorado), Board of Directors for Orphan Care Alliance
“I’m tempted to say things about this series like: Its #Mindblowinglyawesome #giveittoeveryoneyouknow. But I’ll hold back. It is incredible and allows the viewer to recognize how they (or we) often view the poor and enables us to see the creative potential of individuals to build community. It is a timely piece that viewers of all ages will value. It inspires the viewer’s own creative potential to make a difference in his/her own community and enable discernment on how to most effectively make an impact. Buy one for yourself. Buy one for your community. And buy another for the random person on the street to whom you suddenly start sharing how awesome this Series is.”
— Kelly on Amazon
“For once, a project that lets those on the front lines talk, those actually affected by poverty, and especially those who overcame it, who conquered it. It’s the entrepreneur from Kenya, Brazil, and Indonesia who knows the real cure for poverty, not just the economist from the U.S., Switzerland, or Japan. Watch the series. It’ll change your world!”
— Andreas Widmer, Entrepreneur & Author, The Carpenter’s Fund (Boston)
“Just as the study of psychology turned on its axis from focusing on pathology to focusing on human potential, so the study and practice of helping the poor is turning, thanks to PovertyCure, from focusing on why people are poor to how and why people may flourish economically. The insights are stunning, as are the prospects for positive change, wherever the “powers that be” will focus on securing the environment in which people may flourish and then simply not get in the way of human initiative.”
— Mark E Roberts, Associate Professor & Director, Holy Spirit Research Center at Oral Roberts University (Oklahoma)
“Beginning to end, this series is phenomenal! I was so impressed with both the quality and the content. It’s such a powerful thing to hear directly from local entrepreneurs who have ideas, innovations, and businesses of their own, speaking to people who have perceptions about underdeveloped nations that need to be broken. Congratulations to all of you on a fantastic product!”
— Chad Jordan, Cornerstone International (Oklahoma)
“Christians often mistake good intentions with actions that are unhelpful, even harmful. In no area is this more true than in how we address global poverty. The PovertyCure project combines good scholarship with biblical principles that will help us to create partnerships that really work. I am profoundly excited about this project and these new videos.”
— John H. Armstrong, ACT 3 Network President & Author of Your Church is Too Small (Illinois)
“As one heavily invested in the theology of the marketplace and the business-as-mission (BAM) movement, I am excited about PovertyCure. With its close connection to the integrity and excellence of the Acton Institute, PovertyCure and its numerous affiliates are battling poverty at the ground level around the world. These efforts are, as Jesus read in the Temple, truly good news to the poor.”
— David Doty, Research Participant at Lausanne Global BAM Think Tank (Atlanta)
For most of the last 100 years, the US has thrown money at the problem of poverty. And yet the problem of poverty around the world goes mostly unchanged. PovertyCure brings a refreshing and pragmatic approach to addressing the problem of poverty. Instead of focusing on the causes of poverty, Poverty Cure focuses on the causes of wealth and how to introduce those causes of wealth into areas stricken by poverty. I would recommend the PovertyCure DVD series to anyone who is concerned about people suffering from poverty and anyone who realizes that taking the same approach that we have taken for the last 100 years is only going to produce the same results.
— Toby Joplin, Vice President & CFO of RL Hudson & Company (Oklahoma)
“The PovertyCure DVD Series is incredibly informative, detailed, relevant, and moving. The data, organizational highlights, and interviews really bolster the material and make the point. As it relates to application, the content has caused me to pause in my approach to remember that poverty is local and global, and my thoughts towards developing countries also apply in my local city. I loved the reminder about all beings are image bearers of God and are creative, talented and entrepreneurial. The imagery, professionalism, and excellence shown throughout the series rounded out the full experience and drew me further in to the cause.”
— David Price, Sr. Relationship Manager at Bellevue University (Nebraska)
“I really enjoyed the PovertyCure DVD series. I first watched it with my wife and kids and found that the stories led us (even our younger, pre-school aged children at a basic level) to have profound conversations about new ways in which we can help our communities near and far. After enjoying it with my family, I shared it with a group of 10 – 15 adults as part of a small group bible study. The members of this group included skilled tradespeople, business owners, truck drivers, farmers and professionals who have always had charitable and missional intent which have been expressed through the traditional modes of tithing, donations, mission trips, etc. The DVD series caused the group to reevaluate ways in which we try to “do good.” After spending months (we re-watched some episodes to dive deeper) in the series, it’s safe to say that everyone in the group looks and thinks about charity in a new way with great hope and promise of a more profound and Christ-like impact on the world. I recommend the series with great joy and appreciation!
— Nicholas A. Reister, Attorney & Counselor at Law