Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Hey everyone,

These past few days have been very exciting; reading your blogs and thinking about the situation the world is in made me want to learn more. I wanted to know how I could help further, but on my own budget.

I googled home projects to help poverty and all it came up with was charitable organizations, and expensive power generators. I'm not cheap, but I'm low on cash, so I wanted to find cheap, simple DIY projects to help with this situation. My search was fruitless.

What I want to know is why is it harder to help other people by yourself, instead of with a credit card? To me, everyone should be able to pitch in, and if a simple google search doesn't provide any tips on how to go about it, what else can we try?

Views: 22

Comment by Raymond M. Kristiansen on March 11, 2010 at 9:53am
one example:

Comment by Samuel Freilich on March 11, 2010 at 4:42pm
Reminds me of something: In the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, charitable donations of cash were quite helpful in providing for refugees. But people also donated all sorts of random things (food, medicine, books, etc.). Those donations were often poorly labeled and organized, they often ended up in places where they were least needed. Distributing (or even disposing of) the material donations cost money. Far more efficient to buy exactly what's needed in a given area. (Even if someone local has already done the "determine what's needed" work and what's needed can be created with a DIY project, it may be more helpful to have the work done locally than to outsource it and have you ship the result.)

If you want to help the world's poorest and don't have much money, probably the most effective way to do so is to donate a little money. (Well, the most effective way that doesn't involve physically relocating yourself to where some of the world's poorest are.) That's not to say that there's nothing to be done in your area to fight poverty with DIY projects. But I'd recommend talking to people first, doing research online second.

What do the poor people in your area value most? (You can probably guess some things, but user values studies are often surprising, in my experience.) How do current systems mesh with those values, where are the gaps? Brainstorm on that topic, then you'll have something more specific than "fight poverty" to research.
Comment by James Antle on March 11, 2010 at 8:24pm
@Samuel + Raymond: I never thought about those things, actually. I'll put some thought into what I should do, now that I know that. Thanks guys!
Comment by Comelia Tang on March 15, 2010 at 8:26pm
Great to see the effort you're putting in! As for me, back in school...we used to go from 1 grocery store to another and asked if they are willing to donate food that almost reach its expiry dates or cans that are dented or packages that are damaged as most people wouldn't buy them, and these grocery stores usually throw them out or give them to their employees...and instead of it going to waste, we distribute it to people who need it more. =] just to give you a vague idea and I'm sure you'll come up with something.


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