Happy Birthday Each Inc.!

Today, August 24th, is Each Inc.’s one year anniversary of incorporation! It’s been a great year. As I look back over it I am, simply, grateful. I’m grateful for the many people (including children and youth), governments and organizations that have affirmed the importance of Each Inc.’s vision and contributed to its productive first year. To our wonderful team members who have exceptional skills they have contributed to Each Inc., thank you. To our Board members who have provided needed guidance and wisdom as we plan and strategize, thank you. To our seed donors who provided the resources we needed this first year to confirm that demand is high for Each Inc.‘s products and services, thank you. To our technology partners, who helped us build a demonstration of our proposed technology to test with our clients, thank you. To our child welfare partners around the world, both individuals and organizations, that have shown us what is needed most to effectively reach and protect the world’s most vulnerable children, thank you for the work you do and for allowing us to join you.

This first year has been one of refining our vision, planting seeds and laying foundations. We have come a long way since 2011 and 2012 especially has been a productive year. In 2011 we incorporated, established our brand, began building a community of support, and even did an initial technology field test of a rough demo in Kenya thanks to PAYG solutions and their belief in our cause. Later in 2011 we joined forces with Transcompute who are committed to helping Each Inc. build an enterprise class, secure global technology architecture that can link child protection organizations and stakeholders through data management and aggregation on behalf of children in need of care.

In early 2012, we formed a stellar governing board for the organization and launched our new website, including online donation capability. Our overall web presence and social media reach has expanded as a result. Thanks to our 400+ new Twitter followers! We also began partnership and funding discussions with several universities, corporations and large potential donors/investors. All this has prepared us to scale up quickly once we and our pilot partners are ready to launch the first version of Each Inc.’s new data management system. Stay tuned.

Perhaps most significant of the events this year though was our encouraging visits to Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya to show a much expanded demo of our system, gather feedback and gauge demand. How exciting for us to have every major stakeholder show up to meetings in each country to hear about Each Inc.’s vision and see the demo technology. In every instance we proceeded to have lively discussions about the proposed system’s value and potential impact. Representatives from government ministries, UNICEF, USAID along with NGO partners and church networks discussed the potential for Each Inc. to help securely track individual child cases and then link organizations using the system to aggregate data and map trends for children at the national level. The discussions created much excitement and our primary challenge now will be to meet the very high demand we have identified with quality tools and services.

A couple quotes illustrate the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received on the Each Inc. demo. While listening to the demo presentation one NGO partner in Uganda said, “this is like Christmas for a social worker. It [technology] could be so helpful for our work with these children.” And in Rwanda, a high level government official in charge of children’s issues said “you must have read my mind, because we need something exactly like this right now in Rwanda.” In Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya there are significant legal and policy changes being made to focus on getting children out of orphanages and back into families. We were impressed by the commitment of these governments to better protect their children. The obstacles, however, remain great. Each Inc. hopes to support these important efforts of governments and NGO partners by providing solutions to the data and technology challenges they face.

As with any startup we have faced numerous chicken and egg challenges. Timing also has not always gone as planned. In some ways, we are much further along than I expected us to be a year ago. In other ways, not as far. However, the progress we have made far outweighs the setbacks, and the future remains bright for Each Inc. We hope to share that bright future with the children we serve. We have set the foundation for a strong organization and are ready to build capacity and new technology that can help protect millions of orphans and vulnerable children globally. Together we can turn their tragic stories into happy ones. Join us!

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