LendforPeace.org Officially Launches!
February 7, 2009

Last night, LendforPeace.org held the official launch of its microfinance web-platform! Over a hundred people joined the founding team at the Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia for the unveiling of the site.

University of Pennsylvania Chaplain Chas Howard gave a moving invocation on the power of hope and opportunity can have on the Middle East and how working together across ethnic and religious boundaries may help us realize that Shalom and Salaam mean the same thing.  The ever insightful and articulate Dr. John DiIulio,  first director of the White House Office of Faith Based Initiatives, described LendforPeace.org as a model of action in the face of an overwhelmingly complex conflict and lauded its ability to practice cura personalis, a Jesuit notion of addressing each individual’s unique needs and talents.

Then, Co-Founders Sam Adelsberg, Andrew Dudum, David Fraga and Allam Taj gave a presentation about LendforPeace.org through the eyes of Rabiha, one of the entrepreneurs on the site.  At 7:38 PM EST, they made the first loan through the live site.

David Fraga, Allam Taj, Sam Adelsberg and Andrew Dudum

LendforPeace.org Co-Founders (from left to right): David Fraga, Allam Taj, Sam Adelsberg and Andrew Dudum

A surprise finale, the crowd was at that point joined live from Ramallah via teleconference by Salma Suleyman, Resource Development Manager at LendforPeace.org’s partner microfinance institution Asala.  Salma, who stayed up until 3AM to be a part of the event, thanked those in attendance for their support and explained how Asala’s partnership with LendforPeace.org would allow Asala to serve deserving entrepreneurs in the West Bank that they otherwise would not be able to fund.  She encouraged the attendees to go to the website, find their favorite entrepreneur and invest in peace.

Salma joins LendforPeace.org launch event live from Ramallah

Salma joins the LendforPeace.org launch event live from Ramallah

We plan to post more video and photo coverage of the event in the coming days.  In the interim, you can check out the following video summary of the LendforPeace.org launch event which was put together by the Univerity of Pennsylvania’s campus newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Now that the site is live we look forward to growing the LendforPeace.org community and working together to make a difference in the Middle East.

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