SUCCESS to us
How do you define success? Is it attaining a certain status, honor or level of wealth? I have watched enough family members pass away recently to realize that none of those things go with us when we leave this earth.
We work with people in very desperate situations. In Africa, especially, there have been generations of relief workers and missionaries that have come and gone. We contemplate, pray and seek ways to not just come and go, but to leave a lasting impact.
It is tough to meet the needs among the masses. In conflict settings, the number of people with desperate needs can double or triple in a day. At times it is difficult to quantify the good that we are able to provide, the lives that are being saved, or the hope that is being brought to the people. Are we doing this with the individual in mind, or what works best for us, as Americans? When we do not work there anymore, or if we die, what legacy will we leave? This is a question we ask ourselves daily. However, we know it comes down to what we focus on as our overall goal.
We are only as good as our word. From the inception of GRI, we have aimed to not promise anything we cannot deliver. We haven't done everything perfectly in our projects, but one thing has been done well: we have tried, in everything we have done, to keep our word.
As I traveled recently around Northern Uganda, I noticed how much our word and reputation mattered. We are given access to places and people where others are not allowed. We are trusted by all sides to deliver on our promises, and given freedom to do whatever it takes to reach the most desperate. I also noticed the way that the South Sudanese refugees trust our staff to value their lives the same way they value their own.
We hope our legacy in our projects is to keep our word and be people who are honest and trustworthy. If lasting transformation and lasting impact is our goal, how can that occur without trust? Sometimes this has required great sacrifice by all of us, including many of you, but the unbelievable work we have been a part of is a great testament to what we consider real success: to make promises we will do everything in our power to keep.