Responsible stewardship is a cornerstone of our philosophy and we live it by travelling to Ethiopia to see what’s happening on the ground, check the financials of each activity, and examine the audited financial statements of our partners. We strive to ensure that each project achieves the maximum impact while helping the maximum number of people and that we are always giving a hand up and not a handout.
With the $10 million we have raised so far, we have been able to touch the lives of close to a million people in a very positive way. That’s about $10 a person. In roughly 20 years, we have done about 60 different projects, including water diversions, schools, water-well projects, grinding mills, and microfinance projects.
10 Guiding Principles
- The basis and motivation for everything we do is Christian-based, and we provide aid without any regard for colour, caste, or creed. We put faith into action, and all glory is given to God!
- In the best interests of all our benefactors, we practise sound stewardship and judicious use of resources by following the money to its final destination. In the same vein, we only raise funds through a high level of integrity and transparency—not through gambling or questionable activities.
- We partner only with people we know and trust implicitly.
- We ensure that over 95% of the resources we are entrusted with get to the intended destination. We believe we can achieve this high figure because we do a lot of the administrative duties on a volunteer basis and have our directors pay for all travel expenses out of their own pockets.
- We leverage the resources we receive to maximize the outcome. For example, the Canadian Foodgrains Program’s four-to-one investment matching means investing $10,000 to receive another $40,000, for a total of $50,000. There is also opportunity to do this type of matching leveraging under the Alberta government, Rotary International, and supportive private individuals. Through the multiplier effect, more people can be helped. Leveraging can also be accomplished by choosing projects that help the maximum number of people with the resources at our disposal.
- We undertake all our activities with a sense of joy and gladness, for “God loves a cheerful giver.” We treat the recipients with respect, kindness, dignity, and love, and we walk beside them, not in front of them. In effect, we become partners.
- We promote gender equity. Rainbow for the Future seeks gender balance and equal participation in all its development interventions.
We have raised about $10 million and helped about a million people in Ethiopia.
- We walk softly and listen carefully to what the people in the community need. They know what they need; they just do not have the resources to meet their needs. We don’t dictate to recipients what we will do; rather, we collaborate with them on solutions that will be effective, long-term, and self-sustaining.
- We have recipients contribute in some form—through resources or labour—to encourage participation in their success. Somewhere in the vicinity of 30% seems to work best.
- We strongly support sustainable, independent development with a focus on ensuring the long-term preservation of all our interventions.