Providing End-of Life Care: HPC Fellow, Paula Preston, St Christopher's Hospice

Paula Preston is a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow working with St Christopher’s Hospice. At St Christopher’s Hospice, Paula supported the Community Action Teams - Creating Conversations, Coach4Care and Compassionate Neighbours. Read on to learn about her placement as a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow.

I first became aware of St Christopher’s Hospice through my previous role as a community nurse. I also have personal experience with the quality of care and support the hospice provides to those with a terminal illness, and their loved ones. St Christopher’s current goal is to reach more people in their local area who need help in the last years of life through Community Action Teams. I started volunteering over a year ago for one of these projects, Creating Conversations, the purpose of which is to encourage local people through education to feel more comfortable about talking to family members and friends around any aspects of death and dying.

I was then invited to work for the hospice through the Hilton Prize Coalition as a Fellow, to carry out an administrative role supporting the Community Action Team Lead and the Project Leads of the three Community Action Teams - Creating Conversations, Coach4Care, and Compassionate Neighbors. Coach4Care was set up to train volunteer ex-carers to become coaches for current carers who are looking after someone with a life-limiting illness. Compassionate Neighbors are also volunteers who offer time, friendship, and emotional support to people living near them with chronic or terminal illness, by visiting on a regular basis.

After careers in both teaching and nursing, coming back to an administrative role has been both exciting and challenging.  I have enjoyed learning about the advances in the use of technology within the office environment as well as using the online learning programs provided by the Hilton Prize Coalition to further enhance my skills.

The three projects I support are relatively new and have not had an administrator before. As a result, my first priority was to understand the background of each project and what systems were being used for recording data. Apart from the general administrative tasks of organizing and servicing meetings, booking events, ordering materials, and maintaining diaries, I have also had the opportunity to work closely with the volunteers across all the projects.  This has included recruitment, training, monitoring availability, recording attendance and ensuring that any concerns were dealt with appropriately.  I have spent a considerable amount of time working on the project databases to ensure records are accurate, and the relevant information can be retrieved for management reporting as and when required. 

By gaining a more in-depth knowledge of the main database that the organization uses, I have been able to advise management of some additional reports that can be attained.  As I had experience with the Creating Conversations project for over a year, I was able to be more proactive with my support. The project runs regular events in the community where the public are invited to listen to a talk around an end-of-life topic such as wills, arranging funerals or bereavement, followed by group discussions. I have set up a database of organisations who are regularly notified of our events, and I also worked closely with local newspapers and St Christopher’s marketing and communication team to ensure that all events are widely publicized.

As my role is part-time and my hours flexible, every week is different, so time management and the ability to prioritize the workload is essential – if somewhat challenging at times!  I am very grateful for the investment provided by the Hilton Prize Coalition that has enabled me to carry out this work at St Christopher’s, and am hopeful that I will be able to carry on supporting the Community Action Teams in the future. This opportunity has given me an insight into the meaning of "community action," what we mean by community and how an organization needs to consider different ways of working to create change, yet I still have so much to learn!

About the Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contactprizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

Expanding the ECPAT International Network: HPC Fellow, Jesus Valverde Carnerero, ECPAT International

Jesus Valverde Carnerero is a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow working with ECPAT International. At ECPAT International, Jesus fulfilled the membership work necessary to add new partners to the ECPAT International Network. Read on to learn about his placement as a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow.

I had the pleasure of working as the Network Development Intern at ECPAT International for the last 6 months in Bangkok, Thailand. ECPAT International is a nonprofit membership organization that fights against any form of sexual exploitation of children
(SEC).

Being the Network Development Intern entailed being constantly in contact not only with the members that the ECPAT Network already had but also with those that wanted to join the Network. By the end of my internship, the network had reached 119 member-organizations in 104 different countries, which constitutes an increase of close to 10% of the number of members that they had at the start of my internship.

Through two periods of member intake, one in November and the other one taking place in early February, I was involved in the process of compiling required documents, revising those documents, communicating regularly with interested organizations, and drafting assessment reports for those who were in charge of making the decision to take on new partners. Compiling required documents proved to be a challenging step, as I did not have any prior knowledge on the types of documents required. For instance, I had no idea what a financial report was. I can now distinguish between audited financial reports and financial statements. Annual reports and activities for the forthcoming year were also a part of the required documents and going through them enabled me to gain a better understanding of the work that organizations do in their home countries. The two regions we received the most applications from, Western and Eastern Africa, were both very successful regions in terms of the accuracy of the documents they submitted. I believe these regions were motivated by the active work that the ECPAT Regional Coordinator was carrying out. The other regions- Eastern Europe and Central Asia, also performed very well.

The guidance of my supervisor was essential for the successful drafting of the assessment reports. He guided me on how to objectively present the assessments for further consideration. Despite providing initial feedback, he gave me complete freedom to tackle the member’s applications from my own point of view based on the documents that I had reviewed. Once the assessments were finished, we would meet with the Credentials Committee which was comprised of three individuals whose role was to review and decide whether to recommend the potential members. We came up with a first recommendation on the new membership applications. It was later presented to the Board, which had the final decision. During the February intake period, I took the lead and was able to discuss the applications of three organizations. It was an enriching experience where I could improve my debate skills while structuring information to reinforce my position on a topic. In fact, these three organizations would later become members of the ECPAT Network.

I was not part of the Board meetings, however, the outcomes were normally aligned with what we had discussed and recommended during the Credentials Committee meeting. New organizations joined the Network, thus my next role in the process was sending the welcome letter along with explanatory documents of the ECPAT Network. In parallel, I also updated our database and website with the new members’ contact information. This finalized the process of bringing new members into the network.

The role that I fulfilled during my internship proved to be a very interesting experience, in which I was not only in contact with various organizations and different ways of working and interacting with those organizations, but was able to learn more about the internal work that an organization such as ECPAT International carries out. Through the Hilton Prize Coalition fellowship, I improved many of my professional skills including public speaking, creativity, organization, and planning. I realized I want to perform such tasks in my future career. I am thankful for the opportunity that the Hilton Prize Coalition has given me to be part of ECPAT International.

About the Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contactprizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

Graduating the Ultra-Poor Out of Ultra-Poverty: HPC Fellow, Jake Konig, BRAC USA

Jake Konig is a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow working with BRAC USA. At BRAC USA, Jake worked closely with the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative. Read on to learn about his placement as a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow.

Tribal warfare in the Samburu region of Northern Kenya forced Anna Lobug and her family to flee their home in search for safety. Shortly after they arrived as refugees in their new village, Anna’s husband and the household’s sole breadwinner passed away, leaving Anna and her five children alone to fend for themselves.

With inconsistent access to food and the inability to send her children to school, Anna became a part of the 400 million people on earth who are considered to be the “ultra-poor.” According to research by BRAC, definitions of the “ultra-poor” include those who are living at less than half of the $1.25 per day poverty line, and those who eat below 80% of their energy requirements despite spending at least 80% of their income on food. It is important to note that ultra-poverty is not just a lack of financial resources, but also comes in the form of social isolation and ostracization. Like Anna’s situation, the majority of the ultra-poor tend to be landless rural women. Life for the ultra-poor is often lived day to day and meal to meal. For many, plans or hopes for the future is an impossible dream.

BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative works every day to empower people like Anna so that a brighter future can become a reality. What is the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative, and how can it help people like Anna? The Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative utilizes the ‘Graduation Approach’ as it “graduates” people out of poverty. Pioneered by BRAC in Bangladesh, the Graduation Approach is a comprehensive, time-bound, integrated, and sequenced set of interventions that aim to enable ultra-poor households to achieve key milestones towards sustainable livelihoods and socioeconomic resilience in order to progress along a pathway out of ultra-poverty. These interventions include providing participants with food stipends, assets for livelihood production, training on how to best utilize those assets, group sessions on topics such as disaster management and health and communication skills as well as one-on-one coaching from a mentor along the way to provide encouragement and to maintain progress of the participants’ path to “graduation.” BRAC’s efforts have “graduated” over 2 million households out of ultra-poverty, with 75-98% of participants worldwide graduating out of ultra- poverty in 18-36 months.

Anna became a participant in a Kenyan Graduation program, and was provided a food stipend in addition to capital and technical training to help her launch a bead making business. As a part of the program, Anna was also provided government health insurance and was given guidance by a committed mentor along the way. Through the Graduation approach, Anna’s hard work and dedication has led to a thriving bead making business. She has replaced a leaking mud roof with a metal one. Instead of drinking dirty water from the stream that would make her and her children sick, she now drinks from a water tank that collects clean rainwater. Anna’s words show this transformation best- “before this program, I was very poor and had lots of problems. I could not afford food and did not have money to buy new clothes. [Now] all my kids are in school, both my sons and daughters. I now have everything.”

The Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative is also the team that I have been lucky enough to be a part of during my time as a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow, and joining the effort against ultra-poverty as a member of this team has been one of the greatest learning experiences and honors of my life. The energy that is generated from a group of people committed to working tirelessly towards a future of dignity, safety and belonging is difficult to put into words, but that energy is palpable at the BRAC office, and it is something that I will take with me for the entirety of my career. 

(Images courtesy of BRAC USA)

About the Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contactprizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

Bringing the Clubhouse Model to Turkey: HPC Fellow, Kerim Arhan, Clubhouse International

Kerim Arhan is a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow working with Clubhouse International. While with Clubhouse International, Kerim traveled to Oslo to see the Clubhouse model in action and bring expertise to the process of starting his own Clubhouse in Turkey. Read on to learn about his placement as a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow.

From my perspective, mental health issues are a part of daily life regardless of psycho-social or socioeconomic context. Most of us experience declining mental health sometime during our lifetime. The Clubhouse communities around the world work to change the perspective on mental health. Mental illness can strike relentlessly and cause isolation, despair, and shame. It lies within the Clubhouse culture to mitigate these consequences and support individuals in taking charge of their own destiny, building confidence, and ultimately becoming an active part of the community that they live in. The Clubhouse model does this through many Clubhouses around the world. A Clubhouse is a psycho-social, work-oriented rehabilitation center, named in reference to Fountain House, the first Clubhouse which opened in New York in the mid 1940s.

I started working in a Clubhouse located in my hometown in Malmö, Sweden in 2014. Coming from a background in occupational therapy, combined with the Clubhouse standards and values, I felt right at home. As time went on, my dual background led me to ponder the idea of starting a Clubhouse in the multicultural and metropolitan city of Istanbul, Turkey. I initiated this process in the beginning of 2019. The response was filled with excitement and curiosity from people that had a professional or private concern with mental health. I got in contact with Clubhouse International for support which eventually led to me coming on board with the Hilton Prize Coalition Fellows Program.

The fellowship has made it possible for me to broaden my perspective on the Clubhouse model and deepen my understanding of the organizational structures necessary to start a new Clubhouse. My goal is to build a strong community based on the standards and values that the organization represents, with emphasis on the element that I believe in the most. That element is rehabilitation that begins with meaningful occupation through which we build friendship and community - an act of balance that distinguishes the model. I have gained invaluable networks, tools and knowledge through continuous tutoring sessions and guidance with representatives and directors around the world on all aspects of the organisation. I was also privileged to join a one week training program with the Mosaic Clubhouse in London. It gave me the opportunity to meet with members, staff, directors, and board members locally as well as from Estonia, Ireland, and Gibraltar. This served as a platform for in depth discussions and reflections with individuals from a vast array of backgrounds and experiences.

The learning process has also served as the guiding force behind the development and content for the meetings with the group of  individuals that are engaged in the startup process of my Clubhouse. I recently traveled to Turkey to initiate the opening of an NGO with assistance from professionals that have generously shared their knowledge in law and on starting NGOs. The trip also consisted of a meeting to create a vision statement for our project. At this point in the process I needed advice on recruiting a board for the purpose of starting a Clubhouse, hence it was arranged for me to travel to Oslo which has two Clubhouses and a third one in development all by the same team. Visiting their Clubhouses, speaking with their team, and getting insight into their organizations gave me essential insight and information on the next steps to come. I feel ready to break new ground and provide a vulnerable group  in Turkey with a complementary, safe, and dignified platform on which to grow and regain access to one's abilities for the benefit of the individuals, families, and society. The Clubhouse model is one with limitless potential to spread in the country to prevent stigma and promote equality.

About the Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contactprizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

Reconnecting to My Roots: HPC Fellow, Neha Gauchan, ECPAT International

Neha Gauchan is a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow working with ECPAT International. At ECPAT International, Neha provided in-depth research and recommendations on the state of child sexual exploitation in Nepal. Read on to learn about her placement as a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow.

I first encountered ECPAT International when I was studying my Master’s degree in Human Rights and Democratisation at Mahidol University, Thailand. ECPAT International, based in Bangkok, is the regional headquarters which works with 113 members in 98 countries in ending the sexual exploitation of children. This excited me the most because by working at the ECPAT headquarters, I would be able to contribute the majority of my time to learning from people with diverse expertise in child rights. ECPAT International’s research and advocacy work in child protection, especially on ending the sexual exploitation of children, was the area I was keen on working in. Lack of research in this field in the Global South contributes heavily to the lack of policies and changes we hope for, and it is humbling to be part of efforts to change that status quo. Getting to work with the team for the past six months gave me a deep insight on what needs to be done in this area.

Before joining as a fellow at ECPAT International, I had some experiences working against child sexual abuse. My internship in Vietnam frequently organized awareness raising events on topics of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), and it was during this time I had developed an interest in this field. While organizing these events, I often heard stories from people who shared their real-life experiences. It strengthened my belief that these narratives needed to be backed with evidence and research. As a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow on the Research and Policy team at ECPAT International, I got the chance to own the Nepal project, conduct in-depth research, and provide proper recommendations for lobbying the government stakeholders.

During my time at ECPAT International, I also worked in drafting desk-based research on sexual exploitation of children in Nepal. Coming from Nepal, I felt this was a huge opportunity for me to better understand my country’s context on this issue and contribute to the existing literature on children’s issues in Nepal. Initially, the circumstances of child sexual exploitation in Nepal was very new to me due to little publicly available data and information on this issue. However, with time, I was able to gather and compile relevant information on five different manifestations, namely exploitation of children in prostitution, online child sexual exploitation, sale and trafficking of children for sexual purposes, sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism, and child, early, and forced marriages.

By undertaking this research, I was able to re-connect to my roots and understand the privilege that I have which could be utilized to bring a positive change to the lives of children in Nepal. This research project was not only a task that I was assigned as a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow, but it was also a small step of advocacy to bring awareness and act upon such issues in Nepal. Nothing is more fulfilling and satisfying than contributing to the needs of people back in my home country and this research has brought back my passion to continue fighting for the rights of children. I would like to thank the Hilton Prize Coalition and ECPAT International for giving me this opportunity to undertake this research project and helping me grow as an avid researcher in my professional career.

About the Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contactprizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

Climate Change and Inequality: Cultivating Resiliency in State and Federal Child Welfare Programs and Policies: HPC Fellow, Lindsay Harrington, SOS Children's Villages USA

Lindsay Harrington is a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow working at SOS Children's Villages USA. At SOS Lindsay conducted an analysis of service gaps in the United States child welfare system. With a Master's degree specializing in Policy from Columbia University, Lindsay is a Children's Rights advocate with a strong interest in supporting efforts for the improved quality of governance and effective policy solutions to global humanitarian and development challenges. Read on to learn about her placement as a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow.

Society's most vulnerable individuals and groups are frequently found at the intersections of multiple and overlapping identities. In America, the degree and severity of oppression that people and communities experience is often determined by cumulative factors of identity such as race, age, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, ethnicity, citizenship status or disability. When generating solutions to societal problems, governments and organizations need to take into account all aspects of identity, as well as the systems that produce and perpetuate oppression.

As this pertains to United States child welfare, state and federal service providers often fail to adequately address the systemic and structural barriers that hold children and families back from accessing social and economic justice. Throughout my time as the Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow with SOS Children's Villages in Washington, D.C., I conducted a nationwide assessment of the United States child welfare system. During this process, I observed how children and families at the intersections of poverty and climate change were being excluded from the dialogue. While the United States has demonstrated concerted efforts to cultivate innovations in child welfare, namely in regard to prevention and early intervention modalities among families and children at high risk of entering the system, a vicious cycle is occurring, and it lacks our collective attention.

Climate change fuels poverty and exacerbates inequalities. Every year, the increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events drives people from their homes, separates families, and threatens access to economic opportunity. When natural disasters occur, they disproportionately harm low income communities who have fewer resources and receive less support from the financial system and social safety nets. Without these reinforcements, poor people and communities have a harder time preventing, coping and adapting to climate change. All of these factors contribute to an already overburdened child welfare system.

Despite the unprecedented economic growth and technological advances that have characterized the last decade, the U.S. Census Bureau's Income and Poverty Report of 2018 measured that 38.1 million people still live in poverty. In 2018, the nation witnessed the greatest gap between rich and poor households it has seen in the last 50 years and  roughly 21% of all children live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold. Currently, the nonelderly adult poverty rate for women is 14% compared to 10% of men. Meanwhile, the African American poverty rate is 22%, as opposed to 9% white. As the national economy surges ahead, the current administration has continued to make budget cuts to low income assistance programs.

According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, low income communities are most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change because they already have higher rates of adverse health conditions, are more exposed to environmental hazards, and take longer to recover from natural disasters. As such, climate related shocks are known to perpetuate cycles of inequality and are a huge barrier to eliminating poverty. Even with immediate collective action, it is likely that we will continue to experience intensified natural events and America's underlying inequalities will be further exposed. To see this in action, we can observe the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  

2005 revealed an urgent need to evaluate the impacts of disasters on the U.S. child welfare system after more than 5,000 children were reported missing following the hurricane and many foster children and families were heavily burdened during and after the storm. At the time of the hurricane, about 2,000 foster children lived in its path. By two weeks after the storm, state workers had lost track of an estimated 25% of these children and after a month, 158 remained unaccounted for.

Aside from this, Katrina aggravated preexisting inequalities. About one of every three people who lived in the areas hit hardest by the hurricane were African American. By 2010, after the hurricane displaced up to one million people in the Gulf region, the white population of New Orleans had dropped by only 24,000 while the black population dropped by 118,000. It is probable that this disparity is a consequence of decades of inequality after historically white neighborhoods were built on high ground and black neighborhoods were segregated and contained within low-laying regions of the city.

Moreover, as recent evidence has suggested, natural disasters tend to have a disproportionate impact on women.  In a qualitative report conducted by the Institute for Women's Policy Research, low income black women faced added obstacles in returning to New Orleans post Katrina due to poor city planning and federal housing policy. As these women were met with distinct challenges, there is ample evidence to suggest that the Gulf region's overall recovery process could have been strengthened through the support of enhanced measures to bolster gender equality. International assistance in development contexts has substantiated claims that increasing social and economic opportunities and political representation for women has ripple effects on health, education, and socio-economic outcomes throughout society. Unfortunately, concentrated government efforts to empower and build capacity among post Katrina women lacked targeted action. Furthermore, data collection in the wake of the disaster did not provide information fully disaggregated by gender or race and there is difficulty assessing the full scale of Katrina's impact on women, particularly women of color.

After thousands were displaced, the overall population of New Orleans eventually rebounded. However, some predominately black neighborhoods like the Lower Ninth Ward, which was 98% black, never recovered. Post Katrina, only 37% of its residents returned. Today, African Americans comprise just 32% of Louisiana's total population although black children account for 42% of all children living in out-of-home foster care. In part, this could be due to higher rates of poverty among black communities leading to less resilience. After black communities received less support from social safety nets, they took longer to recover and it is likely that children and families suffered as a result. Unfortunately, in order to make these determinations, more data is needed and much information is still unknown about the long-term impact on child welfare.  

Katrina is just one example of how climate catastrophes can have long and far reaching consequences that strain systems, perpetuate cycles and intensify inequalities. As such, governments, as well as civil society organizations, must broadly recognize the risks posed by climate change and adopt policies designed to limit the scale of its impact and adapt to its challenges. Making these strategic decisions under uncertainty about the future requires innovative thought, careful evaluation and dynamic planning. Establishing a flexible framework, careful research, close monitoring of changes and evaluating of outcomes is essential. Simultaneously incorporating crosscutting measures to reduce poverty and inequality will support communities to become more resilient and diminish future vulnerabilities to climate shocks.

As the Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow, I enjoyed the opportunity to analyze these challenges and strengthen SOS Children's Villages' ability to cultivate organizational dexterity through adaptable policies and robust strategies. Ultimately, by integrating these critical measures within SOS-USA's pipeline of support, the organization may be able to disrupt cycles of poverty and inequality in America and achieve even better child welfare outcomes.

About the Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contactprizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

Storytelling Through Design: HPC Fellow, Helen Kline, SOS Children's Villages USA

Helen Kline is a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow working with SOS Children's Villages USA. At SOS, Helen had the opportunity to be a storyteller, furthering SOS’s mission and values. Read on to learn about her placement as a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow.

Four months ago, I came across the Hilton Prize Coalition Content and Storytelling Fellowship at SOS Children’s Villages USA. The word “Storytelling” stood out to me. I remember thinking it was probably a buzzword, and in that case, it had the desired effect: My mind raced to possible roles I’d have, regardless of whether or not they were actually in the description. I like to write in my spare time and have presented my writing at conferences, but I never considered storytelling as a career. It always felt more like a well-loved hobby, but this job title made me consider that maybe it could be both. SOS Children’s Villages sounded like a place where I could gain fundraising experience, allowing me to stay in the nonprofit world I’d always loved. It seemed comfortable yet exciting, so I hit “send” on my application and anxiously awaited a response.

Luckily, about a month later, I interviewed with my future supervisors. I felt it went well and was even more optimistic when they asked for writing samples. They noticed a short story listed on my resume and asked me to send it along. I was a bit confused. “Sure, but um don’t you want something more... professional? I could send a research blog post instead.”

They said I could email that too, but still wanted the short story included. Perhaps “storytelling” was less of a buzzword than I initially thought.

Starting out, the work didn’t feel quite as intricately connected as the designs and projects I’d imagined. They assigned a report on this here and donor touchpoint there, but as time progressed, I learned more about my audience and SOS Children’s Villages as a whole. I fell into a rhythm. I learned what would resonate with my supervisors. I designed each project with a fresh but consistent look and realized each helped tell a new story to SOS’s audience. 

SOS Children’s Villages USA is a part of an incredible global nonprofit but has its own goals, audience, and functions, and its brand materials needed to reflect this. My design and writing told donors and supporters SOS’s unique story. Designing, redesigning, and editing reports or donor touchpoints was less about the projects themselves and more about communicating the larger idea that the organization is growing and adapting to its audiences, while also remaining recognizable and identifiable, because if SOS cannot relate to its audiences, then it cannot garner the support needed to assist children and families globally. As a result, I had the opportunity to be a storyteller and reach audiences by incorporating my style into the brand, engaging donors, and contributing to furthering SOS’s mission and values.

Framing my fellowship as a storytelling process not only improved my skills, but also gave me a better sense of what I wanted for my career. In the end, I learned to be a more cohesive designer and see my work in a new way. This journey also pushed me to consider new professions. I am looking into multimedia journalism and other positions that will allow me to craft stories the way this fellowship allowed me to, and without the amazing teams at SOS Children’s Villages USA, I don’t think I would have learned so much about myself,  the impact design can have on donor engagement, or its role in storytelling. Therefore, I am incredibly thankful to the Hilton Prize Coalition and SOS for this opportunity, and I look forward to applying everything I’ve learned in my next position.

About the Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contactprizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

The Value of a Global Network of Field Epidemiology Training Programs: HPC Fellow, Stephen Kim, The Task Force for Global Health

Stephen Kim is a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow working with The Task Force for Global Health. At The Task Force for Global Health, Stephen had the opportunity to support the development of new learning strategies and initiatives for the global Field Epidemiology Training Program. Read on to learn about his placement as a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow.

Late 2002 into early 2003, I was a boy living in Shanghai, China in close proximity to a new public health threat, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which began in the Guangdong province of southern China.

In 2020, a new Coronavirus labeled 2019-nCoV is an emerging public health threat that is receiving global attention.

As a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow, I had the opportunity to work for The Task Force for Global Health, an organization that supports Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs). FETPs educate field epidemiologists, also known as disease detectives, giving them the skills to conduct disease surveillance, outbreak investigations, and biostatistics. Some examples of their work include airport quarantine, surveillance, case investigation, contact tracing, clinical management and infection control guidance.

It is times like these that we come to understand the value of field epidemiologists. Consequently, training field epidemiologists is an effective tool in building local, state, and national public health capacity in order to respond to the needs of their respective populations. As I write this blog, many FETPs are working to prepare and fight this new public health threat.

Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (TEPHINET) is one of the networks under The Task Force for Global Health. TEPHINET is a secretariat and global network of FETPs. TEPHINET supports FETPs by providing quality improvement through accreditation programs, professional development opportunities such as scientific conferences, and management and training to FETPs and FETP graduates through funded projects.

Whether it be a manual, strategy, academic program, policy, or standard procedure, materials have to be revised to remain current and relevant. Likewise, FETPs require new learning strategies, “to support and ensure a well-trained global professional field epidemiology workforce prepared to address evolving public health priorities.” As a Fellow, I had the opportunity to support the development of a new learning strategy for the global FETP community by working closely with the TEPHINET Secretariat and FETP Learning Advisory Council (FLAC).

My fellowship started when the program was at its busiest. TEPHINET was hosting their 10th Global Scientific Conference in less than a month. Thus, I began my fellowship with a virtual meeting with the Learning Advisory Council that consisted of subject matter learning experts across the world dialing in from different time zones. The 10th TEPHINET Global Scientific Conference was our first opportunity to present the newly formed FLAC and its learning initiatives to the FETP community. FLAC members served as facilitators, while attendees formed small groups for discussions around insights, and successes and challenges of FETPs. I participated in a small group as a note taker while participants shared their experiences. I gathered group responses to identify common themes from the session. The discussion validated our plans for strategic direction.

I was also involved with coordinating the formation of functional sub-working groups and the external and internal mapping of learning initiatives. Working groups are ad-hoc groups tasked with developing criteria and action plans for key components of the learning strategy consisting of FETP staff, faculty, and alumni.

As I reflect on my time at The Task Force, I am inspired by many of the field epidemiology fellows, faculty, and professionals that support the FETPs. Mentorship, collaboration and partnership are at the heart of the widely successful growth of FETPs across the world. There are currently 71 FETPs programs training epidemiologist in more than 100 countries with over 12,000 FETP graduates around the world. Such growth would not have been possible without the partnerships and commitment from neighboring FETPs, regional FETP networks, TEPHINET and key organizations. This global conference serves as a glance at the collaborative culture that exists within and across programs and countries. Within FETPS, many of the mentors are alumni of programs that contribute and invest their time to FETP trainees on their own time. The cycle continues when trainees that have benefited from their mentors, learn to be valuable members of their community.

In the same way, many individuals that are willing to volunteer their time for working groups to developing a global learning strategy are also those that have been supporting the development in several countries near and far. As I continue my journey as an individual and a public health professional, I want to carry on the culture of mentorship, collaboration and partnership wherever I go.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Hilton Prize Coalition and The Task Force for Global Health for this opportunity and the support I received. In the process, I was able to learn and grow tremendously as a professional. I appreciate their involvement in supporting continuous learning in public health and working in a humanitarian context.

About the Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contactprizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

Reporting on Child Sexual Exploitation in Turkey: HPC Fellow, Maud Ballez, ECPAT

Maud Ballez is a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow working with ECPAT International. At ECPAT International, Maud developed her skills in legal research by drafting a comprehensive report on the sexual exploitation of children, helping to further ECPAT International's mission. Read on to learn about her placement as a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow.

Throughout my academic studies, I developed a keen interest in human rights matters. Two topics were of the utmost importance to me: refugee’s rights and children’s rights. Therefore, for my first step in my professional career, I knew I wanted to work for an organisation with a purpose and goal close to my heart. I had come across ECPAT International on several occasions and was following their work from a distance. When graduating from my Master of Laws at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, I saw there was an open position for a Legal Research Intern. I jumped on the opportunity and applied. No more than two months later, I was packing my bags to move to Bangkok and start an incredible fellowship experience at ECPAT International!

My fellowship experience at ECPAT has been both challenging and rewarding on many levels. It has allowed me to get better acquainted with the field of sexual exploitation of children and to better understand ECPAT’s work towards this issue. More than ever, it has made me realize how fundamental and important the work of NGOs is, if we want to strive towards better societies.

On a more practical level, my work at ECPAT has considerably enhanced my organizational skills, by teaching me how to multitask and successfully work in a fast-moving environment. It has also allowed me to develop my skills in legal research and writing. My main tasks were indeed twofold. I was first tasked with the drafting of short reports, destined to different human rights bodies. I then had the opportunity to research the legal systems of different countries, such as Chile, Madagascar, New Zealand, and The Gambia, regarding child sexual exploitation.

My second main task was to draft a comprehensive report on the scale, scope and context of the sexual exploitation of children in a specific country – or as we called it internally, a “Country Overview.” The country my research colleague and I were assigned was Turkey. Thus, for months, I researched the legal situation of child sexual exploitation in Turkey. Writing this report proved to be a lengthy and challenging process. Finding information was not always straightforward due to language barriers, a lack of published official data, and political reasons. Thankfully, we could count on the help and assistance of our local member in Turkey. Thanks to their collaboration, not only could we access unpublished information, we could also receive first-hand intelligence of the situation on the ground.

Today, the report is in its final stage. We are making final edits and preparing for the launch that will take place in Ankara, in March 2020. Looking back on the whole process, I am proud of the work accomplished and can only hope it will help improve the situation of children in Turkey.

I am thankful to the Hilton Prize Coalition for having given me the opportunity to work with ECPAT International and be part of such an important work!

About the Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contactprizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

The Beginning of the Hilton Prize Coalition Fellows Program

The Hilton Prize Coalition is celebrating its 5th anniversary this year. To commemorate, some of the first individuals to receive funding for fellowship placements in 2015 will be featured on the blog. Meet Meher Raza in the post below who used her funding to go on a medical mission to Peru where she worked on global health issues at local clinics.

This past summer, after completing my first year of medical school, I decided to travel to Peru as part of a medical mission.

After doing some research on the Americas, Peru’s Pueblos Jovenes really stood out to me. They are settlements created by women to empower their children to get better jobs during the revolution. I decided to join an organization called MEDlife that helped provide medical, education, and development to these regions on the outskirts of Lima.

I arrived a day earlier than my group and explored MiraFlores and central Lima on my own. I later joined my MEDlife group at Pakura hostel.

The next day we woke up bright and early to drive an hour to the outskirts of Lima to learn about the neighborhood we would be working in: pueblos jovenes — young towns. We were in ConoSur, the southern part. During the revolution, people from different parts of Peru that did not receive attention from the government and did not have access to jobs came to Lima. However, the overpopulated city was unable to house more migrant workers. These people decided to settle in the pig farms on the outskirts of Lima. As we drove towards these towns the ambiance shifted; the buildings and parks turned to small stores and broken roads. The cars turned to mototaxis (tuk tuks) and combis (mini buses) and as we got closer to it, the coast was replaced by hills with small huts.

The first step out of our bus filled my nose with a warm moist sour smell, which I was informed was a combination of pig farm and human waste. We stopped by the police station – there were only 16 workers for the entire ConoSur: 600,000 people! This was in stark contrast to Miraflores, that had 3 men in blue police uniforms on every block. We secured our belongings and started walking up the hills. The steep terrain did not allow cars or regular buses to ascend, so the only mode of public transport available were the mototaxis, which are generally more expensive.

As we started walking up we passed by the commercial area and then came to discover clothing lines and barrels of water. These barrels were used to store water that the waterbuses provided every day. This water was 5 times as expensive as the water that would be supplied via pipes in other districts in miraflores. Due to the unfriendly terrain, regular water and sanitation was impossible. This meant that the poorest in Lima paid the most for water—contaminated water. The water barrels, previously used for toxic substances, contained remnants of the toxins within the plastic. This combined with the parasites growing in the stagnating water accounted for 80% of the gastro-intestinal complaints at the clinic.

As we advanced further, the paths became narrower and steeper, until finally, we had to walk to find stairs.  Along the way, we passed many old women and children, since most adults were at work. We greeted each other and they welcomed us into their neighborhood. We saw dilapidated homes with nothing inside and huts that had satellite televisions and nice furniture. Ana, our group leader who was originally from ConoSur, explained that many of these people are comfortable here, they make their home and they start making homes for their children’s families at the same time. They have no intention to move out to more sustainable areas. I am still trying to understand that.  

After the reality tour we returned home had our first evening schedule: a meeting, a 3-course Peruvian dinner prepared by our hostel staff, and an educational meeting about Peru. In the days following we would learn about the healthcare system, MEDlife’s work, and its impact and then engaged in a few debates.

The Clinic:  The next day onward we began working at the clinic. Each day, we started early in the morning with packing, driving over, and set up of the clinic at new locations every day. One day it was at a daycare, once at a school and once it was just outside a few homes and some empty huts high enough to be accessible to the geriatric population who could not descend the hills. The healthcare professionals helping us were all Peruvian locals who were experts in the language, culture, and common problems.

Dental Station: My very first responsibility was as a dental assistant. This was the fastest paced station, with constant filling and extraction procedures. Each individual had 8-10 cavities! Some adults had had so many extractions that they barely had 6 teeth left! In the interest of time, we only completed one procedure on each individual and referred him or her to a local dental clinic.

Education Station: This station was the transition between the vitals station and seeing the physician—the waiting area. We used this opportunity to educate the patients on various health problems. I used this opportunity to complete my research survey and educate them on diet, exercise, and hygiene. I asked them questions about their access to healthcare, the main health concerns, how often they skipped their medications, their hygiene and nutrition. The highlight of this station was asking them how often they brushed their teeth. I got all sorts of replies from 3 times a day to 7 times a day! This combined with my experience at the dental station showed that they had no idea how often they had to brush their teeth.

Tooth-Brushing Station: This was the resolution. We taught young children how to brush their teeth properly and how often to brush their teeth in the presence of their parents. Then gave them their own toothbrushes.

Physician Station: A common complaint was a musculoskeletal complaint from falls 6-8 months ago. Given the rigorous terrain this was a common occurrence. However, they rarely got it checked out because that would mean skipping work and spending many hours at the only hospital just waiting to be seen.

Gynecologist Station: Gynecological exams were a huge taboo. Women would lie about pap smears to avoid getting any preventative care. Many were afraid their husband would find out and would disapprove. We had to consistently go out and talk to women about cervical and breast cancer, risk factors and the importance of preventative care to convince them to see the gynecologists!

Project Day:During this trip we spent one day on the “development” component of MEDlife. We completed a project where we painted a daycare center that the previous group had started to build.  We finished it with painting and installing non-flushable toilets- an innovative solution to the lack of sanitation!

Inspiration: My most inspiring encounter was not on the clinic or project, it was on a day off when I was at the hostel during the day and struck up a conversation with the cleaning lady. She was curious about my plans and what we were doing as part of MEDLife. Since this was the same hostel used for all MEDlife groups she was well aware of the clinic and the projects. So during our conversation she suddenly turned to me with a sparkle in her eyes and great enthusiasm and she asked me, “you guys just finished the daycare in Via Maria right?” I replied a short yes allowing her to get to the root of her excitement. “I'm going to use that daycare for my kids! I live right there!” Given the history I shouldn’t have been surprised that some one from there worked right here in Lima but I was also excited to learn all about her life there and working here. So I continued asking her questions. She explained how she takes multiple public transportation platforms and travels for 2 hours each day to get here. Her climb each day is 15 minutes in the morning and at night. Morning is okay in the daylight hours but night is a little dangerous but it usually gets dark by the time she gets home because of the long commute. She explained how she needed the daycare, how cheap and expensive it was to live there (the irony) and how much she appreciated our work.

Despite my interaction with many people when I was in ConoSur when she said told me her story, the entire project just hit so much closer to home! And we continued chatting excitedly about the new daycare.

Final Thoughts: My trip to Lima was a profound experience. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to help others whilst learning so much about Peruvian language, culture, and health issues. I have definitely changed my opinions on some global health issues as a result of the trip and I hope to return and continue doing this kind of work in Peru and elsewhere around the world.

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