TDC Existential Crisis

Are we just a fundraising excuse?  What value, if any, is added to those who participate?

Do we engender a deeper understanding of the lives of poverty? Are we trying to simply create empathy?

Are we an educational tool?  If so, how do we educate?  What do we educate our participants about?  The lives of the poor?  Their decision-making calculus?

If we do create this desire to make a difference, what comes next?  At the end of the week, what steps if any can participants take to change the world in the way that they desire?  Our tagline is “knowledge in action to end poverty” – but how to we create the opportunity for action?  Do we strike up patnerships with service-learning organizations (for example, Amizade)?  Do we simply have a section of homepage title “next steps” – or stating – so what do you do next?

You have taken the challenge.  You have gain a semblance of understanding regarding the the choice calculus of the poor.  This understanding is limited for a number of reasons – one being that the poor cannot always count on a consistent and reliable flow of daily income.  Really what we do is demonstrate to participants all that they have and take for granted.  How does that help?  What does that knowledge accomplish?  Maybe a greater sensitivity.  But, what do they do with that heightened sensitivity.  I ran with the SHH opportunity.  They walk away with knowledge.  Putting that knowledge into action is what we need to figure out what to do.  Do we create strategic partnerships with pre-existing ngos?  For example, sites/…Is this what we do? 

Do we have the capability to make them effective?  We can talk about the importance of this?  And connect them with resources?  We can talk about the importance of networking.  The importance of making a responsible and sustainable difference in the lives of others…The bottom line is that we do not have the capability to do some of the things we promise to do in our mission.  We are an educational tool.  We are an educational experience.  We need to pull back on our promises.  For example, the with the PAC what is our future.  We do not have the money to do this again. We can launch the TDC – Haiti Project.  We can strive to coordinate a forum where participants come together.

If we are first and foremost an educational experience, how do we make the most of this experience? 

Every individual has the right to unlock their potential through hard work.  All of us may not choose to do so.  The choice to do or not, however, is our.  Poverty steals that right from the poor and their children. 

            I know that this is extremely idealistic but in some ways a perfect world for me would be one in which every parent could look into the eyes of their child and just have this sense of wonder, of.  When every individual looks into their own eyes in the mirror they should be able to see the same thing.  It does not mean that they will act on this potential.  It does not mean that it will not be hard.  Poverty steals that from them and their children.  Poverty is a menance and it is arbitrary in who chooses to grasp and strangle.  We were lucky.  We want to give it back.

We desire a world were poverty is not only not tolerated by the young but eradicated by them as well.

We may want to adopt LC’s mission statement. What have we accomplishes?  We had a small number of schools participate.  How do we fit into this universe?  What is our role?  Why did we begin?  What can we do?  Maybe our job first and foremost is to be evangelical about the TDC experience, how it can create empathy, make you open to doing more?  However, we have to be careful here because, those who are open to taking on TDC are already sensitive to the issues surrounding global inequality and poverty.  The question is how do we reach those who are not naturally drawn to this issue? 


If you enjoyed this blog, you may enjoy my This is the Work newsletter.

Thanks. – shawn

P.S. Read the Sidekick Manifesto and Take the Pledge!