My work straight out of college (Scripps, 1964) was in the financial field and in 1976 I formed my own firm, the first creative agency to focus on packaging institutional money management firms. Over thirty years, we were associated with some of the great launches in the business.
During this time I met a woman who at age 60 on a trek in Nepal was stunned by the deep poverty and decided to return the next year to help. I did pro-bono marketing for her and the seed was planted to follow suit.
One day, in my late 50s, after resettling to New Hampshire from my home state California, the idea came whole: go to Africa, find a village and start a microlending program. In 2003, three months after my 60th birthday, with a handful of contacts, I flew to the capital of Ghana, checked into a hotel and the next morning called my top prospect. He answered, “We’ve been waiting for you – we have a village. We’ll pick you up tomorrow.”
That was the beginning of WomensTrust. My founding role ended nine years later in 2012 with a dedicated staff of local people on the ground in Pokuase and a capable board of directors in the U.S. The mission had expanded to include education for girls, a program that continues today with our top scholarship students going all the way to college.
In international development terms, we were a model for “going bottom up” and today I’m assembling lessons learned for others to follow as they put their own stake in the ground. We are growing in numbers, motivated by passion to do something personally to make our world more equitable, more safe and more connected. It is not difficult to make the case for the work we do.
Dana Dakin danadakin.com | email@example.com
Director, Dakin Partners LLC
Purpose Prize Fellow 2008