A Look Back on 2022
In 2022, we knew our staff was exhausted and overwhelmed from dealing with the added stress of COVID and additional issues in our working environment to protect everyone against the global pandemic. Therefore, we deemed 2022 The Year of the Staff. Our staff submitted a list of things they wanted that they felt would help improve their work performance. Due to continued lock-downs and staff working from home, the office and working supplies had been neglected.
Our top three priorities were to give industry-standard raises, provide benefits for our full time employees, and provide training in areas that our staff were lacking in. There was also a list of resources they felt would help them be more productive, such as:
- updated chairs
- upgrade laptops
- headphones for zoom calls
- eye check ups for artisans and staff
- staff counseling
- toys and educational supplies for artisans’ kids
- increasing staff transport budget
- staff of the month program
- new kitchenware
- pens and pencils
- mouse and mouse pads
- staff devotional time
- whiteboard and markers
- staff communications budget
- upgrade paint at office
When I first looked over this list, I was reminded that it doesn’t always take huge actions for people to feel appreciated. Sometimes it only takes a brand new shiny pen and a comfortable chair to make you feel confident and appreciated in your job.
At our end of year planning meeting, I heard several staff say how chaotic they felt the office environment was by the end of 2021, but with the consistency of not being on lock-down and the investments through the Year of the staff, they felt things had become much more balanced. One described the working environment as a place to be free to express yourself and to learn without fear of criticism.
We have an extremely passionate group of staff members and board of directors who love the ministry and the people we serve. Everyone wants to see DuHope grow and expand. We are doing everything humanly possible to be ready when God opens those doors.
2023 Theme: Strengthening our Roots
The senior and junior leadership staff attended the Global Leadership Summit in Rwanda and were inspired by listening to all the speakers, some on video cast and some live, local speakers. During our final lunch, we started brainstorming our 2023 theme. The staff came up with: Strengthening our Roots. They said we have built our staff back up in 2022, now it’s time to grow and the way to do that is to make our roots stronger, which will make our organization stronger.
I looked up Bible verses on roots and found Jeremiah 17:7-8. “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
We defined our “stream” as the goal we want to achieve, which is reaching the 10,000 survival sex workers in Rwanda. Our “roots” are our core values: Dignity, Innovation, Quality & Efficiency, Authenticity & Transparency, Collaboration, Ownership, and Growth. These roots are the things that are going to help us reach those 10,000. And of course, God is the sun providing all the things we need to reach the 10,000.
2023 will be focused on finding what gaps are remaining so we are ready for expansion and growth both personally and professionally.
I can’t thank you enough for your continued support and investment in Rwanda and its people.