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Interplast Included in Peter Singer’s “The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty”

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Interplast is honored to be included in world-renowned ethicist and Princeton professor Peter Singer’s widely acclaimed book, “The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty.” 

The premise of the book is that if we could easily save the life of a child, we would--- and that most of us living in affluent countries can and should do more. It challenges readers “to give a modest proportion of their income to effective organizations fighting extreme poverty” in order to solve world poverty. 

Interplast is mentioned as one of those effective organizations, based in part on watch-dog group Give Well’s favorable evaluation of us.  “Interplast doesn’t save lives, but Give Well included it in [its most effective organizations category] because it transforms them so dramatically.  Interplast corrects deformities like cleft palates, and helps burn victims so that they can walk or use their hands again,” writes Singer.  “The procedures performed are often relatively simple and would be routine in rich nations, but for the poor in the developing world, getting to a surgeon is often impossible…. Life-changing procedures anywhere, the surgeries are even more so in poor countries, where discrimination against people with deformities is often much more severe than in rich nations.”

The book also discusses in interesting detail the psychology of giving and how there needs to be a cultural shift in giving to end poverty. “Research has shown that people are more likely to give if they know that others are giving.  So we need to be upfront about our giving.”

Interplast is one of 15 charities recommended for donations on the book’s website.   Singer also recently wrote to us, “I just wanted to add my own appreciation of your work at Interplast.  I do hope the book helps you gain further support.”  While we do not know if it has yet, we do know his website endorsement and numerous book interviews have increased traffic to our website.  We thank Professor Singer for including us in his book and most importantly, for his work trying to make the world a better place for all.

To learn more, visit "The Life You Can Save”, or numerous interviews and reviews, including The New York Times, The Chrisitan Science Monitor  or NPR.  

Interplast Nepalese Surgeon with Farming Roots Tours Pescadero Farm

People in other countries are so hospitable to Interplast when we travel. We try to return the hospitality when our partners come here, but when Dr. Shankar Man Rai (our Nepalese director emeritus who was here receiving an honor from the Dalai Lama) asked to see a farm, we were not quite sure where to turn.

We called Flea Street Café in Menlo Park because they are known for their devotion to organic food and the local food movement. If anyone would have some good ideas, they would. The manager, Julianna, graciously encouraged me to contact Fat Cabbage Farm in Pescadero. We really appreciate her kindness and efforts to connect us.

With less than a day’s notice, Fat Cabbage Farm welcomed us to tour their new organic farm. It was a wonderful experience. The farm partners Miranda Roberts, Paul Richeson and Brian Coltrin took time out of their busy day to show us around their beautiful acreage in Pescadero. They answered the numerous questions Shankar had about farming in the United States.

As Shankar grew up on a farm in Nepal and comes from a long line of farmers, we all discussed the differences and similarities between organic farming here and subsistence farming in Nepal, where farming is primarily done by the very poor and uneducated who have not changed their methods in generations because the risk of failure is too great, i.e. their family might not eat for a season.

It was good to be able to do something nice for Shankar, who devotes his life to the poor in Nepal. We are very thankful to Fat Cabbage Farm for creating this experience for him. We are also very thankful to Jesse Ziff Cool and Drew, who kindly welcomed us to tour another CoolEatz garden/farm in Palo Alto that evening.

It was a special day, filled with great people doing great work---and I suspect it will be one that we all remember for awhile.

Visit our flickr.com set for more farm photos.

Global Health