The Shin Fujiyama Podcast | Social Entrepreneurship | Nonprofit Organizations | International Development Aid | NGOs

Shin Fujiyama is a CNN Hero and the Executive Director of Students Helping Honduras. He lives with 30 former street children in Honduras where he runs a school and international NGO out of a tree house. In each episode Shin will be interviewing a proven social entrepreneur or NGO leader in the nonprofit or international development aid industry-- including several CNN Heroes and bestselling authors. They’re going to deconstruct their journey to explain HOW they built up their organizations. They’ll also tell us about their greatest failures, lessons, regrets, and behind-the-scenes realities. We’ll talk about their tactics, philosophies, principles, tools, and motivations to give you inspiration and actionable advice. 1) Subscribe to this podcast. 2) Turn on automatic downloads. 3) Leave me a review. 4.) Enjoy every new interview for FREE during your commute or workout.
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The Shin Fujiyama Podcast | Social Entrepreneurship | Nonprofit Organizations | International Development Aid | NGOs



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Now displaying: August, 2016
Aug 30, 2016

Social entrepreneur and CNN Hero Jock Brandis is the founder of The Full Belly Project. He is the winner of the MIT Ideas Award and the Purpose Prize. He is known as the modern-day Thomas Edison, having invented the "holy grail" of sustainable agriculture and more. His universal peanut sheller and other appropriate technologies have helped tens of thousands of people in many countries across the world. His nonprofit organization works out of a factory in Wilmington, North Carolina. 

Jock is an old guy with a great sense of humor. He made me laugh out loud many times during the episode in between his inspirational stories. He talks in depth about embracing failure in this episode.

This episode is mostly about Jock's involvement with... peanuts!

"The peanut (or groundnut as it is called in West Africa) is an important subsistence crop to hundreds of millions of people across the world. Not only is it important nutritionally, as it provides a convenient source of protein and 30 essential nutrients, but it is also an important source of income for these communities. Often referred to as a "women's crop" in Africa, women traditionally grow, harvest and shell them to supplement their families' diets, but also as a product to bring to market." - The Full Belly Project website

Check out the show links at

Show Notes & Summary

  • Jock's teaching assignment in Trenchtown, a slum in Kingston, Jamaica
  • Working for Oxfam by flying food into war-torn Biafra in Africa
  • How Jock met Kurt Vonnegut in Africa and the deal they made together
  • How Jock became a lighting guy and an actor in the movie industry
  • Jock's role in Deathbed, The Bed That Eats People, known as the worst movie in history
  • Jock's life on a steam-powered tug boat in Toronto with his wife
  • How his life changed when his wife passed away, leaving Jock with his two children
  • Jock's favorite advice for raising children
  • How he ended up in Mali, Africa where he got the idea of creating a peanut sheller
  • Peanuts are the most consumed protein food in the world for poor people
  • What the doubters said to Jock when he told them about his attempt to invent a peanut sheller
  • How Jock's peanut sheller invention was featured on National Geographic
  • How Jock worked with Peace Corps volunteers to deliver his peanut shellers
  • What his first garage shop looked like where he made his inventions
  • How Fully Belly Project sends out their small peanut sheller factories to developing countries around the world
  • How one machine shelled 16 tons of peanuts, making enough money for a village to dig a water well that provided clean drinking water
  • Why his fail-proof peanut project failed in Guyana
  • "Hunger has nothing to do with food."
  • Aflatoxin, the peanut fungus that is toxic
  • How Jock used ozone to combat aflatoxin
  • Why Jock sends small ozone generators to the villages now
  • How Jock developed a solar livestock water program in the US
  • Jock explains what the Full Belly factory is like
  • Jock explains the important role that volunteers play at Full Belly 
  • The clubhouse-like factory culture
  • "Fail early, fail often."
  • "We've learned to fail faster than anyone else."
  • How Fully Belly got their water powered seesaw patented
  • Jock's secret to creating a big impact with a small team
  • His biggest regrets in life
  • "The road to misery is trying to make everyone happy."
  • "To roll up your sleeves and try something because your first three mistakes will teach you more than all the design conferences in the world."
  • Jock on failure: "If you're going to fail, fail with as many people in the world seeing you fail."
  • Jock's secret to success
Aug 25, 2016

Sebastian Africano is the founder of ENASA, a consulting firm for fuel-efficient cooking stoves. He now works for Trees, Water & People in Colorado as their International Director. Sebastian manages TWP's clean cookstove, solar energy and reforestation programs in Central America and Haiti.

In 2008, Sebastian worked with SHH to replace 30 traditional stoves with 30 fuel-efficient cookstoves in Honduras.

If you're deciding whether to become a social entrepreneur or to work for a traditional non-profit organization, this is your episode. Sebastian talks about and compares his work as a social entrepreneur in Central America and in East Africa vs. his non-profit desk job at TWP.

He discusses the lifestyle differences, and the different skills required for the two kinds of work.

Show Notes & Summary

  • Sebastian tested health indicators such as carbon monoxide and particulate matters (smoke and soot) in the kitchens before the fuel-efficient cooking stoves were installed
  • The paper white smoke filters turned black with soot within 24 hours
  • His tests showed an 80% reduction in particulate matter and carbon monoxide with fuel-efficient cooking stoves
  • According to the World Health Organization, approximately 4 million people are dying from indoor pollution each year
  • Babies are immediately exposed as soon as they're born.
  • Chronic exposure to indoor air pollution causes vision and respiratory issues
  • The Justa Stove was developed in Tegucigalpa around 1998
  • Appropriate technology is technology that adapts to the local realities
  • It improves conditions without interrupting culture
  • Scaling is difficult due to regional differences
  • Mass production, one-size-fits-all models that aren't localized
  • Composting latrines
  • Pit latrines during floods can cause a cholera epidemic
  • Sebastian started his journey by volunteering after college, getting to know different organizations in depth.
  • He was paying off parking tickets by volunteering. That's how he got started.
  • Aprovecho Research Center in Oregon
  • After 3 years of volunteering and interning, Sebastian became a consultant in Central America and East Africa
  • Sebastian discusses the skills it takes to land an internship position in a nonprofit organization in today's day and age
  • How Sebastian hustled to get his job at Trees, Water & People
  • Why Sebastian decided to take on a more traditional job with Trees, Water & People after seven years of being on the road as a social entrepreneur and independent contractor
  • Sebastian discusses the lifestyle differences between a social entrepreneur versus someone working for a pre-existing non-profit organization
  • The difficult transition that Sebastian went through from being a field guy to an office guy
  • Sebastian's relationship with his Executive Director
  • Sebastian discusses the kind of communications skills that are required for those looking to work in the nonprofit world, both in the field and in the office--or as he calls it the Barrio and in the Board room.
Aug 23, 2016

Social entrepreneur Kunal Doshi is the founder of Brighter Children, a non-profit organization that sponsors educational costs for students around the world who couldn’t otherwise go to school. The Brighter Children team is made up of Millennials looking to make a difference while still working full-time.

In this episode, Kunal speaks about how his team–despite their busy schedules–leverages evenings, weekends, and network to fund schools and scholarships for children around the world.

We are very lucky to announce that the Villa Soleada Bilingual School is now being sponsored by Brighter Children. Their team will be visiting us in Honduras this year.

For show links, go to

Show Notes & Summary

  • Kunal’s workout routine
  • What Kunal’s grandfather said to him on his deathbed made a great impact on Kunal’s life
  • “I want to leave the world better than I came into it.”
  • How Kunal recruited his first two friends to join Brighter Children
  • Why Kunal wanted to use the fundamentals of business for his non-profit organization
  • How Brighter Children found their first partner school in India
  • How Brighter Children finds and screens potential partner schools
  • What the first fundraising event for Brighter Children looked like where they raised $2,000
  • What went through Kunal’s mind when he got the very first $10 donation
  • How Kunal used LinkedIn to find new staff members for Brighter Children
  • “Transparency, scarcity, urgency.” -Adam Braun
  • How Kunal is brutally honest with his friends when asking them to join Brighter Children
  • How the Brighter Children website evolved including the words they used in each page
  • Kunal explains how Brighter Children uses analytics to improve their website and newsletters
  • Brighter Children is looking for a full-time Executive Director. Kunal reveals the one characteristic he looks for in their job candidates.
  • 90% of Brighter Children donors are below the age of 30
  • What the first big benefit event that Brighter Children organized in New York City was like for Kunal
  • What happened during an intense argument that the Brighter Children team had at the airport coming back from Colombia
  • Kunal reveals the best part about his job as Chief Dreamer for Brighter Children
  • Why organizational culture is so important to Brighter Children
Aug 18, 2016

CNN Hero and social entrepreneur Nancy Hughes is a 73 year-old grandmother and the founder of Stove Team International. They have distributed more than 56,000 fuel-efficient cooking stoves in Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Nancy Hughes was widowed at age 65. In an effort to fight the loss, she went on a medical mission trip to Guatemala. It was there that she witnessed a woman who's hands had been burnt shut for sixteen years. At age two, this Guatemalan had fallen into an open cooking fire. Her team opened up her hands through surgery.

Nancy Hughes found out that cooking stoves were a leading cause of death around the world, causing eight times more deaths than malaria. The indoor air pollution caused by the smoke (equivalent to smoking four packs of cigarettes per day) was causing lung disease, asthma, and many health problems, especially for women and children. Inefficient cooking stoves required a high volume of firewood, contributing to deforestation. Nancy wanted to prevent these problems by developing and distributing fuel-efficient cooking stoves.

"Just do it," Nancy thought to herself. So she contacted her Rotary International club in her hometown in Eugene, Oregon to start Stove Team International. They started stove-making factories in the backyards of local entrepreneurs in Central America. Together, they have started seven factories in the region.

Check out the show links at

Show Notes & Summary

  • What Nancy did when her husband passed away
  • Nancy's first trips to Guatemala
  • There are 6 million cooking stoves in Guatemala.
  • Carlos Santana saw an article about Nancy's efforts and he did something that changed it all
  • Gustavo Peña, the first factory owner in El Salvador
  • The stoves are made of cement, pumice rocks, sheet metal, and tiles. No imported supplies
  • How Nancy confronted the machismo culture
  • What it was like starting the first backyard stove factory in El Salvador using corrugated metal. The stoves were stored in the dining room!
  • How one factory employs 22 people from the community
  • Selling the cook stoves is a challenge in itself
  • It costs $70,000 to start a factory, including a used pickup truck
  • The stove factories are for-profit and run by a local entrepreneur
  • Selling door-to-door is difficult because of the violence and crime rate in Central America
  • What Nancy does when she gets discouraged
  • The shocking tragedy with her partnership in Mexico recently
  • Why opening bank accounts in Central America are so challenging
  • Stove Team is starting a new factory in Estelí, Nicargua
  • Why answering emails has been so important for Nancy
  • Why patience has been the most important leadership skill for Nancy
  • Nancy explains why fundraising through Rotary International is effective
  • "We're not a top-down organization."
  • Nancy talks about her unmatched work ethic
  • How Nancy prepares for her public speeches
  • "Just do it."
  • How Stove Team collects data for research, showing a 50% reduction in fuel usage
Aug 15, 2016

Social entrepreneur Jacob Lief started the non-profit organization Ubuntu Education Fund in 1999 at age 20 with the goal of transforming the lives of children in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. His interest for South Africa began on a trip that he took there as a young high school student.

Over the years, Ubuntu created a comprehensive, child-centered, community-based development plan for the townships of Port Elizabeth. They provide world-class health and educational support to the orphaned and vulnerable children in Port Elizabeth, including those with HIV.

Ubuntu highlights the difference between merely touching a child’s life versus transforming it. Check out his book, I Am Because You Are.

Check out the show links at

Show Notes & Summary

  • Ubuntu is the idea that I am because you are
  • Why checking boxes in the international development aid industry wasn't what Jacob wanted to do through Ubuntu
  • What Jacob Lief really thought about his poetry program
  • Why a cup of soup and a windup computer are not enough
  • Cradle to Career
  • The advice that Geoffrey Canada gave Jacob Lief
  • Parenting begins in the first trimester
  • Ubuntu's exit strategy
  • "Real sustainability is investing in a child every day of their lives."
  • Why Students Helping Honduras should focus on working with pregnant mothers
  • Why generational abuse is so challenging to address
  • "There is no point in investing in a kid's math and science education if they're being abused at home every night."
  • "It's not about program supplies. It's about people."
  • Jacob's first trip to South Africa as a high school student
  • The moment during that first trip to South Africa that changed Jacob's life
  • The very first raffle fundraiser that Jacob organized to start  Ubuntu
  • "I don't need anymore computers. I need people for this organization."
  • Ubuntu's philosophy on staff retention and organizational culture
  • Why the 12 month grant cycle is creating an unhealthy dynamic between the donor and the NGO
  • Jacob talks about donors who are cynical of NGOs
  • "Is it good enough for your own children?"
  • BUILD - Bertha Ubuntu Internal Leaders Development Program for Ubuntu's staff development
  • Jacob emphasizes the importance of finding mentors for staff members
  • 60 donors make up 80% of Ubuntu's funding
  • "It's not about giving sob stories. It's about uplifting people"
  • Ubuntu's first gala fundraiser
  • What Ubuntu's $450,000 study with McKinsey revealed
  • Why it was harder for Jacob to fail than succeed in high school
  • Not everything worthwhile is calculated
  • "We get so caught up in the numbers game. It's all bullshit."
  • "When an organization says they're reaching 10,000 kids, I just laugh and roll my eyes."
  • Jacob's reaction when Geoffrey Canada told him that the Harlem Children's Zone had graduated 347 kids from college.
  • Why Geoffrey Canada said to Jacob that "he was like every other asshole out there."
  • What Jacob does to deal with burnout
  • Why Jacob thinks most nonprofit memoirs out there are bad
Aug 15, 2016

CNN Hero Yash Gupta was a freshman in high school when he began collecting used eye glasses to distribute to children around the world who couldn't afford them. Since then, his nonprofit organization Sight Learning has collected more than 26,000 eye glasses, giving them out in Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, and India.

In this episode, Yash talks about the Tae Kwon Do incident that sparked it all, what it was like driving around with his mom to collect the first glasses, and his quest to grow his nonprofit organization (NGO) while studying full time as a sophomore at the University of Southern California.

Check out the show notes and links at

Aug 8, 2016

Social entrepreneur David Schweidenback is the founder of Pedals for Progress, an NGO that collects used bicycles in the US, shipping them out to 38 developing countries including war-torn Nicaragua, Honduras, Africa, and Eastern Europe.

In 25 years, this nonprofit organization has delivered 147,830 bicycles around the world. David Schweidenback is a CNN Hero, and his NGO has been recognized by Forbes Magazine and the Skoll Foundation, among many others.

Learn how bicycles can help spin forward a city's economy.

Check out the show notes and links at


Show Notes & Summary

  • Why so many bicycles get throw into the landfills
  • David's first bicycle as a child
  • David's experience with the Peace Corps in Ecuador
  • The most productive man David met in the Ecuadorian town
  • In the 1970s, very few people owned bicycles in Ecuador
  • Without wheels, a society cannot succeed in its modern sense
  • David's life after the Peace Corps
  • David's vision to ship 12 bicycles to Ecuador turned into 147,000+ bicycles
  • Speeding up the movement of goods and services is the key to economic growth
  • What David's first collection drive looked like
  • Why the Ecuadorian consulate did not allow David to ship bicycles to Ecuador
  • One-country-itis
  • The first shipment of biycles was through a church group that was helping war-torn Nicaragua
  • Each container shipment can fit 500 bicycles
  • 25,000+ bicycles have been shipped to Rivas, Nicaragua
  • "I thought everything was going to be so simple."
  • Some countries make it very difficult for bicycles to be imported, so David focuses his work where bicycles are welcomed
  • Very few countries manufacture bicycles, so importing used bicycles does not disrupt internal market
  • Imported bicycles are heavily taxed in certain countries
  • In many parts of eastern Europe, bicycles do not exist
  • David focuses on equity when it comes to distribution
  • Some institutions wanted to discriminate when it came to distribution
  • Pedals for Progress sells each bike for around $50-$60
  • Deciding prices is a complicated task based on the local market
  • David's goal is to create a more vibrant economy. Giving goods out for free does not do that.
  • A documentary is coming out about Rivas, Nicaragua, now known as Bicycle City.
  • How the local shops that sell the bicycles break even and/or make a profit
  • What Pedals for Progress does with the super expensive racing bicycles
  • Payments in installments
  • The shops also repair the bicycles
  • They spend $7,000 to ship 500 bicycles, which usually results in $15,000-$20,000 in revenue at the shops
  • More than 70 organizations have used David's business plan to ship used bicycles overseas
  • What makes the bicycle shop in Rivas more successful than the other shops
  • Many shops use their profit to benefit the community
  • What happened to the five containers of bicycles David shipped to Haiti
  • Why David was ashamed when he shipped a container to Ecuador
  • How Pedals for Progress shipped bicycles to El Progreso, Honduras
  • Pedals for Progress's lean staff of three people
  • What the Pedals for Progress warehouse looks like
  • Why David collects $10 with each bicycle donated
  • Why the logistics of moving things overseas is incredibly frustrating
  • How Pedals for Progress gets testimonial stories from his partner shops overseas
  • Why Pedals for Progress is now shipping sewing machines
  • How David gets funding from the Clif Bar Foundation
  • How Pedals for Progress is building their mailing list
  • David needs to raise $250,000 each year
  • The part of the job that David enjoys most
  • Why Eastern Europe is so poor and without infrastructure
  • What life is like in Albania
  • A bike collection takes up about 3 hours
  • Why sewing machines are so useful in developing countries
Aug 5, 2016
Social entrepreneur Rye Barcott is a captain from the US Marine Corps and the co-founder of Carolina for Kibera (CFK)This NGO leads a massive, community based youth program in Kibera (Kenya), the largest urban slum in Africa. CFK has been awarded by TIME Magazine and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their nonprofit work in Kenya.
Rye is the author of the award winning memoir, It Happened On The Way To War: A Marine's Path to Peace. He is the 2006 Person of the Year from ABC World News and is a TED fellow.

Rye started CFK as an undergraduate ROTC student at UNC-Chapel Hill. He grew the nonprofit organization while simultaneously serving in the US Marine Corps in Bosnia, the Horn of Africa, and Iraq.

Check out the show notes and links at

Aug 3, 2016

CNN Hero Yash Gupta was a freshman in high school when he began collecting used eye glasses to distribute to children around the world who couldn't afford them. Since then, his nonprofit organization Sight Learning has collected more than 26,000 eye glasses, giving them out in Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, and India.

In this episode, Yash talks about the Tae Kwon Do incident that sparked it all, what it was like driving around with his mom to collect the first glasses, and his quest to grow his nonprofit organization (NGO) while studying full time as a sophomore at the University of Southern California.

Check out the show notes and links at

Aug 1, 2016

Michael Browoski, an Australian teacher, arrived in Vietnam in 2002 to work at Hanoi's National University.  He never imagined who he'd begin teaching during his free time: shoeshining boys. Shortly after, he established the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation to help street kids, children with disabilities, children from rural families living in extreme poverty, and victims of human trafficking and slavery. Their aim is to rescue kids from danger, reunite them with their families when they can, and provide all the services needed for recovery and growth.

Michael Brosowski is a CNN Hero and has been awarded the UNICEF Zero Award and a Member of the Order of Australia for his impact in Vietnam. They have transformed the lives of more than 68,000 children in Vietnam.

Check out the show notes and links at: