At SparkOn we believe that no two individuals are alike. Our proclivities, experiences, cultures, hobbies, and interests, the people we meet and the places we travel; all these and many other factors make each of us unique. Everyone has their own individual identities with unique characteristics, perceptions, thoughts, dreams and hopes.
People from different generations, backgrounds and cultures may speak in different languages, use different words, but their stories, challenges and emotions are often the same. We are creating a community where people from any culture, background, gender, age, education, economic status, ethnicity, religion, language, nationality can feel a sense of belonging and inclusion, and together we can build a better world for all of us.
A sense of belonging
As social animals, we all crave a sense of belonging, to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, to learn from and identify with others, get acceptance and affirmation for who we are. We have an innate need to engage with others and to feel loved.
To fulfil these needs, we naturally organise ourselves into various social groups based on gender, age, education, economic status, ethnicity, religion, language, nationality, among others. The interpersonal connections that we form enable us to develop rapport, affiliation and kinship with those around us, and give us a sense of wellbeing and strength.
A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong.
With advancements in travel, technology, and the internet, societies are becoming increasingly diverse and multicultural, giving us an amazing opportunity to make our interactions richer, diverse, and intellectually stimulating. This cultural diversity is the greatest strength of humanity. It enables exchange of knowledge and ideas not only among people from different cultural or ethnic backgrounds but also among those with different life experiences due to gender, sexual orientation, disability or age.
Social cohesion in these diverse communities is essential for development of each individual as well as society as a whole. Meaningful interactions among members of the community and opportunities for them to actively participate and contribute to their community are needed in order for them to feel included and a sense of belonging.
There is also a need to reduce stereotypes and inculcate a mindset that eliminates the exclusion of people based on their identity, and encourages participation of everyone, regardless of their background or ability, empowering them to achieve their full potential in life.
We believe our diversity, our differences, when joined together by a common set of ideals, makes us stronger, makes us more creative, makes us different. From all these different strands, we make something new.
A sense of belonging to a community is inextricably linked to helping others, to engaging with them in a way that brings meaning and value to their lives as well as ours.
A truly inclusive community allows individuals to be their authentic selves and the opportunity and ability to participate, help, contribute so as to live a fulfilling life.
Inclusive communities are where people
- Experience a sense of belonging
- Are accepted (for who they are) within their communities
- Have valued roles in the community
- Are actively participating in the community
- Are involved in activities based on their personal preferences
- Have social relationships with people they choose and share interests with
- Have friends
Giving connects two people, the giver and the receiver, and this connection gives birth to a new sense of belonging.
We all want to have something to offer. This is how we belong. It’s how we feel included. So if we want to include everyone, then we have to help everyone develop their talents and use their gifts for the good of the community. That’s what inclusion means—everyone is a contributor.
Inclusivity transforms our mindsets, creates solidarity, helps us realise that despite our differences, we are all human beings; it is about encouraging the acceptance of others and establishing interrelations among groups who may not bear cultural affinity, share values, or empathise with one another.