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Address root causes

There is no shortage of causes around the world to care about. Every year, thousands of new nonprofit organizations file paperwork to start programs. For people wanting to make an impact, often the problem isn’t finding opportunities to make a difference but choosing one! The Plant With Purpose team has experience working on a number […]
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There is no us versus them

When we see people strictly in terms of us-and-them, it becomes extremely easy to turn people into projects. Thinking in terms of "the needy" versus "the rich" is a very common tendency among charitable organizations. We must not think in terms of haves and have-nots. Some communities have been recipients of aid for so long […]
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Why we work in rural areas

In order to truly help the vulnerable, we must know and understand what their situation is like. These beliefs have led us right into rural locations in developing countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. These are the places where poverty overwhelmingly exists.  85 percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas. While the […]
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Sustainability means giving beyond our own lives

Jah Cho has seen how hard life can be. In Northern Thailand you'll find dozens of small villages where several ethnic minorities live. Many tribal groups have never been granted national citizenship. Many have faced persecution from the state. It isn’t uncommon to find older adults willing to talk about how they once had to […]
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Farms, Food, and Family: Khamsee’s Transformation

For years Khamsee was unable to put food on the table. Much of Thailand has grown internationally familiar as the country has boomed as a tourist hot spot in recent years. Cities like Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai see the bulk of visitors. Many of the country’s rural areas, however, garner far less attention. In […]
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Global change requires empowering locals

Solutions that really last are the ones driven by locals. When people are full-fledged participants in the process, lasting change begins. There are many cases where an organization or think-tank enters a village with a technology-driven innovation that seems guaranteed to eradicate disease, prevent droughts, or halt poverty. The local community, however, doesn't always embrace […]
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One of the hardest working people you'll ever meet

Emma provides the world with a valuable crop - coffee. As a farmer in Tanzania, she produces between 300,000 and 400,000 vegetables each week. Emma works extremely hard, digging trenches and harvesting her crops by hand. Chief among her crops is one that millions of people around the world find extremely valuable– coffee. Coffee is […]
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Violence disrupted her family; now she’s fighting it by the roots

Violence plagued the village of Poblete, and disrupted Juana’s family. Juana, her husband, and their three children lived in Poblete, located in one of Mexico’s poorest areas which suffered from widespread violence. For years, the village experienced tension and crime. When environmental damage caused its farms to produce less food, things took a turn for […]
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When trees go up, poverty comes down

Without trees, the rural poor are often stuck in a cycle of poverty and environmental loss. The conditions of poverty create a strain on land, and exhausted land threatens the livelihood of the farmers who live there. This was a scenario that challenged Eleuterio, a seed producer in Coatecas Altas, Mexico. Before, his community exclusively […]
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Motherhood is difficult. In DR Congo, it’s simply daunting

The Democratic Republic of Congo is among the worst places to be a mom. Each year, Save the Children releases an annual motherhood report that determines the best and worst places to become a mother. In 2012, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reached the very bottom of that list. It has continually ranked in […]
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The earthquake that changed everything and nothing

Plant With Purpose committed to showing up. Few events stand out in the memory of Plant With Purpose’s executive director Scott Sabin like the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti. As news broke on that Monday in early January, the organization had to quickly figure out how to respond to an event that claimed 300,000 lives […]
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Empowerment writes a different story in the hills of Haiti

Good intentions often produce harmful results in Haiti.  Haiti is a hot spot for charity organizations and well-intentioned people wanting to help. The country is often recognized by its poverty as the poorest in the Western Hemisphere and the victim of natural disasters. Unfortunately, the presence of these good intentions have not always produced great […]
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Save money. Find something you’re good at

Marcos and Maria are a couple full of joy.  The community of La Joya is nestled an hour away from Piedra Blanca in the Dominican Republic. Those living in living these rural areas often lag behind the rest of the country’s economic development. As the Dominican Republic experiences economic growth, the gap in between the […]
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Putting the world's biggest problems in reverse

Poverty and deforestation are harsh on vulnerable populations. For generations, the community of La Joya in the Dominican Republic relied on farming. Good production of coffee and graperfuit allowed pig and cattle farmers to produce enough for their families and people. This all started to change as deforestation began and brought many problems. A lack […]
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What would people think of me if they knew I was in an armed group?

Sometimes people go to war. But in some cases, war comes for people. Africa’s Great Lakes Region is no stranger to conflict. Its past few decades have seen attempts at ethnic cleansing, the conscription of child soldiers, and tribes turning against tribes. The natural beauty of the area contrasts alarmingly with moments of brutality. When […]
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