Cornerstone International: A PovertyCure Partner Spotlight

“The end of poverty will be found at the intersection of business opportunity and social responsibility.” - Chad Jordan, author of Shut Up & Give?

Nearly all of us want to help end the wrenching poverty that so many face every day; very few of us have any idea how to do it. One of the strengths of the PovertyCure initiative is bringing together and highlighting individuals and organizations that have the means and the opportunity to bring significant positive change to the world. One of the organizations that PovertyCure is proud to partner with is Cornerstone International.

By guiding investors, helping entrepreneurs develop business plans, educating through seminars, and advising enthusiastic people in finding their niche in global development, Cornerstone International brings business acumen to poverty reduction. Their founder and chief consultant, Chad Jordan, has authored the book Shut Up & Give?, which is being released soon. In anticipation of that, PovertyCure is sharing one of his recent blog posts, Opportunity Makes The Difference:

These two images are both from the African continent.  One is a stagnant pool in northern Ghana that serves as a drinking fountain, laundromat, and bathtub.  The other is a serene lake in South Africa that serves as the backdrop for a lush vineyard.  They’re a little different, to say the least.

What’s the most striking difference, though?  Opportunity. 

You see, the people who use this pool in northern Ghana get some government and foreign assistance.  People come in and check up on them occasionally.  People bring them things sometimes…things like food, clothing, etc.  But nobody ever walks with them, stands beside them, shows them how to create a different way of life.

On the other hand, in South Africa, many that could be categorized as “underserved” work at this lush vineyard.  They’re invited to be playmakers in their own success.  They’re taught about business and pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.  Of course the landscape is different from Ghana, and of course employees have to work hard and do manual labor, but they’re also empowered to create a new life for themselves.  They’re treated fairly by someone who walks beside them, shows them the ropes, and is interested in lasting solutions.  They’re respected by someone who wants to help them move from the “underserved” into the “served” category.

The “underserved” in that rural Ghanaian community from the picture wouldn’t know what to do if someone made the effort to walk with them, to focus on lasting solutions as opposed to temporal handouts.  But I can promise you one thing – they’d figure it out.  They’d rise to the occasion.  They’d create new lives for their families.  They’d never look back.


Jul 302012
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