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Suzanne Skees
Suzanne Skees's current book project is MY JOB: Real People at Work Around the World, a collection of first-person narratives by taxi drivers, midwives, musicians, technologists, and more, across the U.S. and around the world. Preview the stories and get updates on the book here and on Twitter @MyJobStories. All proceeds from the book will fund job-creation programs to end poverty.

Skees also works in international development as director of the Skees Family Foundation, which supports innovative self-help programs in the U.S. and developing countries in education and job creation. Skees studied English literature (Boston College) and world religions (Harvard Divinity School) but has learned more from the school of personal mistakes and quiet listening. Writing for online and print media, Skees travels from schools to slums, prisons to farms, serving as a storyteller for nonprofit workers, social entrepreneurs, and their courageous clients who toil every day to end poverty and create equality. Find her stories on blog “Seeds of Hope” and Huffington Post.

Entries by Suzanne Skees

A Home for Everyone

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 1:23 PM

This summer, I traveled to Nicaragua with Working Capital for Community Needs (WCCN); and my childhood dream of everyone having access to safe, affordable housing is coming true in the place I least expected.


My Childhood Dream of a Home...

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Ending Poverty: There's an App for That!

(3) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 5:48 PM


Rural Africa presents changemakers with intractable challenges across sectors, but one American investor, Grameen Foundation, believes it all comes down to access to information. Grameen Foundation has invested millions to develop mobile-phone applications that leapfrog over a lack of...

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Learning to Lead From the Inside-Out With Head, Heart and Hands

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2015 | 7:49 AM


Antigua, Guatemala: It's a sunny spring morning in this quaint mountain town cluttered with cobblestone streets and Spanish-Baroque cottages and cathedrals. Outside the window, birds sing praises from branches of blossoming trees; on the horizon loom the ominous silhouettes of three volcanoes that...

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Scooping International News While Empowering Women: Global Press Institute

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2014 | 11:00 PM


Once upon a time, a young American woman landed her dream job -- and then gave it to someone else. Nine years later, she's creating a sustainable new model for international journalism that provides jobs and empowers women all over the world.

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7 Techniques on How to Tell Real Stories That Will Make People Connect With Your Mission

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 12:17 AM

How do you make people CARE about your mission?

This is what I do every day: I work with nonprofits to tell stories that make people care about their mission. My stories are focused on real people. Not just an organization's cause and work, but its people.

If you're doing...

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Investing in Haiti's Homeless Youth

(3) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 2:01 PM


Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Dodging a constant barrage of cars and taxis, breathing diesel in a cloud of dust, too many teenagers live on the streets of Haiti's capital city. They come, often by foot, from rural villages on this lush Caribbean island, where their...

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Giving Birth in a Graveyard

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 1:19 PM


Mumford, Ghana: Bent over a wood-fired oven, drying the fish her husband caught yesterday, 29-year-old Leticia Sam blinks the smoke from her eyes, one hand stoking the fire, the other holding her swollen belly. Expecting her fourth baby, Leticia lives atop an old...

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Parliamentarian to the Slums: Former Kibera Resident Shows the Children of Poverty How to Climb Up to Power

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 4:55 PM


Most of the news from Kenya, recently, has been tragic. Plagued by violence from the Al Shabab terrorists from the mass shooting of Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi last summer, to a rash of attacks from the capital city to the...

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Lamb's-Head Stew: The Local Treat That Got This Widowed Mom off the Street

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 6:39 PM

One moment changed Eulalia's life: Her husband died of a heart attack at age 34. She had to deal with her grief as well as become the sole breadwinner and a single parent for her three kids. Seven years later, she's moved her food-selling business from a street cart into...

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"This New Health Plan Forces Us Women to Focus on Our OWN Health"

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 10:38 AM

Healthy workers not only feel happier, they work more productively to earn higher incomes for their families. Freedom from hunger, an integrated-services microfinance provider, has led the way in connecting their clients to affordable healthcare. We check out a clinic in Juliaca with Irene, Sabina, and Mery to see how...

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Big City, Big Dreams

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2014 | 6:15 PM

Feeling like she's always running in circles, Anali runs a small weaving microbusiness, studies accounting at university, and cares for her partner and daughter at home. She left a rural village, population 400, in the Andes Mountains to pursue her dreams in the city of Juliaca, and Anali is already...

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Mentoring Mom: Home Handicrafts Business Expands to Hire Youth

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 9:18 AM

A stressed, angry wife struggling to support a seriously ill husband and three children figures out a way to mechanize her output and produce four times as much merchandise in four hours a day. Now she's rebuilding her home, and employing three high-school kids. Her savings through the group circumvented...

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Weaving Natural Resources Into Family Wealth

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 1:59 PM


The women featured are clients of our longest-term partner, Freedom from Hunger, a nonprofit that specializes in bringing a trio of financial services (credit, savings, and insurance), informal education, and health care services to 5.7 million of the world's...

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Where in the World Is a College-Loan Bubble a Miracle?--Vittana Shows the Way, Part 3 of 4

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 9:28 AM


One of the 12,000 students who needed just one more year to complete his college studies and get ready for a lifetime of higher earning potential. Four people joined forces to crowdfund the $419 Daniel needed to complete his degree . . ....

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Where in the World Is a College Loan Bubble a Miracle? -- Vittana Shows the Way, Part 2 of 4

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 4:30 PM


Honoring the memory of her parents, both of whom never had the chance to advance beyond primary education, Vittana student Neneng is working hard in Indonesia to complete certification in administrative support.

Read Part 1 here.


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Where in the World Is a College-Loan Bubble a Miracle? -- Vittana Shows the Way, Part 1 of 4

(0) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 2:58 PM

College loans have exploded the market, and exploited our youth, in the U.S.; so why does Vittana work relentlessly to create loans for students in developing economies? The answer will surprise you. Get to know this scrappy, data-driven, crowdfunding education-equalizer, along with a few of their students. In Part 1...

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The Karimu Kids: Building Bridges of Wood and Culture

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 6:14 PM


The last in our series takes you to this summer's building of bridges of all types: a modern footbridge for residents to traverse during the rainy-season floods, an Internet bridge to communicate with the world, and an intercultural bridge of learning that's...

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The Karimu Kids: School Is Not Enough -- We Want Healthcare and Jobs for Our Families

(3) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 5:24 PM

Now that Bacho Village has strong resources to support their hard-working teachers and students from kindergarten through high school, the community addresses hygiene and healthcare for their most vulnerable: women in childbirth, infants, and HIV+ members and jobs-creation for the poorest parents through microcredit and farming collectives. Meet the teachers...

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The Karimu Kids: New School Launches a Whole Village Revitalization

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2013 | 5:45 PM


Read Part 1 here.

Part 2 shows how the Bacho village residents used their new primary school as a base for the community to meet with one another and Karimu International to plan to renovate the secondary school...

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The Karimu Kids: From Class Under a Tree to Their Very Own School

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2013 | 6:20 PM


BACK TO SCHOOL STUDENT SERIES: Part 1 in this series on Karimu International Help Foundation in Tanzania introduces you to the dedicated teachers and eager students -- including future pilot Andrea and wealthy politician Pascalina -- at Ufani Primary School.

How Two...

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