Is aid to the developing world working? One in five of the world’s population lives in poverty: 1.5 billion people live on less than US$1.25 a day. Rock stars have encouraged the public to give generously to alleviate poverty in the developing world. However, Sub-Sahara Africa has received over US$2 trillion – so why has their GDP gone down in the last 30 years?

A recent World Bank Report stated “Corruption is so rife that only 2 cents of every dollar reached the target local primary schools”. Foreign aid to the third-world is believed to have made millions poorer.

Speaker Douglas J Eaton, after a career in international management, has worked with charities in the third world.  From his personal experience he talks about a Different Approach, and illustrates how charity can be used to help people ‘trade’ their way out of poverty. A Hand-Up – not a Hand-Out.

And ‘Venture Philanthropy’ from some of the richest people in the world, is creating a new climate in the way charity money is spent.


Proposed Lecture




Historian and raconteur, Douglas Eaton, was educated at the University of Liverpool. After which he embarked on an international corporate business career, which began by joining the Unilever Management Development Scheme.

As M.D. of children’s colouring product company, Colour Workshop, he received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. After selling his shares in 2001, he ‘re-invented’ himself and has built houses, become a mentor, worked in the developing world as a business adviser, and entertains at the piano. He has also returned to his love of culture, heritage and history by giving talks to a wide-range of social groups, including Rotary, Probus, the Women’s Institute, the National Trust and the University of the Third Age.

He is about to embark on his tenth cruise in three years as a Guest Lecturer with Celebrity, Princess, CMV, Fred. Olsen, Thomson and Cunard. After publishing books on Golf and Commemorative Plaques, he is preparing to publish Less We Forget, a guide to the most outstanding war memorials in Britain, to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War in 2018. 




Raffles founded Singapore in 1819, changing the destiny of an obscure fishing village to a great seaport and modern metropolis. He was a disobedient employee, a utopian imperialist, a natural historian and a keen zoologist.

Born in Jamaica, Raffles carved out an extraordinary career with the East India Company, that took him to Penang and Malacca in Malaysia, and Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. His employers had their own private army and the biggest merchant navy fleet in the world: they were engaged in the slave and opium trades, both of which he tried to ban.

On his travels Raffles uncovered the world’s largest Buddhist temple in Java, which was covered in volcanic ash, met Napoleon Bonaparte – whom he described as “a man determined and vindictive, without a speck of soul” – and the world’s largest individual flower is named after him. 




In 1494, in an effort to stop the Spanish and Portuguese fighting each other, Pope Alexander VI   decreed that the Spanish could pursue the land to the West of a ‘line’ and the Portuguese the East. They both took full advantage of this, but it was Portugal that became the major economic, military and political force from the 15th century to the end of the 16th century.

By 1571 Portuguese naval outposts connected Lisbon with Africa, the Middle East, India, South Asia and Nagasaki. In 1513 Alvares had landed in China, and Vasco da Gama, Henry the Navigator, and Albuquerque the Great set out to make money from what they described as the ‘Land of Silks and Spices’. They created a legacy of government, trade and religion across a large swathe of the world that still resonates today.

Douglas Eaton

Prepared for

The Royal Geographical Society - HK