Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of a world where women, men, boys and girls have opportunities to live the lives they want and aspire for. Studying medicine and saving lives enabled me to discover the strength of a human being, but also to experience the vulnerabilities. Having worked as a clinician in refugee camps opened up my eyes to the many challenges that people face every day at multiple levels of service delivery. Early on in my career I devoted my time to finding solutions in support of my clients, but I realized that it requires much more than working in the health sector for people to live healthy lives. I believed, and still do, that investing in health is the best way to achieve economic development. But health programs alone cannot achieve such results unless they are linked to education and the rule of law, and truly work to address underlying social problems. Every time I participated or led a design of a health program, then moved on to implementation and evaluation, this conclusion came back to mind. Every time I visit a country, even in a different continent, and have discussions with senior country officials or members of the community, this issue is at the core of the discussion.
In 2011, I established Women Influencing Health, Education, and Rule of Law, WI-HER, LLC, to address this issue. Our organization aims to identify and implement creative solutions to health and social challenges, to help communities achieve sustained development, and to improve the health outcomes and lives of women and men, and boys and girls, around the world. Our team of highly skilled public health, medical, legal, and development professionals has a wide range of experience across the globe, and can successfully work from the national to the community level.
I was inspired to name the company WI-HER (pronounced “why her?”) by the many strong and devoted women in my life. Given the opportunity, they have each contributed in a unique way to influencing someone’s life. My determined and strong willed grandmother; my courageous, creative and dedicated mother, and my daughters who are both talented, caring and never stop challenging me to reach further. Furthermore, the women and girls, and men and boys, that we work with every day in different communities also inspire me. Their courage, determination, compassion and commitment keep me so passionate about the work I do and I am so grateful to each one of them.
My colleagues and I are whole-heartedly committed to supporting the far-reaching reforms of the health sector, as well as education and the rule of law. We believe in the central role of gender relations and how they affect the achievement of sustainable results for programs and overall health outcomes for men and women, and boys and girls. We adopt a systems strengthening approach for all activities: our team employs an integrated, multi-sectoral approach across development, health, and social impact projects to improve outcomes and achieve sustained development, leading to better, healthier lives for women and men, and girls and boys.
I look back on the past seven years of WI-HER with pride and excitement. In close partnership with our clients, we have begun to spark change and improve health outcomes in several communities, and are laying the foundation for many more exciting programs to come. I look forward with even greater excitement, knowing that, with the strong commitment of the donor and the development community, WI-HER will continue to support our clients and communities with efficiency, integrity, and a deep commitment to achieving desired goals.
Taroub Harb Faramand, MD, MPH