Cheryl Lynn Obal
The "India Board" that Marta created for her party.
My dear friend, Marta Basso, who held a
birthday party in Vicenza, Italy, asking for donations instead of gifts. Her donations partially funded Bhavani's surgery.
Our young patient, 5-year-old Bhavani, who got heart surgery funded 100% by Right to Live.
Me with our young patient, Mohammad, while getting admitted for heart surgery.
Shwetha explaining documents for the government scheme to the patient's mother.
The other half of my job is dealing with customer-facing communication at Opteamix. I am a culture and communication specialist, which means I go into companies and get inside their world, listening to conversations with clients and reading emails. My first task is to figure out where they are having trouble in their business due to issues with either cultural misunderstanding or mis-communication, which often overlap. Then I provide training and coaching to remedy these issues. Opteamix works exclusively with the American market, providing IT services of all types. Therefore, my training and coaching is based on understanding the American culture very well, and then communicating with them appropriately and professionally. Courses I provide at the company include Cultural Awareness Training, Conference Call Power, Business Writing, Presentation Skills, and Pre-US Trip Training. I also do individual coaching to help people in a more focused way. Topics for coaching may include anything from pronunciation to writing.
If patients get funding for the surgery or treatment through the various government schemes, then we do fund raising through our portal only for the post-operative medicines and treatment. If patients are not eligible for government schemes, then we raise all the funds for the treatment.
Our model is completely transparent and unique, in that we apply 100% of the funds raised directly to the treatment. Since Right to Live is an initiative of the IT company Opteamix, all the infrastructure for running it is already in place, and all administrative costs for running the organization are borne by the trustees. We make absolutely NO deductions from donations we receive.
Latest Project, Started January 2015: Working for Right to Live, India's first crowd funding platform. www.righttolive.org.
Actually, I have a dual role in this new position. Technically, my title is "Senior Manager of Communication and CSR" for a company called Opteamix. The CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) part of my job is Vice President of Right to Live, the primary initiative of the company's own NGO (non-governmental organization) called Kote Foundation. Right to Live uses the concept of crowd funding to finance medical treatment for extremely poor people in Bangalore who are in desperate need of medical care but cannot afford it.
Right to Live's online platform unites patients in need with donors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, government, and other NGO's. We also have corporate partners and sponsors including Thomson Reuters, Spider Logic, Axionet, and many others.
If patients hold a BPL (Below Poverty Line) card, they are eligible for funding through various government schemes. Here you can see my colleague, Shwetha, in the hospital checking the documents for our young heart-surgery patient, Mohammad. Since the poor families in need of medical treatment are often illiterate, Shwetha hand-holds them through the entire documentation process, which can be time-consuming and also confusing.