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Our History

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The Origin of Spark – From Africa to Chicago

In the summer of 2006, Scott Barbeau, Rich Johnson and Dan Marcus took a life-changing trip to Zambia. Upon their return, they founded Spark Ventures (in 2007) with a mission to strengthen and sustain grassroots NGOs helping children living in extreme poverty.

 

We have grown exponentially since the initial launch of our organization. For a trip down memory lane, and to see the origin story of our work, check out our “From Africa to Chicago Video.”

Growth: From Our 2007 Launch to Today

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  • International Partners: 

– Zambia, 2007-present
– Nicaragua, 2012-present
– Mexico, 2017-present

 

  • Children served:

– from 60 to thousands

 

  • Individual Contributors:

– from 70 to over 700 supporters each year

 

  • Budget:

– from $75,000 to over $750,000

 

  • Travelers:

– 500 Trip Participants & counting

more on the growth we have achieved with each partner on their country-specific page…