Network Principles

Gorta-Self Help Africa provides a few different services, such as fundraising events, informative literature circulation, and the implementation of the actual self-help programs themselves. Because they do so many things, both out of country and in country, they are enveloped in a tangled networking web.

To start, as an intern for the communications team, I have seen first hand how much paper and documents GSHA must create. They’ve recently completed their Annual Report for 2016, which is a book with over 75 coloured pages. This is an especially important publication as it maintains the vital transparency that a non-profit requires to preserve donors’ trust. Thus, paper would be one raw material the organization requires.

As mentioned in a previous post, employees travel to Africa quite regularly. They conduct interviews and implement training programs that will continue after their departure. For these trips, GSHA brings camera equipment and microphones in order to record important interviews that will later be used for promotional videos and stories to show how the community is changing through the training from GSHA. This equipment is expensive, and the organization has paid for it through the allocations they set aside for technology in their budget. The company also pays for their travel. Because GSHA hopes to donate optimum funds to their beneficiaries, they carefully choose when the best times to travel will be, and make sure to only send the minimum amount of people that can get the job done.

When traveling, the organization must also consider how safe the country to which they are traveling is. They have been banned from traveling to Benin indefinitely because of terrorist attacks and violent demonstrations that are infiltrating the area from bordering countries. It is important ot stay informed about the political and social climates of the countries they serve, and those surround them, in order to travel safely.

Finally, the country also considers environments of the countries they work in. They must be conscious of what sort of crops can be sustained in each climate, what kind of soil will accommodate for farming or livestock, and how to keep crops from going bad in the heat after harvest. This background information is crucial in order to implement programs with the most potential to succeed. They also have to continue to watch how the climate is changing even after a program has been implemented so they can respond to any changes in a timely matter so that a natural disaster or a pest infestation won’t ruin the entire program plan.