We identify local projects and leaders that are already doing amazing work and empower them with international support, recognition and resources.
The game ¨dominoes¨ is popular in Cartagena and brings together its community. Every afternoon, people take a break from their individual agendas and come together in parks and plazas to play dominoes and connect with their neighbors. Like the game dominos, we too try to bridge communities, and since we are 100% based and run locally in Cartagena, it seemed only fit to use this local game as a symbol for our mission. We founded Domino Volunteers in a similar spirit -- fostering connections rooted in local networks and culture. These connections provide a space for people of different cultures to share experiences, skills, and resources.
We officially started as a social enterprise in 2015 by partnering with a few local organizations who were doing amazing work, but lacked resources, visibility and support. What started as a small side project has now grown, and today we have connected individuals, families, travel groups, international NGOs, universities, international corporations, and donor organizations to support social-impact projects throughout Cartagena. You can learn more about our impact here.
Beyond connecting the international community with local foundations and leaders, we also work hard to give locals the opportunity to volunteer and support initiatives within their own city. Furthermore, we host workshops to bring social projects throughout Cartagena together, work with local students and universities to provide valuable work experience, and often donate our time and resources to the different organizations we partner with to help them further grow.
We strive toward a shared value approach that offers positive social impact and mutual benefit for both the volunteers and partnering organizations. A major part of our work is creating a network (now over 35 projects in Cartagena and growing) of local organizations that are interested in receiving additional support and meet our criteria for transparency, autonomy and positive impact. These projects tell us the types of profiles, skill sets and donations they are needing. From there, after potential volunteers, interns and donors complete our application and interview process, we match them with a specific project to support based on where their skills, goals and profile best fit with local-level needs. Thus, local organizations receive support and resources that they actually want and need, and furthermore volunteers, interns and donors are able to directly use their skills, feel appreciated, and support a project that aligns with their personal goals and interests. Our connections have a domino effect of positive impact: local organizations have an increased capacity and our volunteers spread new found empathy and global perspectives to their home communities and workplaces.
Domino Volunteers was also selected as 1 of 40 social enterprises in Colombia for BBVA's Momentum program.