What we should know about you
Questions answered by Ylse van der Schoot, Executive Director
1. What drives you personally to keep your social business running?
Working each day with a passion to improve the health, well being, and lives of people and communities living in less fortunate circumstances, is the fundamental and key driver and inspiration for both the organization and North Star’s staff.
2. What was a troubling time that you managed to overcome?
The current COVID-19 global pandemic has been a hugely challenging time for North Star, just as it has been for many organisations and individuals across the world. Our biggest challenge from the outset was to ensure we provided a continuity of care to the vulnerable communities that rely on our health services. Together with the support of a number of partners, we were able to swiftly and effectively implement our emergency response to mitigate the risk of our clinics closing, due to staff becoming infected. Furthermore, we also ramped up our outreach services by setting up mobile facilities within the community during lockdown periods, when travel restrictions had been enforced by local, regional, and national governments.
3. What is your biggest learning as an entrepreneur so far?
As an organization that relies on the support of its donors, North Star Alliance is required to adopt traditional, and sometimes paper-based, monitoring and evaluation approaches. In response, North Star identified an electronic medical records (EMR) system that incorporates lean design principles to gather high-quality data quickly and efficiently and, therefore, measure impact more effectively.