by on September 14, 2013

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While I tend to think that the importance of home ownership is overrated by most people in the U.S., I do realize how powerful the psychology of owning something can be. This becomes far more important when it comes to how you make your living. Using someone else’s capital is often the easiest choice, but it gives you very limited control over your future. This may not matter so much if you’re an accountant who is working in a competitive labor market, but it’s a huge deal if you’re farming for subsistence–and that’s what much of the world’s people do. Landesa is a Seattle, WA based non-profit that “works to secure land rights for the world’s poorest people– those 2.47 billion chiefly rural people who live on less than two dollars a day.” They do this because they believe that when people own the land, they can invest in improving it without worrying about having to worry about someone else reaping the rewards.

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Many would think that land rights are all about money; however, it’s often far more complicated than that–especially in developing countries. That’s why Landesa partners “with developing country governments to design and implement laws, policies, and programs concerning land that provide opportunity, further economic growth, and promote social justice.” You can learn more about what Landesa does by reading their How We Work and FAQ pages. I also highly recommend that you read through some of their Success Stories to dig deeper into what land ownership can do to help people escape poverty. If this sounds like something that you’d like to get involved in, visit Landesa’s Careers page. The page includes details on the undergrad (and graduate) internships that they offer over the course of the year.

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