ISMS is a secular, non-political organization created to provide free medical care to the poor all over the world. ISMS’s philosophy is aiming at reducing the overhead cost associated with large charities by providing volunteers with the chance to be part owner of the organization. Our unique model is built on the concepts of collective ownership and self governing for volunteers.
Volunteers are grouped together in chapters based on their areas of expertise and/or geographic locations. Chapters, once mature, are free to make decisions on types, places and timing of their missions. Each chapter is represented in the organization Board.
This pattern “horizontal growth” has resulted in the creation of a network of partners who share resources, expertise, contacts and count on each other for support.
ISMS was started in 1996 through the work of three friends who felt fortunate enough to be able to provide services to the needy. Their first mission was to Haiti in 1997, where they witnessed first hand the devastating effects of poverty and lack of medical care. Adding few more volunteers over the course of the following few years, they carried on several other missions. With every new mission additional volunteers joined them and as the team grew bigger it became obvious that additional teams have to be created.
The team became aware of two pitfalls that typically affect big organizations. The first is the increase in administrative cost needed to manage a growing number of volunteers. The second is that volunteers joining bigger organizations have little say on the destination, timing or components of the missions. To avoid these issues new volunteers were joined together to form chapters with full responsibility in planning their own missions, raising awareness and raising funds for their missions. Several teams have been added since and the organization continues to grow.