NEW YORK – The idea for the uniquely named “Humpty Dumpty Institute” came from three social entrepreneurs while they were traveling through a war-torn Rwanda in 1998, the fourth stop on their trip around the world to examine the effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping efforts. The world seemed to them to be broken, ravaged by “all the king’s horses” (military forces) and “all the king’s men” (governments) were struggling to put it back together again. They started working on a plan that would employ basic business principles in solving international problems, and the idea for a new kind of NGO was born.
The New York-based Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI) works with the U.N. to implement large-scale humanitarian projects around the world, focusing on a wide range of issues. Its impact comes from the many strategic partnerships with countries, institutions, and individuals that it has managed to develop. HDI works with a Congressional Advisory Board made of members of the United States Congress, with the Department of State, USAID, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.N. ambassadors, as well as many universities which form the Higher Education Alliance, faith-based organizations and non-profits.
HDI’s commitment to tackling issues of global poverty is impressive and includes programs aimed at solving current problems now and ones that seek to build a foundation for a better future.
Humpty Dumpty Institute’s humanitarian programs focus on providing relief in three key issue areas: mine action, food security and healthcare. The organization has completed projects in Angola, Mozambique, Armenia, Lebanon, Eritrea and Sri Lanka and is currently working in Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. In the past decade, HDI and its partners have managed to raise $30 million to clear landmines and aid their victims around the world. HDI has addressed food security by clearing landmines from roadways that allowed over 20,000 famers in Angola to bring their produce to market for the first time in decades, and provides a daily nutritional snack to over 10,000 kids in Laos. They have also implemented a highly successful post-tsunami health care program in Sri Lanka that helps over 10,000 children and mothers.
Humpty Dumpty Institute also seeks to tackle global poverty issues by encouraging and fostering relationships between U.S. congressional members and U.N. ambassadors by arranging for both groups to travel and meet in New York to discuss issues facing the world. HDI is the only NGO that consistently brings these groups together and has held 42 such meetings since 1998.
Through its public and cultural diplomacy programs, HDI works to build an understanding of key poverty issues for influential people here and abroad. HDI’s International Exchange program organizes visits for members of Congress and their staff to foreign countries to gain firsthand knowledge about the issues facing key allies worldwide. Cultural diplomacy programs include the International Film Exchange, which sends young filmmakers from around the world to Hollywood to give them the training and exposure necessary to document and share important social issues in their home countries, and Music Matters, which opens the door to dialogue with countries with whom our fundamental relationship is political engagement.
HDI has been able to affect an incredible amount of change through its strategic partnerships, implementing more that $20 million worth of international programs in the past six years alone, but there is still much more to be done. Those looking for an organization to contribute to that will have an efficient and swift impact need look no further than Humpty Dumpty Institute. Visit www.thehdi.org to learn more and donate today.
– Sarah Morrison