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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Center for Humanitarian Outreach and Intercultural Exchange (CHOICE Humanitarian)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Development

Mission: To build the capacity of rural villages to cultivate and act on sustainable solutions to poverty by fostering village self-determination and international community building.

Results: We have 'graduated' 116 master villages across the globe and have planted the seed of self development in 1098 villages that are learning and practicing the CHOICE model of development.

Programs: We have programs in economic development, micro enterprise, adult literacy, student scholarships, village healthcare workers, building leadership capacity, agricultural, health, cultural development, reforestation, gender equity, women's programs, sanitation, home improvement, and many others!

Community Stories

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Maria P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I find Choice back in 2015 and found out they had just started working with Ecuador the country that I am from. Started volunteering with them and just fell in love with their mission to end world poverty. As I read story after story of people in the countries they were helping and how they made a difference in their life I wanted to do more. I asked if I could lead some trips to my country and they were more than excited to let me. Going back to my country last year on two expeditions with Choice was a life changing experience. It was amazing to see people lending a hand to my people. You couldn't help but to fall in love with the people and the volunteers. I will always treasure that time and will always be grateful at the change Choice is making not only in Ecuador but in the other countries where they are changing people's lives. People that stopped dreaming can now dream about how they can change their lives for the good of their families and communities.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CHOICE Humanitarian exceeds the measure of excellence through quantifiable data but more importantly, CHOICE is providing a proven platform of development that elevates communities through individual leadership capacity training, education, opportunities, guidance and encouragement. The CHOICE model succeeds because CHOICE recognizes the value of the individual, the importance of dignity and the power within the individual to improve their standard of living through sustainable technologies, education and the realization that the individual has the power to rise above poverty when given the opportunity.
CHOICE provides a enriching expedition experience for volunteers who seek to do some good in the world. This aspect of the model of development creates the perfect environment for volunteers to see first hand how their efforts bless the lives of so many. This is one of the elements of the win-win equation of the CHOICE model of development
CHOICE works because CHOICE believes in the infinite power within each individual and respects the dignity that comes through self- reliance and personal commitment.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The CHOICE Humanitarian model of development is extremely effective in capacity development, leadership training, connecting village leaders to community resources, producing sustainable industry/income through education, training and and the use of natural resources as well as laying a strong foundation of trust, commitment and vision for the villages where the CHOICE model is at work.
I have the advantage of witnessing the power of the CHOICE model from the viewpoint of volunteer as well as an expedition leader and understand the amazing results that are produced. CHOICE values individual dignity, creativity, leadership and the necessity of self-reliance to overcome the heavy weight and stigma of poverty. There is an undeniable power associated with the strength and unity that comes from community-driven growth and development. This is what CHOICE does!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've personally associated with the group for the past five years and their mission is strongly defined and honestly carried out. Everything they do is working for the greater good of those they serve.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first volunteered with CHOICE in 2013, traveled with them to Nepal in 2014, and have stayed involved with the organization since. I have traveled to Guatemala and Nepal with them again since, and hope to visit each of the other countries they work in soon.

The CHOICE Team, both in the US and in each country I've visited, is incredible. Competent, passionate, dedicated, and determined to create real, lasting change. The organization has learned from 35+ years of work, and the scale of impact they make is truly remarkable.

Innovative, but firmed committed to protecting and honoring the culture and traditions in the communities they work. CHOICE is a rare, top-notch NGO. I have never doubted the impact of my work or donations with CHOICE.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found CHOICE after a tedious internet search for humanitarian organizations I could travel with, and found more than I hoped for: a community of passionate individuals dedicated to eliminating extreme poverty! I knew I had to be a part of this! Since my discovery in 2014, I have seen volunteers, local leaders, community members, staff, and in-country teams join together in the CHOICE model to impact individuals at the village level. These village-run projects include leadership development, education, and utilization of local resources that enable poverty-stricken communities to create sustainable solutions.

As I have laughed, danced, cried, and worked side-by-side with villagers in Kenya, Guatemala, Nepal, and Peru, I have been impressed by the dedication and passion of the local community members. They are empowered to become leaders as they see a need, reach out, and take part in the projects. My personal experiences with CHOICE influenced me to further my education to broaden my ability to impact the world. As I learn about global health, I feel pleased to be a part of an organization that is doing things right in their efforts to eliminate extreme poverty. CHOICE has been a catalyst for good in the lives of thousands of people around the globe, including mine!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

CHOICE Humanitarian is the real deal. The organization has been perfecting its village driven leadership programs for over thirty years. With recent analytics, the organization has documented reducing extreme poverty in an entire region in Nepal. Scaling the CHOICE model from one village at a time to an entire region sets a new precedent for CHOICE. CHOICE’s commitment to ending extreme poverty is thriving and it’s exciting work. It’s changing lives, by partnering capable people with potential and ingenuity with opportunity.

1 Brook B.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have worked with CHOICE (Center for Humanitarian Outreach and Intercultural Exchange) Humanitarian for 4 years now and I can honestly say they are a remarkable origination. They actually make a real, sustainable, difference in the areas they focus.

1 Leah Meissner B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CHOICE Humanitarian has a leadership model of development that is changing lives in the most remote villages around the world. I have witnessed their impact first hand and seen the lives changed. Dollars are well managed and they are transparent with all of their dealings!

1 Brent B.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I believe in the work of CHOICE so much that I've volunteered for over 12 years. It's an amazing organization that instigates real positive change in the lives of tens of thousands of people across the globe - teaching and empowering them to continue the development on their own!

They have fine-tuned & perfected their village-driven methodology over the past 35 years. Their system educates villagers to become self-developing (instead of being reliant on outsiders for a hand-out) and spread the word to neighboring villages. It works!

I've see the work work first hand on CHOICE Humanitarian Expeditions, working side-by-side with local villagers, in Kenya, Bolivia & Nepal. Villagers lives are changed. Expeditioners lives are changed.

Time and money invested with CHOICE Humanitarian is always multiplied and never wasted.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We were bit by the CHOICE bug four years ago when we participated in our first expedition to Nepal. It was the eye-opening, soul-stretching humanitarian experience that we'd been searching for–even far exceeding our expectations! Since then we've served in Guatemala, Peru, and Kenya with CHOICE. Our favorite part of it is working alongside the local men, women, and children, laughing and playing, and learning about their village and family life. Bonds of brother and sisterhood are formed quickly, despite our inability to speak each other's language! CHOICE–through experience and proven research–really knows how to help people raise themselves out of extreme poverty. The permanent in-country CHOICE staff (in each of 7 countries) is composed of educated men and women native to the country where they're working. CHOICE doesn't just appear in a village, build something, then leave. Instead, they identify a region of a developing country where the families are highly motivated and committed to change, identify both male and female natural leaders within the community, then implement a sustained training and mentoring program that lasts several years and teaches the people how to lever their humble resources to select and develop smart, sustainable projects that will allow them to achieve self sufficiency as individuals, families, and communities. The volunteer expeditions usually "plug into" projects that are already underway by the locals. That's the way it should be. We are convinced that CHOICE has found the formula to eliminating extreme poverty and are SO grateful to be members of The Village!

Deanna Jeanette D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined this organization on a trip to Nepal and fell in love with their commitment and dedication to building stronger communities, spreading love and peace, and making the world a better place.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went on an expedition with my company and loved every moment of it. I felt very well taken care of, everything was planned exceptionally well, and even when certain plans didn’t work out, there was so much room for getting to know the community that it made it that much sweeter. That trip changed me in ways I couldn’t even put into words, and still have such amazing pictures and memories of what an incredible trip that was.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CHOICE is a model humanitarian organization, who employs in-country teams and engages communities locally and abroad to bring about sustainable change. I will forever be loyal to this organization and donate regularly.

2 Joseph F W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Choice through my company and have now participated in three expeditions and countless other activities. Their model of development is great and always improving as they learn about what works to help people lift themselves out of poverty. If you’ve ever thought about serving abroad, I highly recommend joining a Choice Humanitarian Expedition. You will be well taken care of and have amazing opportunities to connect with beautiful people.

Doug A.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Raymond "Doug"Las Austin
The Original here to share
THE BEAST OF POVERTY
The Beast Of Poverty rides a Horse called Law as whimsical as may be the devastion lays in it's wake too see.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Choice Humanitarian is incredible. They use every dollar wisely and are truly trying to make a difference for communities living in extreme poverty. Instead of just sending in supplies or money, they have teams on the ground that bring real change to make the communities self-sufficient and stronger on their own, thus allowing them to be independently prosperous. What a great model!

1 Devin T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CHOICE Humanitarian is one of the few NGOs working around the world in a constructive, grass-roots way to completely eradicate extreme poverty. Their inclusive model is designed to lift entire communities out of poverty, giving them access to the global economy. They leverage donor funds multiple times through matching grants, government and local participation. Their model has been developed over 30 years of field work and relies neither on simplistic self-reliance or "leave them to weep" training nor on dependency-building donations. This is the one to support.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been passionate about gender issues and root causes of chronic persistent hunger and extreme poverty since the late 1970s. CHOICE is one of the very best organizations around that is effective and strategic. CHOICE's model is about empowering its village partners in figuring out their vision for their future and then supporting them through leadership training and other tools, to realize those visions. This model works.

The other thing I love about CHOICE is this: too often people in developed countries think we have so much to offer "poor" people, as if we had a superior way of life. Of course we have access to numerous opportunities and technologies and those scales are unbalanced, but the CHOICE model really allows those of us in developed countries to appreciate the tremendous assets, skills, and rich traditions of our human family who lives in poverty. The most resourceful, creative, and hard-working people I've met are those who scrape together what they need daily to keep their families alive. Often, in developed countries, we seem to lack a deep sense of connectedness to the world, so while our hunger is more of a spiritual nature, we have a great deal to learn from those in other parts of the world. Go on an expedition with CHOICE! Heal yourself. Change the world! CHOICE is doing just that.

1 Terry Madsen

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Not only is the Choice model of empowerment and village development a great one, but involving donors in expeditions where they have a chance to meet the people who will be benefiting from their donation is actually brilliant! When a person goes on a Choice expedition 2/3rds of the expedition cost actually goes towards the costs of the projects being worked on in that country. After my first trip to Nepal I realized that when a volunteer goes on a Choice Expedition, they are in the target country LESS to 'work on a project' and MORE to 'Make a connection with the people'. When volunteers feel 'connected' to the people of a certain country, as I do to Nepal, they will continue to donate to causes connected with Choice Humanitarian in that country and hopefully continue to go on expeditions as well. The Choice Humanitarian in country staff in Nepal is well educated, professional, enthusiastic, and a model for all other NGO's operating in Nepal. In fact the Nepal in country director Bishnu was invited to meet the President of Nepal who is quite interested in the Choice model and the success that Bishnu and Choice Humanitarian has had in helping to improve the standard of living in rural villages in Nepal. I am blessed to be involved with this organization.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Donor

Rating: 5

The one negative reviewer of Choice doesn't understand that the labor contributed by US expeditioners is not intended to be a primary factor in getting projects built -- it is to give expeditioners an on-the-ground feel for the quality, importance and philosophy of the work being done, with the hope that will lead them down the path to becoming future financial supporters, not to provide an exotic vacation. I am also amazed at the comment on excess staffing. I have been intimately familiar with Choice's staffing levels for over 10 years, find that their lack of adequate staffing limits the amount good that can be done under their unique development philosophy and am very impressed with the amount of volunteer effort that makes up much of the Choice work. The overwhelming focus of Choice's funding is on showing indigenous peoples how to build self-sustaining health, educational and small business projects and develop local leadership in the process so that those local leaders can lead their villages and regions toward further independence and well-being without continuing support from donors.

Review from CharityNavigator