Sep 7, 2015
This is the Nonprofit Leaders Network Podcast Episode 6. Today we’re talking with Andy Perkins, Executive Director of BestWA. BESTWA works in Liberia, West Africa providing food, medical care and education for children. Here are a few highlights:
WHAT IS YOUR WHY? My why was I would look after these kids, I'd go over there and I would look at these kids and I would think about the old George Bernard Shaw quote, some people look at these children and they would ask why? Why are they this way? And I would look at these children and see their future and say why not?
IDENTIFYING YOUR WHY PROVIDES FOCUS. I think really understanding why keeps me from just seeing the black hole of needs. You can drive yourself crazy trying to start a program to meet this need, a program to meet that need. We had things we were doing for adults and we backed off all of that because our focus is basically birth to early 20's and our focus is providing opportunity for these children because you can't do everything. It would be nice but you can't. It can really take up a lot of energy and funds doing work that's not focused on your goals and on your why.
MOTORBIKES CAN SAVE LIVES. Then we recognized that, on foot, you might be able to carry one and walk with two. But if he had six or seven kids needing the clinic, you'd take the worst ones and leave the rest of them. Well we get motor bikes for all of the feeding site supervisors and all of a sudden they could take all the kids to the clinic. They can make multiple trips, no big deal. Those little motorbikes are saving lives. We’ve gone 20 months without losing any children. That's really exceptional in a country where the mortality rate from one month to five years is 23.8%, almost one in four.
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