In May of 2006, three friends, living in Chicago decided to take a trip to Zambia (south central Africa), to learn more about the world and see the situation in Africa first hand. They spent most of their time at Hope House Orphanage, which is home to about 15 children, most of whom have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS. They also spent a few days at the Hope Community School, which provides education for over 200 extremely poor children.
The time in Ndola was filled with great experiences: new friends, laughter, children and learning about the culture and history of Africa. For as much poverty and sickness that is present, there is also a tremendous amount of hope, energy, and joy that the people of this beautiful African country hold. It was an inspiring two weeks.
The trip raised many questions, but the most important seemed to be---what can we do to make a difference---especially from Chicago?
The journey consisted of taking one step after another. And upon our return, the next step seemed to be inviting one of their new Zambian friends to visit Chicago—Charles Mumba, the Director of the orphanage and school. During his time in Chicago, they discussed the needs of his organization, a realistic operating budget, and a very basic partnership between his organization and them — a yet to be named non-profit.
A generous donor to get things started, some paperwork to form an official organization, a follow-up trip to help with leadership and development, a name, a website, and Spark Ventures was started.
Spark Ventures currently has two partners. Their first partnership is with Hope Fellowship Ministries in Ndola, Zambia, Africa. The goal is to partner with high impact organizations that are already in place, helping vulnerable children in impoverished and/or under-resourced areas.
The newest partner of Spark is Asociación Las Tías of León, Nicaragua. Our partnership with Las Tías will start by focusing on expanding their meal programs and adding a healthcare component to their programing in the form of a medical clinic.
It is the vision of Spark Ventures to have strong partnerships in Africa, Asia, Europe and North, Central and South America within ten years. These partnerships will serve as models for how to effectively address the needs of vulnerable children and create healthy, sustainable and supportive communities.
Spark Ventures is not a religiously affiliated organization, though our partner organizations may be faith-based.
All contributions to Spark Ventures are tax-deductible in the United States. As a requirement of the 1993 Revenue Reconciliation Act, we verify that no goods or services of value are given to you for your contribution. You will receive an email receipt for your contributions and a charitable donation statement at the end of each calendar year.