Mari Kuraishi, one of the world's top 100 thinkers according to Foreign Policy magazine, visited Stoddert Elementary this afternoon to share her insights and knowledge with fifth-graders. Kuraishi, formerly of the World Bank, heads a non-profit called Global Giving whose mission is "to catalyze a global market for ideas, information, and money that democratizes aid and philanthropy."
Some of the projects discussed were providing fresh milk to babies, minefield clearing, increasing educational opportunities and investments in girls, disease prevention and cures. and climate change.
Archie was suprised to learn that some girls around the world are forced to get married at 14 when their parents would no longer care for them. "That's just wrong. That's mean."
The students learned that many small interventions can have huge effects on the lives of disadvantaged people. $20, for example, could provide books to entire school of 250 students in South Africa.
The wide range of projects, numbered at some 2000, also includes saving bats, supporting baseball leagues in the earthquate-affected areas of Japan, and building wells and trees in rural areas.
When asked about how students could get into the development field, Kuraishi mentioned that they would need to pay close attention to social studies, geography, economics, and other topics. "You should travel whenever you can, and learn languages. Learn as much as you can about the world around you."