I’m often asked what Cultivate International is, what we do, and what is my foundation for this work. I’ll share more on this soon, but to begin I’d like to explain a bit of the theory and practice that has led to the creation of Cultivate.
Cultivate has grown out of the knowledge that radical, effective, and long-term change happens in impoverished communities worldwide most often when small-scale solutions are birthed by leaders who are indigenous to their communities, who intrinsically know the needs and desires of the impoverished and oppressed, and who seek to create answers that are tailored to their communities. In other words, people are helped and poverty eradicated when locals step up and find their own unique solutions to their struggles and needs.
The resource-rich West does not hold the only solutions to address world poverty. This is a mindset which has caused more harm than good in the past. But we are not excused from our responsibility to be a part of the global movement towards whole and healthy communities. We must use our resources, knowledge, experiences and skills to serve others where we are needed.
That is where Cultivate International comes in. We seek to partner with local leaders and organizations who are seeking to address the needs of their community by encouraging their growth and sustainability. By providing them: 1) funding to jump-start their efforts, 2) education and technical assistance in developing the resources, systems and plans needed for their long-term success (in areas such as community development strategies, strategic planning, communications, and use of social media), and 3) access to mentors and volunteers who serve them through their knowledge and talents. Through Cultivate, we are able to advance the work of visionaries and social entrepreneurs across the world.
Cultivate finds local leaders who are passionately working for their communities, but because of their continual struggle for consistent and dependable finances, their lack of knowledge and experience in program management, and limited access to highly qualified individuals who can aid them in their work, these program struggle to grow and stagnate.
It is important to realize Cultivate does not seek to dictate how these programs ought to run, but simply seeks to provide them a foundation for their growth and success. Cultivate partners with projects in all areas of community development and across the world, so as to affect long-term change with a wide impact. So we equip and support these community leaders, so that they are able to launch and sustain successful community development projects to address problems such as hunger, disease, education, job training, and environmental degradation. Through mutual partnerships and service, we can affect change worldwide.
-Elaine, Executive Director