At Alight, everything we do is built on three core beliefs that we hold dear. These beliefs underpin all our values, our purpose, and every single action that we take and decisions that we make. Our beliefs are more than lofty, inspiring ideas. Each of our beliefs is based on what we—2,500 Alight team members around the world—have learned over years of work as humanitarians. From Sudan, to El Salvador, to Thailand and beyond, we’ve experienced the truth of these ideas firsthand, thousands of times over. We’ve seen it – we believe it.
For the past year, we’ve been becoming Alight. Part of that process means renewing our promise to hold fast to our beliefs, and to live up to that promise each and every day. And that also means sharing them here, with you. We know our beliefs to be true based on the goodwill and idealism of our supporters, friends, colleagues, and partners who want to make the world a better place.
An Abundant World
We believe in an abundant world, filled with amazing people who want to help.
Where others see scarcity, we see abundance – within the communities we serve, within our partners, within ourselves. We are simply servants of other people’s goodness. And we unleash abundance when we give them the opportunity to come in, to use their gifts, and to work with us in ways that are meaningful to them. In other words, it’s a personal experience.
It might seem odd to look for abundance in some of the toughest and most challenging contexts. But over and over again, we’ve found that amazing people—who give endlessly of their time and their talent—are truly everywhere. This abundance takes shape as a refugee camp in the middle of rural Uganda, where neighbors stand up for neighbors and come together during times of crisis. Or as a mental hospital in Somaliland, where one healthcare provider, Mariam, works around the clock for patients who will never recognize or reciprocate her generosity. Or as young people in El Salvador who use their creativity and incredible talent to make their neighborhoods come alive with color. Or the Minnesotan high school that fundraised to support Syrian refugees during the height of that crisis.
It’s everyday people who change the world, whose abundance overflows. You only have to look to see it.
Simple Human Justice
We believe that there is simple human justice in the chance to build a life.
When people are displaced from their homes, countries or lives, our instinct may be to focus on their basic needs. And that is essential. But basic needs aren’t the only things that make up a life. A life is filled with joy, dignity, connection, and purpose. And that’s what we aim to build alongside refugees, trafficked persons, and economic migrants.
In Mexico and Kenya, and with our partner ORAM, we’re helping LGBT refugees who want to make a life for themselves without fear of persecution or violence. In Rwanda, our groundbreaking coding schools are training refugees in best-in-class skills that are competitive and desirable for tech companies in Kigali, the country’s capital. And in Kismayo, Somalia, alongside critical services like primary healthcare, we’re helping to rebuild the city’s fishing industry—an economic boost that will not only lift livelihoods, but will help returning refugees regain dignity and pride in their work.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to build the life they envision, the life of their dreams. And we aim to help them get there.
We believe in doing a better thing.
People are sacred. And the work we do and the support we provide must be worthy of our shared humanity. We have to be the ones who value goodness. The ones whom people have hoped for and in whom they can believe. Doing the better thing requires bravery, dogged determination, and a willingness to take risks. It takes a willingness to also try new approaches, and perhaps even to fail sometimes. Best can be elusive, but better is possible every single day.
When the coronavirus put Pakistan into lockdown, students with internet and television were able to continue their studies. But millions of other Pakistani and refugee kids couldn’t. So our team created a radio program to bridge the gap until their back in school, thinking outside their “usual” work parameters to realize that, if they can do something to help, they should.
Our social enterprise in Congo, Asili, rejects the status quo of humanitarian support in service of something better—a sustainable business that supports communities for the long haul. And our Changemakers 365 program helps our country teams make a difference in the moment, without restriction, getting that extra blanket for a single mom in need, or stocking school supplies for a classroom with little to use.
Being better is about not settling. It is about seeing the humanity in the individuals we serve—and striving to do better by them, always.
Seeing is Believing
These three beliefs are a reflection of who we are. But they’re also who we strive to be. They’re daily, weekly, yearly reminders of why we do this work, why we believe in it so deeply, and how we might do even better tomorrow. Becoming Alight is about keeping these beliefs at our core and radiating steps, actions, and changes that truly provide justice. We’re not there yet—but it’s our promise to the people we serve that we will live out these beliefs to their fullest, one step closer every single day.
You are a part of this, too. There are many ways you can help us fully realize the promise of these beliefs around the globe. If you have any questions about Alight or our programs, don’t hesitate to contact us.