“Change can be scary, but without change how can we strive to improve?” I started Khusi Hona in 2012 with a vision of supporting orphaned and abandoned children in India and Nepal. Over the years we started tackling more and more issues that were connected, such as women’s empowerment, economic development, disaster relief, water scarcity and rural health across Southern Asia. Although we have made huge strides and impacted thousands of lives in a positive way, we decided to take a step back and see what we could do to grow and improve our charitable services and to see how we could make the biggest impact to the lives we serve.
I have spoken to mentors, to friends, met with colleagues, prayed and meditated countless hours. The overall feedback and feeling is let’s focus on a few projects and a few areas to make the most meaningful impact to those we support – let’s get back to the roots of our model and our mission. Famed Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw once said, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” At Khusi Hona we live and operate by our mission statement, “We envision a world where the cycle of poverty is replaced by a cycle of progress.” This mission requires big change for the communities we support as well as for us, team Khusi Hona.
Here are our steps to help improve our services and overall impact:
Limiting organizational overhead: We have decided to close down the Khusi Hona Lotus Center in Goa. This space acted as our women’s empowerment space and staff offices in India. This by no means changes the impact of our women’s project, we are simply moving this project to the home based space of our women’s teacher. The rent and utilities saved will allow us to focus more on our projects.
Laser focusing project areas: We have started the process of limiting our project areas to only include, women’s empowerment, access to education for orphaned and abandoned children, and small economic development programs that support our women’s and children’s projects. This change is not immediate and we will continue to fulfill our commitments in other areas until they are completed. Ultimately this will allow us to spend more time and resources on individual projects equaling bigger impact overall.
Partnering with existing projects: Starting in early March, we will be partnering with our friends at Aasraa Trust in Dehradun in North India where we will be kicking off a new women’s empowerment program that comes with the support of a team we have been working with and supporting for years. We are also partnering with our friends at Mamaghar in Hetauda, Nepal on several exciting initiatives to support street kids. This will also allow us to be in the U.S more so we can concentrate on fundraising and spreading the word of our initiatives to garner more interest and support. Stay tuned for updates soon!
Smaller team required: Because we are laser focusing our support and partnering with existing projects, we will require less help in the field. Some of our team will be moving on to new projects and careers, but don’t be surprised if you see them from time to time in our projects and social media as we do plan to work together on several projects in the future. It’s hard to say goodbye professionally, but everyone is on good terms and happy for the change.
What does this all mean for Khusi Hona? Ultimately, not much is changing and we are improving our services to the communities we support. This streamlining process has taken months of preparation and change can often be difficult, but we are incredibly excited to see how these changes will improve our overall mission.
What can you do? As we move our home base of our women’s program from Goa to Dehradun, we have tirelessly worked to make sure that there are no changes in our existing program currently being offered to more than 8 young women in the community. We have been able to garner sponsorships for new classroom equipment and sewing machines, as well as sponsoring some of the girls to continue the programs. Please consider a donation of $25 per a young women, per month to continue daily tailoring and vocational classes. Here is a link to learn more and support this project.
I know things have been quiet on social media and online communications lately, but I assure you things have not slowed down at all. We have been busy making sure that all our existing commitments across India and Nepal are continuing until completed as well as preparing for all the new changes and dynamic new projects. We are so excited for 2018 and beyond and want to take a moment to thank all of our friends and partners for your ongoing support – we simply cannot do it without you! Stay tuned on our social media channels for all the new project updates starting in early March! Feel Happy!
~ Matthew van Rooyen, Khusi Hona Founder.
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