The most unfortunate circumstances can be catalysts for breakthroughs.
This is what happened when Typhoon Ulysses ripped across the Philippines (PH) and devastated Region II.
Cara Smith’s Philippine work team was one of the many who had to persevere through major flooding, damage and loss of communication. Smith is now the Pure Incubation Foundation’s Executive Director. At the time, she was working at an international company with a base in the Philippines
This is what happened when Typhoon Ulysses ripped across the Philippines and devastated Region II. Cara Smith’s Philippine work team was one of the many who had to persevere through major flooding, damage, and loss of communication. They were employees in an international company with a base in the Philippines.
“Is everyone ok? Have we heard from anyone yet?” Smith remembers asking her U.S. counterparts. They waited and prayed for two days until they finally they got word from one of their Philippine site directors who walked six miles to find WiFi in order to let them know that most PH employees were safe, but that there was widespread damage. Roads were flooded, and food and water were extremely hard to come by.
With everyone off the grid, Smith and her U.S.- based team didn’t know what to do to help their Philippine colleagues. They were so far away that they felt totally helpless.
Help on the ground
A group of PH staff members had already set up a fund drive to send help to the affected communities – and had begun actively delivering aid. Smith and her counterparts in the U.S. had no idea what to do and no access to deliver assistance, but those on the ground in the Philippines did. And they did it well.
Each of the PH employee volunteers had a trusted contact in a different region that was acting as a community partner into that specific community.
That contact would take the funds sent and purchase goods to distribute locally, knowing the unique needs of the people in their direct community.
In two days, this group of Philippine colleagues set up an entire system to take in funds and send them to their trusted contacts – who then were able to purchase medicines, supplies and hot food, and distribute them immediately to those in need – all within that day!
This was all done quickly, efficiently, and with the utmost financial integrity, which included receipts, bank account reports, project photos and transaction histories – all available after each day’s transfers and projects.
A year later, it was those same Philippine employees who were the first to volunteer to help set up the partner network model for the Bayanihan Project, the flagship initiative of the Pure Incubation Foundation.
This partner network model is now the system that makes Bayanihan Project and the Pure Incubation Foundation what it is today.
The actual text thread of the Bayanihan Team during their relief operations for typhoon victims
The Pure Incubation Foundation aims to eradicate the cycle of poverty around the globe. The Pure Incubation Foundation partners with local communities to help craft the most organic and unique solutions that best empowers those communities to be more self-sustaining localities.
The organization taps into community leaders, such as those from churches, schools, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations that operate within the locality, to serve as community partners.
These leaders have already developed strong bonds within the community, allowing the Pure Incubation Foundation to entrust the execution of its programs into knowing and caring hands at the local level.
To find these trustworthy leaders on the ground, the Pure Incubation Foundation taps into its huge network of long-time colleagues, whose network of contacts expands to far-flung communities that need help the most. Programs are then optimized through these contacts and their networks, just as we first did with the Bayanihan Project in the Philippines
The Partner Network model
As bridges between the Pure Incubation Foundation and the community partners, these long-time colleagues bring the Foundation closer to the community. They dedicate precious time and effort to look for the most trustworthy community partners in remote areas.
“A big part of our mission is to partner with communities to come up with unique solutions that work best for them,” says Smith.
The community partners have the best knowledge of the challenges and opportunities of the communities. Their experience working for years with and in the chosen community allows the Pure Incubation Foundation to have a more intimate grasp of what could best help the target locality. This ensures that the programs they craft are best suited for the community.
The community partner’s relief efforts during Typhoon Ulysses
“We want the communities to adopt these projects as their own and take ownership,” Smith says.
“We want to empower people and avoid dependency on the foundation. We focus on ideas that can cause long term impact that creates sustainability. We want to start projects that will allow the recipients to take off and succeed on their own. Any needed oversight, education or volunteering should come from within the community wherever possible.”
Opportunities to help
By consulting with the community partners, the Pure Incubation Foundation knows exactly how to best help each community.
While this model works to bridge the connection gap between the Pure Incubation Foundation and its beneficiaries, the challenge does not end there. The Pure Incubation Foundation can magnify its reach and help more communities in need through the contributions of partner organizations and donors that fund their projects.
To find out more about the Pure Incubation Foundation and its flagship initiative, the Bayanihan Project, and how you can get involved, click on the link below.