Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Instead of me writing a lot about things going on, I thought I would briefly highlight two stories and let you read about them. And instead of telling you good things people are doing, I also want to present good opportunities for you to do good, though you might have to think creatively.

First, there is a great story of an Argentinian mechanic who had a dream of how to aid birth in situations of fetal distress and obstructed labor. What’s amazing about the story is that his subconscious made a leap from a YouTube video he saw during the day, displaying how to get a cork out of a bottle without breaking it, to a new method to aid the delivery of babies during obstructed labor. The next morning he woke up and created the first prototype of his Odón device. More importantly, it shows how inspiration can come from anywhere, anyone with a good idea can create a meaningful business, and anyone with a good idea can start a social enterprise that helps others. Now his device is saving lives at birth and endorsed by the WHO, USAID, and other donors. It has been licensed for production, and he has presented around the world (even on TV in his home country).

The second story is of slavery in Mauritania. This is an opportunity. It’s a tough place to grow up and live. Somewhere between 10% and 20% of the population lives in slavery. You don’t have to work against slavery necessarily in Mauritania, though such work is severely needed. You can also work to end slavery in your own region, country, or city. It may not be as high as 10-20% of the population of your country, but it is still a problem worldwide. In Mauritania, a country of about three and a half million people, slavery has only been successfully prosecuted once. In fact, Mauritania was the last country to abolish slavery in the world. The problem is so big there that Mauritania passed a law in 2007 criminalizing slavery. I do not want to write too much. I would rather you read and learn about it. All kinds of abuses can happen at the hands of masters and the destitution is so great there, they do need help. I encourage you to think about meaningful and impacting ways you can contribute to the work to end slavery there or in your own place of residence.

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