How to do good
By: Fatma Yousef Albastaki
How to Do Good is an essay-based book which includes chapters by many writers who contributed to all kinds of good acts. While reading this book, I couldn’t help but notice how genuine and realistic the book feels as it takes to journeys across the world where slavery still exists, where people aren’t privileged with access to clean water and where people don’t have the gift of education that we take for granted. The editor, Leonard Stall, starts off this book with an insightful introduction as he described the book as a “celebration of thoughtfulness.” The book contains 30 chapters, and each chapter has an inspirational story of a philanthropist. In this review, I will be mentioning the two most attractive stories that stunned me the most.
More kids die from lack of access to clean water than from AIDS and malaria combined. Matt Doman learned this after his mission to Africa in 2006. Where Doman grew up, drinking water was never an issue, and he never thought that some people go thirsty. After his visit to Africa, he realized the impact that water has and he wanted to “do something” because he knew that he has something to offer. He decided to launch his organization having in mind that most water projects fail. But he was determined to learn from other successful projects and collaborate with other people, and he successfully launched Water.org. Doman is one of the co-founders of this organization that reached 3.3 million people in 12 countries and provide them with water supplies and sanitation loans. If it wasn’t for water.org, the countries that they accessed would not be able to afford clean water.
A wealthy man Azim Premji, the chairman of Wipro, one of India’s largest trading companies, have always viewed himself as a guardian of his wealth. However, traveling within India made him notice that poor Indians lack access to basic human needs. Premji thought it was unfair, so he decided to give out a major part of his wealth to improve education in India. Regardless of the complex public systems that India has, he saw that education is the key to raising and empowering a good society. Premji worked closely with public education system in developing curriculums, providing teachers and reforming assessments. He knew that improvements aren’t easy and require years to achieve, so he insisted on developing a strong team at the foundation. All the hard work payed off when Premji saw the positive impact of their work when they visited schools and talked to students, met teachers and administrators. This was when he realized that he must do more to achieve his goal of seeing and outstanding education system in India.