November 7, 2012
I have known about Outreach International for many years but only during the last three years have I become a committed donor and supporter of this incredible organization. Reading about their philosophy and success inspired me to go on a "site visit" to see firsthand the way Outreach International works with poverty. Many of my stereotypes about "people in poverty" were challenged as I visited villages in Malawi where the villagers, themselves, were allowed to define their situations and solve problems. Experts from "the outside" were not telling the villagers what they needed or who was going to lead. The people were empowered! Women began to be seen as legitimate, strong, creative, dedicated problem solvers when allowed to work side by side with village elders. I saw villagers who created feeding programs for their children, built a pre-school and used local women to teach the young children, planted acacia trees to provide firewood and a cash crop, and even created a drip irrigation system to enable citrus trees to be grown to provide Vitamin C to the children. I came home proud to say that my contributions were being used so effectively to make a difference in the lives of the warm and friendly people of Malawi.
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