9.25.2013

It's Complicated. (I still have feelings for World Vision)


(Pssst. **if you can make it to the bottom of this post, you will not be disappointed**)

To sponsor or not to sponsor... that is the question.

No, for real. After the post where I totally friend zoned World Vision, a bunch of you asked if I would recommend sponsoring a child.

It's a fair question with a complicated answer, but that complicated answer begins with yes.

It's true that when I visited Guatemala I was hoping to see more of the "basic needs" humanitarian work that World Vision is known for, and I was sad to have not had that opportunity. My personal bent is for humanitarianism that leans toward holistic community care, created to be locally sustainable, and then left to the people, and that's what I thought I was going to see because that's what World Vision does, y'all.

My. Personal. Opinion. is that no child should go without sufficient food, clean water, or medical care. That said, I honestly believe that World Vision is working hard and doing good things to meet those basic human needs in many places around the world, and I think, for the most part, they're doing it really well.

Do I think World Vision is perfect? Nope. (Did you? Because if you did, you're kinda dumb.)

Real talk: World Vision has 44,000 employees. Yes. Forty-four THOUSAND people working in I-have-no-idea-how-many areas, worldwide. No organization is perfect, no person is perfect, no imperfect organization made of 44,000 imperfect people is going to do things perfectly. Hell, I'm pretty sure there is no perfect way to fight poverty!

Do you know why? Because fighting poverty is some complicated shit.

Sorry, but there is no white board equation that says $35 per kid per month times 250,000 donors plus 44,000 workers equals No Poverty.

It's not cut and dry. It's crazy and messy and nuanced and detailed and chaotic and hard and expensive.

It's complicated!

But, even though it's complicated, and even though there are...*ahem*... criticsWorld Vision continues to step into the fray. They show up every day, 44,000 strong, to say, “We can do something to end poverty.”

The question for us is should we support their efforts?

Ok. So, here's where it get's suuuuper complicated...

I don't think *I* should be supporting a Music Arts program in Guatemala. I have Big Feelings about when and where to draw the line of support in underdeveloped and emerging nations. BIG FAT FEELINGS. It's not that I don't love the idea of a fine arts program – because I do. And it's not that I don't value music or understand how a child can benefit from learning an instrument - because I totally get that. It's that *I* (me. personally. from my perspective. with my narrow definition of “need”. and because of my own concerns about creating dependency and patriarchy and culture shift.), *I* can't get behind it. But that's just ME.

I believe that YOU - every single one of YOU who commented, emailed, facebooked, or tweeted me last week to proclaim the importance and validity of a music program for underprivileged kids – YOU should have already followed this link and sponsored a child. Because YOU see something there that I cannot see or appreciate. And your opinion matters. Your desire to change lives through music matters. Your $35 a month matters ...especially to this little orchestra at the bottom of a hill in Guatemala. (Yes, I am being kind of a douche and challenging you to put your money where your mouth is. Seriously. If you believe this music program can and will change the lives of these children, then it deserves your support!) I just can't get on board with that.

But, guess what?

I still support World Vision. We are still friends, after all. I just choose to support in other ways, ways that are more in sync with my heart for the basics.

Together, with my church, we are running a race for clean water. Our hope is to raise funds that bring clean water access to the people of the Abaya Region of Ethiopia. We've gathered our runners (El Chupacabra is among them) and now we are gathering our resources in support of them. (Feel free to kick down a little cash for The Big Bearded Runner, right here.) This is where World Vision's work meets my spirit. This is where I'm investing.

I guess my point is that World Vision is doing a lot of different stuff in Guatemala and around the world, and some of the stuff they're doing is ~ in my completely unimportant o.p.i.n.i.o.n. ~ amazing, and I will sing that stuff's praises. But I will not pretend to love the stuff that I think is crap. I also won't pretend that everyone should agree with me about what is and what is not crap ministry. Instead, each of us should feel responsible to make educated decisions about how and where we partner with any one of the gazillion non-profits on Earth. World Vision is no different. But I know (because they told me!) that they would love to answer your questions, if you've got em. 

Overall, I'm pleased to endorse World Vision. And I'm happy to let you decide if and how and where you see fit to partner. 

One thing I can say with confidence is that your $35 a month is way better off in World Vision's hands than in a Starbucks' bank vault. (Yikes That's two douchey guilt trips in one post. I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO I AM!!!)

So...


Click here! DO IT!!! 

Or. 



I dunno. But. Do something. 

Listen... I didn't go to Guatemala just to sweat my boobs off twerking with Roo Ciambriello at a pre-Independence Day rave. And I certainly didn't show up just to watch Caleb Wilde dance his way into a conga line that wasn't actually a conga line, just three innocent people making their way through a crowd. Although, those things were awesome.

This really happened.

I went to Guatemala because I was fond of World Vision and I believed in their work.

And honestly? I still do.

….          ….            …..

Do you have BIG FEELINGS about humanitarian work? Do share...