Sometimes you find a blind spot- something you should have known, or known about, but didn’t. This is one case: I had read & clicked through HEAL Africa’s web site, but not their current site; their old site didn’t have nearly as much information about HEAL Africa as it does now. Thus, I only had a peep-hole view of who they are and what they do – now I have two…
Obviously you don’t just go and start a hospital in the DR Congo, a country the International Rescue Committee calls the “worst humanitarian disaster since World War II.” It turns out the hospital, while significant, only accounts for 20% of the organization’s “work.” (is that sysnonymous with “spending”? I can’t tell from the context).
Dr. Chris Carpenter, of course, was Chief Resident in Pediatrics at UCSF; but there is another strong UCSF connection, which is that Dr. Ruel, who is a Founder of the International Pediatric Outreach Program (IPOP), is also on the Board of HEAL Africa. IPOP is the program that sent Chris, Josh, and Mary to HEAL Africa’s hospital in Goma.
I’m alternately hopeful that I can make something work on a large (or at least larger) scale in Goma, and terrified of asking for help from these established organizations. Yet, with HEAL Africa’s mission better known to me now, I think I have to reach out to them first, if only as a courtesy.
But it’s not just a courtesy. There is real potential for collaboration there, and if they’re willing to partner with me, I’d be honored to partner with them.
So now I’ve gotta figure out who in particular to contact, what, exactly, to ask them, how to frame it, and what I can offer.
What’s the worst that can happen? They could just say “no, we’re not interested in working with you”. And then I’ll be no worse off than I am now, right?
No, that’s not the worst that could happen, but I think it’s the worst likely outcome.