IMAGE: Esther Havens

How to disrupt the charity space with
The Adventure Project

By Noble Staff

The Adventure Project uses business to empower individuals in developing countries. We talked to co-founder and CEO Becky Straw about the non profit and the advice she would give to others about finding a sense of purpose in their own work.

GIVE US A QUICK OVERVIEW OF THE ADVENTURE PROJECT.

The Adventure Project is a female-founded nonprofit revolutionizing charity by empowering entrepreneurs in developing countries. We started with firm knowledge that what people want most in the world is a good job, not handouts. So, we provide moms and dads with tools, resources, and education to become successful entrepreneurs. Why? Because empowering people living in extreme poverty to earn a living is the fastest way to end extreme poverty in our lifetime.

This holiday season, we’re continuing to give “The Best Gift” to moms and dads living in extreme poverty: a good job. On Giving Tuesday, we launched a video with a new mission of creating 1,000 jobs in the next year. Our bigger goal is moving a million people out of poverty by 2030. You can watch the video here.

For every $1,500 raised, you can create one job for a mom or dad in a developing country. They will be able to send their kids to school and care for 500 people in the community.

TELL US A POWERFUL STORY OF TRANSFORMATION THAT YOU’VE SEEN THROUGH YOUR WORK.

Monika and her husband care for 17 children. Last year, our supporters helped her gain access to an irrigation pump. Today she is earning 5x more and not scrambling to provide for her family, “I am proud to be a business-woman, farmer, and mother. Before the pump, I did not always have enough to feed my family and sell at the market. Now, my family is eating nutritious meals year-round and I have money to go to the market every day. My children are happy because they come home from school and know they are going to eat well. The market-goers are happy because they know they can rely on my business to buy their food for the week and I am proud of that.”

It’s incredible how an irrigation pump not only transforms the life of an individual, but also of everyone in the community.

BECKY, YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR ‘IT’ MOMENT IN YOUR FOUNDER’S STORY. CAN YOU EXPAND ON THE EMOTION OF THAT MOMENT, AND HOW YOU NAVIGATED THE CONVICTION THAT YOU WERE MEANT TO DO MORE?

My ‘it’ moment happened while visiting one of the largest displacement camps in Haiti, right outside of Port-au-Prince. Three men came up to me. I assumed they were going to beg for something. But, instead one of them asked, “Excuse me, ma’am, but we’re wondering if you are hiring? Because we really want to work.” I felt a pit in my stomach. Everything I thought I knew about “charity” changed. At that moment, I knew I had to something—I had to revolutionize charity.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE HOPING TO DISCOVER A GREATER SENSE OF PURPOSE?

Stop and listen. The more time I spent listening to people and asking the right questions, the more I realized people all over the world want the same things. But it makes sense. We all want the opportunity to care for our families, send our kids to school, and lead healthy lives. A good job provides those opportunities.

KEY COMPANY STATS?

Since our start 6 years ago, over 10,000 people have joined our movement. Together, we have created over 1,000 jobs and transformed over 1.2 million lives with clean water, health care, nutritious food, and a safer environment. We’ve also worked in Kenya, Uganda, Haiti, and India, to name a few locations.

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