Charity based in USA
First Things Foundation
WE BELIEVE, that sacrifice is the beginning of a meaningful life.
WE REALIZE, this ideal by living humbly, for two years, alongside locals in struggling communities.
WE FUEL, beautiful projects that originate as local ideas and unfold with love.
CREATION BEGINS WITH SACRIFICE
First Things Foundation was conceived as a way to remind wealthy westerners of what gives meaning to life and as a mechanism for serving the poorest among us. As a couple of men working in the aid field, we saw how do-gooders sometimes did profound damage to struggling communities. That damage wasn't always physical; things get built when the cash shows up. The damage was spiritual, resulting in local people and local economies becoming dependent on outsiders.
But the existing aid paradigm also revealed a missed opportunity. The do-gooders with means, individuals and large non-profits, sometimes overlooked local culture and local ideas. This failure wasn't about being greedy or arrogant (though we saw it could be), it was usually about a failure to truly immerse where people hurt the most. True cultural awareness wasn't often the goal. Sharing in the suffering wasn't exactly the point. After all, that's a hard thing. It could mean getting sick. Or lonely.
But here's the rub. When we sacrifice our comforts, our way of speaking, our way of thinking, and immerse ourselves into local communities, something really cool happens. We discover wisdom in the Old World way of living and interacting. We begin to see clearly. And one of the things we see is that local people usually know how to fix local problems. Having immersed into a new way of thinking, we are in a unique position to offer these people direction, hope, someone to bounce ideas off of, and resources that they don’t have access to.
Stripped down and embedded into the local culture, the Field Worker becomes something like a bridge, with a foot in two worlds. We give momentum to local ideas by offering these people a chance to share a virtual table with creative and generous souls around the world. This, much like a heavy-laden feasting table, brings people together for the good.
All sorts of people are gathered around this table, sharing the common motif of sacrifice: the impresarios risk failure in pursuit of improving their lives or communities. Field Workers sacrifice two years of their lives to meet these folks and offer them hope. And our donors sacrifice capital and resources to bring beautiful ideas to fruition.