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Building a More Personal Connection with the Partner Network Model

The most unfortunate circumstances can be catalysts for breakthroughs. 

This is what happened when Typhoon Ulysses ripped across the Philippines (PH) and devastated Region II.

Cara Smith’s Philippine work team was one of the many who had to persevere through major flooding, damage and loss of communication. Smith is now Pure Bayanihan’s Executive Director. At the time, she was working at an international company with a base in the Philippines

This is what happened when Typhoon Ulysses ripped across the Philippines and devastated Region II. Cara Smith’s Philippine work team was one of the many who had to persevere through major flooding, damage, and loss of communication. They were employees in an international company with a base in the Philippines.

“Is everyone ok? Have we heard from anyone yet?” Smith remembers asking her U.S. counterparts. They waited and prayed for two days until they finally they got word from one of their Philippine site directors who walked six miles to find WiFi in order to let them know that most PH employees were safe, but that there was widespread damage. Roads were flooded, and food and water were extremely hard to come by.

With everyone off the grid, Smith and her U.S.- based team didn’t know what to do to help their Philippine colleagues. They were so far away that they felt totally helpless. 

Help on the ground

A group of PH staff members had already set up a fund drive to send help to the affected communities – and had begun actively delivering aid. Smith and her counterparts in the U.S. had no idea what to do and no access to deliver assistance, but those on the ground in the Philippines did. And they did it well.

Each of the PH employee volunteers had a trusted contact in a different region that was acting as a community partner into that specific community.

That contact would take the funds sent and purchase goods to distribute locally, knowing the unique needs of the people in their direct community.

In two days, this group of Philippine colleagues set up an entire system to take in funds and send them to their trusted contacts – who then were able to purchase medicines, supplies and hot food, and distribute them immediately to those in need – all within that day!

This was all done quickly, efficiently, and with the utmost financial integrity, which included receipts, bank account reports, project photos and transaction histories – all available after each day’s transfers and projects.

A year later, it was those same Philippine employees who were the first to volunteer to help set up the partner network model for Pure Bayanihan.

This partner network model is now the system that makes Pure Bayanihan what it is today.

Building networks

Pure Bayanihan aims to eradicate the cycle of poverty in the Philippines. The Project partners with local communities to help craft the most organic and unique solutions that best empowers those communities to be more self-sustaining localities.

The organization taps into community leaders, such as those from churches, schools, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations that operate within the locality, to serve as community partners.

These leaders have already developed strong bonds within the community, allowing Pure Bayanihan to entrust the execution of its programs into knowing and caring hands at the local level.

To find these trustworthy leaders on the ground, Pure Bayanihan taps into its huge network of long-time Philippine colleagues, whose network of contacts expands to far-flung communities that need help the most. Programs are then optimized through these contacts and their networks.

The Partner Network model

As bridges between Pure Bayanihan and the community partners, these long-time colleagues bring the Project closer to the community. They dedicate precious time and effort to look for the most trustworthy community partners in remote areas.

“A big part of our mission is to partner with communities to come up with unique solutions that work best for them,” says Smith.

The community partners have the best knowledge of the challenges and opportunities of the communities. Their experience working for years with and in the chosen community allows Pure Bayanihan to have a more intimate grasp of what could best help the target locality. This ensures that the programs they craft are best suited for the community.

“We want the communities to adopt these projects as their own and take ownership,” Smith says. 

“We want to empower people and avoid dependency on the foundation. We focus on ideas that can cause long term impact that creates sustainability. We want to start projects that will allow the recipients to take off and succeed on their own. Any needed oversight, education or volunteering should come from within the community wherever possible.”

Opportunities to help

By consulting with the community partners, Pure Bayanihan knows exactly how to best help each community.

While this model works to bridge the connection gap between Pure Bayanihan and its beneficiaries, the challenge does not end there. Pure Bayanihan can magnify its reach and help more communities in need through the contributions of partner organizations and donors that fund their projects.

Pure Bayanihan helps eradicate the cycle of poverty in the Philippines by partnering with local communities to craft unique solutions that work best for them while doing so in the most financially responsible way possible.

Pure Bayanihan is the flagship initiative of the Pure Incubation Foundation.

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