giveDIGNITY founders Seth and Andrea Sears were both raised in middle-class families in the Midwest of the United States. While participating in a suburban church plant, they began to feel conflicted about their own pursuit of wealth, while much of the world struggles daily with hunger, poor sanitation, the lack of access to clean water and quality education, and is subjected to violence and oppression. Wrestling with these issues of economic/resource disparity led them and their family to work in La Carpio, a marginalized community on the outskirts of San José, Costa Rica.
More than 1,000 tons of garbage are driven through La Carpio every day and deposited in the landfill located at the West end of this settlement of more than 40,000 people. Some children jump onto the trucks to scavenge for their families as they make their way to the dump. Tin shacks are the predominant form of housing. Gangs govern each bus stop and violence is common both inside homes and on the streets.
Vision: Restoring the dignity of those living in marginalized communities.
Mission: To realize enduring life change and redeemed relationships among the poor through Christ-centered holistic development initiatives, supporting employment, education and prevention of violence.
We affirm the inherent worth of every individual (and their talents and potential) as God’s beloved creation. We strive to avoid paternalism, which creates a dependence on others that takes away dignity, and instead focus on collaborating in life-giving ways to identify sustainable solutions.
We invest in authentic relationships as a catalyst for genuine and lasting life change, recognizing that superficial connections with the poor will only result in manipulation. Showing genuine love for others and a desire to truly know and be known by them is the most powerful way to communicate the gospel.
We model and teach a life of obedience to Christ, understanding that He is the only Way to abundant life, and seeking to fulfill the great commission of making disciples.
We address the spiritual, physical, emotional and social needs of the whole person to help them overcome all roadblocks and develop to their full potential.
We invite today’s recipients to become tomorrow’s givers, by identifying, encouraging, and training servant leaders who will re-invest in their own community.
We focus on sustainable change over the long-term, knowing that some efforts may take many years to produce fruit. We resist the temptation to make “quick fixes” to get “results.”
We strive to glorify the Lord by giving Him our very best efforts, working with passion, dedication, and perseverance.