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Keystone Human Services International A Word From the President and CEO
June 28, 2011
I remember sharing a meal with our Russian delegates from the Open World Russia Civic Hosting Program and the American host families the delegates lived with for the week. During the dinner, after a lively conversation, John (one of the host families) leaned over to me and remarked that if people spent time sharing a meal together, there would be no more wars and the world would be a better place. It strikes me that this simple observation reaches into the heart of Keystone Human Services International’s vision. We are rooted in a network of enriching relationships, united in a common mission to advance the human spirit of all people regardless of “abilities” or geographic boundaries. The welfare of each individual is bound to the welfare of all of us, and many of the international relationships we nourished have blossomed into enduring projects that are advancing the human spirit of individuals in Moldova, Russia, Azerbaijan and beyond.
In Russia and Moldova, we have established community-based systems and supports to serve vulnerable children and families, and in Azerbaijan we are cultivating relationships and sharing ideas and practices about community-based services. But these services and collaborations would not exist without the relationships we built through the Open World Leadership Center, the Special American Business Internship Training Program (SABIT) and the International Practical Training Program. The seeds of our international projects have grown into an intricate network. Each partner contributes something, whether it’s a vision, experience or monetary support, and we have been honored to work with such organizations as the Soros Foundation and their family of foundations including the Open Society Foundation and their Mental Health Initiative, the United States Agency for International Development, the Open World Leadership Center sponsored by the U.S. Library of Congress, the European Commission, the Clinton Global Initiative, the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) International Committee, and the International Federation of Educative Communities (FICE). I invite you to read about our children and family centers in Tudora and Bacioi, our comprehensive systems of care and the Beslan Polyclinic in the Russian North Caucasus, our Community for All - Moldova project, and our relationships with Azerbaijani professionals to learn more about the relationships we formed and the invaluable work we are accomplishing together. I have personally seen the impact of the strength of these relationships in the smiles and hope on the faces of the children and families we serve.
If we meet people and form relationships – or as John observed, eat dinner together – the world will be a safer place. It will not be filled with people divided by their differences. Instead, the world will be a global community united by a common vision based on the universal values of family, community and inclusion, where our differences are celebrated and accepted. We seek to make this vision of a global community a reality. When we form lasting relationships to serve the world’s more vulnerable people, everyone benefits. Let’s share a meal together and see what happens.
President and CEO, Keystone Human Services International