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Paul Raja Livingston of Goodness Foundation
by Dr Elsa Lycias Joel
2018-08-01 05:05:39
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Paul Raja Livingston who Found Goodness Foundation in 2014 after his work experience with Equiniti India, Barclays Shared Services and Covenant India recently spoke to Elsa Lycias Joel on the hows and whys of his mission to alleviate poverty.

Being an engineering graduate, what prompted you to start 'Goodness Foundation'?

I always wanted to do something meaningful in life. Though I’ve seen too many kinds of sufferings, hunger is something which moved me. Hunger, of course is a result of illiteracy that leads to poverty. So, it’s a chain reaction. I thought to myself if I can’t remove poverty from the face of this earth, I’ll do my bit in my own small ways. So, goodness foundation aims at a hunger free society.

Who named your project? What’s the motivation behind this! 

The core group decided on this name. It’s all about being good, doing good and here I am laying a foundation for anybody to be a part of my hope. All the more Goodness is one fruit of the spirit and I’m blessed with it. Gordon Brown is my inspiration. He nailed it when he said that that poverty and desperation is the father of extremism and terror and so it is vital that we do not withdraw from our moral duty to eliminate hunger from the earth.

paul_400What's the basic idea behind this endeavor?

My Idea is to eliminate different faces of poverty if not poverty as a whole.

How many friends are together in this? 

Hundred and still counting

How do you attract funds?

Friends who share my thoughts and passion contribute. We are organizing fund raising campaigns too and social media is a great platform that showcases our activities and needs

Your take on philanthropy!

Philanthropy isn’t about how rich or poor a person is. It’s about caring, sharing and stewardship of money. Many of us know of the woman who gave away the two copper coins and what Mary did with a pint of pure Nard.

Have you ever felt embarrassed dealing with donors?

Not at all, because many a time donors approach us after seeing or knowing of our activities. We always make sure we present evidences of how judiciously money is used. Till today I’ve come across not only rich people but generous ones, both with money and hearts too. Not everybody who clicks the ‘like’ or ‘share’ button approach us but only those who feel connected with our cause.

Your Facebook page is filled to the brim. May be it’s overflowing by now…

Thankfully, yes. We reach out far and wide through the social media and I make sure everything we do is posted to make things bigger and better. The responses are overwhelming too.

Your logo!

It’s a lighted lamp. Light dispels darkness (smiles) and the logo says it all.

How ambitious are you about this project!

Our Vision for the next 10 years is to impact 1 Million.  

Recently, the Rotary club of Madras Industrial city and Goodness Foundation have tied up for the Food42 programme and this is a good sign which might help you to take your mission outside Tamil Nadu as well. Do you look forward to tie ups with other NGOs like NFW, Food Bank- Chennai too?

Yes, when more like minded people work together miracles happen. I have just one concern. That is, there are people who are hungry and we must act, right now. We as a team make ourselves available in two places in our mission to end hunger. Places where food is available to be given away and places where food is needed.

Providing meals isn’t a long term solution to poverty. How does Goodness foundation work towards long term solutions?

You are right. Providing meals as part of our Food42 project is a short term solution but then we can’t expect a hungry person to do anything worthy, forget educating himself/ herself. This is why we try to associate ourselves with clubs and organizations which can provide the less fortunate with other needs that will help them find a source of income.  

How important is spiritual dimension to the wellness of this foundation?

All faiths and religions advocate compassion, mercy, grace and values that help people live a meaningful life for themselves and for the sake of fellow beings too. As for me “For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in” makes a lot of sense.  All of us are here for a reason and let mine be this.

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Nishanth2018-08-01 10:24:19
Great work, keep going Paul

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