Please Get Involved & Share Directly With Others
CONSIDER OUR UNITED NATIONS INSPIRED APPROACH
UNITED NATIONS PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES WORLD CONFERENCES:
The Inti Raymi Fund annually attends these conferences to gain a greater awareness and insight into those we’re trying to help globally. We realize that although all people are the same globally, they each have a unique set of circumstances, which necessitate intervention. During the conferences, thousands of Indigenous Peoples representing hundreds of Tribes or ethnicities from all seven regions of world unite for a common cause and global awareness. Aided by translators, these Indigenous Peoples articulate their exact needs and issues facing them in their particular region of the world. Our past attendance was instrumental in learning what is really going on geopolitically in all the regions of the world. Additionally, we gained a better understanding of many unique needs and funded new programs. This awareness is paramount in creating an effective helping program. “If you don’t know what people need, then how can you possibly help them? It’s arrogant and narcissistic to assume otherwise. In summary, we have created a unique, but highly effective approach in helping people around the world. Each one of our projects reflects the uniqueness of people, locations and situations where we help. All of our projects reflect the geopolitical pressures which these people face, due to adversities imposed on them by others through the our defective human traits of hatred, lust, jealousy, greed or abuse of power. Lastly, these projects reflect their terrain or location since they are either in the desert, the jungle, a war torn region, highlands, urban jungle or a remote island.
If left alone, humans can adapt and survive just fine without intervention. When excessive urbanization, globalization or global warming pressures are imposed upon these innocent people, they become vulnerable and then need additional support. This is where the Inti Raymi Fund helps. Time and time again, the Inti Raymi Fund has seen and realized what these vulnerable people need is Respect & Dignity more than anything. If self-confidence can be rebuilt within communities where we help, then they can be prepared to “fight their next battle” or struggle in life and eventually sustain themselves. Self-Determination is what they want, not a hand out.
Our projects are a result of asking two very important questions upon arrival…”What do You need? and, How can we help?”
Our mandate was created after listening to hundreds of individual testimonies from their delegates sending the message to the world of their own unique issues and concerns at the UN Sessions. The two greatest take-aways from these testimonies at the UN are 1) The desire for Self-Determination by all humans, and their 2) desire for Transparency with foreign aid organizations and their sadness that they “never see the money”. We hear over and over again, complaints that funds never make it to their villages even after funding has been announced by their governments, and foreign aid organizations. It is the Inti Raymi Fund’s opinion, that probably 10% of Foreign Aid ever makes it down to the recipient in need. This concern echoed by all speakers drove us to our Transparency Model of showing the entire community our entire process and deliver of the cash to the people we help. Control is paramount to our process.
SELF DETERMINATION is a concept and legal term contained in Article 3 & 4 of the United Nations Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (“UNDRIP”). This Declaration was a 16 year, collaborative legal document created by Caucuses from the seven regions of the world and adopted on September 13, 2007 by the United Nations General Assembly during their 61st session. Article 3 & 4 of the UNDRIP voices strong desire for people to be deeply involved in their own affairs, a term coined “Self-Determination”. No people want to be governed by another people, regardless of the sophistication of the political leader, especially if you’re an Indigenous Person living in a remote rural area of land and have been for a millennium with your ancestors. Ironically, many of these locations are where vast riches of natural resources are located, but these peoples lack the western education required to protect theirs interests against these forces.
Accordingly, the Inti Raymi Fund arrives to each project without a western script or agenda. We come with money and two questions…”What do You Need?”, and “How Can we Help You?” and ask for nothing in return. Isn’t this what sharing is really about?, asking nothing in return and giving unconditionally? We do not steer a community one way or another, we discuss and offer unlimited options from bringing doctors, nurses, medical consultants, dentists, lawyers, computers, greenhouses, school constitution, teachers, land purchases, farm equipment and animals, basically anything but weapons we will support. People in every country of the world know exactly what they need and what is most important to them since they are the ones living this adversity not us. By giving unconditionally and by respectfully sharing with them, this wins the hearts of every community we visit; however, most Westerners cannot grasp this “letting go of control paradigm shift” or “being number one at all cost mentality” which is so ingrained in the traditional philanthropy model. Success will happen on its own with these people if you trust in them and allow them to do it themselves. Our view is that it is less important to get it right, as it is about rebuilding Self-Confidence, Self-Esteem and rebuilding Dignity & Respect for each community member. This unconditional process has never happened with these people who the Inti Raymi Fund visits, since they are the oppressed, endangered, discriminated outcastes of society who have been villainized by their own governments or extractive industries leaders in justification of the theft of their natural resources or land (example: Avitar theme). This is particularly why they need a “second chance in life”. This is the reason why our recipe is highly effective, it brings them happiness along with progress and they define it and do it.
EXTENSIVE DISCUSSIONS WITH ALL COMMUNITY MEMBERS: Once we offer up the unlimited options to a community which “must be a shared community gift”, an open dialogue begins, which ignites the flame of excitement. We specifically make a concerted effort to listen to the women, especially the elderly women who have great wisdom and knowledge within their community along with having strong generational family ties in the community. These family ties are instrumental when the community later determines who is most trustworthy to care for these funds after we leave the village and they become in control.
WE HAVE TWO RULES, HOWEVER: When we arrive into these communities, we insist that our support is “one for all and all for one”. Our gift must be shared evenly between everyone in the village. The last thing we want to do is to introduce greed in the community, with some people getting something and others being left out. Our goal is to keep their community connected for their sustained survival. The real definition of Poverty, is the disparity between the have’s and the have-nots, not a monetary figure. The community must work together to decide in a democratic fashion how the money shall be used. Some of our projects they pool the funds together to build schools, purchase computers and labs or greenhouses, others they break down the gift into 5-10 sub-projects for close but differing families, and some communities which might be migratory such as the case of Syrian, Afghani, Iraqi refugee camps, cash is urgently needed since they are literally hand to mouth and on the run because of war. Whatever works for them, works for us. Our last Rule is the obvious, but I need to mention that the money is not to be stolen! The community members all know each other and who they can trust. We require that the community on a democratic basis, decide who holds the money until building materials, tools, computers etc. can be procured. This “who do you trust in the community process” is rather interesting and intuitive as it is revealed when all eyes usually flow to the elderly women who are the multi-generational matriarchs of the community. The funds in this case usually go literally into their brasiers for save keeping. Our responsibility upon arrival is to ensure everyone shares equally and the funds are secure after our departure for their ideas and self-help projects. That’s the extent of our responsibility; the rest must be left up to them to sort out. One has to let go of control, otherwise it will cripple those who you seek to help, and you will incur double the costs administering the projects. This is one reason why, in our opinion, the largest organizations often are highly ineffective because they spent all their money on westerners employed in high salaried, administrative jobs building their vision projects or pet projects which defines their organizations efforts, but neglects who they’re really helping on the ground…these innocent but instinctive people.
Within the communities we visit, their choices could be criticized; however, just because it’s not the western way of doing something, doesn’t mean that it’s the wrong way of doing it. Remember, most westerners really don’t fully understand these extraneous issues and these peoples in their remote locations or their difficult conditions, which were usually dealt to them by the abuse of others. If you don’t really understand them, how can you prescribe your help without their input? To some, our approach may appear a bit insane, but our way of sharing is very effective because we listen to everyone involved, providing them the Respect & Dignity they deserve, treating everyone equally and allowing them to determine what is most important to them. Sharing is much more effective that Philanthropy! After traveling to 74 countries and by attending these annual United Nations Conferences, we strongly believe in Our Approach as evidenced by us fully funding every project internally through Chimu’s Contributions to the Inti Raymi Fund. Our Approach and internal funding, says a lot when compared with traditional fund raising supported organizations, doing their programs, which they can easily articulate, market and sell to the mass populous donor charity community, allowing themselves further sustainability and survival as an NGO entity. Do we still appear insane?
TRANSPARENCY is very important for the communities we visit, as articulated to us over an over at the UN Conferences. We listened at the UN conferences that time and time again foreign international aid arrives from overseas, which are managed by various local NGO’s or worse, their own national, regional, local governments, or even elders within the communities, but the money rarely if ever arrives into the communities in need. We take to heart the voices we listened to at the United Nations and apply this in our process through ultra Transparency. Everyone listens to everything, everyone particulates in everything and everyone sees everything. Without the traditional “evaporation” of foreign aid funds, which we all hear about, the Inti Raymi Funds’ smaller purse of only $25,000 can actually go a long, long way to help in every country in the world. Additionally, if you consider their currency exchange rates and their brutal poverty, our $25,000 could equate to 10 to 100 times the amount in a westerner’s budget or perspective.
All of our interaction within the community is in the open with everyone invited and involved with the discussions. Usually, 100-500 people within the community participate. Upon resolution of the community’s clear direction on their choice of project or projects(s), the next decision is how the funds are allocated either one project, several or many community projects, or to distribute the cash evenly among the community residents. Lastly, they must decide how the funds will be protected after our team has given them their money we are sharing with them. This is where the elderly women come into play. In a fully democratic process, we invite the community to decide, who they trust, within the community to hold this gift. In most cases, the elderly women are the trustees of the monies or they determine who should hold the funds until their projects can start. In some rare cases, there are banks in a nearby village, which they may suggest to put the money in for safekeeping. Please remember, in most cases, the places most in need have no wealth; therefore, no banks want to be located there. Additionally, in many countries, they do not have FDIC insurance, meaning when a bank gets looted by their white collar crooked directors and fails, the depositors lose their life savings. This is a reason why many in underdeveloped countries do not trust the banking system and you hear about money in a jar under a tree, which make so sense to a westerner. They can only trust what they see and can touch,
In the spirit of transparency, the Inti Raymi Fund lays the cash on the table in front of everyone in the village. This is done with one final word of advice from us…”Once we give this money to you and your community, it no longer is ours and then becomes the property of the community. If anyone steals any of this money, you are taking it from the elderly, the women, the children and the future of the community will be impaired”. After hearing this and after going through our multi-day workshops, their paradigm has already shifted and no one has any interest in touching the money on the table and law and order is maintained. We step away from the table and our work is completed.
No matter what they have decided to spend the money on, the decisions made are their decisions, so they are the right ones. There are times, which I personally have not agreed with their choices; however, in the spirit of caring, respecting and selflessly sharing without an agenda with those less fortunate, one has to let go of control, and simply be happy for them being happy and wish them the best. It will work out.
If you can remove yourself from the traditional philanthropic paradigm of designing a great project “WE” are proud of, and turn all the attention outward towards the recipients and ask yourself…Wouldn’t you like to determine how you spend your money or a gift, or would you like someone from another country and culture to tell you “how to do it best?” Imagine how well that would work in your community. In the USA where I grew up, I was always told “we’re the best” so I actually believed it until I extensively traveled internationally and realized this quote is a highly subjective statement. By continuing to react based upon our western educated paradigms into these marginalized and abused communities of people, we are really creating more harm than good, as it emotionally and mentally cripples the beneficiaries, which in turn reduces their ability to problem solve in the future, and lowers their self esteem. This “catch 22” dependency, can be seen with the hand to mouth donation dependent country of Ethiopia, where most of their Indigenous Peoples are simply going from one non-profit program to the next perpetuating generations and generations of dependent peoples attached to government and NGO programs for constant assistance.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Lets assume for a minute the “worst case scenario” in philanthropy that we all hear about. Let’s assume that during our three days of workshops discussing ideas, the community could not agree on what collective projects they would work on together, and they alternatively decided to simply distribute the cash evenly among each person in the community, which we do sometimes. Before you write this off as a failure, ask yourself, “why are you here in this village in the first place?” Are you there to build a school, feed the village, bring used clothing, bring the bible & shoes in exchange for their donated souls, drill a water well, build computer labs? Are you asking anything whatsoever from them in return? If so, its not a gift, it’s a trade or deal. Our painfully honest answer with the Inti Raymi Fund would be none of the above. We arrive into communities to help them, help themselves into the future. We’re providing them options and ideas for a second chance in life, through a substantial capital infusion into their Community. By empowering these intuitive and street-smart people and by focusing on Self Esteem Building with Respect and Dignity at the core of our approach, we have truly helped more than most western scripted philanthropic programs out there with 10 times the size projects.
Consider that cash is the blood in the veins of a community. After we infuse this cash into the community, then what? Unless the money is buried in a jar under a tree and never found, it is put to work purchasing desperately needed items for their families which is a success right there. Remember, they know what they need most and can usually purchase it cheaper than we can delivering it. This money becomes what the US Government considers the M2 money supply. The amount of times this money is exchanged over and over buying and selling items is called the Velocity of Money. When the community takes their money to purchase something in the larger community, someone makes a sale and a profit is made, the seller in turn has more money to purchase items they need allowing the expansion of the money into circulation. This allows the local economy to expand where many, many people feel this capital infusion and benefits of our initial gift. This money is similar to the blood in your veins, without cash the community dies like the body without the continuous flow of blood with oxygen. Our arrival in a “worst case scenario”, at least pumps fresh life into the economic veins of the communities we support; however, we know we do much, much more.
In any scenario, our projects are highly effective regardless of what projects the communities agree on or not because they have confidence and are happy.
OUR ULTIMATE GOAL INSPIRE YOU TO SHARE WITH OTHERS DIRECTLY, AND IMPROVE UPON OUR MODEL
By challenging you with our paradigm on sharing, we raise the bar for the entire philanthropy industry as a whole and everyone wins!
If we have inspired you in any way to help others, we’d love to hear from you. If our message resonates with you and you wish to discuss this further, please contact me.