Over the last two months, I have given two presentations on ultra-poverty. As I prepared for the first one, I tried to think about how I could get the people in the audience to understand this level of poverty in a personal and visceral way. I’ve had the privilege of traveling to other countries and interviewing people living in these conditions. I have seen what they have lived without and how it has affected their own development, and that of their children. I have also seen their incredible resilience and the blossoming of their potential as they gained the ability to provide for themselves.
I came up with a visualization, asking people in the audience to imagine what it would be like for them to live in those conditions. It seemed to work. The discussion we had after the visualization demonstrated a much deeper understanding of the conditions of ultra-poverty and what people living in those conditions would need to move out of poverty.
I decided to record the visualization so that you who were not in the audience will be able to experience the same exercise. But first, a couple of warnings. This is my first ever attempt at recording a video of myself for others to see. I’m sure it’s not the professional quality that you’re used to. And second, it’s 12 minutes long, and, according to my wife, it’s worth all 12 minutes. Give yourself some time to exercise your creative imagination, so you can understand why helping families move themselves out of ultra-poverty is so important to me. Go ahead, hit the play button and see what happens.