Our Founding Story
“I knew we could not do it alone; collaboration and team diversity would be the key. We all offer unique experiences, expertise and perspectives that have the potential to be synergistic.”
How it began...
I have been on numerous medical trips over the past 10 years, but a single experience in Senegal opened my eyes to many possibilities of outreach in global communities. I was busy dispensing medicine and seeing patients, when nature called and I needed to find a private place to use the restroom. What was supposed to be a quick search for a restroom turned into an eye-opening adventure along the way.
I vividly remember a woman inviting me to learn how to preparing a local dish, children giggling as I attempted to learn their cultural dance, and a family who eagerly welcomed me into their clay hut. It was only enough room for a bed where her family of 5 lived, yet she explained to me that I am welcome to stay in their home next time we come back. They were willing to let us into their world out of gratitude for our assistance. These all were unique to experience in contrast to times I traveled as a tourist and I began to see the potential this dynamic opened to our team.
Changing the Norm
I made my way back to the clinic and found myself looking out at the “waiting room” of patients, wishing I could dig deeper into their culture and address more than just medical assistance. I knew I could not do it alone; collaboration and team diversity would be the key. We all offer unique experiences, expertise and perspectives that have the potential to be synergistic. Thus, Be the Change was created as a space where together we could intentionally tailor our outreach to the needs of the community.
Kristine Ottosen Be the Change Founder