I joined INARA in June 2020, and it is one of the highlights of my career to work for such a unique organization that has such a meaningful impact on the lives of refugee and conflict-impacted children. Fundraising for INARA and the kids we help is a privilege and an honor, but it is also a challenge.
Joining amid a global pandemic, which had drastically affected the funding streams of non-profits around the world, shutting down many funding opportunities and making in-person fundraising events impossible was definitely daunting and a bit difficult. And as time has gone on, so has the pandemic, and joining that has been new and worsening economic crises, natural and man-made disasters, and wars and conflicts. All of this has made funding opportunities scarce, and non-profits must compete for the limited funds now more than ever.
This is a challenge facing all non-profits today, but INARA specifically faces further challenges due to the unique nature of our work. INARA’s medical program is distinctive, and it fills a large gap in refugee programing and support. One of the reasons this gap exists is that there is very little institutional funding directed towards filling it. Other NGOs struggle to be able to fully support an injured child, no matter how much and no matter how long. INARA supports a child until they are fully healed, with no cost ceiling or treatment limit, and this is deemed by some institutions to be too expensive or too high of a cost per beneficiary. The lack of institutional funding or other similar programs in INARA’s field of work, signals and proves that INARA’s program are in fact very much needed because there is no systemic approach to solving the problem and supporting these children. At the same time, this poses a challenge for INARA as it makes it difficult to find large institutional donors to fund its work and programs.
However, there are those who see the value, impact, dignity, and humanity in INARA’s work and do everything they can to support it. We come across generous and wonderful individuals, companies, and trusts and foundations who recognize INARA’s work and want to help the injured children we support. Some days I feel the weight of what we do and feel a need to do for more our kids- the waiting list is so long and there is so much pain and suffering we have not been able to alleviate due to a lack of funding and this can weigh heavily on my heart. But finding these people and organizations who see INARA’s impact, our beneficiaries, and see how much there need is and selflessly support our work even in the midst of everything that is going on, inspires me to keep going and find others like them. And hopefully one day we can find enough funding so that INARA’s waitlist goes from 225 children to zero.