Support 2Seeds Bungu Project in Tanzania, which I (Billy Beaver) will be co-managing this year, and help those in severe, debilitating poverty.
We've hit $4,500 in contributions for the Bungu Project! This was our first target of three in our push for support before I leave next Sunday.
I have some big news: I'm heading to Tanzania in August for a year!
I was selected for a competitive leadership program in international development and will be co-managing a project for the 2Seeds Network, which helps those in severe, debilitating poverty.
THE BUNGU PROJECT
My project is the Bungu Project, where together with a group of farmers I will be developing a business growing and selling high-quality produce to contracted buyers like hotels, restaurants and high-end markets.
With the investment, training and guidance 2Seeds has provided so far on the project, these farmers are just about ready to fully take control of the business. They just need one more year of support.
Together we can help them take this last step and escape from severe, debilitating poverty for good.
While managing the Bungu Project, I'll be taking a business-like approach to helping others, maximizing the number of lives improved or saved for every dollar spent. We will:
Create long-term solutions
We will be helping farmers develop steady income and skills now to set them up for success for the rest of their lives. It's an investment, an investment in these farmers. We expect that the returns, in terms of improved income and well-being over their lifetimes, will be great.
The 2Seeds' approach, a variation of the "graduation approach", is proven and is one of the very few ways shown to help the poor escape from debilitating poverty for good. Read more here, here and here.
2. Focus on one of the poorest regions in the world
The dollar now is stronger than it has been in a long time. This means that vacations to Europe are cheap, but this also means that in the poorest regions of the world like Tanzania in sub-Saharan Africa your dollar will go far, much farther than in the U.S. or even Europe.
In general helping the global poor has the potential to be more efficient and improve lives to a greater extent than helping the poor in the U.S. or in other developed countries. For more information, see here.
3. Be transparent and accountable
Supporters of the Bungu project will be treated as partners or investors. I will be providing transparent, in-depth reporting and metrics so you'll know exactly what effect your support is having. Our strongest supporters will receive privileged access to information on the project.
HOW WILL YOUR SUPPORT BE USED?
All contributions go directly to the project and will be allocated by me and my co-manager Antal Neville.
For 2Seeds Network projects, the majority of the funds usually go towards providing counsel, support and training. A smaller portion is used to invest directly in the business and purchase necessary equipment and supplies, such as seeds and farming tools.
This year, we are also planning to go one step further by exploring ways to make the Bungu Project more efficient and impactful. Once we are on the ground, we will be in a better position to provide a detailed plan and a breakdown of projected expenses.
I'm joining 2Seeds Network from the global communications firm APCO Worldwide, where I was involved with both government relations and multinational communications projects, the majority of which focused on Eastern Europe and Central Asia. While continuing — and hopefully accelerating — the progress of the Bungu Project, I plan to draw on my communications background to maintain close ties with project donors and transparently communicate the impact their support is having.
Prior to APCO, I worked in Moscow for KPMG, an accounting and business consulting firm, and in Washington, D.C. for the U.S-Russia Business Council as Manager of Membership Relations. I studied comparative politics in the former Soviet Union at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in graduate school and have a degree in Russian language from Goucher College, where I was a defenseman on the lacrosse team.
I'm excited to gain experience in a new region of the world and to be involved with a project that can have such a strong impact.
I’m leaving soon for Tanzania - just three more weeks until my flight to Dar es Salaam. Our goal is to raise $7,000 by my departure and $4,500 in total by Friday.
This is a great opportunity to do good - we’re seeking the equivalent of a beer or two ($10) a month, which would go a long way towards meeting the projects needs. Thanks everyone!
When I worked in public relations, I contributed a portion of my salary to some of the world’s most effective charitable organizations like the Against Malaria Foundation.
The Bungu Project, which I’ll be co-managing, has the potential to be one of these top charities and is a great opportunity for us to work together over the next year doing real good.
Helping others motivates me.
Although at APCO Worldwide I advocated for effective international development and contributed a portion of my income to some of the most efficient and results-driven charity organizations in the world, my contributions and ability to directly help others were limited.
I'm so excited to be managing the Bungu Project because it will allow me to help more people to a greater extent than I was before. Join me in helping those in severe need!
I'm glad so many of you are excited about my project in Tanzania! I am leaving a great job behind, though, and have been asked why I decided to make this big change.
Update from Billy - Funds Raised and Campaign Deadline
Funds Raised: We've now hit $3,085, which includes received donations and projected donations from monthly payments. Thanks everyone!
Campaign deadline: The campaign deadline is set for my departure date but could be pushed past that. Our minimum goal is to be over 50% ($5,500) of the way to the $10,000 target before then. However, ideally we will be as close as possible to the $10,000 target before departure. It is easier to fundraise in the U.S., and we would like to focus on the project once we're on the ground.
Let me know if you have any questions about anything! You can reach me at [email protected].
Updates! Thanks so much to our 10 supporters who got the crowd-funding campaign started:
Shannon Phifer, Yi Kwan Chu, Whitney Hoft, Yulia Koval Molodtsova, Lindsey Kane, Catherine & Garland Grammer (counted as 1), Richard Burcat, Erica Zimmerman, Jon Gregory, and Tom and Kim Chaikin (counted as 1)
We'll be planting a seed for each of you next to our place in Bungu (we're called 2Seeds - get it:)?)! They'll be pictures and everything; Plus I have some other ideas about how we can have fun with the garden over the next year. Here's a hint about one of them: https://twitter.com/NASANewHorizons
Or maybe we'll just use the plants to keep us company). Thanks again everyone!
We're already about a quarter of the way to our goal amount for the Bungu Project and have made a pretty amazing amount of progress over the past week (If I include all projected, recurring donations, we're well past 25%).
Thanks everyone for all your support, including likes and shares, for the Bungu Project, where we'll be making sure you're contribution goes far towards helping these in severe, debilitating poverty. You guys are great!
Welcome to my crowd funding page for the Bungu Project.
IT'S LAUNCH DAY - WAHOOOOOOOO
For each of the first 10 donors, I’ll plant a seed next to our site in Bungu. That way, we’ll at least have your plant for company.
You should also come visit, though.
Can’t donate? Please share. Even a quick share on Facebook can help.
The average share raises $97.