The Sager Family Foundation


Nepali school children
Vera & Jean-Christophe, via Flickr

Liz Waid and Nick Page look at a very rich man who made a surprising change in his life.

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Transcript


Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Liz Waid.

Voice 2 

And I’m Nick Page. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1 

Bobby Sager is a very very rich man. He could live anywhere he wants to live. But he and his family often live in some of the poorest places in the world. Why would they choose this life?  Today’s Spotlight is on Bobby Sager and his organization: The Sager Family Traveling Foundation and Roadshow.

Voice 2 

When Bobby Sager left university, he set up his own business. He was very successful. By the time he was 28, he was very rich. He had earned enough money to retire. Bobby and his wife travelled all over the world. They enjoyed it so much that they continued travelling for three years. At the end of that time their money was all gone.

Voice 1 

So Bobby went back to work. And he earned even more money than before. He often gave away large amounts of money. He gave to organisations that help poor people. But he wanted to do much more. Bobby did not want to just give money to poor people. He wanted to invest his money in projects that would help them for a long time to come.

Voice 2

So in the year 2000, Bobby Sager retired again. Bobby and his family went to Nepal. His children were six and nine years old. The whole family spent eight weeks helping to build schools there. That year, they started The Sager Family Traveling Foundation and Roadshow. Bobby and his family now spend several months every year in different countries, working on projects. Bobby explains what his organisation does:

Voice 3 

"The Sager Family Traveling Foundation and Roadshow influences people we call leaders. Leaders are people who have the power to influence lots of other people. We give power to leaders in areas of conflict and in difficult situations. We do this by leading by example and by getting our hands dirty."

Voice 1 

Bobby and his family are unusual for two reasons. First, they are happy to give away a lot of money away. Second, they do not want to just give money. They want to be involved in the places they give. This is what they mean by “getting their hands dirty.” They want to do the work, not just give money.

Voice 2 

Bobby decided he had to live among the people he was trying to help. That way, he would understand their lives. He would be able to see what they really needed. He would be able to invest his money wisely and get the best results. He believes this method also gives the people he helps strength and self-respect.

Voice 1 

But Bobby also asks something of the people he helps. He asks that the people invest something in the project themselves. They may be able to do some of the physical work. Or they may be able to provide some of the building materials. He feels it is important for the people to share in the project in some way.

Voice 2 

The Sager Family Traveling Foundation and Roadshow has many projects all over the world. For example, in Afghanistan women doctors are trained to teach community health care workers.

Voice 1 

In Pakistan, the Sager Family organisation is paying for a teacher training center. The Sager website says:

Voice 3 

"We hope to help bring back the education system that was destroyed by the 2005 earthquake."

Voice 2 

Bobby Sager is good at building relationships. He knows some of the most powerful people in the world. He encourages these people to support his projects. Bobby has had a lot of experience in the business world. He told the Daily Telegraph newspaper,

Voice 3 

"I am a very good judge of character. I know how to complete things. That is how I made my money. I saw chances where other people did not. It is the same thing when giving money and time to help make life better for other people. I can see chances to make things change."

Voice 1 

Bobby knows that his huge wealth could give his children a very easy life. But he wants them to understand how the majority of people in the world live. This is why he took them to Nepal when they were still so young. In Nepal, the children met boys and girls of their own age. These children were very poor. They lived on a mountain but they had no shoes. Bobby believes such experiences helped his children grow into better adults.

Voice 2 

Tess is Bobby’s daughter. She is now 20. And she has already started her own project with the Sager Family organisation. Her project is called Hands Up Not Handouts. It supports groups of women in Palestine and Rwanda. These countries both suffer from the effects of conflict. The women make beautiful handmade jewellery to wear. The project helps the women sell the jewellery to earn money. Tess says that when women make money life changing results follow.

Voice 4 

“When women make money they have more say in their family and their community. More children go to school. And families eat better.”

Voice 1 

But why does Bobby Sager do all this? Why does he spend months at a time living in difficult hard situations? It is true that he has a kind heart. He honestly wants to improve the lives of people who are poor. And he wants his children to understand that many people live in great need. But there is another reason. Bobby told the Daily Telegraph,

Voice 3 

"We found it was a way to live a really full life."

Voice 2 

Bobby says that making a lot of money gave him the chance to choose how to live. He could do anything he wanted to do. He discovered that helping other people is what makes him truly happy. So in a way, he is just pleasing himself. He suggests other people could discover the same thing.

Voice 1 

Very few people in the world can give the same amount of money, or time, as Bobby Sager. But that is not the issue. Helping other people is not something only rich people can do. It is about having a kind heart. It is about caring for other people. It is about doing what you can to improve their situation.

Voice 2 

Bobby Sager believes this way of looking at life is what brings true happiness. He says,

Voice 3 

"Be selfish. Go help someone."

Voice 1 

The writer of this program was Shelagh Godwin. The producer was Nick Mangeolles. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, ‘The Sager Family Foundation’.

Voice 2 

We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

How do you help other people? Do you give time? money? advice?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
Narath
said on May 16, 2012

Providing education or training skills to them is long term and sustainable than other things. I like spending money to buy education because it makes me feel full and happiness . I really love the word which you mention in this topic ” Hand up not Handout ” . If we do not know how to earn money so we will not understand how hard to earn money .

From Cambodia

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kenhieuloilam
said on May 17, 2012

We wish to reach perfection. We learn and train. We learn about good things. We learn to get knowledges. We learn to get successes. We learn about ourselves. We learn about everyone. We try much to overcome ourselves. We learn about difficulties and hardnesses. We learn about challenges. We try much to be mature. We learn about risks. We learn about failures. We go on true way. We learn about sadnesses and sufferings. We aim to good things. We learn about lack. We learn about hunger and thirst. We try much to go out of ourselves. We make much effort for good things. It is good we step stably in the life. We aim to true things.

humble71's avatar
humble71
said on May 21, 2012

Bobby Sager is a holy rich man , it’s very strange to find a man with his family doing this . It’s unbelievable to know this story about Sager’s family Foundation. It’s hard to think rich people can share toilets with poor people in places of conflict like Palestine and to sleep in tents to feel the neccessity. It’s a great example that people need to know ” we are not eternal and the material wealthy is not for ever” .  Thanks for making this program .
From Ecuador ,
Augusto Lenin

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Honneur
said on July 16, 2018

Since I retired, I create a blog in which I answer questions about undertanding Portuguese language (I were a teacher) whitout any payment. It’s a form to continue to work my passion for Portuguese language and help people who has in trouble with language. Since than, my blog have received, and answered, more than a half million questions.

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Jaime Velasco OrdoƱez
said on July 19, 2018

Hopefully every rich person would be able to do at least as half as this bland man. I.m sure the government could to do much more than they are doing to help people really needed