How One Nonprofit Earned Our Support

In the Beginning…

Quadrid got its start by working with nonprofits. Overtime, our passion for the organizations we partnered with faded as we got saw more and more of the underbelly of the large and small organizations we worked with. They weren’t doing anything wrong as far as we could tell, but some of the practices seemed to lack empowerment – something we’ve come to see as being critical in systemic change, especially in overseas environments. Deep down, we felt there was a better way.

Eventually, we chose to focus our skills and energies in a different direction. We purposefully shifted our business model, focusing on work with local small businesses, artisans, makers, and specialty foods brands who would better align with our personal and business goals. Not coincidentally, this new direction also included a lot of passionate people as clients (something we really appreciated about our nonprofit clients).

Recently, though, we’ve found one non-profit that we’d like to invest more of our expertise and energy on.

The Power of Community

African Road is an international NGO working in collaboration with African leaders who are working to create systemic change in their communities.

Part of our disillusionment with some other nonprofits is the general attitude of “we’ve got money and we know how to do things.” African Road serves as the opposite of that attitude.

They focus on finding partners – existing organizations in Africa – who are open to building new relationships. This approach, alone, creates a virtuous dynamic. When money is exchanged, it’s done in an empowering way.

This relationship-first approach is what matters most. We knew this in our heads the first time we visited Rwanda. It’s what we felt in our heart the second time..

A Personal Shift

Friends in RwandaIn 2013, we were invited by the founder of African Road, Kelly Bean, to accompany her and a few others on a trip to Africa to create a short film. Based upon our earlier nonprofit experiences, we begrudgingly said yes.

Kelly and Craig had known each other before her invitation, so despite our reluctance, we knew Kelly and we liked her. She’s good people.

On our first trip, we had the chance to visit a plot of land donated by friends of African Road to a co-op made up of children who were affected by the 1994 genocide. The concept was pretty cool, but it wasn’t until our second visit a year later that it really clicked.

In just one short year, the changes were amazing…and tangible (seeing it first hand). The children involved in the co-op had built new buildings, started a preschool to educate local families and raise funds for the co-op, and had sold their cows in order to purchase pigs…something they’d determined to be more profitable. They had been seriously empowered.

Making a Difference

One of our early hesitations in working with nonprofits was that we rarely or directly saw how our work was making a difference. We’ve learned a lot since then.

This isn’t about making some grand gesture. It’s about doing what we can to help friends in need around the world.

For me and African Road, that means introducing you to our friends…

That’s why we’re hosting an event at Denver’s Converge, in partnership with African Road.

StevenOn October 21st, you’ll have the chance to meet our friend and leader of the children’s co-op in Rwanda, Steven, as well as the founder of African Road, Kelly. They, along with many others (via our videos) will share their experiences in a roundtable discussion.

We invite you to come on this journey with us as we host a “learning party” where Steven will share about his journey and Craig will tell you more about some of the changes brought about by Steven’s co-op. You’ll also be invited to get involved as we are raising money to fund the next level of sustainability for Steven’s family through a business startup for Steven’s wife, Providence.

Here are the details:


 

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015
6:30 – 8:30 PM

Converge Denver | 3327 Brighton Blvd. | Denver, C0 80216


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