Twenty-eight years ago four colleagues sat down together around a kitchen table in an old farmhouse in the village of Reet, on the outskirts of Brussels in Belgium. They were all medical doctors who had worked overseas in the global south and had recently returned home. The career path for each was clearly pointed at joining a large international organisation but they wanted to do something different. They wanted to be part of creating change in their own way. So, twenty-eight years ago this week each of them contributed a small number of Belgian francs and together they bought their first fax machine and launched Health Research for Action from the attic of that farmhouse.
Two weeks ago hera had it’s Extraordinary General Meeting in a small old abbey in the hills of Tuscany. As you can see from our photo the family has grown. (Some are missing from the photo but two of the original four are pictured here; Leo Devillé and Anne Buvé.)
At the EGA we had a chance to spend some great time together connecting, sharing and discussing our strategic goals and how best to address the most pressing issues in global health and development. Times have changed, new challenges are ahead yet we stay firmly committed to demanding the right to health and development for all. We also maintain the highest standards and work hard to rejuvenate hera to ensure that we have the skills and capacities needed to best respond to the challenges of our modern world.
Today, we have a strong track record of supporting health system strengthening in more than 100 countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, the Mediterranean, Middle East, and the Pacific. The network of experts, research organisations, governments, NGOs and public health institutions that we work with spans the globe. And though we have grown dramatically over the last 28 years, you can still find us at that old farmhouse in Reet. Our home office is now next-door in a modern complex where we support our partners and consultants, providing the highest quality work based on a dedication to evidence-based thinking and professionalism. We would love to hear from you if you want to join our team.