© 2022 UnPoverty and Mark K. Lutz

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The poorest people in the world do not just survive–they thrive lavishly. They enjoy rich family relationships, build vibrant communities and exude deep faith. They have much to teach us about life and inspire us with their ingenuity, persistence, generosity and self-reliance.

Mark Lutz has visited families living in cardboard huts, hiked dusty paths to isolated villages, and tiptoed across putrid open sewers on makeshift bridges. UnPoverty relays those astonishing encounters with unforgettable people: desperately poor, yet abundantly rich.

When we hear about the billions of people living on a few dollars a day, do we visualize what that means? These stories put individual faces on unimaginable statistics and bring their reality to life. You may even see yourself in them.

Come with Mark as he visits his friends in far-away places not often seen. He takes you into their homes and their hearts. Experience life at the bottom of the economic ladder; you will resonate with his insightful reflections. His gripping stories will leave you challenged by what we can and must do and encouraged by what they do with so little.

Their poverty has more to do with latitude and longitude than with laziness or lack of intelligence. Through no fault of their own they are poor monetarily, but rich in areas many of us are bankrupt. Mark has watched innovative and hard-working people undo the chains of poverty, often with a large ripple effect in their families and entire communities.

After more than three decades of working closely with some of the poorest people living in developing nations, Mark Lutz now believes that what he calls unpoverty is possible. You too will catch the vision as you read these enlightening tales. Mark calls us to join an accelerating revolution to eradicate extreme poverty during our lifetime. He makes the bold claim that this audacious goal is possible, and invites you to unite with the rich poor people in our global village to create a world of unpoverty.

All proceeds from book sales are donated to organizations dedicated to alleviating extreme poverty worldwide.

The poorest people in the world do not just survive–they thrive lavishly. They enjoy rich family relationships, build vibrant communities and exude deep faith. They have much to teach us about life and inspire us with their ingenuity, persistence, generosity and self-reliance.

Mark Lutz has visited families living in cardboard huts, hiked dusty paths to isolated African villages, and tiptoed across putrid open sewers on makeshift bridges. UnPoverty relays those astonishing encounters with unforgettable people: desperately poor, yet abundantly rich.

When we hear about the billions of people living on a few dollars a day, do we visualize what that means? These stories put individual faces on unimaginable statistics and bring their reality to life. You may even see yourself in them.

Come with Mark as he visits his friends in far-away places not often seen. He takes you into their homes and their hearts. Experience life at the bottom of the economic ladder; you will resonate with his insightful reflections. His gripping stories will leave you challenged by what we can and must do and encouraged by what they do with so little.

Their poverty has more to do with latitude and longitude than with laziness or lack of intelligence. Through no fault of their own they are poor monetarily, but rich in areas many of us are bankrupt. Mark has watched innovative and hard-working people undo the chains of poverty, often with a large ripple effect in their families and entire communities.

After more than three decades of working closely with some of the poorest people living in developing nations, Mark Lutz now believes that what he calls unpoverty is possible. You too will catch the vision as you read these enlightening tales. Mark calls us to join an accelerating revolution to eradicate extreme poverty during our lifetime. He makes the bold claim that this audacious goal is possible, and invites you to unite with the rich poor people in our global village to create a world of unpoverty.

SPECIAL EDITION - 2021

In this special 50th anniversary edition of UnPoverty, we look back at five decades of Opportunity’s innovation and impact. Keeping the original book virtually intact, it is expanded with 4 chapters, chronicling Opportunity’s evolution. In the new Afterword, readers pass through 10 stages of maturing service, carried by stories, not told by me but by the expert directly responsible or involved with that initiative at the time.

Pivotal milestones come to life through tales of entrepreneurs, farmers, educators, parents, and community leaders who inspire all of us as we work toward a world without extreme poverty.

This anniversary edition is enhanced with photographs from each of the new stories plus some from the original edition. It also includes a preface by the CEO of Opportunity and a story about the co-founders.

1st-edition-unpoverty-book-cover

1ST EDITION - 2010

All proceeds from book sales are donated to Opportunity International to help alleviate extreme poverty.

UnPoverty is a collection of heartening reflections on the lives of those living in poverty and their relentless pursuit of better lives for their families. By taking you into the homes and daily lives of some of the poorest of the poor, you will see them with new eyes. Rather than pity them for their poverty, you will respect them, learn from them, and maybe even recognize yourself in their hopes, dreams, and spirits.

Each chapter is a different lesson I am learning from the working poor, and each lesson is taught by the stories of remarkable people I have met during my travels through more than 30 counties. They have given me a deeper understanding of the things that really matter in life.

So while this book is primarily about the desperately poor, yet abundantly rich and generous individuals, it is also about my own personal journey. Some of the profound moments and pivotal junctures of my life have occurred in the developing world. When I’m with the poorest of the poor, I somehow feel closer to God. I feel connected and energized. There have been times I have wept uncontrollably when confronted and confounded by nearly unbearable privation. Yet those encounters have caused me to acknowledge that I am the one most bankrupt. As I begin to appreciate their wealth, I start to recognize my own contrasting hunger and nakedness.

I wrote UnPoverty to introduce you to some of the poorest working people in the world, by telling their stories of resilience, resourcefulness, and hope in spite of overwhelming odds. My hope is that you will feel some of their pain as well as their joys. I hope your respect and admiration for them will grow and you will come to view the poor as individuals with immeasurable worth. If nothing else, I hope you will be convinced that poverty is primarily a function of latitude and longitude, not laziness or lack of ability.

OR

Congratulations to Opportunity International for 50 years of providing financial solutions and training, empowering people living in poverty to transform their lives, their children’s futures and their communities.

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