After reading this interview in The Irish Times with author Clare Mulvany, I picked up her book – One Wild Life: A Journey to Discover People Who Change Our World (Collins Press). I just finished reading it and am greatly impressed by Mulvany’s work. Traveling throughout Ireland (her home country), Africa, Asia and the U.S. (she tried to make it to South America but ran out of money), Mulvany interviewed several social entrepreneurs running global non-profits. In Studs Terkel’s oral history manner, she quotes them at length – letting them tell their stories in their own words – and mixes her own photos (“snapshots,” which inspired me to create “Snapshot Chicago” for this blog) and journal/blog entries within the book.
Nearly all of the people interviewed in the book discuss their initial frustrations and continued struggles to make a difference in the world and to stay afloat business-wise. One of my favorite quotes comes from Youk Chhang, founder of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, which records the history of the Cambodian Genocide under Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge:
Each of us has an obligation to understand but listening will have an impact on the world. Put pressure on politicians, policy-makers and lawmakers to think about this before they go to war, before they support a country that has genocide. Being able to share our stories is one of the best medicines for healing.
Check out Mulvany’s excellent blog here.