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We are a student-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization aiming to improve the overall quality of life of the residents of Ananthaiahgaripalli, a rural village in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is our conviction that education will provide villagers with the tools to better their sub-par standard of living. For this reason, the project will construct and open a primary and secondary school in the village’s vicinity, welcoming children from the area to attend. The facilities will be free of charge in order to accommodate poor village children. We will also implement a clean water system to supplement the children's education. We recognize the ambitious nature of our project. We are confident, however, that with your support, we can improve the lives of the poor -- one child at a time!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What makes up the Social Entrepreneur Support System?
Food for Thought

It's been almost three months since the entire Sanjeevani board has been back and meeting weekly.  We found that transposing the lessons we learned in India back into a US framework has been difficult but worthwhile.  Many changes are in the works, but for now, we're collecting support and motivation through the struggles and successes of our community.  Please take the time to read through these resources, as they make up the essential philosophical and paradigmatic backdrops for our ambitions.
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ARTICLE: 
Nikolas Kristof published an article in the NYT this last week about individuals in international development, and the D.I.Y. Foreign-Aid Revolution.
It’s striking that the most innovative activists aren’t necessarily the ones with the most resources, or the best tools. If that were true, a team at the World Bank would have addressed the menstruation problem long ago, and G20 countries would be leading the effort to prevent Congolese warlords from monetizing their minerals. Rather, what often happens is that those best positioned to take action look the other way, and then the initiative is taken by the Scharpfs and Shannons of the world, who are fueled by some combustible mix of indignation and vision...
The challenge is to cultivate an ideology of altruism, to spread a culture of social engagement — and then to figure out what people can do at a practical level. 
BOOK:
by: Tracy Kidder

An inspiring non-fiction biography of Dr. Paul Farmer and, as the title states, his quest to "cure the world."  It deals with the very fundamental issues of social and international development through community involvement and personal investment.  It is the story of Partners in Health's burgeoning success  and why they have been able to make such a lasting and powerful impact on the lives of so many around the world.  Although the majority of humanity does not share Dr. Farmer's level of empathic selflessness, we can all relate to human suffering, and we all have the capacity to make a difference.

VIDEO:
"The Empathic Civilization"
Royal Society for the Arts (RSA): Animate

A visual illustration of a talk given by Jeremy Rifkin, an American economist, writer, public speaker, political advisor, and activist, on the the most fundamental human trait that unites us within our divisive spheres: empathy.  Take 10 minutes and 40 seconds to really absorb what he's saying; it may truly shift your perspective on the most basic aspect of human interaction.


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The very ability to make a difference in the lives of others is what inspires and motivates us as social entrepreneurs.  Whether your contribution is like that of Nikolas Kristof, Tracy Kidder, or the Arcade Fire (see: Will Butler speaking at Northwestern on his involvement with PIH), in which they write to showcase the efforts of others and garner support, or like that of the individuals actually making the change and investing their lives in the promise of a better future for humanity, the impact is tangible.  It may just be a drop in an ocean, but what if you were that drop?  What if your life is the one being changed?  The Sanjeevani Project is inspired not only by Dr. Paul Farmer, but by any and all of the individuals devoting their youth, health, and careers to social development.

For now, keep up with Sanjeevani in the press:

featured in North By Northwestern, NU's premier online student magazine
Emily Chow
"In mid-July, four Northwestern students — Kurtis Fjerstad, Hugo Massa, Nadine Ibrahim and Victor ‘Vik’ Siclovan — joined Reddy in India for the full immersion experience. Traveling between Mumbai, Hyderabad and the rural village itself, the group was able to gain perspective what the residents in Ananthaiahgaripalli needed. They conducted needs assessment surveys and began visiting various schools in Kadapa to learn from their shortcomings and integrate the positive aspects into their own project."


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Take a few moments out of your day and reflect on all of this.  What does it take to make a difference? Help out where it means the most to you.  Donate one day's worth of wages.  If you're a doctor, offer your services.  A student, parent, CEO, dog-walker?  Get engaged in the dialogue.

Peace, love, and social engagement,
Nadine

1 comment:

  1. Ms. Nadine, I love Paul Farmer, his work and his story and thoroughly enjoyed Mountains Beyond Mountains. If you like Tracy Kidder's writing and biographies, you should check out "Strength in What Remains" about a Burundian refugee who escaped the war, moved to NYC and chased his dream to become a doctor. Keep doing wonderful, wonderful work.

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