(Roughly) Daily

Saying Thanks…

A joint post to Scenarios and Strategy and (Roughly) Daily:

Back from points (way) East and into more direct radio contact again, your correspondent is digressing from the on-going consideration of futures [S&S] and curiosities [(R)D] to say a seasonal word of thanks to Readers.  I am deeply grateful for your kind attention.

And while I’m saying thanks, a gentle request:  one needs no reminding that this has been a tough year all around.  But the brutal irony is that, like downturns past, this one hits hardest those who were already neediest.  Efforts to eliminate poverty around the world are challenged not only by the reduced support/donations they receive in troubled times, but also by the expanding need– the growing number of families below the poverty line– caused by the downturn.

Two organizations are particularly effective in addressing the challenge:

The Rural Development Institute

RDI is an international nonprofit organization working to secure land rights for the world’s poorest people, those 3.4 billion chiefly rural people who live on less than $2 a day.  Land rights are the single greatest asset for the world’s rural poor. For decades, RDI has used the law to bring land rights to the poor in a peaceful, fair and democratic manner:   For 40 years, RDI professionals have worked with the governments of 40 developing countries, foreign aid agencies, and other partners to design and implement laws, policies, and programs that provide opportunity, further economic growth, and promote social justice. To date, RDI has helped provide land rights to more than 400,000,000 [!] people.

Heifer International

Heifer, another international not-for-profit, is the perfect complement to RDI, offering a series of services to the rural poor that enable them to rise above the poverty line– perhaps most famously, Heifer provides livestock with which families can work their plots, from which they can get milk, and with which, via breeding, they can share the “wealth” with other families.

While both RDI and Heifer forthrightly address poverty– and while that’s surely reason enough to be grateful to them– one should note that their work has powerful follow-on benefits.  The careful research that both groups do has demonstrated that helping families out of poverty in these ways pays tremendous further benefits to the region’s environmental, educational, and public health efforts as well.

So, Dear Readers, a respectful request: as you think about last-minute Holiday gifts, and about year-end charitable giving, I hope that you’ll join me in saying “thanks” in this more concrete way– I hope that you’ll keep these two worthy causes in mind.  (In fact, if one acts fast, one can multiply one’s largesse:  thanks to the generosity of the Weyerhaeuser Foundation, a gift to RDI will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, until December 31.)

Again, thank you, Dear Readers– have the Merriest Christmas and the Happiest Holidays!

As we count our blessings, we might recall that it was on this date in 1917 that the Cheka, the secret police of Lenin’s new Bolshevik government in Russia, was formed.  In 1923 it became the NKVD; then in 1946, the KGB; and most recently, the Administration of Vladimir Putin.

Written by (Roughly) Daily

December 20, 2008 at 1:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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