Finish this thought: “If you want something done right, __________________.”
“Do it yourself.” DIY has become the favorite means to get the “right” outcome. However, when applied to macro-level issues, independent efforts can become efforts wasted in redundant projects, competition instead of collaboration, and underutilized resources. Change stalls and hope is lost.
Moving the needle forward in the causes that really matter requires us to leverage our systems, softwares, and social networks in new ways. As Paul Kalanithi described in his memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, “Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.” Why would we demand something from ourselves that is only achievable through cooperation? Inherently, humans are designed for relationships – that’s where we survive and thrive. It is through strong relationships that we will reverse the tide of ineffective programs and projects to tackle injustice and cultivate human flourishing.
Enter A Child’s Hope Foundation’s Strategic Partnerships.
Core to the mission of A Child’s Hope Foundation is the hope that any kid who has to be in an orphanage will have the same opportunities for a successful adult life as those who grow up in healthy families. Two months ago, I joined the Child’s Hope team as the Director of Strategic Partnerships, with the charge to find and bring together allies who can collectively serve our community of children and their caregivers.
You may already know that A Child’s Hope doesn’t build or manage its own orphanages. Instead, we work with Orphanage Partners. These are orphanages being run by directors who are doing their best with limited resources, and who commit to working through our certification process to become homes where children thrive.
We also don’t deliver specific services (e.g. therapy, education/tutoring, caregiver support, mentor services), but we recognize the need for our Orphanage Partners to receive these services. Thus, to leverage relationships in lifting kids from surviving to thriving, we need networks of partners to each do what they do best—together. My job is to build these regional networks of Strategic Partners who deliver their expertise to our Orphanage Partners.
For example, rather than A Child’s Hope hiring individual therapists to serve individual orphanages, in Haiti we have partnered with Espere Counseling. In a country that has been wracked by one devastation to another, Espere’s mission is to provide individual and group counseling to people of all ages in hospitals, schools, orphanages, workplaces, or homes. They already have a team of mental health professionals who know how to serve the kids we serve. Last year they began working with the children and staff at CSEDI, our Orphanage Partner in Haiti, and we’ve seen good things with this test of our partnership. With the overlap in our missions, A Child’s Hope is excited to help Espere expand. Already, Espere has started hiring their team of Mexican therapists and are providing therapy to some of our Orphanage Partners, with plans to reach all our Orphanage Partners there.
Please call to mind the immeasurable power of collaboration, because I’d like your help in building these networks. We are looking for Strategic Partners, in any area of the world, who might provide the following support to orphanages:
- Family Preservation
- Government Relations
- Poverty Alleviation (economic, environmental, social)
- Mental health therapy
- Aftercare (specialized care for kids who have been trafficked)
- Education & Tutoring
- Caregiver Support (think professional development like bookkeeping services or other financial training)
- Caregiver training (think parenting)
- Basic Needs
- Pediatric healthcare
- Dental services
- Construction/Facility maintenance
- Extracurricular and enrichment activities
- Adoption Service
- Foster Care Services
- Skill Training
So whom do you know? What person or organization might be a great Strategic Partner for A Child’s Hope? Please send me their contact information, because we are shifting our DIY thinking to a new adage: “If you want something done right, do it together.”
P.S. In the spirit of sharing connections, here is one of my favorites: We Are For Good Community. The WAFG Community is an online network where people share experience and ideas to help each other grow their nonprofit missions. The social component is of value to anyone trying to grow their charitable knowledge and impact. Create your free account today and watch how your network grows.