Place-based development

“Traveling to aid children globally who live in poverty taught me something valuable; that no one knows how to reduce poverty effectively, government included. The good news is that government does work with Civil Service Organizations like mine to find better strategies of poverty reduction. I urge them to include the cultivation self-esteem in all programs, and I remain committed to serving the needs of others from the inside out.”

Washington, DC -World Bank Spring Meetings 2019
Engagement with World Bank, IMF, and other Civil Society Organizations leads to progress in poverty reduction and other Sustainable Development Goals. The theme set forth by World Bank is “The End of Aid”, meaning let’s get it right so that countries can become self-reliant.  It is refreshing to know that their efforts are in allignment with social innovators like myself as well as the general public like you!

Washington, DC- Atlantic Council Peace Strategy 2018
Washington’s top students were selected to weigh in on a new peace strategy fostered through the Atlantic Council. I was selected and spoke on behalf of my group identifying 4 key factors needed for peace; (1) Race & Cultual Intelligence, (2) Internatonal Trade, (3) Quality Governance, and (4) Enviornmental/Climate stability.

Washington, DC October 2018.
Participating in a Global Poverty Forum at the Atlantic Festival in partnership with the Aspen Institute. Click on the photo to be a part of the World’s Longest Video to help 130 Million girls gain access to education.

Colorado July 2018.
YOD founder helped with the interior framing on a HABITAT FOR HUMANITY PROJECT in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Joined by other volunteers from Christ Church in Telluride, CO.

Nairobi 2016-2018.
The Al-Gamal Family of the UAE created a Legacy in remembrance of their son Ali who transitioned late 2014. Their generous donation built the website  (, which tells the story of Kevin, Ibrah, Mongo, Bobby, and Ras. The donation also provided an art showing in Nairobi, business cards and flyers, laptop for correspondence, painting materials, a trip to Diani Beach, and safe shelter. The Art Boyz however had a difficult time adjusting to life out of the slums,  still they are doing well. Ali Al-Gamal was an artists and a musician. In an unpredictable way, his legacy has been completely fulfilled. Yoga of Devotion’s founder, Angela R. Pashayan, produced a documentary short about the Art Boyz which was screened April 7, 2018 at the BEVERLY HILLS FILM FESTIVAL. It continues to travel, accepted for screening at the UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION of AMERICA FILM FESTIVAL held at Stanford University on October 21, 2018. And WINNER of BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT at the LONDON INDEPENDENT FILM AWARDS for 2018. ART AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE at

RESULTS: All but 1 have moved out of the slums
Kevin – Trained at a Diani Beach resort as a Chef and selling his art to tourist on the beach. He is now finishing his High School Diploma with sights on a business, a cafe!
Ibrah & Mongo – Creating music on their MacBook Pro in addition to selling their art.
Bobby & Ras – Finished their Apprenticeship at Banana Hill Gallery.
Ras is finishing High School and actively selling art. He completed his first self portrait which sold for $2500. Ras is actively looking to purchase 8-10 small huts and become a landlord. He can earn up to $240/month from these rentals, investing further as more huts become available for sale.