Ever contemplated the state of the world today and felt a bit overwhelmed by the fact that despite millions of dollars committed each year to the poorest countries in the world, more than a billion people still live in extreme poverty? We certainly have. It’s a bit daunting, isn’t it?
Believing that the key to the challenges of the developing world is local solutions, Spark* takes a different approach and works to turn the tide against poverty, not by giving money, handouts or ‘charity’ in the traditional sense, but by enabling local leaders to develop their own solutions.
After identifying passionate emerging leaders in countries experiencing extreme poverty, Spark* enables these ‘changemakers’ in three ways:
1. Each group of 25 changemakers attends a SPARK* CHANGEMAKER SUMMIT. These three-day workshops provide a space for individuals to identify and begin to breakdown the barriers that may be standing in their way – a sense of hopelessness, a lack of confidence, the need for specific knowledge around leading change. They are introduced to social entreprenuers who have drastically improved livelihoods in some of the most challenging places in the world. They explore the importance of a clear and focused strategy. They learn how lead an effective team, communicate and share their vision, secure the funding and support necessary to make that vision become a reality, and how to assess their impact.
2. These changemakers remain connected through the SPARK* NETWORK – local hubs and a soon-to-be web-based global community which provide an opportunity and space to work together, encourage each other, share ideas & resources and gain valuable feedback.
3. And finally, rockstar changemakers with brilliant ideas and proven impact have access to funding and strategic support through the SPARK* CHANGEMAKER FUND - designed to help changemakers increase the impact of their projects and help bring the benefit of their grassroots development inititives to more communities.
These passionate changemakers with home-grown solutions restore our confidence in the future of the world’s poor. We admit, we’re a little biased here at The World by Us (the editor of this site also spends much of her time on Spark*), but the individual stories and successes emerging from the Spark* Changemakers are too wonderful not to share. We’ll be profiling some of the inspiring young women and letting you in on their exciting plans for change in the coming weeks, so stay tuned…
Until then, check out the video below to see what Spark* got up to this month in Papua New Guinea!
Next year Spark* will be working in PNG, East Timor, South Africa and Indigenous Australia, with Kenya plans on the horizon. You can enable changemakers with Spark* here.