International Care: what do black mambas, culture shock and malaria have got to do with it?
I still remember how hot and humid that day was,
As my husband and I ran errands in downtown Kumasi, Ghana. We had made it through the worst of the dreaded culture shock - our first one to go through together, as a couple. And to our complete surprise, it hadn't actually killed us, but brought us closer together in a world of unpredictabilities and limitations. Since we were living in an isolated village, we had talked about researching an evacuation plan in case of a family medical emergency. So when we came across two helicopter pilots, employees of an international security company we respected (and still do) in the post office that day, we were quick to ask about their services, as potential customers. Before we were able to formulate the next thought, we both looked at each other and chuckled... "What are we thinking? Our already stretched budget has no wiggle room for this kind of thing". And the two men grinned and left, their silence agreeing with our statement as we displayed the stereotype of poor development workers.
And we went on with our lives, dismissing the fact that we were a good 2 hour drive from the nearest properly equipped hospital in a malaria endemic region, where black mambas populated our back yard. The same one our kids played on. As if investing on security and smart emergency planning was a luxury. We left West Africa years later with many stories to tell - thankfully none that included encounters with snake venom or cerebral malaria in family members.
The fact is, when talking about international travel and cross cultural assignments, we easily associate large corporations to big bucks invested so their expatriate employees - and their families - have access to life saving resources and resilience support. In return, risks are mitigated and sanity remains in the process of temporarily loosing a frame of reference and while embracing a new one.
And that is a good thing.
In the meantime, most nonprofit, humanitarian and educational organizations find themselves with the challenge to deliver the same care, with a fraction of the budget - if so, even. And that means that many incredible people go on making the world a better place without having access to good quality health and security resources.
And that is not ok.
So, we at International Care created a solution. Actually, we created many, because we know the world is a big place and no two people are created equal. So we gathered with other fellow recovering expats - including the wise and legendary Van Rekens - to dream, brainstorm and design a portfolio of solutions that delivers quality, competitive prices and exclusive discounts to you - who insist in braving on, influencing cultures, no matter what. We honor your determination, courage and stubbornness. We honor you by committing to offer you our best resources and service. We honor you by giving one third of the company's profit back to the nonprofit world.
And that, that is a beautiful thing.
International Care: Chief Operations Officer, Co-Founder