"If it ain't broke, don't fix it". This saying has been used by many over many years. This approach has also been responsible for the demise of many good things.
Change is inevitable. It is the only thing constant and never gets tired. If you ignore it, you may do so to your own peril.
The Cffb has realized that we are functioning in a rapidly evolving environment, and as one of my colleagues would say, we can't let grass grow under our feet. Recently we went through a workshop series where we examined where we are and what we need to do in terms of adapting to our ever evolving environment. Here's what we found:
We needed to recognize that we were limited in our scope and myopic at best in who we were really serving. Sure we were looking at those impacted by Cystic Fibrosis and that still remains, however since we began functioning we came to realize that those who are impacted by CF spread beyond our shores, and contact us when they want to travel here to Barbados to get information about if we can care for them should they have an episode while visiting as tourist.
We realized that despite our outreach programs, many are still unaware of what Cystic Fibrosis is; often confusing it with Asthma and due the phonetic sound, the condition of Fibroid.
On a social level, lives are transformed when a diagnosis of CF is uncovered. Not only for the immediate family, but the extended one as well. It is then all kinds of questions go through the minds of others are the discovery is made; questions often beginning with "What if" and "Why".
The finances of a family is significantly impacted in a lifelong manner. Medication and medical care is expensive. They are also not available within the Caribbean. In the cases of children, they must travel with an adult who is often torn between the need to work longer hours to obtain financial support and going through the rigors of seeking medical care for their loved one(s).
We have areas that we have addressed within our workshop that we will not discuss within this article. However we recognized that we had to look at a few things.
We had to completely look at new ways of becoming sustainable. This meant examining ourselves and identifying courses we have not yet charted. We also had to acknowledge that there are so many other charities and NGOs who also have worthwhile causes, recognizing that we were all approaching a donation weary public. We have to be sustainable, and we had to look at new methods of doing so.
It will be an opportunity for learning new and exciting things for all who volunteer. The education they will receive as they volunteer will be practical in its approach enabling them to have their competence grow which they can then include in their resumes as they seek jobs and advance their careers.
At the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Barbados, we have recognized that we can't limit our awareness building to those with CF, but must extend it to assist in the growth and development of all who help us. We recognize that "Givers gain".
We are the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Barbados and we are: