More than 10 years ago, we started working on HIV/AIDS issues with our partners at VVOCF. At the time, neither of us were verifiable nonprofits. Still, we rolled up our sleeves to ask questions, address problems and help children, youth and families affected by the disease.
This summer, Jeanne and I spent two weeks in South Africa with a group of 16 incoming freshman from Michigan State University (MSU). As part of our freshman seminar abroad (FSA) program, we studied youth leadership alongside the young people at Vumundzuku-bya Vana/Our Children's Future (VVOCF), our partner site in Zonkizizwe.
I'm not sure about you, but when I think about strategy, I think about long, drawn-out documents with best-scenario guesses about what's going to happen in the next 3–5 years. I think about countless meetings that go on for hours, sometimes ending right where they started. And I think about the lack of follow through on the plans that were made with seeming earnestness.