‘Why haven't I heard more about HBI? Why haven’t I seen a documentary about your work?’
The questions seemed straightforward enough. In fact, I must admit, I was a bit flattered by the questions. For what I heard the person asking was akin to “HBI is doing so many great things. Everyone should know about HBI.”
Sure, it would be great if HBI received more recognition for our efforts – but that’s not what drives our team. In fact, we are driven by the hope that our collective efforts can generate lasting impact by supporting local communities to be the drivers of their own change.
HBI exists to bring people together to address some of the biggest challenges of health equity and social equality. We use innovative solutions to respond to the big gnarly issues that seem almost impossible to overcome. We are working to be the change we wish to see in the world (thank you Gandhi); and, if this means we operate with a certain degree of anonymity – that’s okay for us.
Especially now, in this world of seemingly never ending tragedies and disasters, it doesn’t make sense for any one organization to work in isolation. The needs of the world are far too great. The modern challenges of our planet require organizations to work together – to collaborate.
Our experience has shown us time and time again that collaboration is the single best mechanism for creating the kind of sustainable change the world needs. It is, however, not easy. Collaboration requires compromise. It requires relationship. It’s a lot of hard work.
However, when we truly build partnerships that are grounded in collaboration – our impact, our efforts are so much greater. Collaboration means we share our gifts, talents and resources. It means our focus is not on the recognition we receive for our individual efforts – but the impact we can help to make through our collective partnerships. This is the focus of HBI. This is the reason we exist as an organization and in many ways, this is the reason we aren’t a very well-known NGO. And, that’s okay.
So, the next time someone asks me ‘why don’t I know more about HBI?’ I think I’ll reply – ‘let me tell you about our work and the philosophy of collaboration that drives everything we do. Let me talk with you about our partnerships and the vision we have for a different way of working with and serving the complex needs of people living in marginalized circumstances and underserved experiences. Let me tell you about the bridges we are building.” For us, that’s a better way to get the message of HBI into the world.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.