If you are here, you were invited or pointed to this page as a friend of what I and my horde of passionate philanthropians (the State of the Spark) are all about. It is truly only for the eyes of those who want to make an explosively significant effect in the humanitarian field.
This is how we can partner.
Oh The Places You Go and The Things You See
It has been my desire for some time to bring the principles and practices of being Sparked to the field in Haiti.
We have been working in Haiti for 4+ years. Before that I was able to travel, literally, around the world, studying International Political Economy, World Religions and International Trade. I witnessed the Grameen Bank at work, mom-and-pop church groups serving on the field and have seen both the benefit and relief that can come from many groups like these.
As I have traveled, been involved with social justice, and worked in the different aspects of the philanthropy fields (social justice, charity, missions, development, etc), I have noticed something sincerely lacking.
Two major forces pull strongly in opposite directions, neutralizing one another. This tension is often dealt with in ways that expel precious resources donated to non-profits in fruitless ways.
A Less Fruitful Tension
One dynamic force is the over-religious; those who pull so heavily into the spiritual aspects of a culture that they ignore the practical. This is often generalized as ‘missions.’ Resources not consumed by infrastructure (expensive, unnecessary travel; inappropriate technologies or equipment) are directed toward activities and things that may not actually be the best for a sustainable mission.
The opposite force, pulling strongly into secular humanitarianism. The focus is entirely on providing aide, efficiency, and meeting immediate needs. There is an unintentional trend to over-look the nuances of the culture. Sustainability is a rare result, so to claim ongoing success larger and larger infrastructures are needed from donating individuals and states.
We could explore the benefits and challenges of each, but for simplicity, suffice it to say that most organizations working in the philanthropia fields fall into one of these two camps to varying degrees. I acknowledge there are many current developments in the field pointing this direction. Most of these developments are in the form of discussion in the academic or theoretical halls of social justice.
Action is soon to follow.
Help is coming.
Long-term, sustainable solutions are happening.
I have committed my own Spark, and involving any other citizens of the State of the Spark, to make aggressive progress in sparking, igniting, and exploding in one of the most difficult social landscapes in the Western Hemisphere.
There are many of you sparking all over. Our commitment is to spark Haiti. Our commitment is long term. We have been at it for 4+ years. And, until stopped or serendipitously moved on, we will continue our path.
Closing the Gap by Channeling the Tension
Diego Uribe, of TEDxTampaBay, brought forth the concept of Dynamic Tension. Unchecked, all systems will demand a massive corrective action. We are not seeking balance, as Diego proposed. We are seeking Dynamic Tension. Balance would eliminate the kinetic energy of a system; entropy would set in. Dynamic Tension would harness the kinetic energy and channel it to a use.
The tension between “missions” and “humanitarianism” can be harnessed dynamically to create a holistically healthy, ignited community of Haitians who are exploding their own country.
Think of it as the intersection of Economic Development, Classical Education, Creative Problem-Solving, Vision Consulting & Life Coaching. The hypothesis is that it will not only work better than current hyper-niched models described above, but that it will rapidly accelerate the development of the people-group at large. This id (idea/identity) virus my not spread as quickly as cholera, but it will last far longer and bring life, not death.
A Profound Venture
Thus far, we have walked this path slowly, learned a lot, and discovered that if we do this on our own it will take a long time. We want to see progress made now.
Partnering is key. Transforming Travelers with CPI, many small companies in Lakeland such as Bartow Ford, and personal partners have carried the lion’s share of the load. Individual business owners have also partnered with us such as Seth Czerepak who not only is spearheading a cultural fusion festival in Lakeland, but has put his money where his mouth is and has supported us significantly for some time now.
As an organization, CPI consistently puts the welfare of our Haitian partners first. Being good stewards means being certain that partner resources are placed where they are expected to be placed. As such, we have no full time, front-line people on the ground in Haiti.
Sparked individuals and small organizations are getting it. New waves of momentum are happening regularly. Breakthroughs are all around us.
Now is the time to do that.
My fiance and I have been able to earn and save enough money to ignite this awesome work in Chauffard. We are committed to going and living there for a year. Our work, effort, sowing, saving and planning is culminating in our launch into an awesome venture of making significant differences in the lives of our Haitian friends.
To leverage our time and money, I am simply and directly asking that you would help accelerate our vision by donating.
Your donation will go to putting us on the field, in a tent, in the middle of Chauffard, Haiti to bring the ideologies of the Spark in the methodologies of dynamic tension to achieve accelerated progress in this small village that will ripple throughout Haiti.
We do not need much. (Launching in Haiti doesn’t really take too much.)
And this is certainly not merely funding our Haitian vacation. (If you have ever been to Chauffard, Haiti with us, you know its no vacation.)
We are generally funding ourselves, but your donations can help extend our work there to ensure that the beneficial changes are happening. Partner right now by choosing an amount and method below, and let’s get things really ramped up
Thank you for your time! Please contact us if you have any questions, ideas, or concerns.
Grant & Marissa Nieddu