Our Story

The inspiration for Eliminate Poverty Now dates back to 2005. It began with an editorial in the New York Times. For some time we had been looking for ways to get involved in Africa. We just weren’t sure how. Then we read an article about the Millennium Villages Project. Founded by Jeffrey Sachs, a noted economist at Columbia University, it described an enlightened and integrated approach to the elimination of extreme poverty in Africa. We were intrigued.

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.

One thing quickly led to another. We started traveling to Africa and met remarkable people doing remarkable work. Our list of projects and partners rapidly expanded, both within the Millennium Villages Project and beyond.

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?”