Mustard Seed Peace Project (MSPP) is a nonprofit organization located in Godfrey, Illinois. We received nonprofit 501(c) (3) status from the federal government in May of 2005. The mission of our organization is to empower families worldwide by helping them develop sustainable programs and to raise awareness of global needs through cross cultural sharing. We are currently working in the counties of Guatemala and Zambia.
We believe that education is the key to social change. But often the desire for education is impeded by illness brought about by unsanitary conditions, lack of concentration and energy due to poor nutrition or the families’ lack of monetary resources. This has brought MSPP to the understanding that it is essential that we not only address the needs of the children but also the needs of their families. By addressing the educational, medical, nutritional and economic needs of the people of our host countries we will alleviate some of these obstacles.
We understand that in order to foster independence and ensure social change we must: empower them people of our host countries with knowledge and skills, respond to the expressed needs of the people not our own self-interest and take time to learn the cultures of the people that we are working with, while building a personal relationship based on an attitude of respect, mutual sharing and exchange.
In January of 2004, MSPP made its first trip to the Ixcan region of Guatemala in Central America. The purpose of this trip was to assess the needs of the residents of the municipality of Playa Grande. This region is located on the NW border of the country and consists of approximately 173 villages. This area is known throughout Central America for witnessing horrific, systemic massacres of entire villages during a civil conflict that lasted over 30 years and ended in 1996 with the signing of The Peace Accords. This is an area that is struggling to heal and rebuild but because of the remoteness of the region the opportunities for outside help is very limited. It is for this reason that in early 2004 MSPP began developing a relationship with the families in the community of Virginia and chose the people of this community as partners in a combined effort to bring about social change and pave the way for futures full of opportunity for their children.
In 2007, we expanded our work to the Western Province of Zambia. We currently sponsor 26 youth in Lukulu and provide them with school tuition, a noon time meal and uniforms. Our plans for Zambia include a community center to house programs for women, early child care and education, a library, a health center and a feeding program for Lukulu and the surrounding areas.