Let’s first get the coffee espresso snob question out of the way:
What’s “your” espresso drink? Or are you a tea person?
In the face of some incredibly shocking statistics about extreme global poverty, it’s easy and understandable to feel paralyzed. I’ve often felt this way but instead of feeling the burden to change the world, just think about making an impact on one person, or one family, or one small village.
As some of you know, I also serve as the executive director of a non-profit community cafe called Q Cafe. I’m joined on the Advisory Board by several folks – Alan, Roy, Amy, our cafe manager, Jake, and live music director, Melissa. Each month, we select one local (usually) based non-profit organization to donate 10% of our monthly sales. For the month of June, we selected World Concern (a humanitarian non-profit doing community development and disaster response in Africa, Asia, and the Americas) and contacted Derek Sciba, communications officer at World Concern (and also a Quester). He recently traveled to 6 countries over 40 days. Anyways, our board informed him of our decision and asked what impact we’d be able to make for about $350 bucks and he sent me the following amazing email that elucidates the impact of our few dollars. Don’t believe the lie…we can all do our part to change the world.
If you’re in the Seattle area, come out and enjoy the Q Cafe and join us in supporting other local non-profits. And while you’re here, make sure you check out Derek’s humanitarian blog.
Wow, Eugene! That’s very kind. I appreciate you and the rest of the folks at the Q Cafe thinking of World Concern – and it’s a pleasure to figure out how to spend the money!
When I was in Haiti, I saw the value of goats, which provide incomes through the sale of kids. Some people also sell goat milk. Often, having a goat means children in a family can attend school.
After a series of hurricanes last year, people were left with nothing of value. The storm killed their livestock. I met grandmothers and children who were positively ecstatic to receive goats, to begin to build their herd once again.
So let’s buy a goat, with vaccinations and a pen, for $70.
When I was in Bangladesh, I met several fish farmers. One stands out in my mind. He went from being a pedal-taxi driver to a small businessman, once he began a business to farm-raise fish in a pond. It has allowed him to buy land, build a home, and send his little girls to school. He rises early each morning and works hard – and with an opportunity from World Concern – it has paid off.
Let’s buy some fish fingerlings. A set of 2,000 fingerlings costs about $40. We can purchase 4 sets for $160.
Also in Bangladesh, and in many other countries, I was particularly saddened by the plight of women. It’s a tough place to live on a good day. But many men in Bangladesh (and elsewhere) treat women as second-class citizens. Women have so many responsibilities, from raising children, to farming and raising livestock, to keeping a home. Many also have to earn any income her family may need, because the husband doesn’t feel like working, or because she has been divorced. (And it’s easy to do in that culture. Say “I divorce you” three times.) On top of that, if a woman wants to start a small business, she is often at the mercy of loan sharks. She didn’t have an opportunity to get an education when she was young, so she may fall prey to someone who can see her vulnerabilities.
Let’s provide training and business equipment for one woman, so she can start her own business. It’s $125.
All of this adds up to $355. We can adjust it once we figure out how much was raised.
I am getting all of these prices from World Concern’s Global Gift Guide. Flipping through it, I recognize many of the items for sale as real programs that really do make an enormous difference in the life of the poor.
Let’s pray for good coffee sales this June!