BU graduate lives poor to raise money

Nathan Adair, 2001 Baylor graduate eats a combination of potatoes, rice and a spoonful of chopped tomatoes while in London.
Courtesy Nathan Adair

By Anna Flagg
Reporter

Nathan Adair, a 2001 Baylor graduate, has been dining on $1 a day for 30 days in order to raise poverty awareness– a challenge that will end at the end of the week.

Adair is working toward a master’s in business administration at the University of Westminster in London, England. For his dissertation, he wanted to find a worthy project to use his resources and time well.

Adair reached out to a friend, Kirby Trapolino, founder and director of Peace Gospel International, who had done a 30-day challenge a few years ago. Adair felt called to this challenge as well and wanted to raise money for a worthy cause during this project. Together they came up with the idea of a solar microenterprise to support one of Peace Gospel’s orphanages in India.

The funds raised through Adair’s 30-day challenge would help supply electricity to power the orphanage, and in turn would charge batteries that people in the community could rent from the orphanage in order to power lights, fans and small appliances. This way the orphanage would gain solar power as well as revenue.

According to the Peace Gospel website, when the funds are raised, the solar electricity system will help save $3,600 per year, and they are projecting a revenue of $1,200 per year from the battery rental business. All of this will help to bring in even more orphans, which is the whole basis of this project.

Peace Gospel was founded after Trapolino took many trips to India.

While in India, he met a pastor with a rough background who had a bold vision to give hope and empower the people of India. This inspired Trapolino to found Peace Gospel, which operates nine orphanages in six nations, educates and feeds children, provides Vacation Bible School, trains widowed women in small business and much more.

“I wanted to help be the hands and feet of that vision,” Trapolino said.

“I wanted to give him a voice, and that is how Peace Gospel came about.”

Adair began his challenge in order to empathize with the less fortunate and to place himself in their shoes.

Living in central London has placed a huge twist on the project. Since there is no HEB or Walmart, it is harder to find the food he needs at a low price. His appetite consists mostly of rice, pasta, potatoes and beans.

“The hardest part is the monotony of eating basically the same thing for every meal,” Adair said.

“It drives you crazy when you want some kind of other flavor.”

He has graciously accepted the prayers and support of his wife, family and friends, and he grateful his family is in London with him. He has two young daughters, and having energy for them is hard.

“I am usually pretty worn out when I get home because I’m taking in only a third of the calories I used to consume in a day,” Adair said.

“I am hungry most of the time and have lost over 17 pounds already.”

Adair keeps a blog to document what he eats and to also spread the word about what he is doing. He said that he wants to raise general awareness of world hunger since so many live on less than $1 a day, and he is beginning to understand what that feels like as the project comes to a close. His goal is to raise $25,000 for the orphanage, and donations can be given through his blog. So far, $1,906 have been given.

In an article published in the The Baptist Standard, Adair insists that this endeavor is worth the effort because he is gaining a new understanding of how most of the world lives.

The people who live on $1 a day, or less, see food as an essential fuel to stay alive, and they don’t take that for granted, he noted.

“I hope people begin to realize that we can do something about global hunger,” Adair said in the article.

“Organizations like Peace Gospel can make big impacts for groups of people.”

You can follow Adair’s journey at http://indiasolarproject.blogspot.com/.