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Live simply so that others may simply live: 5 ways to live development in your daily life (Part 2 of 2)

March 26, 2010
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Live simply so that others may simply live: 5 ways to live development in your daily life

After long last, here are the last three thoughts on how to live development right here, right now.

3. Love thy neighbor.

Poverty, as Robert Chambers says, is hard to see. Especially when it’s right in front of you.  In the US, so many of my friends visiting from developing countries assumed that poverty, hunger and homelessness did not exist to such an extent in rich countries.

It would be great to hear from Londoner’s on this, but there are plenty of ways to combat poverty at home, especially here in London.  Volunteer.  Intern at an organization that you feel passionate about. Find out how to help people sleeping rough in London. Buy a copy of the Big Issue. Care for each other. This may be the most obvious of all of my suggestions, but its incredible to think about how much time we spend at the library, drinking, or worrying about all of the work that we have to do. How could some of that time be better spent?

4. Spend some time with  innovative forms of viral philanthropy.

Use and reuse £20 you can afford to spare. There are an incredible host of online donation and microcredit sites that strive to create an addictive, viral philanthropic experience. Kiva.org lets you loan and re-loan money to budding entrepreneurs around the globe. They even have lending teams, and currently the Atheists are lending $600,000 more than the Kiva Christians at the moment!

There are even crazier ways of spending your time on the web for good. On Freerice.com, you play a game where you had to correctly identify the definition of a given word, have the site serve ads, then donate that ad revenue to the UN World Food Program. They routinely get more than 500,000 visitors per month and have donated some 69 billion grains of rice so far. Similar approaches to fundraising have proliferated on the web, and are worth checking out.

GamesThatGive.net uses a similar model, but takes it to the next level. When you visit the site, you can select from a pretty good array of favorite time-killer games like Solitaire, Sudoku, Memory, and more. GamesThatGive sells advertisements to major brands like Propel, Mastercard, Pepsi, and others, and then donates 70% of that revenue to charities that you can read about as you play (thanks to Nathaniel at Change.org for the ideas!)

5. Speak Out

In my neck of the woods, ‘I’m studying development’ means child development, a blank stare, a pat on the back or a ‘You’re never going to get anywhere with that.’ So much about what we hope to do includes making these issues visible to our friends, family, and people we encounter.  The less foreign, celebrit-ized and self-serving development seems to the public, the better.

Feel free to share your thoughts. By no means is this list exhaustive!

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