Sharing some of my thoughts and reflections from my preparations for my Harvard leadership course through this case study. You can check out the video of Kaboom here.

My mission at REACH Youth Service is simple and clear, “To build a society that believes in the goodness and strength of every youth; empowering them to be positive and strong individuals.”

To achieve this mission, just like Kaboom, we are looking at community transformation. Note that we are talking about transforming the young person’s environment rather than zooming in on the young person.

So very often, we think that we are creating and giving value to the community through our projects and donations. But I want to invite everyone to rethink the idea of VALUE and IMPACT in the non – profit space. Are there differences between the two concepts in what we do, and how can we potentially overlap these two concepts? Are we necessarily giving value when we create impact?

For youth agencies and youth work practitioners today, whose perspectives are we taking when evaluating some of this stuff? How can we advocate more for the community on the ground we serve when we sense a certain disconnect?

For policymakers and public administrators, we use impact measurement as an indicator to evaluate projects and programmes to justify funding and support. Are we truly understanding each other when we execute such evaluation exercises? How does it translate to the average young person in the community that all these is for?

For investors and private donors, the value of every dollar given cannot be just measured in the present. But the temptation is so real to just want to show that your single dollar has fed a hungry stomach today. However, the reality is that today, hunger and reality will return. And during those moments, your dollar will no longer be there while the community continue to wait for the next donation dollar to come. In such settings, we don’t fulfil dreams; we only fill stomachs.

Glad to be able to have such reflective learning and moments! Stay tuned for more!