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工作之餘也能發揮正面影響力

2012.07.03
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中文譯稿:羅荷傑/英文原稿:迫俊亮

人們普遍認為,如果你想實現有意義的事情,你需要100%的專注。因此,如果你想出了一個主意,想要開始著手新的事情,你必需要辭去現在的工作,並且投資100%的時間在這項新的挑戰。然而,要辭去目前的工作是不容易的。有時候,可能會因為家庭的因素或是父母的期待,使得你不能放棄現在的工作,更何況要建立新的事物有著非常高的障礙,甚至有很多人連一開始要從何處下手都沒有頭緒。然而,Living in Peace(LIP)的創始人和社長Taejun先生(後簡稱TJ)卻有著一個完全不同的想法。受到知名經濟學家傑佛瑞賽克斯(Jeffery Sachs) 所著的《貧窮的終結》(The End of Poverty)一書所啟發, TJ成立了LIP,一個總部設在東京的非營利組織。LIP是日本的第一個投資於微型貸款機構(microfinance)的基金。然而,這項計畫卻是TJ利用上班之餘時間所做的兼職工作。

TJ在私募基金工作時開啟了他的兼職工作。LIP由超過60個來自各個不同專業背景的成員組成,包括投資銀行、管理顧問公司、會計師事務所等,這些年輕的專業人士利用他們的技能和經驗,透過LIP,為在柬埔寨和越南的小額信貸機構提供了專業的諮詢和財務審查服務。這群成員在每個星期日都會有定期的聚會,也經常透過電子郵件做溝通聯繫。而令人驚訝的是,在LIP,從領導人到所有成員,大家都是利用工作之餘時間來投入的兼職人員。

當TJ剛開始這個計畫時,它其實只是一個關注於發展中國家社會問題的讀書會。在經過了一年讀書會的交流分享後,成員們意識到,如果他們能運用彼此的專業技能和經驗,可以做出更多的貢獻與發揮影響力。當他們決定在日本成立第一個微型貸款相關的基金時,大多數人認為這是不可行的。然而,在和一間名為Music Securities的金融服務公司合作下,他們成功地在日本成立了第一個微型貸款基金,並在2009年募集了100萬日元。 最近LIP也開始計畫一個叫做Chance Maker的新項目,欲協助日本孤兒院進行募款,而這項計畫也是靠著其兼職成員所發起的。

TJ回憶起,「其實在LIP剛開始成立的階段,經歷了一段艱難的時期,只有少數人參加了例行的會議,但是,我們從來沒有放棄過。如果你想要實現一件創新和有意義的事情,那麼,你應該主動積極的計畫,且永不放棄,不斷相信自我地堅持做下去。」TJ對於LIP的目標是「提供世界最好的財務審查服務給微型貸款機構的投資者,並透過集資的行動,來資助日本的孤兒院。同時,我們也希望自己能夠成為兼職組織(part-time organization)的標竿榜樣。我們希望能創造一個讓每個人都可以參與改變世界的社會。如果這個世界上有越來越多人開始利用閒暇時間進行對社會有益的事,社會,那麼,這個世界一定會成為一個更好的地方。」

我們有時會低估了我們的潛在力量,也會懷疑自己能為這個世界做些什麼。同時,我們有時候也會高估了建立新事物的障礙。然而,TJ卻作為一個我們學習的表率。我們需要相信自己的潛力,並且了解到,其實每一個人都能在這個世界上有所貢獻、和做出不凡的事情。接下來最重要的事情就是準備有所行動和作為。任何人都可以利用自己的閒暇時間成為具影響力的變革者。一旦你開始著手了某件事情,就應該堅持下去,直到成功為止。


Make a Difference Through Your Part-time Job

It is widely believed that if you want to achieve something meaningful, you need to 100% focus on it. Therefore, if you come up with an idea and want to start something new, you need to quit a current job and invest 100% of your time in the new challenge. However, quitting a current job is not easy. Sometimes you cannot give up your current job for your family or parents. Since the hurdle for starting something new is believed very high, many people cannot make a new action at all. However, Taejun Shin, founder and president of NPO Living in Peace (LIP), headquartered in Tokyo, has a totally different idea. Inspired by the book, the End of Poverty, written by a well-known economist Jeffery Sachs, Taejun founded LIP and made the first fund in Japan for investing in micro-finance institutions (MFI), but as his part-time job.

Taejun runs LIP as his part-time job while working as a private equity investor. Not only the leader, surprisingly all the members of LIP are part-time staffs. Over 60 members of LIP are composed of various members including young professionals from investment banks, consulting firms, and accounting firms, leveraging their skills and experiences in LIP to provide monitoring and due-diligence service for MFIs in Cambodia and Vietnam. They have a regular meeting on every Sunday and frequently communicate with each other through e-mails.

When Taejun started this project, it was merely a small study group about social problems in developing countries. After one year running as a study group, they realized that they could do something more if they leverage their skills and experiences. When they decided to make the first MFI fund in Japan, most people did not believe it was possible. However, collaborating with a financial service company, Music Securities, they successfully established the first MFI fund in Japan in 2009 and raised JPY100 million so far. Recently LIP also started its new project, Chance Maker Program, to support fund-raising for orphanages in Japan, and it is also run by part-time members.

Taejun remembers, "In the beginning phase, we experienced a tough period like only a few people attended a meeting. But we never gave up. If you want to achieve something new and meaningful, you should initiate something and never give up. Just keep doing what you believe." Taejun’s goal for LIP is "to provide the world-best due-diligence service for MFI investors and to alleviate the current severe situation for orphanages in Japan through its fund raising initiatives. At the same time doing so, we want to be a role-model for a part-time organization. We want to make a society that everybody can participate in changing the world. If millions of people in the world start using their free-time to change the world for the better, the world will definitely become a better place."

We sometimes underestimate our power; what we can do for the world. At the same time, we sometimes overestimate the hurdle of starting something new. However, as Taejun shows, we need to believe in our potentials to make a difference in this world. If we believe so, we are ready to make an action. Anyone can be a change maker by using one’s free-time. And once you start something, you should keep going until you succeed.

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