World Neighbors

Rating: 4.93 stars   30 reviews

Issues: Food, Environment, International, Economic Development, Microfinance

Location: P.O. Box 270058 Oklahoma City OK 73137-0058 USA

Mission: World Neighbors inspires people and strengthens communities to find lasting solutions to hunger, poverty and disease and to promote a healthy environment.
Results: World Neighbors has transformed the lives of more than 26 million people in 45 countries since 1951.
Target demographics: Remote, marginalized villages and communities throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America
Direct beneficiaries per year: 500,000
Geographic areas served: Asia, Africa, Latin America and Haiti
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

The work of World Neighbors first made a strong impression on me in the mid 1990s as a college student studying international development at the University of Oklahoma when I did volunteer work at Headquarters. Now I am honored to serve on the Board of this well-established organization that after many decades of work continues to be both cutting edge and fresh in approach in working with communities. The holistic methods of WN are smart, long lasting and important in stabilizing many communities around the globe. I am honored to support this amazing organization in its continued success.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have had the opportunity to see first-hand what a terrific job World Neighbors is able to do by taking a long-term approach to enabling villages in very poor regions of the world to solve their most important problems whether it be water, HIV-Aids, access to health, or food security. I visited villages in the Lake Victoria area of Kenya where villagers had leaned how to live productive lives with HIV-Aids, water sources had been purified, regional health centers had been build, and families not only produced enough food for themselves but also had enough to sell in the market. What is so remarkable is that it is the people who identify their most critical problems, develop a plan for solving them and provide the leadership to implement the solutions. World Neighbor's staff guide the process and identify the technical knowledge that is needed but they don't "do it for the villages." The result is that after a few years, World Neighbors can move to other villages and the work that has been accomplished continues because the local people own the solutions and have the knowledge to continue the work. The work is remarkable!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

In July 2010, my wife and I had the opportunity to observe the work of World Neighbors direction in East Africa. I was emotionally moved by the testimony of the people in the villages in Kenya and Tanzania where World Neighbors works. To witness three projects in three different phases of development was an incredibly valuable look at how World Neighbors works with local leadership to create the capacity for long-term and sustainable community renewal and development. The "guide by the side" work that I saw illustrates the power of the World Neighbors' work.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

On a personal basis, World Neighbors has rekindled in me a passion for supporting organizations that enable long-term development as contrasted to relief or short-term work.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find more ways for donors/supports to engage directly in the work of World Neighbors.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I've seen first hand the amazing work World Neighbors does in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. Its work inspires people and helps communities identify and address their own particular circumstances and needs. There is no 'one size fits all' approach to its methods. World Neighbors works with community leaders through a long term and collaborative process to understand and address key challenges facing the community whether it is sustainable agriculture, micro-credit facilities, public health etc....very much a 'teach a person to fish' role. The impact of World Neighbors work extends far beyond the community leaders and volunteers with whom WN works most directly....like ripples emanating from a stone tossed into a pond, the results of World Neighbors work spread far into a community and its neighbors. A truly exceptional international development model.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I've been on two trips to see World Neighbors' field programs - one to Ecuador and one to Peru. Far off the main roads and out where the campesinos walk in from distant hillside fields with their crops, I met men and women whose lives had been transformed to the good by programs started by World Neighbors. Each story shared the basic truth that World Neighbors helped by bringing the right tools to the community it worked with - whether that was a dialog on village priorities, the mechanics of a micro-finance cooperative or how to terrace hillsides for optimum irrigation. In each case the people learned how to use the tool, took pride in using it well, spread the word to friends and neighbors about it and thereby spread the benefits far and wide. World Neighbors.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

visiting villages where World Neighbors has implemented its integrated approach to community development

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help it grow bigger....with more money to apply to its programs and methodology

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Because It is my good fortune to live in Oklahoma City, headquarters of World Neighbors, I have known about this organization since I heard a program at our church about 20 years ago. My husband and I thought the integrated and respectful approach to solving problems that World Neighbors brings to the most deprived villages made so much sense, we were anxious to learn more. The more we learned, the more impressed we became. Following our World Neighbors Journey to Ecuador 5 years ago, we became even stronger advocates. We were able to meet the outstanding field staff, mostly people from the area, and the villagers who told us how much WN had improved their lives. Many women said that without WN their husbands would have needed to go to another country to find work to send home money. But with the help of WN their families now had enough food and healthy living conditions for the family to remain together in their village. We are now looking forward to a World Neighbors Journey to Peru in a few weeks.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In a trip to Ecuador with World Neighbors 5 years ago, we were able to see the successful results of programs: abundant fields, well fed and healthy people, healthy vaccinated livestock, and a democratically functioning communities with many committees making important decisions. We were truly inspired to see how hard the villagers worked to improve their village and their own lives with the guidance of World Neighbors.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give more money so more people could be helped to help themselves

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I first learned of World Neighbors in 2005 from a then board member. As an international development professional, I am impressed by World Neighbor’s commitment to equity and its integrated approach to development. World Neighbors lets people set their own goals and thus strengthens communities to find lasting solutions to hunger, poverty and disease.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

visiting World Neighbors programs and seeing local people’s engagement.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find ways to increase its profile and resources so that it can deepen and expand the impact of its programs.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I've been on the board of World Neighbors for several years and have seen it expand and contract in its ability to do what it does so well--serve some of the poorest communities in the world with education and organization of mostly local resources, helping those communities to help themselves with agriculture, ecology, health care, and capacity building. The work of WN has been a model for other non-profit groups in international development, but I doubt if any other group does the basic work of building infra-structure and encouraging community self-help as World Neighbors. It remains a model of efficiency and good work.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen WN programs directly in Latin America, and I've followed the progress of programs in numerous other countries.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

. . . help to find more and more sustainable funding for the work of the organization. The basic pattern of success has been in place for some time. Growth of the good work depends upon more financial support and the security of sustaining sources of support.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

Through conversations and a general interest in international development work.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Securing funding for on-going programs.

What is its top priority in the long run?

Expansion of programs through sustained funding and broader recognition of the work of the organization.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I first was introduced to World Neighbors by a former Women's Studies professor at the Univ. of Oklahoma, Betty Harris. I had NO idea that an international development organization that has helped millions become self-sufficient was based in Oklahoma City. Ever since I learned about World Neighbors, I have been spreading news about their good work to everyone I meet. World Neighbors approach to ending hunger, poverty and disease is unique, effective and enduring. Our staff is amazing, the board is professional, committed and engaged and our leader, Melanie MacDonald is an inspiration to us all.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Board trustee since 2006 serving on the audit, governance, finance and Work of Women (WOW) committees.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

-

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I first learned about World Neighbors 11 years ago, when I met its CEO and board chair at a conference in Washington DC. I was amazed to learn that it was then 46 years old because it was clearly doing important and effective international development work but I had never heard of it before. Since that time, I have joined the board of trustees and, in addition to my board work, have traveled to Ecuador, Guatemala and Karnataka, India to visit World Neighbors programs. During those visits, I have met many program participants, shared meals with them and learned first-hand from them how World Neighbors programs have changed their lives in very positive and lasting ways. World Neighbors works only in rural areas of developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Often, it works with communities and villages so remote that no other development organizations are willing or able to work there. World Neighbors makes long term commitments to the communities it engages with and typically remains in an area for 8-10 years. By making long term commitments and carefully planning both its entry into new communities and its exit strategies, World Neighbors ensures that the progress made while it is engaged with communities will be sustainable for decades after it has moved on to new communities and other regions. There are villages in rural India where World Neighbors first worked in the late 1950s that are still thriving in ways that neighboring communities have never done, because those communities participated in World Neighbors programs decades ago. It is hard to find other development programs that have achieved such long lasting success, no matter where you look around the world. World Neighbors always focuses its work on those areas of need that its program participants think are most important to them. It never enters a new region with pre-conceived ideas about what the people there need. However, some problems are universal in the developing world and often include issues of food security and sustainable agriculture, environmental conservation, access to clean water and family and reproductive health. Many communities are also interested in working with World Neighbors to establish micro credit associations, leadership development programs and gender equity programs. Together, these types of programs, which World Neighbors implements through partnerships with local non-governmental organizations staffed by local people, are able to significantly improve the lives of those who participate in them. Some of the tangible outcomes include greatly increased food security through sustainable agriculture, enhanced methods of environmental conservation, adequate shelter for the entire family, access to health care and and clearn water, smaller, better spaced and planned families, and more opportunities for education and income generating activities, especially for girls and women. All of these add up to increased self sufficiency, greater confidence among participants in their own ability to provide for their families, greater self respect, and above all, hope for a better future for themselves and their families.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

every World Neighbors program I have visited around the world. It is clear that the people who have participated in World Neighbors programs are proud of their accomplishments, of the many ways they have been able to improve their family's lives, and they are optimistic about their futures, often for the first time in their lives.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

knowing that the money I have contributed and the time I've spent working on behalf of World Neighbors has had a very tangible impact on the lives of the people who participate in its programs around the world. I know that every dollar I give to World Neighbors is used with care and designed to provide maximum benefit to those who participate on World Neighbors programs.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

All of the volunteers and staff of World Neighbors I have met are deeply committed to the organization's mission and confident that the work they do everyday is changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world in postive ways.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

greatly increase the depth and breadth of its programs to reach even more of those in need around the world. World Neighbors' approach to sustainable development work has already proven itself, but the number of people it reaches could be greatly increased with additional resources.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

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