By Sabine Seifert
I learned about KSTR last year when I first spoke with Pía, the KSTR Wildlife Vet. We were talking about my Educational Program in “Project Management” and how it is a way to improve the efficiency in a business project. KSTR was interested in learning about it and I was interested in putting it to work. KSTR consists of dedicated people with a keen sense of the environment and filled with fantastic ideas. To implement these ideas formally we began with the project “Kids Saving the Rainforest Strategic Planning and Organization for 2012/2013”. This plan serves as a structured framework in organizational developmental processes. The team consists of Costa Rican, American and German members.
During the formulation of the strategy, we began first with an analysis of the current situation in order to methodically examine the opportunities and risks as well as the strengths and weaknesses of KSTR. This included a financial analysis to show how high the costs in 2011 were. In total, between donations and sales, KSTR spent over $100, 000 in order to protect wild animals and the rainforest in 2011. This was very surprising and astonishing considering that the NGO only began 12 years ago with an initial budget of $80, as expressed by Janine Licare, one of the two co-founders. Every person working and volunteering in KSTR is considered a part of the team because KSTR does not have a sole project, but instead, many sub-projects that form an integrated method to save the rainforest.
The development of a strategy takes a long time and hard work, especially since everyone had to invest more time in this new project, in addition to their normal work duties. However, the importance of this project impressed everybody. Before long, the team members felt that they are on the right track and that everything was going much more orderly. This helped me (I am considered the team leader) to work, because everyone was working and were highly motivated.
We are confident that in April we will be able to finish this project with a structure plan which is divided into 8 different sub-projects:
- The rescue center – for sick and injured animals
- The Wildlife Sanctuary – for the animals that can not be released back into the wild
- The monkey bridges – giving the animals an opportunity to cross busy roads and avoid electrocutions
- The Volunteer Program – for people who want to help KSTR
- The Organic Garden to feed the wildlife housed at the Wildlife Sanctuary with healthy fruits and vegetables
- The Gift Shop – the sale of the products to sustain the other sub-projects
- Fundraising – the financial projections
- Project Management –Timely meetings to manage the projects
Henry Mintzberg defines strategy as: “a pattern in a stream of decisions”. So I am happy to say that we have created the necessary organizational conditions to achieve the defined goals and to help Kids Saving The Rainforest move forward!