Introduction to our partner Deseret International

December 21, 2009 at 10:28 pm Leave a comment

Deseret International is a medical humanitarian organization that has worked with Trivani Foundation since our early days. Their  methodology accomplishes the best kind of surgical work in developing countries at a fraction of the cost of most similar organizations.  Doug Jackson, the volunteer CFO of the organization, just sent me some information about their humanitarian philosophy that I thought I’d pass on by way of introduction.  Here’s a few excerpts that mirror much of what we’ve learned ourselves at Trivani Foundation in other areas of development work and social business:

“The key to success in today’s world is to use the local professionals.  They are trained.  They have the desire to help.  They live in the country and therefore know the language and culture.  Most importantly they understand the medicine of their country.  They are familiar with the medical conditions and how to fix them. Do you think a doctor from the United States has ever seen a 12 year old with a double cleft lip and palate with a complete set of teeth?   If that doctor did the operation it would be nothing short of a learning experience.  On the other hand, the local doctor sees these cases on a regular basis.   He has been well trained and is experienced with these types of procedures.  Many doctors there on expedition missionary trips will simply fix the lip cosmetically and leave the inside of the mouth alone because they really don’t know what to do.

There is a better way.  We want to save the world by going in solving their problems.  Better to go in and listen, observe, and see how we can help them to help themselves.

“We long ago discovered a simple truth as we interacted with the local physicians and hospitals.  Good deeds do not go unnoticed.   Our partners realized that as they opened their offices and/or operating rooms to the less fortunate, the community paid attention.  The private practices of these doctors started to grow.  They became known for their expertise with club feet or crossed eyes…  They were doing more cases than many of their colleagues combined.  In the United States, those that know what is going on say that charity is good business – management skims off a lot of money (and that is a shame!).   But with our overseas partners we will often tell them that charity is good for their business.  Sometimes we actually have doctors who almost fight over the opportunity to work with our patients.

(As a side note, more and more U.S. and European humanitarian groups are recognizing the value of using local doctors; however, they pay them to do the surgeries.  Unfortunately this erodes at our charity network (because now the doctors are looking for a fee), but most importantly it changes, or eliminates, that wonderful spirit of humanitarianism that we have for so long enjoyed.)”

To learn more about Deseret International, please visit their website.


Entry filed under: Trivani HQ. Tags: .

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Trivani Field Notes is your connection to the people on the ground engaged in the humanitarian work supported by Trivani Foundation.
Each week, new updates and stories from the field will be posted to share the accomplishments, needs, and gratitude from those who can best report the difference Trivani Foundation is making in the fight against poverty.

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