I’m Asking You To Do Something

October 2, 2009 § 2 Comments

So after agonizing over wording and infinitesimal details in my “ask” letter, I’ve decided..

(with the help of some wise words from one of my high school friends)

A: you’re worryiing too much about it
A: wording on one letter won’t change anything
A: sending five letters will
A: not to mention 7 hours is way too long to draft one email
A: you could have written a novel by now

…to just put it out there.

So here it is.


Hi special person,

Last spring I took a class called Entrepreneurship to Address Global Poverty.  The final project was to draft a business plan for an innovative and sustainable social venture.  My team found an opportunity to bring the charcoal-making processes used in Asia to Malawi, one of the most impoverished countries in the world.

Currently, deforestation is a huge problem in Malawi.  People have been illegally cutting down trees to make charcoal. Other sources of fuel are too expensive for most Malawians to afford, so charcoal is their only option.  Bamboo is a solution to this because it makes good charcoal, grows quickly, and requires less water and nutrients.  If the people of Malawi switch to using bamboo charcoal, they can not only reduce deforestation but also have a more reliable source of cleaner burning fuel.  To put it more succinctly, we can fight global warming and provide heating to the impoverished.

Our venture goes beyond simply bamboo charcoal.  We plan to create the infrastructure for a bamboo charcoal company that trains local Malawians  in bamboo cultivation and gives them an opportunity to sell bamboo and make a living.  For the nitty gritty including more background information, financial analysis, and the exit strategy, please see our business plan.

How can you help?

It’s easy!  And, it’ll take you less than five minutes.   First, click here:  http://arc.peacecorpsconnect.org/view/932/bamboo-lota-the-dream-for-a-sustainable-malawi , a link to our business plan. We entered a social venture competition yesterday in which the team with the most endorsements wins a small sum of seed funding.  After going to the website, click the green button that says “Endorse it”.  It will ask you to create an account, which you probably don’t want to do, but it’s easier than living your whole life in poverty, trust me. =)  Also, please join our Facebook group (http://bit.ly/SEbNM) and follow our Twitter @BambooLota.

Thank you and spread the word!

<3,

Joanna

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