The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was a period of fear and uncertainty. Many countries imposed strict social distancing and quarantine restrictions to protect their citizens from the novel coronavirus. Government authorities in Israel followed suit.
The good thing is that we live in an age of rapid technological advancement. It meant that we could retain a semblance of normalcy despite retreating indoors. While business enterprises switched to remote work, schools and colleges started implementing online classes.
Refael Edry’s Fundraising Initiative: A Closer Look
Children in Israel’s developed socioeconomic center enjoyed a seamless transition to the new way of learning. But it was as straightforward for children in the country’s periphery, where access to basic resources is a daily struggle.
The Israeli government and school authorities didn’t realize that nearly 400,000 students from impoverished backgrounds didn’t have access to personal computers. Nor did they have a broadband internet connection at home. That meant they had no way of attending online classes and would have to abandon their hopes of a better future.
That’s when Refael (aka Rafi) Edry, an accomplished Israeli businessman, and his younger brothers, Eyal Edry and Moshe Edree, stepped into the picture. They launched a fundraising campaign, inviting donations from local businesses and the public.
The initiative helped provide computers to more than 30,000 students and restored their faith in their fellow citizens. The ability to join online classes and virtually meet their friends provided these children with a sense of familiarity amidst the pandemic’s precariousness.
Besides supporting thousands of students, Refael Edry’s timely intervention also packs various lessons for new-age business leaders. His actions demonstrate the qualities you should imbibe to motivate your workforce and amplify business growth.
When the directives for online schooling were issued in Israel, Refael Edry and his brothers approached the government for help. But they soon realized that going through the bureaucratic system would result in unnecessary delays.
Instead of waiting for the authorities to act, they took things into their hands. Their proactiveness helped provide students with computers at the right time. Waiting for the government’s help would’ve led these children to miss at least a few classes. Also, it would’ve been difficult for them to catch up even after they got their hands on personal computers.
Similarly, as a business leader, it’s crucial that you take charge of every adverse situation. You must have the courage to take risks and plan for different outcomes. Whether launching a new product or starting a marketing campaign, make sure you act fast. Don’t let a lack of VC funding or other resources stop you from achieving your goals. You can read more about business expertise shared by Refael Edry on Bitrebels.
Focusing on the Larger Picture
Philanthropist Refael Edry realized that depriving young children of their right to education would have long-term consequences. These children would grow up believing that their government and fellow citizens abandoned them during one of the worst crises humanity had to face.
They’d turn into a generation of disillusioned youngsters harboring feelings of anger and resentment for their country. That, in turn, would threaten Israel’s social fabric and undo years of development.
Refael Edry and his brothers had the foresight to preempt these problems and tools the necessary steps to avoid negative consequences. Similarly, it’s crucial for business leaders to analyze the long-term impact of their actions and decisions.
Don’t make a decision without getting a complete picture of all its outcomes. If you’re developing new product features, think about how each feature will impact customer experience and loyalty. Similarly, when you’re hiring an employee, look beyond their job description and understand how they can contribute to your company’s overall growth.
Staying True to Your Roots
As an accomplished businessman, Refael Edry can live a life of luxury. But he chooses to step out of his comfort zone every day because of his upbringing. Having experienced financial hardships as an adolescent, he understands the pain of deprivation.
That’s what drove him to start the fundraising campaigns. Also, it’s what motivates him to implement various welfare initiatives through his non-profit organization, the Ahinoam Association for the Promotion of Equal Opportunities.
Moreover, he also remembers the sacrifices of his fearless uncle (whose name he shares). Refael Edry z|l (the uncle) was a brave soldier who fought for Israel’s freedom and was martyred at the young age of 24.
Rafi Edry (the nephew) constantly reflects on his own childhood and the heroic life of his uncle to remember where he belongs. That, in turn, has helped him stay empathetic and humble (both essential qualities for business leaders).
Whether launching a new business or growing an existing one, make sure you never lose sight of where you came from. Remember the original vision that drove you to start your own company.
It’ll help you sail through difficult periods and motivate your employees to give their best. Also, it’ll ensure that you never settle and continue to push your boundaries.
Refael Edry’s fundraising initiative for Israel’s students is a crucial milestone that’ll shape the country’s future. His forward-thinking mindset and proactive approach should be an inspiration for every entrepreneur. If you want to build a successful business, don’t wait for things to happen. Instead, take control of difficult situations and revisit your original goals and vision.