Lifestyle

Thanks To B1G1, Something Great Happens When You Buy A Cup Of Coffee

Imagine every time you had a meal, a hungry child also receives a meal… Or imagine if every time you had a cup of coffee, someone receives access to life-saving water… Or imagine if every time you bought a book, a tree got planted…

— B1G1, global-giving organisation

B1G1 has restored my faith in humanity. Their premise is simple: each time you make a small transaction, you get to make a change to someone else’s life at the same time. This is possible as the global-giving organisation is backed by a Business Partnership model, which keeps it going and creates a positive difference to the lives of the underprivileged. It’s initiatives like these — alongside others such as Hosaybo — which prove that small acts of kindness can go a long way.

Vulcan Post spoke to Masami Sato, the founder of the Singapore-based social enterprise. Masami, who was originally running a food production company in Australia, is now juggling multiple operations for B1G1. With 50 million giving impacts as of 2014, one thing’s for sure: this initiative is on to something great.

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Image Credit: B1G1

B1G1’s ‘DO CARE’ Values

When I asked Masami about her daily routine at B1G1, she said that there isn’t any, as the organisation is always dabbling in different projects. One thing that stood out from our conversation, however, is the team’s core values. Masami explained, “We have an acronym for our core values. [It’s] called ‘DO CARE’.”

D — Desire to improve
O — Open-mindedness
C — Courage
A — Accountability
R — Respect
E — Enjoyment
B1G1 also has a close-knit work environment. They always begin their day with a 3-minute sharing, where they talk about ideas that relate to the company’s core values.
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Image Credit: B1G1

Small Team With Big Goals

“This exercise helps us to articulate our ideas in 3 minutes and also brings in new insights and feelings into the team at the start of the day,” elaborated Masami. Introverted co-workers are not overlooked, she added, “Some of the team members are shy, so it’s even more interesting to listen to those who normally speak less.”
“We also often have ‘deliberate interruptions’ during the day. Being a small team (yes, we are small!), we frequently (but quickly) discuss things together whenever any of the team members is experiencing any blockage. Whether we are in charge of system development, finance, or marketing, we can invite ideas from others who are working in different areas. The days and weeks at B1G1 move along very fast as we enjoy what we do and we always have lots of challenging (and exciting) projects to work on,” said Masami.

Also read: Founder of Good Food Heals Valerie Teo Shares Secret To Staying Flu-free For Nine Years

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Masami Sato (Image Credit: B1G1)

Masami’s Favourite Project

During our brief email exchange, Masami shared that all B1G1 projects are of equal importance. “All the projects in B1G1 have different stories and unique ways in which they transform [the] lives of many.” She continued, “Personally, I really love projects like giving nourishing meals to children at school, because those projects have [greater] impacts.”

Masami also talked about her worries on children being denied the rights to education. According to The Guardian, there are currently about 57 million children who are not in school. Most of these children are leaving school because their parents cannot afford uniforms and food. As Masami said, “It’s always amazing to see how small projects like this makes a big long-term impact on people’s lives.”

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Image Credit: B1G1

A Lesson In Every Experience

Running an organisation is not easy. Masami admitted that it can be challenging, and there are times when they have to turn down proposals. She explained, “We do not feel devastated or overwhelmed by the things we do not have the power to solve. Instead, we feel empowered to be making small progress and differences each day — no matter how small.  Because we know these small things we achieve are adding to the big difference we are making together.”

Charities especially, are no strangers to distressing global issues. When I asked Masami about the most important life tidbit she has learnt from running B1G1, this is what she said: “Never lose the sight of why we do what we do, and enjoy every moment of everything we do. And so, my role is to also make sure that we have the environment to allow all the team members to do that, every day.”

Launched in 2007, B1G1 is a global-giving initiative which is changing the way SMEs and people give. You can find out more about their initiative here.

Also read: $5 Challenge Turns Class Project Into S’pore Poverty Awareness Campaign

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