Policy plan SMHO

Our foundation Social and Medical Help to Eastern Europe (in Dutch: Sociaal-Medische Hulpverlening aan Oost-Europa, shortly SMHO) has a policy plan that wants to guide our organization in its activities which are linked to a mission. In this plan our activities will be translated into objectives and we will describe how we are going to use people and means at our disposal in order to realize our aims.
A mission defines the right to exist and the identity of an organization. In our mission we want to show who we are , what SMHO does and what we aim at. Our mission is ageless but can be used at this moment and is not under discussion all the time.
Strategic plan
The strategic plan describes how we are planning to reach our aims. The plan gives a connection for the maintenance of continuity in the long run. Once having taken a decision it is rather difficult to change it. A strategic plan has advantages like a better coordination and result standards for control, foreseeing in time changes and transfer of everything SMHO stands for.
How are we going to reach our results?
- Financial profits from SMHO clothes collection are being used for micro projects which are supported by the local East European population in coordination with regional and local authorities.
- SMHO reacts to concrete demands for help but does not force help on people.
- SMHO is stimulating. The participation of the population is vital for the success of aid projects. Our projects are central in the community.
- SMHO sees to it that projects will also be supported in a material sense.
- SMHO expects recipients of aid to give feedback in an active, well-founded, written, transparent and correct way. This evaluation is an obligatory part of the projects and can be written in their native language but preferably in English or German. The feedback of current projects has to be done at least every 3 months so that SMHO can advise and if necessary lower or increase the speed of  a project. SMHO obliges itself to use this feedback to inform donors and sponsors in general and  the inhabitants of Meerssen in particular about the projects, e.g. via the SMHO website.                              
- SMHO is a travelling organization which means that we try to support our projects by paying visits on site and keeping in touch with those responsible for the projects.
How can we realize our plans?
- SMHO believes in passionate volunteers to achieve all the aims and communicates actively with supporters and inhabitants of Meerssen about the progress of the projects.                                             
- SMHO actively tries to find new sources of income such as sponsoring, donations or subsidies.
- SMHO works with volunteers. They  are not entirely free of obligations: for both the board and the other volunteers  will be laid down what can be expected from everybody.
What measures will we have to take?
- SMHO projects especially focus on the weak in our society and SMHO sees to it that we will always see that as our main goal.
– SMHO projects are set up in such a way that successes are measurable in many ways, e.g. financially, concerning contents and organizational.
- SMHO takes care that the projects stand out.
- SMHO wants clearly defined responsibilities for the members of the board.
- SMHO gives an account about the current projects on its internet site once a month. People focus on experience more and more: young donors often have less bond with an organization and more feeling with short and concrete projects which can be found and followed  on the internet.
- SMHO also involves the local printed press more often e.g. via “De Geulbode”, a weekly which  is distributed for free in Meerssen. The articles about SMHO keep people informed and keeps the spotlight on our organization.
- SMHO enters into distinct agreements about the end of projects with those who receive help and with those who are responsible.
- SMHO has to take into account that people change in donating things. We still get a lot of clothes but the quality is decreasing. More and more the clothes containers are being used as garbage containers and SMHO will have to find ways of correcting this way of donation.
How do we want to show this?                    
- SMHO supports educational, community stimulating and social cultural activities by means of accessible entry into projects and supporting and advising actively those who participate.
- SMHO is proud of the projects it supports, proud of its own achievements, proud of each other.
- SMHO wants to be open to participation of East Europeans who want to be active in SMHO projects from Limburg.
How do we try to learn continuously?
- SMHO chooses for strategic cooperation with similar organizations in the Euregio (e.g. in Belgium) and focuses on permanent education to increase knowledge and assessment in aid projects.
- SMHO makes a yearly analyses of strong and weak projects and gives ample feedback in its annual report in which improvements are also suggested.