Good People: Is Kiva the Shake Weight of Do-gooding

I first saw microlending in action while traveling with the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 2007. Then it was being sold as a silver bullet solution to ending poverty. I wrote about the experience in WHERE AM I WEARING and dedicate a whole chapter to examining microlending champion Kiva.org in WHERE AM I GIVING.

I shared my experiences in a chat with Jay on the Good People podcast. Listen, rate, subscribe.

Key takeaway: Lending isn’t giving.

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Good People Fight for Peace: Rozy Mbone

Rozy Mbone, founder of The Legend of Kenya, is one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met and she’s featured on the latest episode of The Good People podcast.

Rozy and her friends were all former gang members. There were few opportunities to make a living in their community, so they lived a life of crime surrounded by death, violence, prostitution, and robbery.

A woman named Selline Korir visited Korogocho and talked about peace and encouraged Rozy to leave her old life behind. Rozy did and soon the others followed and now they promote peace and dialogue in a community where death and violence are everyday life.

We often think our lives have to be in perfect order before we can make an impact. That’s bullshit….

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Good People aren’t White Saviors

Kelsey Nielsen

Kelsey Nielsen first traveled to Uganda to “love on babies” at an orphanage as a self-described “White Savior.” Then she started to ask questions about privilege and power and how best to help people. She is one of the founders of “No White Saviors” an Instagram account that has turned into a movement.

Our conversation on the Good People podcast went so long that I broke it into two parts. I could’ve asked her more questions. You can listen below or on Apple Podcasts or probably other places too. (I like doing the interviews, but not so much the administrivia a podcast or life requires.)

Part 1

Part 2


Show notes:

No…

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Building on the work of other journalists

Yesterday I chatted with a documentarian in Scotland who is working on a film on where food comes from. We chatted for an hour about chocolate, bananas, and coffee.

I think journalism is like science in that community members build on each other’s work. I always take the time to help out a fellow journalist. I think it’s part of the responsibility of this work.

I had a chat with Elizabeth Cline very early on in her process of writing Overdressed. I even introduced her to my friend Dalton, who appeared in WHERE AM I WEARING. I also chatted with Marcus Stern who did a really great piece on child labor in coffee for The Weather Channel and Telemundo.

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A baboon in Ethiopia is named after me

Check out this note from a student who read WHERE AM I EATING a few years ago:

Hi Kelsey! Thanks for the invite for The Facing Project. Can’t wait to look into it more! You spoke to my sociology class with Máel Sheridan at Hamline university after we read your book in 2015. Funny story, and long story short: I’m a Peace Corps health volunteer in Ethiopia and was trying to explain in local language the idea behind your books as it relates to my community (where are all these goods coming from? How did they get here?). A couple weeks later the live-in guard at my health center appeared with a pet baboon. It was then named after you in honor of your books. “Kelsey” spelt differently in afran Oromo…

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Good People Give a Shit

Ashlee Piper

Plastic straws! Recycling! Composting! Wishcycling! Climate Change! Fast Fashion! Products tested on animals! Micro-plastics!

Ashlee Piper examines all of these topics and more in her book on sustainable living “Give a Sh*t: Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet.”

Ashlee Piper is a political strategist turned vegan and eco-lifestyle expert, writer, and TV personality whose work has been featured in GLAMOUR, Refinery29, Apartment Therapy, Reader’s Digest, and on pretty much every network.

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Hitchhiker’s Guide to Hitchhiking on Earth

The Wait

(Wrote this 10 years ago. You can tell because I was still using two spaces after a period.)

“I was told I was going to die nine years ago. Are you religious?”

My mind raced, what went wrong? Standing beside the road waiting for someone to give me a lift I had considered myself quite lucky when Don pulled over in his BMW. He sported a Rolex and was dressed nicely. Our conversation was interesting and pleasant and abduction was the farthest thing from my mind when he asked if I wanted to take a tour of his kiwi fruit farm and join him for tea. In hindsight, a Rolex and a nice car do not mean that a man is of…

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Do Good People Go on Missions from God?

Liz R

As a teenager in the 90s, Liz Boltz Ranfeld, trekked up mountains in Nepal carrying a leather bound Bible, intent on planting a church and winning souls. She looks back on the experience with regret, shame, and anger. Liz joins Kelsey and Jay to discuss mission trips, responsible travel, racism, and even the controversial work of Mother Teresa.

 

Liz in Nepal in 1999:

Liz Ranfeld

The description of her trip:

Liz Brochure

If you’d like to exam mission trips more, I recommend reading Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help, And How to Reverse It by…

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