“Philip McMaster feels that the Caravan of Care, an initiative he launched to encourage rich individuals to contribute to poorer communities, can be a source of happiness for both givers and recipients.” — From a Profile Article written by Wong Wei Han about Philip McMaster’s ‘Caravan Of Care’, featured in The ASIAN BANKER Magazine December 12, 2011.
(Photos & Headlines Added )
Sharing and Helping is Emotionally Rewarding
- Written by- Wong Wei Han, The Asian Banker Magazine
A CALL FOR A NEW
‘SUSTAINABLE WORLD ORDER’
The financial volatilities in recent years signify a trying time for individuals and entities in the financial services. On the business front, they are constantly under pressure to shield their fragile profit margin and investment portfolio from market headwinds. However, another challenge awaits the financial community beyond the realm of day-to-day operations - as economic uncertainties continue take a toll on the social fabric across the world, antagonism towards the financial sector has similarly surged amidst rising outcry for greater social and economic equality. In the US, these hostile voices have culminated in the ongoing Occupy Wall Street demonstration, in which protestors are calling for systemic reforms that enable a more equal share of wealth and end the collusion between the financial and political communities.
Caravan Of Care founder Philip McMaster (with hat, center) shares the Symbol of the Caravan Of Care, the 3 Finger “Peace Plus One” Sustainability Salute with, from left to right: Liu Hong, Emmanuel Daniel Founder and President of The Asian Banker Magazine, Sustainability Ambassador Ms. Jenny Zheng Jiaoli, Mr. Gboyega Songonuga Regional Head, Africa IFC, Vincent O’Brien, Chair, ICC Banking Commission Market Intelligence Group, at the Banking Commission Meeting & ICC Trade Finance Summit in Beijing China
Philip Kucharski, Director of Business Development, (ICC) International Chamber of Commerce
CARAVAN OF CARE
While such antagonism is hardly new, it does highlight an ever-present need to facilitate positive engagement between wealthy individuals and less-endowed communities. To this end, many social and charity projects have been set in motion over the years, and the list now grows to include the Caravan of Care, an initiative launched by Philip McMaster.
A NEW APPROACH TO REDUCING THE DISTANCE IN THE ‘WEALTH GAP’
“The Caravan of Care aims to narrow the growing wealth gap between the rich and poor communities,” says McMaster, “but does so in a way without replicating the systemic flaws that cause the structural problems to begin with. Instead, it runs on relationships based on mutual trust and respect.”
Organised under the McMaster Institute for Sustainable Development in Commerce, it involves two stages of activities. The first stage is what McMaster calls “an expedition to poorer communities”, in which participants are encouraged to commit their own capabilities instead of just wealth to a social cause.
Under guidance of a relevant NGO, wealthy individuals that take part in the Caravan of Care will spend their money and resources on acquiring supplies or commodities needed for specific communities. These acquired items will then be transported personally – and under protection of local authorities – in 4×4 vehicles to the target community, where the participants will engage the locals in exchanges of commodities for information on indigenous culture and living conditions. “Sharing is a key experience for the Caravan of Care,” says McMaster. “Participants do not give out money – they share equipment, supplies, stories and experience and learn what the actual needs are among these communities and people they engage with.”
This process of sharing and learning is crucial for the second stage.
Upon returning from the expedition, the participants will be immediately interviewed on their experience. This is followed by a gala event a few days later, during which the exploits of the participants will be rewarded. “They will be given certificates as a sign of recognition, and the videos recording their expeditions will be shown,” says McMaster. “We want to create a ripple effect whereby other similarly wealthy individuals attending the event will be inspired by an emotionally satisfying experience to emulate similar actions.” As more individuals or entities are incentivised to join the Caravan of Care, the programme can be further incorporated into existing charity and social projects run by governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as corporates to ensure a larger scale and greater efficiency.
Currently the Caravan of Care is still in a nascent stage, having run a single pilot in Sichuan, China.
The expedition involved 3 main vehicles and 2 support vehicles, with a team of 16 people including personnel from collaborating NGO, the Global Village Beijing, and was received warmly by locals. Going forward, McMaster is confident that the project will gain traction. “The challenge now is to have wealthy individuals realise that this is an opportunity for them to take actions and create a positive impact on humanity. I do not think this is a difficult challenge.”
At the same time, McMaster also stresses that the Caravan of Care is not just about the rich helping the poor, although that is a crucial part of the programme. “It is really more about helping to improve the standards of living. Hence, target communities do not have to be impoverished. Rather, they have to have specific needs to address. In helping to address these needs, the programme also delivers happiness.”
Happiness is thus the ultimate goal of the Caravan of Care – not only for the recipients but also the participants as they are rewarded emotionally and spiritually through the act of helping. In this sense, the Caravan of Care is consistent with the global trend of incorporating happiness as part of the policy metrics in various countries, as is highlighted by China’s new 5-year plan. This can also be a worthy goal to pursue for individuals and institutions in the financial sector, enabling them to make a difference not just on their businesses, but also the lives and well-being of others.
ORIGINAL STORY HERE: http://main.theasianbanker.com/updates?&docid=9501
Caravan of Care Slide Show: www.CaravanOfCare.com
Explanation of Caravan of Care to Community Development Practitioners and One Foundation, Beijing Normal University ( )
Q&A / FAQ about the Peace Plus One - World Sustainability Project, World Sustainability Organization, McMaster Institute for Sustainable Development in Commerce and Explorasport Adventure Coordination Group Inc.
FOR MORE INFORMATION on Caravan Of Care, please visit:
Caravan Of Care PPT Presentation:
Article from Asian Banker Magazine about Caravan Of Care:
Philosophy, Questions And Answers about Caravan Of Care:
OR COMMUNICATE WITH:
Caravan Of Care (a) gmail (.) com , with “Caravan Of Care” in the SUBJECT line.