We made an initial grant for construction of a flour mill in Ethiopia. Results were fantastic, which left us eager to do more. We read Jeff’s book, The End of Poverty, which educated us to the reasons why over 1 billion people find themselves locked in a poverty trap. And it provided a strategy to help them escape and start down the path to economic progress. Now we were hooked.
In 2010, we officially established Eliminate Poverty Now as a 501(c)(3) organization to increase the visibility, scope and funding for our activities. Today, we work with partners on the ground in 11 sub-Saharan countries, ranging from agricultural scientists in Niger to pre-school teachers in the slums of Nairobi. But all share a common goal: to create greater opportunity for the hard-working people of Africa. Opportunity to help themselves and help those around them.
Jeff Sachs challenged us all with this powerful observation: “We are the first generation in the history of the world with the ability to eradicate extreme poverty. We have the means, the resources and the know-how. All we lack is the will.”
Ah yes, the will. Over 2,000 years ago a famous Jewish scholar by the name of Hillel posed these essential questions: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am for myself only, then what am I? And if not now, when?”