Solutions to Empower the Poor

The 5th Village is a collection of field tested, sustainable, low or no cost, regionally appropriate solutions for the 2.5 billion people who live on less than $2 per day by providing information they can access and use to achieve life stability, education and a thriving community, and share their information and victories back.

Old-school static, from the top down ‘help projects’ prove again and again that good intentions and massive spending are not enough to create lasting change. What is needed is a creative, responsive, interactive model.

If you are curious about why this got started (and the story behind the name) you can read that here, but the basic principle is simple: there are thousands of committed, kind, fabulous people, who are helping the poor, and they come up with creative and amazing solutions which work. The frustration is that these solutions don’t go much farther than their own community, even though lots of additional people could use these ideas to make their life better.

In addition, the poor themselves also come up with imaginative solutions, ideas and creative projects, and they too have no way to spread their knowledge creativity to the rest of the world.

Now that cell phones and the Internet allow us to spread information all over the world at the the click of a button, the time has come to create a single, trusted site where all these solutions can be pooled. And 5th Village is that site.

Information on 5V is shared from all sides: a mother in Nepal can submit her infant care solution and (after we verify and edit the idea) can help a parent in Kenya. Agricultural experts from an agricultural university In Holland can suggest new crops or growing methods when climate change makes the old ways of doing things impossible. 5V combines the best of commerce (creating wealth), development work (best practices), grassroots movement and creativity. Eventually we will also post ready made businessplans, which can immediately qualify for microloans such as solar light (which can be paid back form the money that was already earmarked for lighting fuel.)

There is no way to predict how and where these new cooperative ventures will be created: 5V will just open up the fertile soil for it.

(Also: please feel free to donate: which you can do in the sidebar! You will notice that our sponsoring 501c3 organization is an arts organization because they were the most ‘hands off’ way for us to build this. I actually do think of this project as art and it will need all creativity we can find to make this brand new idea come to life)

We hope you feel inspired to join our community.

- Miriam Jacobs

Our Strategy

How will we do this?

There are many knowledgeable people who are working with the poor and who are coming up with great solutions.

5th Village is a consolidation site for these solutions, so they can be accessed by people working with the poor, and by the poor themselves (now that technology makes universal access a reality)

5V is building a ‘solution archive’ covering the major areas of concern. Since every geographic area has unique features and needs, we will create area/country pages, which will feature only the appropriate solutions that can be impemented in that area. Urban areas can use different solutions than rural ones, flood regions have different problems than dry areas. People living and working in a particular region can now easily find regionally appropriate, sustainable, low- or no cost field tested solutions.

Look below at some of the ‘solutions’ we are looking at. Yes, I know, those of you who are steeped in this field are probably well aware of these ideas, but I promise you, they are news to many people who are working with the poor. It is also possible that some of these ‘solutions’ don’t work…well, that is why we will have feedback buttons! We can easily switch out pages to make sure we have the best possible solutions presented in the best possible format.

When medical help is not available here is a way to help with the Reduction of Cholera The exact instructions ought to be available to everybody who is working in areas which might be affected by an outbreak

Is your dwelling dark during the day? Make this Bottle Sky Light and stop bumping your big toe! You might have heard about this idea , but do you have an easy way to print out the exact instructions?

Although this is still in the future, check out these possible 3 cent medical tests When they hit the market, we will create a link immediately

Do you want to share a visual on your phone with a lot of people? Make this projector The lowtech version of crowding around a monitor!

Our Resources are shared from all sides

A Mother in Nepal

By sharing her infant care solution, she can help a parent in Kenya

Agricultural Expert

Experts in the industry can suggest new crops or growing methods when climate changes


Missionaries with hands-on experience can provide helpful tools, tips and tricks they’ve seen work