Trickle Up Releases Powerful Documentary Short on the Effects of Poverty on the Ultra Poor


Launching on the eve of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the film showcases the power of helping the poor learn practical skills, start livelihoods and save.


NEW YORK, October 12, 2010  Trickle Up, an international poverty alleviation organization that empowers people living on less than $1.25 a day to take the first steps out of poverty, has released a documentary that profiles the impact of its work and the people it affects.


“The Test of Poverty” follows two women living in extreme poverty in West Bengal, India, as they participate in Trickle Up’s program and work to change the effects that generations of poverty have had on their families’ lives. The film shows that addressing the needs of the ultra poor – those living on less than $1.25 day – involves more than just providing them with capital, and must be viewed through a wider lens. The film also captures the powerful effects that increased self‐confidence and empowerment that come from participating in Trickle Up’s program have in helping women break the vicious cycle of extreme poverty.


As the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty approaches on October 17th, “The Test of Poverty” underscores the theme designated by the United Nations: “From Poverty to Decent Work: bridging the gap.” According to the UN, this day of observance comes at a time when people living in poverty are even more uncertain about employment stability, working conditions, training opportunities and the availability of social protection.


“The Test of Poverty” was directed by Gautam Bose and produced with support from the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), which is spearheading a global effort to understand how safety nets, livelihoods, and microfinance can be sequenced to create pathways for the poorest to graduate out of extreme poverty.


Trickle Up takes a comprehensive approach to addressing the needs of the ultra poor. The organization provides seed capital, training and savings support to kick‐start microenterprises and create a savings habit that endures. The grants buy things like tools, seeds and fertilizer, and goats—assets that help build income and stability. The savings groups work like community banks; the members save money, make loans to each other, and pay interest that grows the group fund. In 2009 alone, Trickle Up served over 10,000 new participants. Each new or expanded enterprise impacts five lives, which means over 55,000 lives have been touched.


The Test of Poverty” shows how Trickle Up helps the ultra poor holistically and with lasting results Filmmaker Gautam Bose, who has been making films for over 25 years, directed “The Test of Poverty.” Based in Kolkata, India, Bose uses film to help people from diverse backgrounds communicate effectively with one another.


In addition to being launched on Trickle Up’s newly redesigned interactive website, “The Test of Poverty” will be distributed widely via online channels such as YouTube and other social and media sharing sites. Trickle Up will also submit the film to 2011 film festivals to more widely raise awareness of the needs of the ultra‐poor.


Download the press release


About Trickle Up

Trickle Up empowers people living on less than $1.25 a day to take the first steps out of poverty, providing them with resources to build microenterprises for a better quality of life. In partnership with local agencies, Trickle Up provides business training and seed capital grants to launch or expand a microenterprise and savings support to build assets. Trickle Up works in five countries throughout Asia, West Africa and Central America. To learn more, visit