Our model is informed by our guiding principles
and rooted in our core beliefs
1. Healing trauma strengthens the impact of other interventions
The deep wounds of trauma do not just impact emotional well-being. Without healing, survivors may be incapable of focusing in school, learning new skills, being productive income generators, raising healthy families, or making positive life choices. Worse yet, they may pass their trauma from generation to generation. We recognize that healing trauma is perhaps the most underfunded yet deeply needed intervention that can break the cycle of vulnerability while the benefits of healing are exponential when combined with a holistic approach.
2. Transformational giving starts with mindfulness
From a space of profound self-inquiry, we must examine the shadows formed by individual experiences, cultural bias, ego, intergenerational trauma, and relationship to power and privilege - all of which may unintentionally inform our practice of giving. By being aware of our shadows, releasing attachment to them, and cultivating a sense of oneness with humanity, we can then experience the gift of transformation that comes from giving mindfully - with gratitude, presence, and a clear heart.
3. Local changemakers know best
The traditional model of aid imposed by well-intentioned though paternalistic outsiders has perpetuated a centuries-old practice of cultural imperialism. We believe that sustainable development starts with local changemakers. We believe that a strong, thriving civil society whose members are dignified as agents of change in their own communities will advance a grassroots movement towards systemic change. And, we believe that building deep, long-term relationships based on mutual trust, respect for local wisdom, and shared purpose can lead to transformation for ourselves and others.
4. The empowerment of women and girls requires the healing of boys and young men
Empowering women and girls leads to healthier, better educated, and more economically robust communities, while the benefits cascade to future generations.* However, empowerment of women and girls doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We understand that boys and young men who are traumatized and vulnerable are at risk of becoming perpetrators of violence, seeking empowerment through youth militias, gangs, and domestic and gender-based violence. By healing not just women and girls but also boys and young men, we catalyze a new legacy of equal respect that maximizes impact on communities today and in the future.
5. Impact is about depth of transformation - not number of people served
Rigid metrics for evaluating for-profit ventures are not always appropriate in the context of global community development and can be dangerous when taken at face value and not considered as part of a deeper, longer term process of social change. We measure impact not in terms of ‘number of people served’ but in terms of ‘depth of transformation’. We understand that the definition of wellness and sustainability may be different from one person to the next. And, we believe that small is indeed good.