Can't you change the world? Just try!
As a Riga citizen, Boris Bulaev got to the Forbes list and decided that money does not bring happiness.
"And in Africa, children are starving!— - we say, when we want to identify something terrible. In Africa, children do die. And fortunately, there are people who care.
Boris Bulaev, one of the organizers of the project Educate! in Uganda is one of such people. They are called philanthropists.
Many consider philanthropists strange and ask: "Do they want to build communism all over the world?
And really, what do these people want?“Saturday” managed to learn about it.
Turn of fate
28-year-old Boris Bulaev is an ordinary young man. But his way of life and thinking ordinary cannot be called.
He left a prestigious job, an apartment in the center of New York, friends and went to Uganda — one of the poorest countries in Africa.
— My decision was not spontaneous, - says Boris Bulaev. - At the age of 17, I looked at the CNN story, which made a lasting impression on me. They showed one of the factories in Cambodia: hard labor, antediluvian machines, around which scurry unhappy people. Then I decided to change this world.
Next year my friend came from Uganda and talked about how poor people live there. I immediately offered my help: to raise money so that my African peers could also go to school. It's not fair that I live in America, study in one of the best universities in the country, and for someone on the other side of the globe this is not possible.
Boris and his classmates started small: they arranged a show, sold T-shirts, sent letters with a request to donate money for African peers. It was real help that was easy to track: 5-10 kids in Uganda went to school every month with the money collected.
At first, the amount was small, and in the last year the students managed to collect 100 000 dollars! It was winning.
In 2007 Boris went to Uganda for the first time. About the impressions he says:
- People in Uganda are great: funny, open, friendly. And they always smile in spite of illness, hunger and poverty. 94 per cent of Uganda's population lives on less than two dollars a day. There is almost no work. Some people are engaged in agriculture, the good soil is fertile. Another part of the work on the so-called black labor market: something to make, sell on the streets — however, without much success.
Uganda is a very young country! Half of its residents are only 15-17 years old, and they have no prospects, no future. 30 percent of young people can't find a job!
It is so because the school system in Uganda is built in such a way that it does not provide any applied knowledge necessary for children in life after school. They do not imagine that you can create your own business, earn money, feed your family…
Of course, this was not a discovery: everyone in the country knew about the imperfection of the school system, just no one did anything. And then I and my associates decided to try to rectify the situation.
Learn, learn and learn!
What can a couple of enthusiastic Americans do for a huge Uganda? But it turns out that someone who wants to change the world can do a lot. The guys offered their training programme for high school students called “Educate!”, which was supported at the state level. We developed a model related to the acquisition of practical skills, and taking into account the characteristics of the country. And we began to implement it in schools.
We have insisted that the next two years in schools these courses would be taught: how to become a leader, how to build a business, how to put their strength. We sent to Uganda volunteers who have taught these subjects to local teachers. Do not think that we have dictated or imposed. Just offered a different model of learning that everyone liked. And most importantly - gave results.
Sam and a happy ending
Results of the programme Educate! received recognition at the highest level. Forbes magazine listed Boris Bulaev and his companions Eric Klastrom and Angelica Thawne as the 30 most successful young managers in America under the age of 30.
The world-famous organization Big Bang has adopted the team Educate! into their ranks. Philanthropy and Ashoka charities noted the work of children with honorary awards…
Boris Bulaev can spend hours telling stories about his wards.
For example, an orphan boy with an unusual name for Africa, Sam, whose parents died of AIDS. Getting in the program Educate! business knowledge, he started his own business: cleared part of the forest behind the school, broke a garden there, began to plant vegetables and succeeded.
After the programme Educate! a young man named Ogwal opened a brick business and is now able not only to pay for studies,to feed his family, but also to provide jobs: his company employs 10 people.
And there are a lot such stories with a happy ending.
Business with soul
Today, Boris Bulaev does not live in Uganda permanently, he spends only a few months a year. But the money for charity is still collecting and already quite on a different scale. Like a real businessman. That's just the business he had unusual — with a soul.
In order to find people who can support the project, he flies around the world — from the UK to Australia — and looking for funds that care about the fate of young people in Uganda.
- Many respond willingly. We have already managed to raise a million dollars — not without pride says Boris.
By the way, according to him, it has become a tradition to donate money to charity in the US.
A huge number of people from all over the world annually give money to those who need it, become ambassadors of good will, go to volunteers, restore the environment. And not because they will be rewarded for it. It is because according to the law of the Universe we receive what we give. If you live only for yourself, not helping others, the world will answer you the same, and you will rely in vain on his help: how to backfire and respond. Like simple the truth, but until it need to grow.