Clubfoot Collaboration: Update from the Executive Director

MiracleFeet is all about collaboration – it is core of who we are and how we work to help change children’s lives. Recently, our whole team was together (collaborating, of course!) and looking at how well we are doing against our annual goals. I was really struck by how many creative and impactful new partnerships we are involved in around the world. I thought I would highlight some examples for you to emphasize how strongly we believe in working together to accomplish more.

One of our biggest challenges is reaching people living in rural areas to educate them about the fact that clubfoot is treatable. Two partnerships with large Indian companies are enabling us to get educational information into the most remote parts of India. MAYCO, a major seed company, has sent fliers in the local Marathi language out to thousands of seed outlets across rural Maharashtra. While Videocon, a huge diversified company that includes a satellite dish business, is developing four advertisements designed to demystify clubfoot to reduce stigma and encourage families to seek treatment early which will be shown on cable channels across India in local languages. Thanks to creative corporate partnerships, we are leveraging existing distribution channels to get a critical public health message out to millions of people at no cost to MiracleFeet. The companies are thrilled to be able to make a difference and we reach more families at almost additional no cost.

We have also been collaborating with members of the Global Clubfoot Initiative, as well as using funds provided by Google.org, another terrific partner, to develop a new data collection tool that is being tested in 14 of CURE India’s clinics. By working closely with all the GCI members, we have been able to design a tool that should work in any low-resource clinic. This collaborative approach to developing these accessible tools will ensure that we all collect the same information – making it much easier to understand real challenges and progress.

We are collaborating within the countries that we help, both with our local partners, with other NGOs, and with Ministries of Health. Great examples of this are our new partnerships with Handicap International to bring high-quality clubfoot treatment to rehab centers in Bolivia and with Mobility Outreach’s program in Vietnam. These clubfoot programs work closely with local health agencies and rely on local clinicians to provide treatment. NGOs, like MiracleFeet, bring much needed financial support and technical expertise to fill in the gaps. Instead of choosing to compete, the organizations working on clubfoot have set a precedent for collaborating, learning and supporting each other where we can help.

Finally, one of our best examples of collaboration occurred when a mother in Australia, Lana Mayes, decided to track down a child with clubfoot she saw in a feature on the slums of Paraguay. She contacted MiracleFeet and, together, we made sure the Paraguayan child was found and treated. Lana then contacted Sydney 7 who covered the story, which resulted in an outpouring of support that was funneled to one of the clinics we support in Nepal. This story was just voted one of the most powerful stories of 2016 by Sydney 7.

Amazing progress is being made, because people are collaborating for good. I’m thankful for the amazing staff, donors, and partners that help us reach our goals and go beyond. Join us in making 2016 the best year yet by getting involved and collaborating with us.

Thank you!

– Chesca