It all started with a vision and the dedication of Dr Kristina Wallengren; she had an audacious dream to challenge the status quo and make a difference within the public health sector faster. The 10th anniversary of local NPO, THINK, celebrates a decade of relentless pursuit, innovation and impact.
THINK is a non-profit organisation committed to advancing health and well-being for vulnerable communities – both locally and globally.
Our work spans three central domains: research, health systems strengthening, and capacity building. Although our initial focus was on TB and HIV, we have expanded to address a wider spectrum of critical health challenges – including mental health, gender disparities, and building resilient healthcare systems in the face of pandemics and climate change.
Our holistic approach spans prevention, treatment, and care, and involves developing new diagnostic tools, effective treatment regimens, improved vaccines, and innovative healthcare delivery approaches – while also addressing the underlying determinants and risk factors that exacerbate health challenges. Our research, training, and healthcare improvement initiatives are interlinked and supported by cross-cutting core disciplines – ensuring operational efficiency, quality, and reach across our three central domains.
THINK belongs to a large and diverse group of people, but our exceptional team is the heartbeat of the organisation – having grown from just three individuals 10 years ago to nearly 300 today. Throughout these years THINK has created 500 jobs, and 500 000 South Africans have been directly impacted by our work. We have also gained R500-million of foreign investment to improve health in SA.
As a result of our work, treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis has been reduced from two years to six months, three new TB drugs have been developed for adults and children, and the World Health Organization’s guidelines for TB treatment has changed three times.
Looking into THINK’s future, important focus areas include mental health, planetary health and Metaverse health.
With our current head office right here in Hillcrest, along with five district offices and three Clinical Trial Units in KZN, THINK is rapidly expanding into the rest of South Africa and beyond. Our international arm, established in Denmark nearly two years ago, is making sure that the organisation’s global impact is sustainable and long-lasting.
This year THINK is not just celebrating a milestone, but the triumph of resilience, grit and unwavering belief. We have contributed to reshaping the health sector in South Africa and in the world, and left a permanent mark on the canvas of progress – empowering lives, lifting community spirits and igniting the flames of inspiration in countless efforts.
At THINK, we measure success by the difference we make. We care that our work is of quality – not just that it’s done. We care that a person is cured – not just treated. And we care that we make an impact – not just that we have been there. To us, success is making a difference in another person’s life.
1: We care about people and outcomes.
We commit to fostering a supportive environment that encourages growth and development, and we commit to delivering exceptional outcomes that exceed expectations.
2: We kick the paradigm.
We believe in challenging the status quo to drive innovation and progress. We commit to embracing new ideas, doing the right thing and continuously pushing boundaries to transform health and well-being.
3: We make a difference.
We are driven by a desire to make a positive impact in the world. We are committed to improving health outcomes and promoting well-being by leveraging our resources and expertise to address the most pressing health challenges of our time. Our focus includes building resilient healthcare systems, advancing research and innovation, delivering patient-centred care, and promoting health equity – while improving planetary health. Through our efforts, we aim to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable future for all.
THINK in the metaverse
THINK has ventured into the Metaverse with an innovative NFT fundraising project, first launched in the leading immersive virtual platform Decentraland.
In an effort to extend our reach in improving public health for vulnerable people, we have introduced a digital wearable – a unique, blockchain-backed hoodie for avatars.
With this foray into the new digital frontier, THINK is harnessing the power of emerging technologies to drive impactful change, marking a fascinating shift in how non-profits engage with supporters, and setting new standards for philanthropy in the Metaverse.
Please get in touch with us for partnerships in raising awareness within public health, as well as collaborations in projects relating to planetary health.