Be Part of the Solution…
1. Start with yourself. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Before you try to help others, first ensure that you’re living your own life with a deep level of authenticity, integrity, and love.
2. Help locally. No matter where you live in the world, there are local grassroots organizations doing excellent work in your own backyard that could use your help. If you’re not already volunteering for a local organization that you care about, consider starting now. Visit volunteermatch.com or idealist.org to find volunteer opportunities in your own community.
3. Be a better donor. Rethink how, why, and where you donate your money. Not all aid organizations are created equal, so be sure to conduct your own due diligence before giving. A free comprehensive guide on how to be a better donor is available for download here.
4. Change your lens. One of the greatest challenges to eradicating poverty is how we choose to see those who live within it. Instead of viewing less wealthy individuals through the lens of lack, desperation, and pity, choose to see them and their communities through the lens of strength, dignity, resourcefulness, and possibility.
5. Support the students of Dadaab. If you’d like to directly help the students you’ve read about in this book, Ahmed and Mohamed have recently set up a campaign to raise money for scholarships, learning materials, and teacher training in Dadaab refugee camp. They would love your support. Visit the America Fund website and send your donation to the school’s partner charity, Windle Trust International. Please email Tori, too, after you’ve donated so she can help ensure the money makes it to the right place.
6. Start a Dialogue. Help spark a dialogue about aid effectiveness by hosting a discussion session on the topic, sharing this book and its message with those you know, or by using social media platforms to engage others in the conversation.
7. Learn more. Take time to explore the truth about the complicated challenges facing the world and the most effective ways to address them. You can get started by checking out the resources available at the Center for Global Development (cgdev.org), wiser.org, the Beyond Good Intentions resource page, and the “Listening Project” (cdainc.com).
8. Advocate for better aid. Get involved with one of the many emerging campaigns to improve our approaches to helping the world. Write op-eds expressing your views on the subject, putting pressure on aid organizations to improve their transparency and impact. Write to your government representatives to voice your concerns about your country’s foreign aid policies. If you’re an aid worker, donor, or policy maker, start catalyzing change from the inside.
9. Thank someone who changed your life. Being able to thank Ahmed in person was a beautiful moment for me. If someone has made a difference in your life, find a way to let him or her know.
10. Never lose hope. As Osman demonstrated, one of the most important things we can do is to keep our sense of hope alive. Positive change is happening all over the world.