Towards A Good Samaritan World

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


My good friend Seth Wilson is currently working for Horizons International, a Christian organization back in my hometown of Boulder, CO, on a very interesting African aid project. The Zambian Soap Company employs AIDS widows in Zambia, and uses the money to finance their mission work. The model sounds a bit too good to be true-- can you really sell soap made in Africa commercially in the United States, earn enough to pay your workers, not only in Zambia (even good wages in Zambia would be cheap in US terms) but also in the US (even if it's just Seth and a handful of interns on the US side, as far as I understand)?-- but from talking to Seth it sounds like it actually does turn a profit. Seth Wilson is a tremendously talented guy, who could have a high-powered career if he wanted it, but he would be bored by it: he needs something altruistically motivated to keep him going. I don't think Horizons pays him much, but he doesn't seem to mind. (I keep telling him that if he wants to get married one of these days, he'll have to be a bit less indifferent to personal gain. Girls do-- subconsciously perhaps-- calculate whether you'll be a good provider before they give their hearts away.)

Here's their mission page, which has a nice picture of Zambian AIDS widows employed by the company. Visit the page to boost their Google rating, which helps attract customers!

The quality of the product I can't vouch for so far-- I just ordered my first two bars of it, and they haven't shipped yet.


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