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How Many Lattes Is Lazaro’s Life Worth?

September 19, 2012

Lazaro in Kenya.Recently, I got a chance to meet 6 year-old Lazaro, who lives with his five brothers and sisters on a hilltop on the edge of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley in Central Kenya. I don’t know much about him other than that he herds goats for his family, that he likes games with a ball and that he is very, very, very shy.

But behind his shyness there is wisdom and a sadness in his eyes that belies his age. What has he seen in those six years? How many nights did he go to bed without enough to eat? According to the latest UN statistics, more than 850 million people go to bed hungry each night. Has Lazaro been one of them?

What am I willing to give up to ensure he has access to the most basic of life’s needs: food security, basic nutrition, education and access to clean water?

Repurposed journalist John Yeager and his tall Starbucks latte.Is Lazaro’s life worth a tall latte?  My local Starbucks charges $3.24 (tax included) for 8 ounces of ground espresso and steamed milk. A tall latte is something most of us in Seattle take for granted. It’s a wonderful little luxury. Buy one a day it’ll run you $842.40 a year. Cut your habit down to just two a week and you’ll save more than enough to sponsor a child like Lazaro for one year. So that’s what I’ve decided to do.

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