Gede Foundation’s programme review (which will last for a couple or more weeks) started yesterday with informal brainstorming in a very relaxed setting. When the day’s session was about to close, a personal experience shared by the Managing Director struck me and made me think --- Why indeed do we (as Gede Foundation) focus on stigmatized and underserved health burdens when the world does not care about the issues that we advocate for? Do we, as development professionals, waste our talents, skills, knowledge, time, energy and resources on unpopular issues and seem to fall into deaf ears, unmindful minds and uncaring hearts?
I needed sometime to further reflect on these questions and look for an inspiration within me. Otherwise, I may end up losing interest in the Foundation’s cause and may eventually lose interest in giving my best into my role in the Foundation. Being employed is good but working with an organization whose values, culture and causes/mandate are similar with mine is a blessing. So, are we working on an issue that people truly care about? Are we dealing with issues that really get people’s attention? The obvious answer is NO. In the first place, they won’t be categorized as underserved and stigmatized health burdens if enough attention and resources are given to them. Gede Foundation is currently focusing on the “underdogs” of social/health issues! That’s the sad truth.
However, if we do not start the discussions and establish the facts that these issues are worth talking about, investing on and advocating for --- who would? This is what Gede Foundation would want to be known for --- an advocate for the underdogs of social/health issues. We encourage the marginalized population directly affected by mental health disorders to show that they care and influence the rest of the world to listen and find that reason why they should care. For it is only when people care that they act responsibly.
Please join us as we bring that “big elephant in the room” out of the shadows.
I give credit to the work of Meg Wheatley for putting words into my thoughts. If you want to know more about her Ten Principles for Creating Healthy Communities, visit this site: https://sites.google.com/site/ticstcc/margaret-wheatley-s-ten-principles-for-creating-healthy-communities.