Back in 2006, Give to Colombia (G2C), a US-based non-profit group that creates, promotes and facilitates alliances between international donors and grassroots organisations in Colombia, hosted a forum in Miami targeted at the US diaspora. Sitting in the audience was a wealthy businessman with a mission to improve the conditions at one of his textile factories that was subcontracted to Levi Strauss.
The result was a partnership between G2C and the Levi Strauss Foundation and the launch of a programme to increase financial literacy among apparel workers. The joint venture provides financial training, matched with savings accounts and micro enterprise programmes for workers in the clothes industry in Medellin, Colombia’s second city.
This is just one example of the role that diaspora giving— tax deductible donations and remittances — can play in improving the lives of people living in Latin America. With an increasingly large percentage of the US population either Hispanic or Latino, diaspora giving makes up much of the region’s philanthropic funding.