Everything we do at Signpost International is underpinned by our faith and our values. We believe in the inherent worth of every human being, and so exist to help people in need, not taking into account any other factors. Our aim is to support people as they strive towards independent lives and fulfilled potential. We are committed to equality, justice, and generous compassion for every human being both externally in our global programmes and within the internal workings of our organisation.
We approach our work alongside individuals and communities experiencing poverty with an open mind, heart, and ears, ready as much to listen and learn as to teach. We are a learning organisation and always look to learn from the individuals, communities, partners, supporters and staff members that we work with, in order that we can continue to develop and move forward as an organisation. We believe that it is essential that we regularly review our systems, procedures and operations in order to keep ourselves accountable and to ensure best practice.
Recently we sent out a leaflet to our supporters highlighting the lasting impact and transformation of lives a legacy left to Signpost International could have. All of the images used in the leaflet were chosen as they illustrate the difference that can be made to the lives of the people we work alongside when they receive support. The front cover displayed the image of young schoolgirls posing with menstrual hygiene kits which linked to the narrative in the leaflet. This image was selected as thanks to these sanitary kits Ugandan schoolgirls (in the communities we work in) do not need to miss time in school because of their menstruation period. Alongside training and awareness raising, the provision of sanitary kits will have a lasting impact on the lives of many schoolgirls as they are now able to spend more time in school. We and all of our partners follow a code of best practice when taking and using images and always ensure informed consent is provided either by the subject, or their parent / guardian.
We value feedback and view the process as a real opportunity for reflection and growth. Recently a supporter questioned our use of the schoolgirls’ photograph described above. After review we stand by our decision to include this image, as the provision of sanitary kits has had a lasting impact on the lives of many girls in Uganda and links clearly to the main message of the leaflet which refers to the pictured girls. Since this recent feedback we have reviewed our procedure of selecting images for our communications and commit to ensuring all images are clearly labelled and appropriate to the story. In addition, all photographs will be viewed by an external panel before publication to ensure relevance and clarity. The dignity of each individual featured in our publications is paramount to us and we hope that our new procedures will strengthen this.
We always welcome any feedback whether in relation to our work, our communications or any other area. Feedback allows us to keep growing as we continue to strive for an equitable world where poverty and injustice are eliminated, people thrive and communities flourish.