Thursday, July 02, 2009

Changing the World One Student at a Time

One of the most interesting aspects of the International Political Economy in recent years has been the growth of the "third sector" -- non-profit and civil society initiatives that fit in somewhere between state and market. Third sector approaches (especially when leveraged using web technology) allow even small groups of individuals to have significant impacts.

Associate Dean (and Friend of IPE) Lisa Ferrari is doing just that through an NGO she has started that is trying to make a difference in the lives of young people in Tanzania. Here is Lisa's story in her own words:
Many of you have heard me talking over the last few years about a project that's close to my heart: helping especially poor kids in the developing world to get at least a high school education. Even with public education, a high school diploma is out of reach for many students, often for economic reasons.

After two trips to Tanzania in the past two years, and months of seeing how hard the kids are willing to work against the odds, I knew I had to help. I've started a nonprofit organization to support a group of students and teachers in Zanzibar who are doing great work. We're called the International CATALYST Fund, and we're registered as a 501(c)3 public charity with the IRS.

I would really appreciate it if you'd visit our website ( to learn more about the students we're supporting. It's daunting to think about changing the world, but it's surprisingly easy to have a huge impact on one other person's life. I know these are hard times, and we have economic concerns of our own. But even small amounts of U.S. dollars go very far in the developing world. I'll be traveling back to Tanzania in September, so will personally make sure that all donations are benefiting the students.
Click through the link above to learn more ab out International CATALYST Fund's work.

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