Because About Listening

Last week, I received an excellent email from a Twitter friend about Because International. She is one of our new Twitter followers and was being introduced to who we are and what we are all about. In response, she sent me a great email with some penetrating questions and solid observations. From that email, I learned one really important thing about Because International: It can’t be about us; it has to be about them.

Completely. Fully. Everything must be centered on how best to serve those living in poverty. My Twitter friends comments reminded me to always have a poverty-perspective. Are we listening to their ideas? Are we letting them dictate the small and big details of their aid? Are we using local leadership to help make the logistics of the aid possible? Are we producing these products locally in the countries that we are serving? Are we involving those living in poverty and their communities as much as possible? These are the questions that we constantly need to ask.

So how does Because International do that? We are definitely committed to these ideals. We are a young organization, and we want to set up everything that we do with these things at the center. One of the biggest ways that we focus our efforts on those living in poverty is through our Innovation Conversation. Because International goes right to the source – right to those living in the trenches who experience extreme poverty everyday – to hear their ideas about how their lives can be better. We do not want our innovations to come from us; we want them to come from those who live it everyday.

We are trying our best to have our organization not be focused on ourselves but to be entirely dedicated to holistic service to those living in poverty. If you know ways that we can do that better, please let us know.