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  • Nur Y. Smits

Week 3: Setting up a Pro Bono Therapy service

Latest exciting news!

Part one: Found an organisation open to doing Pro Bono!

Part two: Sharing about a company’s social responsibility.

Found an organisation open to doing Pro Bono therapy!

Great news! After many rejections , I found one organisation that said “Yes! You are welcome to do Pro Bono at our centre!”

I was like “Really?” Because many had a sort of allergic reaction to me when I just mention Pro Bono.”

I was taken aback that they really wanted to help me by hiring me so I could have some income. It was really nice of them. I said that I wanted to do this Pro Bono because that’s just where my heart is telling me to start with. I am really appreciative that they would let me do this.

I will definitely share more with you about helping this organisation. We are just starting to build a relationship. I can share that I am very excited that I will be giving a Parent sharing talk for this organisation to help parents understand about their child’s challenges in a few weeks. Awesome that we are moving fast with this!

A company’s social responsibility.

For the second part of this vlog, I wanted to share about what I learnt this week . After many rejections and finally finding one organization saying, “Yes! Pro Bono!” I learnt that you can see where the heart of the company is by looking at their business model.

One of the very important question I asked this organization was how do you sustain yourself when you do Pro Bono?

I learnt that this company has always ran itself to have a business model that could offer services to the lower income too. The business model was set up to help all and stay sustainable.

After this conversation, a big question came to my mind. “ What about the other companies? What does a company see in its own responsibility in ensuring that their therapy services are accessible to all sectors of the society, including those with lower income?”

For example, if a company’s rates are at $180 per hour for a session, what sector of the population is able to afford that? Most likely the higher income.

Looking at the business model of the company, how many percentage of the clients from that company are from the different sectors of the society? Does the company only take clients from the higher income group that can afford to pay the high rates? Or does the company have 50% of its clients from the higher income group and 50% from the lower income group by offering subsidised rates or pro bono therapy?

If the company is only directed to offer services to those who can pay fully, would this contribute to the widening of the inequality in the society? If one company sees 2000 clients a month, that means 10 companies would be seeing 20 000 clients a month. The trend would be that people who can afford receive therapy and progress while those who can’t, won’t receive therapy and loose out.

So the question for any company is, “Where is the social responsibility of the company in ensuring that access to therapy is given to all sectors of the society, from the high to low income in the society?”

This questions in not only relevant to just therapy companies but also to any other industries. To whom are you giving access to your services? Where is your social responsibility?

Ending this vlog, in a positive note.

There may be many companies out there who rejected Pro Bono therapy, but we got one with open arms. And we will help them succeed to set up a Pro Bono Therapy service. I invite all of you to be a part of this. Therapists, families, neighbours, friends. Let’s give this organization as much help as we can to support the Pro Bono Service.

What’s next?

The next step is building a programme for the Pro Bono service. Regardless whether a programme is Pro Bono or paid, it must be sustainable and effective.

An essential component is coaching the community around the child. That means the family, friends , schools etc. When the therapist coaches the people around the child with the right teaching strategies, that enables this community to empower the child in his daily life. That makes therapy effective and sustainable.

I would like to end this vlog, with my thanks to:

- The organisation that welcome me to do Pro Bono service.

- Support from family and friends

- Support on my social media. Thanks for the very supporting messages I have been getting. One of them is a physiotherapist I know in Amsterdam. He mentioned that this is something similar that happened to him. What he shared with me meant a lot. That is “The path we follow may not make us rich but it will definitely be rewarding in a sense that we keep true to what we have to do to help as many as we can.”

Update you again on next week’s journey!

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