Why I am grateful to work on the Dharma Care Board

Dharma Care Inc. (DCI) is an Australian charity run by like-minded people. I have been on the Board of DCI for a number of years. I think this experience has helped me to understand the importance of charitable works and social enterprises that help others, and of interaction with the community.

Arif during DCI’s monthly Zoom meeting

Like the Phoenix, DCI has risen from the ashes. After a lot of hard work over the last 5-6 years, we are continuing to expand our reach.

DCI already supports a number of overseas charities and we are now looking into developing a low-cost housing project here in Australia. Gradually, we have come to understand that by running social enterprises, we can not only build an asset base, but further develop our charitable activities. In this way we are not just reliant on donations, but can also generate income from those assets.

Although most of our revival can be attributed to our hardworking and visionary CEO, Irwan Wyllie, there are a number of other reasons why we have come such a long way.

We work together harmoniously guided by our compassion for those in need.

We have a Board of dedicated members, each with expertise in their own field. At our most recent face-to-face meeting in May 2021 at Sine Cera, DCI’s beautiful rainforest retreat, we ran a workshop during which we were able to explore our individual strengths and weaknesses. As a result, we came to understand our individual and collective vulnerabilities, thus further strengthening our unity and common purpose.

Arif and Irwan at the workshop

Communication and doing things the right way is the key.

Clear communication brings transparency, less chance of conflict, and an ability to agree on a course of action. Irwan’s motto is: better too much communication than not enough.

Generally, a CEO would be responsible to a Board. Not so with us. The CEO works with the Board on an equal footing and feels supported by the Board.

We don’t feel the need to sell our activities like a commercial organisation, but deliver our message through our integrity in what we do and the way we do it.

The work we do is for the common good and not for ourselves.

This aspect is probably what motivates me the most. Because what we do revolves around giving to others and is not focused on self-interest, there is much less chance of conflict. We don’t feel we “OWN” the charity. It is there for the current and future wellbeing of others – hopefully well beyond our own use-by dates. It therefore gives us a great opportunity to support others while at the same time giving us a sense of fulfilment through working together.

Isn’t it right, that by sharing our talents and material benefits with those who are less fortunate, that we might touch others?

Isn’t the energy that we generate from working harmoniously together much stronger than the opposite forces that create disharmony?

Isn’t it logical that when we actively interact with the community, more people will hear about DCI and realise how helping others will also benefit them?

Arif Matthee, Treasurer, Dharma Care