How Far Would You Walk to Give One Person Water for Their Entire Life? Michael Gillespie and Randy Haacke of World Vision On Making A Global Impact.

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Randy Haacke, Senior Area Director for World Vision, is a man whose life has always been centered around service and making an impactful change. For over eight years, Randy has been instrumental in forging bonds between donor families and individuals in Washington, Montana, and Alaska.

His mission? To guide World Vision's supporters in creating a legacy, by investing in transformative programs designed to uplift the world's most vulnerable children and families.

Beyond Randy's significant role at World Vision, he further extends his influence in the community. As board chair for the Everett Gospel Mission, his efforts are geared towards offering shelter and recovery solutions, particularly for those battling the harsh realities of homelessness.

Michael Gillespie, is a name synonymous with leadership and results-driven strategy in both for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Michael’s resume boasts influential roles in prominent organizations, including World Vision, Rite Aid, Ames Tools, and Family Christian. His current role as Senior Director in Corporate Engagement at World Vision is one of unique distinction. Here, he spearheads initiatives to form meaningful collaborations, with an emphasis on product donations and impactful community betterment campaigns. His experience has not only led to revenue and growth but has also paved the way for innovative programs that have left an indelible mark on communities worldwide.

During your time listening to these two change makers, you’ll learn more about:

  • World Vision Foundation’s Core Philosophy: Discover the guiding principles and actions that define this global humanitarian organization.
  • The Walk for Water Initiative: Dive deep into this inspirational campaign, its origin, and its lasting impact on global communities.
  • Innovative Collaborations: Learn about World Vision’s unique partnership with Sesame Street, aiming to inculcate essential hygiene practices in the younger generation.

However, this conversation is not merely an informative session. It's an opportunity for you to understand the vast network of operations, initiatives, and collaborations that World Vision has cultivated over the years. As you navigate through these discussions, you’ll gain a comprehensive perspective on the organization's dedication to global humanitarian efforts, their practical strategies for change, and the various avenues through which you can contribute and become part of their mission. This is your chance to connect with two seasoned professionals, absorb their wisdom, and perhaps, get inspired to make a change in your own way. If you'd like to support through the Ben Greenfield Life team visit this link Ben Greenfield Life Walk for Water.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-What is the World Vision Foundation?…09:04

  • World Vision is a relief and development organization
  • Founded in the 1950s by an American evangelist minister, Robert Pierce
  • He was sent to China and Korea on a mission
  • When he came back, he started World Vision 
  • Initially focused on orphans and children, now includes food, clothing, medical care, and water
  • Greenfield family supports an Ethiopian girl through the Foundation
  • World Vision Global 6K for Water
  • Proceeds of the money from Ben Greenfield Life goes to the Foundation
  • Ben Greenfield Life Walk for Water bucket carrying
  • Ben had dinner with Michael Gillespie and Randy Haacke
  • Michael Gillespie
    • A senior director of corporate engagement at World Vision
    • Oversees the partnership between Ben Greenfield Life and World Vision
  • Randy Haacke
    • Spent 10 years in Global Humanitarian resource generation
    • Worked in the US and Canadian agricultural sectors

-The story behind the Walk for Water…13:16

  • Over 700 million people in the world don’t have direct access to clean water
    • They have to carry water in buckets from distant places on foot
  • The reason for people not having access to water
    • Poverty – people are struggling to survive
  • Usually, girls and women spend all day collecting water while the men are working
  • The majority of the world's poor live in rural areas
    • Families earn $2 per day
    • Grow food on small parcels of land
    • Plant potato or corn
    • Buy beans and rice
    • Usually have one meal a day
  • The average distance to go to get the water is 6km (3.75 miles), several times a day
  • They walk on dirt passes, up and down hills to avoid predators
    • Predators are animals and people
    • A lot of violence occurs
  • Walk for Water was on May 20
    • 6km of carrying water to bring awareness to the difficulties people go through to have access to clean water
  • Companies can do it as a workplace event

-How much money gets raised, and how are the funds used?…22:32

-What is the Thrive program?…28:24

  • World Vision is involved in addressing all of the root causes of poverty
  • Partnering with the communities to empower them to find their own solutions to poverty
  • Clean water is the foundation
  • Once you have clean water, other things come into play
  • People need to be empowered to be able to provide for themselves and to thrive
  • THRIVE (Transforming Household Resilience In Vulnerable Environments)
    • Helping families to generate sustaining life income and provide for their children
  • Has been in the Copan region of Honduras for 10 years
    • People grow primarily tobacco, corn, and maize
  • THRIVE helps farmers with better seeds, better fertilizers, and buying groups
    • Teaches people to grow tomatoes, peppers, and onions
    • Family pressure against new ideas
    • Production increased 10 times with the help of World Vision
    • Galvanizing farmers from individual entities into producer groups with different functions
    • Connecting them with larger markets, even beyond their countries

-Biblically empowered worldview training…39:27

  • The mindset of people in extreme poverty
    • Life is a struggle, I don’t matter
    • The focus is on survival
  • Biblically empowered worldview training
    • Helps them reorient their worldview
    • They have a loving Creator who has endowed them with talent and potential capability
  • Ben's article on the The Greatest Book in the World:
  • Teaching self-worth and empowerment and using that as a foundation to build societies
  • Generational poverty and close-mindedness
    • Opening the mind to possibilities
  • Developing trust with the local community and government

-What are girls and women doing in the renewed communities?…43:27

  • Women are the most amazing entrepreneurs
    • They take more risks on behalf of the family
  • Biblically empowered worldview brings husbands and wives together
  • World Vision never imposes Western norms on other cultures
    • Focused to help bring out the best norms of that culture for itself

-External academic monitoring and evaluating partners…46:19

-Building and maintaining the water supply…48:33

  • WASH team – Wash, Sanitation, Hygiene
    • Engineers looking for a sustainable place for a well
    • The drilling apparatus comes in and starts drilling
    • Water is transferred through PVC pipes
    • Water pumps are often powered with solar energy
    • Community helps in the work
  • A water committee voted by the community
    • The community pays a very nominal fee for the use of the water
    • The committee is monitoring and taking care of the water system
  • Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is a massive funder of water work across the world
    • They did research – within 20 years, half of those water points were no longer working
  • With World Vision, 80% are still functioning at a very high level after 20 years
    • Because the communities have ownership
    • They are very protective of that
  • Partnerships across the board

-Going on trips with World Vision…57:32

  • Corporate partners are developing a give-back mindset among employees and in the community
    • Some of them get the privilege of going on World View trips
  • They see the complexity of creating a situation where people are enabled to live their best lives
  • Awareness of what other people in the world are experiencing
  • Vision trips can be a multi-generational family experience
  • The last thing the developing world needs is cheap labor
  • Having conversations, connecting with people, and showing them love
  • Asking what their needs are

-Supplying clean water to schools and health clinics…1:03:36

  • Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene at the school and clinic levels
    • Over 2000 health centers in the last four years
  • Partnership with Sesame Street
    • Wash up program for schools
    • Teaching kids good hygiene practices

-How to connect with World Vision…1:06:32

  • For $50, you can join World Vision and help 1 person get clean water for life
  • Website offers a lot of information
  • Corporate, government, and child sponsorship
    • $50 becomes $250

-And much more…

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

– Michael Gillespie and Randy Haacke:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Michael Gillespie, Randy Haacke or me? Leave your comments below, and one of us will reply!

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One thought on “How Far Would You Walk to Give One Person Water for Their Entire Life? Michael Gillespie and Randy Haacke of World Vision On Making A Global Impact.

  1. Art Dykstra says:

    This was a fabulous episode, but I don’t see in the show Notes, the book that Ben refers to called the greatest book ever written?

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