Dae Eriksson is the Executive Director of Love Does and Bob Goff Inc. With a degree in Journalism from Point Loma Nazarene University, Dae’s passion is on taking massive action to demonstrate love by providing education to children in conflict zones across the globe. When not traveling to oversee projects in Somalia, Iraq or Uganda, she spends her time at the Love Does headquarter in San Diego, CA.
What to Expect
- Dreaming to create an impact
- Witnessed human trafficking
- Humble beginnings
- Memorable first projects
- Moments of affirmation
- Plans for future projects
- Creative ways to promote peace
- Habits and routines for success
- Dae’s inspirations
Creating an Impact
Dae Eriksson’s story started as she was working as an international writer in Dubai. She saw human trafficking and decided to become a human rights lawyer. Before law school, she met Bob Goff, a lawyer with a tiny office above a laundromat. She started working for Bob doing errands and sorting emails.Even though Dae’s actual work wasn’t definitive and small at that time, she knew it was important. It was very exciting for her because she saw the potential and knew their work is making an impact on the world.
When law school started, Dae realized that she could get trapped in corporate law for the next couple of years trying to pay her student loans. What she had always wanted was to be outside, working and having fun. The idea of leaving her job with Bob eventually to concentrate on law school was something she doesn’t want to do as well. After considering her options, Dae immediately quit law school and came working for Bob full time.
Past and Future Projects
Some of the first and major projects which brought defining moments for Dae Eriksson were her trips in Uganda and Somalia. At her first trip in Uganda, Dae knew she deeply cares about their cause. But as soon as she met and spent time with the kids, she became deeply excited. She told herself that nonprofit work is something that she can do for a very long time.
Immediately after, Dae had to go to Somalia, one of the most dangerous cities in the world at that point. She had to grasp the reality that something might happen to her by going there. She had to decide that her life is not worth anything more than the people. Dae told herself that if she truly believes that they should be helping and doing something, then she should be willing to risk her life to go for it.
Today, most of Love Does projects are trying to target bringing about peace. They are setting up plans to build more schools in Somalia and Congo to educate the kids of the rebels. Whether they are teaching kids or the people who are actually in conflict, the idea is to prove that they don’t have to choose to fight. She wants to show that here is another opportunity for them. Dae and her team are keeping the focus on these conflict areas and see what they can do to promote peace in creative ways.
Moments of Affirmation
While planning out and setting goals for the following year, Dae had the idea to build a hospital in Iraq. She discussed it with her team, and everyone was onboard. Moments later, Dae received an email with a fund raising offer to build something in Iraq.
During the hunt for the location of the clinic, Dae learned about the living condition the Syrian refugees in Iraq. She wanted to do something, but she knew she cannot pay their rent forever. Talking to some of her friends from the Refuge Initiative, she learned they have spare land to build a village. Dae grasped the opportunity and built a village near one of their existing schools there. The people now have a place to go and their kids can go to school at the same time.
These are the moments when Dae felt a sense of affirmation. If you just say it out loud and speak your dreams then somehow they happen. A foundation was built for the funding of the camp and support has been coming from as little as five dollars up to funding an entire house. More than providing home and education for the refugees, they were able to build a community.
- “I just always feel lucky to be doing what I’m doing. I always wanted to do something that deeply compelled me.”
- “I’ve always had this dream that I could impact the world in a small way or ideally a big way.”
- “It’s incredibly motivating to feel like somebody believes in me.”
- “I operate off positivity mostly, so that makes me want to do better.”
- “If I truly believe that we should be helping and doing something, then I am willing to risk my life to go to Somalia.
- “I had to make the decision that my life is not worth anything more than the women and children in Mogadishu.”
- “If you just say it out loud and speak your dreams, somehow it happens.”
- “If there’s an event that affects a whole group of people, the real tragedy is that their kids will be more affected.”
- “Not only they have a place to stay, and kids can go to school, but it’s breaking down intense barriers into creating a community of people that normally would never associate with each other.”
- “The young rebels are not killers, but children who were taken advantaged of. It is possible to have them in a loving and caring environment and be given an opportunity because they are amazing kids.”
- “Whether we’re educating the kids or the people who are actually in conflict, the idea is to prove that they don’t have to fight because there is another opportunity there.”
- “If we’re going to help people, we have to take care of ourselves first.”
- “It’s so refreshing to think as you can just be yourself, have fun with it and do really good things.”
- “Even if it’s terrifying, just go after what you truly care about.”
- “Do what excites you the most, whether you fail or succeed, you know that at you are living into the desire that you have which is what makes you who you are.”