Punky Moms loves to spotlight non-profits helping to save the world. This month we’ve got our spotlight on the Family Independence Initiative.
One of the most awkward scenarios I faced working in the nonprofit world was listening to a board member or volunteer give a wonderfully impassioned speech about how much our families needed the service we were providing. It sounds great until you consider how the family feels listening to this speech about how much they needed fixing. How we all saved them. It’s hard to protect someone’s dignity when you are talking about how broken they are. At the same time, it’s hard to fundraise when you aren’t presenting people with a problem to fix.
That’s what makes the Family Independence Initiative all the more impressive. The Family Independence Initiative (FII) is a nonprofit, community-based organization that utilizes resource sharing, mutual support, and role modeling to help families move out of poverty. FII policies reward strength and initiative (as opposed to need) and are led by the families themselves.
By changing lives with a radically different approach to working with marginalized and underserved populations, FII could very well be changing the way donors think about their own role in eradicating poverty; hopefully more as partners than saviors. This hero/victim relationship (and I would argue a better than/worse than relationship) is damaging to everyone. Damaging to the dignity of the family that is under resourced and damaging to those in a position to provide financial support as it gives a false sense of superiority. The FII approach honors that, regardless of what resources we had at the start or lost along the way, we are all our brother’s keeper. No one gets out of a hard situation alone, and no one has to.