How NGO Leaders Take the Road Less Traveled


How NGO Leaders Take the Road Less Traveled

By Sara Steffan

Communications Specialist Fintrac

A sure path is almost always crowded. When people know the way, or if think they know the way, they’ll take it. No matter if there are obstacles. If they see the light at the end, they know where they’re going, so they continue moving forward. Consider this: would you rather take a route that your mind is telling you is direct, despite traffic and potholes, or would you rather take an empty, quiet street with a few more turns?

Kicking off this year’s Humentum conference was Derreck Kayongo, the founder of the Global Soap project and one of the most engaging and down-to-earth speakers I’ve had the pleasure of seeing. The word “innovative” is thrown around a lot when it comes to new technologies, but it truly describes what Derreck did to make Global Soap a reality. The trial-and-error process of creating a recycled, germ-free soap to bring to environments where many people die from lack of basic hygiene showed evidence of an innovative spirit and willingness to go forward despite a guaranteed outcome of success. His confidence and ability to make the most of his connections with other people to help him achieve his goals showed through during his presentation. The audience, witnessing the way he spoke so fervently about access to hygienic products, surely left with no doubt as to how he had easily convinced various health officials to work with him to make the Global Soap project a reality.

Derreck displayed the kind of initiative, confidence, and passion required of an NGO leader. And, as proven by the large number of attendees at this year’s conference, many other workers in the NGO space are following in Derreck’s footsteps. From carrying on conversations with colleagues from various organizations over lunch, to asking questions in sessions that were outside their comfort zones, this year’s attendees followed their own paths. Despite the troubling times often alluded to by this year’s speakers, NGO leaders present and future maintained their relentless optimism and can-do spirit, and clearly were proud to have Derreck among them. The future is quite bright for Humentum’s membership under the new Humentum organization. 

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