Meet Kupona Foundation Board Members Bob and Betsy

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Bob and Betsy visited CCBRT this week. Get to know them here!

Kupona Foundation, founded in 2009, is CCBRT’s sister organisation in the United States. Kupona mobilises resources and builds strategic partnerships to support the continuation and sustainable growth of CCBRT's programmes. CCBRT and Kupona work together to cultivate and sustain transformative healthcare solutions. Two of Kupona’s Board members visited CCBRT this week. We sat down with them to hear why they’re passionate about CCBRT and Kupona’s work.

Who are they?

Bob Schwed, a retired lawyer and long-time Kupona supporter, is now Kupona’s Board Chair. He was first introduced to Kupona by a law client of his, and has been a strong advocate and partner since. Bob first visited CCBRT with two other Board members in 2017 and looked forward to returning this year to see the past year’s developments first-hand.

Betsy Zink joined Kupona’s Board this year. She began her career in the Peace Corps in Kenya and has lived in 10 countries around the world while raising four children. Betsy is a certified birth and postpartum doula with a background in International Public Health and a passion for maternal health. This was Betsy’s first visit to CCBRT. She was excited to learn more about the comprehensive nature of CCBRT’s work and meet the hospital’s expert staff.

Why Kupona/CCBRT?

Bob: “I came for the relationship and stayed for the mission.”

Betsy: “East Africa and women’s health are two things near and dear to my heart. I joined the Board because it was a perfect fit with what I am passionate about.”

What makes Kupona/CCBRT different?

Both Bob and Betsy said that dedicated staff and long-term partnerships set Kupona and CCBRT apart from other organisations. As Betsy explained, “When you walk into CCBRT there is an air of optimism, dedication and magic.” Many CCBRT staff members have been here for the majority of their career, and it was clear to Betsy and Bob that their dedication makes CCBRT a special place.

What will they take back to the Kupona community?

Bob and Betsy met with and heard the stories of fistula patients, staff at CCBRT’s capacity building sites and Mabinti trainees. Bob was particularly impressed by the new Private Clinic – still under construction during his last visit, the completed building now looks “amazing,” he said. Being able to see CCBRT’s work in person was inspiring, informative and impactful. Both Bob and Betsy identified even more areas where Kupona and CCBRT could collaborate. They look forward to sharing the stories and learnings from their trip with the Kupona community. In Betsy’s words: “It was inspiring to watch patients walk out whole and grateful to CCBRT for life-changing care.”

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Betsy and Bob visiting CCBRT
Betsy and Bob speaking with patients