BECKY STRAW + JODY LANDERS
The Adventure Project was founded in 2010 by Jody Landers and Becky Straw, who met in Liberia, West Africa.
My ‘it’ moment happened in Haiti.
I was standing in one of the largest displacement camps outside Port-au-Prince with my co-founder, Jody Landers and Esther Havens, a humanitarian photographer, when three burly men called out and approached us.
My heart began racing. How would I explain why we were there? We were not handing out food or water. We had no aid to offer. Surely, I assumed, these guys were going to beg for something. Instead, one wrung his hands and sheepishly said, “Excuse me, ma’am, but we’re wondering if you are hiring? Because we really want to work.”
Through sad TV commercials of orphans covered in flies, we have been fed a view that we can end poverty only with handouts and charity. These commercials broke my heart and because of them, I set my sights on becoming an aid worker.
I thought it would be so romantic to travel the world “saving” others. Then I stopped and listened.
I realized people all over the world want the same things: the opportunity to care for their families, send their kids to school and lead healthy lives.
Aid is always appreciated, but a job has the power to move an entire family out of poverty forever.
With that vision in mind, Jody and I launched The Adventure Project, a nonprofit focused on creating jobs in developing countries. We work strategically to invest in jobs that solve local problems and help communities thrive.
Now when someone stops me in a village and asks if we’re hiring, I get to smile and say,
“Yes, we are.”