Eugene Cho

relationships, technology, facebook, and fighting poverty

I’ll be posting a more thorough update on our Global Poverty initiative and organization in the next couple days.  I was supposed to be in Haiti this week to visit some orphanages and to learn more abou the global food crisis but had to make some changes due to the increment weather in that area.  Today, I’d like to share about two things that make our goal of creating a grassroots movement to fight extreme global poverty possible:  Human Relationships and Technology.

By sharing a simple vision of compassion and justice, we hope to compel and invite people to join our cause so that 100% of donations to our “Giving Fund” can go towards small NGOs and CBOs [community based organizations] around the world that are already doing some amazing work in the fight against global poverty.  We also envision using some of the funds to help start new initiatives and projects that in turn, can fund and impact more projects to build sustainable enterprises to empower people to lift themselves out of poverty.  You may be shocked what can be done with so little in certain places around the world.  When people scoff at what one person can do, consider this staggering statistic: 3 billion people in the world live on less than $2/day.  The truth is you and I can make a difference and we cannot and must not allow “generosity” to be reserved only for the rock stars, Hollywood A-list, or millionaires. 

We’re banking our vision on the most significant and powerful resource:  You.  Me.  People.  And our relationships.  Both as an “experiment” and in hopes of spreading the word of our vision to start this grassroots movement, we started a Facebook group several months ago asking people to join to help us fight global poverty.  After only 111 days [Sept. 2], we reached our initial goal of gathering 100,000 people and it continues to grow [104,514 as of Sept. 9].  By the end of the year, we are estimating that abougt 250,000 will join the group.  When we’re close to launching our group, we’ll release the beta website, ask folks to consider giving, have people suggest people and orgs that are doing great work, ask them to invite their networks and relationships – all while distributing these funds to sustainable people, projects, and organizations around the world and sharing these stories through every imaginable medium possible.

After checking in with the IRS, we’re speculating that our official 501(c)(3) will be issued to us soon – within the next 30-45 days.   For now, I want to ask you to consider helping us in THREE simple ways:

1.  Join our Facebook group if you haven’t done so.  Invite your friends [think strategically and globally] who might be interested in issues of poverty and justice.  Another simple way to help is to POST the group on your “Posted Items” on your Facebook profile. 

2.  Consider making a small donation towards our organization – any donation. You may have noticed the new DONATE widget on the right hand column of this blog.  Click on the red box or this secure donation link to give [Paypal, Debit, Credit Card].  If you’d prefer mailing in your donation, contact me.  As many of the blog readers already know, my wife and I have personally covenanted $100,000 towards funding this organization which you can learn more about HERE. We are not asking anyone to do what we’re not willing to do.

3.  Help us spread the word by sharing this post and/or sharing our vision video:

Here’s the screenshot to celebrate 100,000 people!

Filed under: health, technology, , , ,

6 Responses

  1. James says:

    Congratulations on reaching that 100K mark. I sent you an email with some questions about giving.

  2. Tyler says:

    100k that is AMAZING! great job eugene.

  3. Hi Eugene,

    I am the Director of Watoto Wa Baraka, a non-profit dealing with HIV/AIDS orphans and poor communities in Kenya – East Africa. We have discovered that you have the same goals as we have, and we focus on food, water, sanitation, healthcare, shelter, education, information and access to other services. We are very interested working with you as your African partner to expand the fight against global poverty. Would you be interested in establishing a partnership with Watoto Wa Baraka?

    Yours Sincerely
    Geoffrey Watoto

  4. Tom says:

    Very encouraging :^)

  5. eugenecho says:

    @geoffrey: thanks for your note. i’ll respond to your email via the message you sent me via facebook. continue the good work.

  6. […] been only able to share our vision through this blog, Facebook, emails, and word of mouth, but nevertheless, we are excited for the growing momentum.  As of […]

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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