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More than just a cash sink

Social entrepreneur shows how helping others make a lot of economic sense.
By Jimbo Owen B. Gulle |
<>Such savings, he says, could then be used to pay laborers who will build the eco-buildings in their own areas, and these savings and their earnings would contribute to the local economy\\\'s overall cash flow.


"You enrich a community by enriching its facilities," he said, pointing to the 20 schools and five clinics that have already been built throughout the country using My Shelter Foundation\\\'s "eco-dome" designs. "Even on remote islands we can create whole communities like this, using techniques that we had long forgotten," he added.


Diaz says that schools being close to his heart, he had obtained blanket authority from the Department of Education for his foundation to build more earth-dome and "bamboo schools" in the country\\\'s remotest areas.


Diaz also says that businesses that want to donate to the disadvantaged should think in terms of "philanthropic capital"--that is, he explains, donations "should be used as an investment where a small business will be started and a certain return will be generated internally after a few months or years."



"Philanthropic capital\\\'s other half is social capital," Diaz says. "This is putting the people you want to help in the equation, which means that you need to organize the beneficiaries instead of just keeping them on the side as you create these interventions. They help you build products, they help run the store, they help you generate a continuous profit that will be retained in the community [and that then can be used to] help themselves."

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