Essentially, the Sidekick Manifesto is a list of all of the mistakes we’ve made over the years when trying to end another’s material poverty. And, just to be clear, we’re not trying to position ourselves as a bunch of do-gooder messiahs with all of the answers. We’re very much still learning.
But, here’s what we do know:
Poverty is about power, politics, and a system of rules that allow so few to capture so many of the benefits of economic prosperity. Poverty is human-made. And, it can be unmade by humans. That includes us.
That is, if we choose to take up the task. But, this task is not the same task we are conditioned to believe that it is. We will not end poverty by buying a pair of TOMS, going on mission trips, or inventing new gadgets for the developing world. Our task is to agitate for change in the rules that perpetuate poverty – rules that our society and our politicians have had a hand in creating and maintaining.
Now, the Sidekick Manifesto does not preclude any of us from continuing to donate our used clothing or even buying a pair of TOMS. But, it does require us to admit that that kind of behavior will not end poverty.
So, the Sidekick Manifesto is not a STOP sign. It’s a YIELD sign. It asks us to move forward cautiously and yield to the leadership of local leaders in local communities who are already hard at work ending poverty.
In addition to the actual Sidekick Manifesto, we think you’ll enjoy our Storytelling 101 Guide, Do’s and Don’ts for Do-Gooders, Do Good Better Blog and Resources for Remaining a Sidekick. Thanks for visiting!