Begin a story about Jerry Sternin –on 1991, a young scholar got a job in SAVE THE
CHILDREN to help malnourished children in Vietnam without much funding that
time. Vietnam authorities were not happy to see them and potray Vietnam as a
poor country. Sanitation was poor, clean water was not available, poverty was
universal, 65% malnourished children in Vietnam. With so less resources and time,
how could a person make the change happen? What would you do in that
Jerry did not have much funds or resources so he focused on what he had.
‐Knowledge and collaboration with university
‐6 months time
‐Support of village mothers who were eager to make their children healthier
He found certain outliers or children they had the same money or same food but
were healthier than other children. Why was that so?
He asked the village mothers to find out what they were eating and how many
times or meals they were having in a day. With the help of university he kept track
of the developments.
After some months of research he found, those healthier children were having
same amount of food but only difference was they were spreading the meals across
four servings rather than two. Using this bright spot which he called Vietnamese
solution – he started spreading across the villages. After six months, the villages
program 65 percent of children were well nourished.
It was not one man show. Leaders are catalysts using creativity and moving masses
and finding solutions through collaboration between individuals, corporate and
between non‐profits. That is the topic of my speech.
b f h h f h
Let me start with conditions of non‐profits in Dubai.
‐Work on non‐profits are considered non‐glamorous
‐Schools and community centers are not doing enough to enable children to take up
volunteering and hone their leadership and people skills.
‐Registering, funding, management and RED TAPE
So many obstacles a non‐profit has to go through before concentrating on their
main mission. In short there is a HUGE learning curve to overcome the obstacles
and challenges of the non‐profits. What are the ways to reduce this learning curve?
Suraya Foundation was started with very limited resources and we had only time
and passion to get things gone. We got started and did not wait for perfection. Our
first work was out website and second the inforgraphic “What is Killing in Gulf?”
and third was “Road Safety Oath” total creative costs was more than Dhs 25,000.
What’s the solution?
A way where information can be shared, timeline and efforts can be decreased i.e
through collaboration and exchange of information between people, companies
and non‐profits. Companies merge to achieve certain objectives why can’t non‐
profits do it at least to achieve certain objectives.
Individuals – First from perspective of non‐profits.
Example – Suraya started initially we had hard time then recruiting competent team
and first started with friends. Our main objective is radio PSA themed “Are you
reckless” where we air radio ad for some months then test the results. We test the
results using after market research company to measure it’s efficacy. We require
Radio community to collaborate with us.
To make people aware of the extent of road accidents, we collected 40 hrs data.
How do we present to people so they understand? Brainstormed ways and
solutions and solution was to present information and graphic. We got a passionate
graphic designer in our team and we made infographic : “What is Killing in Gulf?” ‐
We did our part ‐ Message very simple, concrete and credible. We spread the
message via web and reached mediums. Through simplification we got more
passionate individuals. Passion is one of the main resource non‐profits have.
From individuals perspective ‐Admire then advice, Find out how you can help, Treat
the job as it is your full time job .
Creative Donations from companies – Steal quote from Bill Gates, we live in a tax
free country and people think we are here temporarily, let’s make our money and
move out. Don’t you think after making money give back to community? We were
surprised many fortune 500 companies did not do probono work.
Suraya Foundation instead of seeking monetary donation is seeking creative
donations for the radio project to happen. We recently received $4500 worth of
creative materials from METAphrenie to complete our Road Safety project.
Companies ‐ Like wise there are so many other ways you can ask help from
corporate in other areas like Strategy like BridgeSpan. People – professional people
can work in project basis. Management – how to keep and retain your talents,
Branding and Creativity. Ask and you shall receive. Don’t expect companies to come
Non‐profits – We have been formed to help other NGO’s. After we complete our
radio ad and test it we plan to release case study for other non‐profits to study our
methodology. We hope to help other non‐profits how to make their campaigns
Other ways non‐profit could help is to create a platform where is the exchange of
information like post, share talents ,eg. we have this person he is good in graphics
let them help in a much needed task. Create stories on success of the projects
inspire other non‐profits. We can work on project basis, we could group buy expert
courses (raise funds via social media, campaign effective etc) and share amongst
ourselves. Lastly share your success methodology.
A platform where the information is easily disseminated and retrieved must be
made so the non‐profits can overcome hassles easily and use their most valuable
resource time and energy in achieving it’s objectives. After Suraya Foundation has
completed it’s main objective we plan to make a platform where the proposed
ideas would be possible.