Thursday, August 9, 2012

Light on the Hill

"For if Tufts College is to be a source of illumination, as a beacon standing on a hill, where its light cannot be hidden, its influence will naturally work like all light; it will be diffusive."
~Hosea Ballou , Tufts’ first president

As our jeep wound through Achham, we kept glancing back at the light on the hill. The floodlights of the hospital that has been our home for the past two months are a visible sign of hope – hope that the patients might live another day, hope that they might have a better life, hope that our generation can do something to combat the injustices in the world.
Nyaya combats these injustices every day with clear, tangible results. One of the organizational values we appreciate most about Nyaya is the constant focus on the purpose of using resources and on the outcome of our actions for the people of Achham. It’s not simply a consideration of return on investment – it’s a moral responsibility for each of us working to achieve global health equity and it is active citizenship at its best. 

Active citizenship is a process that requires pragmatic solidarity – the commitment and actual actions of working as partners towards shared goals. The solidarity component of this equation is clear: Our shared goals focus on the concepts of health as a human right, public goods for public health, and health as an investment for economic development. These goals are interrelated and at times indistinguishable. A common thread throughout each of these is the inescapable complexity and the need for multi-sectoral solutions. 

The pragmatic component is the more difficult as it calls into question the sustainability of running a hospital that provides an entire, impoverished region with 100% free medical care. Nyaya Health provides the structure that facilitates actual accountable progress, the front-line care that addresses at least one of the fundamental inequities the people of Achham face, and the persistent hope that we can achieve our goals. Ultimately, however, the question is turned to you – our friends and our allies – to ensure that the light on the hill remains alive

Thank you to our readers, our supporters, to GlobeMed at Tufts, to everyone who made this summer possible, to the people of Achham, and especially to Nyaya Health. We will miss our Nyaya family but know that we will continue our work in solidarity together as partners in the pursuit of justice.

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