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.
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….
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.)
Joshua Berman has volunteered with the Peace Corps, fought wild fires, gone on a 1+ year-long honeymoon, and written guidebooks. He’s a dad, a teacher, columnist for the Denver Post, and he’s good people.
Joshua writes a monthly column in The Denver Post and is the author of six books. His travel articles have appeared in The New York Times, Yoga Journal, Delta SKY, Sunset, and National Geographic Traveler, among other publications.
Joshua has appeared multiple times on the Travel Channel, including as a tour guide for the host of “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” in Nicaragua.
Ben Conard’s class assignment became a business – Five North Chocolate. Ben shares his journey from farmer’s market to national shelves and how and why Five North became the first to print the LGBTQ-owned label on its packaging.
We discussed Fair Trade, ethical consumption, Ben offers advice for social entrepreneurs, and the importance of being who you are everywhere and in all aspects of life.
After a year of my friend Jay Moorman bugging me about doing this…I started a podcast. The Good People podcast explores what it means to be good by talking to everyday heroes, philanthropists, altruists, and do-gooders.
I’ve spent the last 18 years traveling to 50+ countries to research my books and meeting amazing people who do so much good in the world. Meeting them changed me. And it’s my hope that I can introduce listeners to these people and others who’ve had such an influence on me. They’ve helped me see how I can best make an impact in the world in very tangible ways. It’s my hope that together we learn how to be better local and…
“Don’t F@ck with chocolate. I don’t want to know.”
That was a friend’s reaction when I told him I was researching the book that would become WHERE AM I EATING?, a book in which I traveled around the world to meet farmers who produce chocolate, bananas, coffee, lobster, and apple juice.
The cocoa farmers I met in West Africa lived in poverty. A worker on a cocoa farm was enslaved. Child labor. Environmental degradation. Economic impacts of a changing climate. There were plenty of issues to be aware of.
So…did this awareness ruin chocolate for me?
Nope. Quite the opposite. Now that I know more about chocolate, how it’s produced, where it comes from, and brands that concern themselves with the well-being…
Poverty, like death, is something that is all around us, but we like to pretend it doesn’t exist and could never happen to us.
Most cultures have prejudices toward the poor. I’ve noticed this when I travel. I’ve had translators in China and Cambodia who wondered why I would want to talk to people who worked in a factory or lived in a slum. I’ve had plenty of translators and friends who’ve said things like “They talk uneducated,” and they do things because “they don’t know better.” For many of my translators, the poor in their country are as invisible to them as the poor in my own had been to me until I started to volunteer. Researchers found that tourists on slum tours in India looked at slum residents…