Love OI and their work! They don't mess around and transform lives everywhere they go!
We continue to support this great non profit, and believe in its mission to educate people to improve their lives rather than give handouts. We have joined their site visits to Philippines, Malawi, Bolivia and Nicaragua to see first hand how their dedicated in country facilitators help villages learn to make a difference in their lives by working with and training them to learn to help themselves improve their lives. I am a volunteer coordinator of church congregations in my area.
I have had the privilege of seeing Outreach International and their facilitators working in the field in Philippines, Malawi, Bolivia and Nicaragua. Their facilitators work in villages of poverty around the world, teaching them organizational skills to make them more self sufficient, and helping them see their value as leaders within their community. After a few years of learning, they can sustain what they have learned. I have seen villages whose standard of living was raised to the point where neighboring villages noticed, and they were able to help teach them what they had learned from the Outreach International facilitators. We have supported Outreach as donors for many years, and believe their approach works.
The old adage about 'give someone a fish and they'll eat that day - teach them to fish and they will be able to provide their own food' is so true, and Outreach International really epitomizes that wisdom.
When Outreach International sends a team to a village/town, they meet with the people and learn what the locals feel is their most important need, a learning experience in itself as they arrive at a consensus. Then the team teaches and empowers the local people to take the steps necessary to reach their goal. That way, when the Outreach International team moves on, they can be assured that the village/town knows how to set and reach goals independently, having had a positive hands-on experience. The best kind of mentoring!!
My wife and I have supported Outreach International for many years. We love getting the feedback on how our donations help others move ahead with being self sustaining and having a healthier life. I have always thought the participatory part of the program was very important to the long lasting effects. When the local people come together and use their own giftedness and effort to prioritize, plan, and implement the final outcome they have new expectations for their future and what is possible within their own community.
I also appreciate how volunteers are actively involved and how much of the funding goes directly to the projects rather than overhead.
Thanks Mel Crowley, Urbandale Ia.
I am proud to be associated with Outreach International by being a donor. Outreach doesn't just give handouts. Handouts diminish pride and create dependency. Outreach works with communities to help themselves, to prioritize their own needs, to develop leadership among themselves, to work together for common good. I believe Outreach makes a lasting difference in the world.
Outreach International is a great organization because it uses a community's talents and gifts to learn to change their lives. The education received gives hope and giftedness is enhanced. Outreach is worth our support.
My husband and I have been supporters of Outreach International for many years, and in recent years it has become our charity of choice. We are especially drawn to OI's model, as it is one of the few that seems to provide a realistic process for self-empowerment and sustainability in its efforts against poverty. OI seems to really embrace the idea of abolishing poverty rather than just ameliorating it. One way we have enjoyed incorporating OI into our Christmas traditions is to use their gift catalog to make donations in the names of loved ones, and then to create Christmas ornaments representing the contribution. For instance, OI catalog donations may be used to purchase livestock, plant trees, build wells or cooking stoves, etc. and making a little ornament to represent how the donation may have been used to further a community's prosperity make the gift special and tangible. Regardless, I always feel our money is being used well when we make donations to OI.
Traveling with Outreach International on a site visit to Malawi, Aftica showed me how the money I contribute really impacts those in extreme poverty. Many charities can advertise their work well. But I got to have the experience of seeing Outreach's unique process truely work to eliminate poverty.
I love this organization and have often offered it up to people looking for a place to help. I appreciate many things, but the general public looking to make a difference can be confident that the funds go to the needy, as this organization keeps the administrative costs below 15%. Also, this organization helps people help themselves in a sustainable way - no one shot deals! I contribute by means of an automatic monthly withdrawal from my bank, as I don't want to forget this important work.
I have supported the work of Outreach International in providing funds to improve education in Haiti. As an elementary teacher I know the importance that education plays in improving children's' lives and the future of their communities. I appreciate the emphasis Outreach International places on sustainability.