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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

One Heart Source

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: AIDS, Children & Youth, Education, Health, Primary & Elementary Schools, Secondary & High Schools, Youth Development Programs

Mission: One Heart Source (OHS) is an entrepreneurial non-profit organization that designs and catalyzes education programs that empower vulnerable people and communities with choice and opportunity. The organization’s model of international mentorship connects university students, professionals, families, and retirees to vulnerable youth and communities across cultural, social, and economic boundaries. With its partner communities in Jamaica, South Africa, and Tanzania, the OHS International Collective provides holistic care and academic excellence as a means of ending the vicious cycle of generational poverty. Our mission is to build environments within marginalized populations that promote a comprehensive approach to eliminating the gap between those who have access to bettering their lives and those who do not.

Target demographics: low income communities and vulnerable youth worldwide.

Geographic areas served: Tanzania, South Africa and Jamaica

Programs: Our mission is to end poverty in our lifetimes by empowering people through high quality global initiatives focused on education and health. WHY: We believe that our collective humanity will flourish when all people have equal access to the opportunity to fulfill their fundamental right to live joyful and healthy lives. HOW: As a global collective of students, families, volunteers, professors, entrepreneurs, and agents of change we foster a growth mindset rooted in humility and empathy while striving for excellent outcomes. Through international collaboration and development, we strive to solve the grand challenges of our day while remaining responsive to the individual relationships and partnerships fostered through community development and cultural exchange across social, cultural, ethnic, socio-economic, racial, religious, and geographical boundaries. WHAT: One Heart Source honors its mantra and mission by: 1. Catalyzing a diverse global collective committed to ending poverty through direct action in order to empower opportunity, choice and freedom. 2. Designing, implementing, and evolving social justice programs that empower positive education and health outcomes in concert with the communities we serve. 3. Activating higher education by organizing and mobilizing university students to partner with local stakeholders throughout the world to implement effective models for social change.

Community Stories

149 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the fall of 2017 I unknowingly received an invitation for the opportunity to travel to Cape Town, SA with a random group of people to take on the adventure of a lifetime. With a heart for helping and a passion for social work, I immediately knew One Heart Source was the organization for me. The leadership team is phenomenal, as they were approachable and always willing to go the extra mile for mentors, students and families. I will be returning to SA with OHS in 2019 to continue my journey and make an impact on other young, hopeful children.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I participated with One Heart Source this past summer and I can truly say that it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. To begin with, I was traveling to a completely new part of the world that I had never looked into visiting, so of course I was nervous. Once arriving at Cape Town and was greeted by the One Heart Source members, I can say that the nervousness went away. The group was truly amazing. They bring people together from all over the United States to this area where nobody really knows each other and builds a community with those people in such a short time. I loved my time there and am planning on helping with One Heart Source in the upcoming summer!! OHS

Rachel J.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with One Heart Source this past summer, and I can genuinely say it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life! I was nervous at first about having little experience traveling abroad, and about not knowing what to do when I arrived, but OHS was careful and conscientious about providing us resources and teaching us what to do. The leadership ensures that volunteers are safe, well fed, and happy, and the community we work with is incredibly welcoming of us. OHS is structured so that volunteers learn and grow throughout their time in South Africa, and so that you form meaningful and lasting connections with learners, other volunteers, and community members. I absolutely encourage anyone who is interested to apply to One Heart Source and become involved with a life-changing network and experience!

Taylor C.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with One Heart Source for two years now and will be going back for a third for the summer of 2019. I have too many positive things to say about One Heart Source. The leadership team is approachable, open to improvements, as well as very knowledgeable. The experience that you have while in South Africa is one that you will not forget. One Heart Source focuses on working together with a community. The relationship that I have formed with my students is unique and is what makes me keeps me coming back. This is not only a great experience but very education. This organization places a big focus on learning about the history of where the program is run. There is also constant dialogue about a lot of the topics that are difficult to talk about but allows for conversation to learning to take place! I highly recommend this program for anyone who wants to form meaningful connections!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with One Heart Source this past summer and had an amazing time. The highlight of the trip getting to know the students at the school. OHS did a wonderful job of supporting us in coming up with lesson plans and figuring out how to best teach our students. We had plenty of opportunities to get to know the community and become immersed in the culture. I had a fantastic time and I can't wait to go back!

Anneliese L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I don’t have enough words to describe how much One Heart Source means to me! My cohort has become my family, and the people of IY and the kids we work with are some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. People say that trips like these change your life, and I got to experience this first hand in Cape Town. Teaching my grade seven mentee about health combined my loves for both medicine and teaching, and has ignited a spark in me to continue to pursue this career path. The leadership team welcomed me with open arms, helped me become a better mentor, and helped me reflect on myself and the world around me. They made me feel so special and made all of us feel how important the work One Heart Source does truly is. This experience is one that I will always be grateful for!

Anthony M.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One Heart Source is a great nonprofit organization that helps the students in the Imizamo Yethu Community in Cape Town South Africa. They do a great job of exposing mentors to the different parts of Cape Town. Whether it be exposing them to the language, culture, townships, immersions, and citizens of the community. They take great care of the mentors and provide a safe, learning environment that is conducive to success. I would encourage anyone to apply to One Heart Source and become a mentor and have a life changing experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had an amazing time this past summer with One Heart Source, it was a fulfilling experience and I loved every minute of it. OHS is so important, and understands their impact, as well as understands how critical it is that they educate the community. I was in South Africa for 2 weeks at the beginning of the summer, and I loved it, the bond that the cohort built, as well as the bonds that I built with my student, will stick with me forever. I had an amazing time and I cannot wait to get back next summer and continue this important work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

To rate One Heart Source as a great non-profit is an understatement. This organization truly understands the importance and necessity of a sustainable program that will instill positive change over generations of people. One Heart Source truly listens to the people of the community and changes their curriculum and program to cater to the needs of the community. They encourage the volunteers to immerse themselves into the culture to not only better communicate with their students but also experience a different perspective and see through the lens of another. The culture coaches certainly did not take any time getting to love and respect each volunteer and every volunteer truly learned more from their students than they were taught. I have been a volunteer for 2 years now and I cannot wait to return to the family that I have formed in Cape Town every time. #HealthSquad

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I wasn't sure of what to expect before I entered the program. However by the end of the program, my perspective on important issues have changed. They've also allowed me to open my mind and become more creative. Before the mentorship, I was honestly scared of teaching but it was very fun and exciting to see so many happy faces with such enthusiasm. I wish I could have stayed a couple more days because these 2 weeks made my whole year! I would definitely want to come back next year.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If I could I would rate OHS with a billion stars, OHS exceeded my expectations. As a public health professional I recognize it is vital for organizations to have cultural awareness. OHS went above and beyond to ensure all volunteers were immersed in culture. Every detail was planned out and operations always ran smoothly. What really touched me personally was the care each team member and volunteer had for our mentees. Every child deserves to have equal resources to succeed and OHS ensures that each child gets an equal opportunity to achieve their dreams.

Jessica C.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with OHS was everything I could have asked for and more. It was such an amazing experience working with the students from the IY community. I was in the Youth Empowerment program for 4 weeks and was able to learn so much about my students. I learned how to teach them in a way that best suited each student. It was a little difficult at first, because I had 3 students, and they all learned differently. However, after taking the time to know/understand them, we were able to work effective and efficiently while learning. These children are some of the best kids you will ever work with. They have so much energy and are always fun to be around. Never a dull moment.
The children were the best part of the program, but OHS took it further to get us engaged with our environment. We were able to walk through the IY community, go for hikes, go to the beautiful Botanical Garden, express/show our talents off, and even go to a winery. If that wasn't enough. On the weekends we had had time to adventure out and do excursions. South Africa has so many things to do. Whether it's going to the Waterfront, Robin Island, Shark Diving, Skydiving, or even the Safari, you'll have a blast!
Not to mention the incredible staff that runs the show. I left South Africa, but I have created bonds with friends that brought us together as family. Volunteering for OHS is a life changing experience. Trust me, you wont want to come back!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past summer I volunteered with OHS for one month through the Health Program. I had very little expectations going into this experience but I came back completely inspired! OneHeartSource immediately created a sense of community for me. They are an organization that works to better the community of IY outside of Cape Town and they do this with love and passion and kindness. I experienced nothing but happiness while volunteering through this organization. My four weeks were spent teaching health lessons to two bright 7th grade students and gaining experience at local clinics. The program leaders and culture coaches of OHS work so hard to make your experience with them one that you will remember forever. They introduce you to the culture in Hout Bay and immerse you in the lives of the people living there. While I was there to teach students, I felt that I learned more about the culture and the community myself. This was truly an amazing experience that I will always remember. You truly get to experience what it means to be apart of a community through this organization and at the same time get the liberty to explore the beauty of the Cape Town area. I hope to return to work with OHS again in the future and I would encourage anyone to participate in this amazing experience.

Antonia R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past summer I worked with One Heart Source as a Health Initiative volunteer in Cape Town, South Africa. I can honestly say that this was one of the greatest experiences of my entire life and I believe that it was because of the amazing leadership and all the wonderful people I met through the organization. The culture coaches, or local people working with the organization, are what makes OHS stand out from all other non-profit organizations. They were there to teach us about the culture and the community while ensuring we are safe and most importantly having fun! In their company, I never once felt unsafe or unhappy during the entire trip. I felt welcomed into the community itself and felt as if I was learning even more from them than we were teaching. The work that OHS does is more than admirable and I hope to work with the organization again soon!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with OHS was absolutely beyond words, which makes it kinda hard to review or tell others about, but I will do my best! Initially, I had no idea what I had signed myself up for. I received an email from my college adviser about an opportunity in South Africa, and I thought what's the harm in applying. So I applied and was accepted. I thought that it would just be a trip where I could see the sights and volunteer a little bit, but I was wrong. As cheesy as it sounds, this trip was truly life changing. I connected with everyone around me, made lasting friendships, and was able to gain real perspective on people's lives that were completely different than my own. I experienced more than I ever could of imagined. I learned so much from everyone around me, especially the two kids I worked with. They taught me way more than what I could have ever taught them in the two weeks I was there. Everyone at OHS made me feel more than at home right from the beginning. It is so obvious how everyone on the staff genuinely cares not only about the program, but also about each individual who is a part of it. If you are looking for a view-changing, eye-opening, absolutely incredible opportunity, OHS is it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Have you ever gone into something not knowing how it will be, and hesitant that it will live up to the image you have painted in your head? Well, I have, and One Heart Source not only delivered, but they blew any expectations on images I had painted in my out of the water. This organization truly lives by their mission statement which is to "Uplift with Humanity".

Not only does One Heart Source care about the families, children, and community they are serving, they also care about the people who are coming alongside them to make this mission statement something tangible. I know that I have a network of people who I can call on at any moment because of this organization, and not just a network, but a family. You become family with the people who are also volunteers, with the leadership and staff, and with the children that you are serving.

I have never had an experience like the one that I had with One Heart Source, and I am not sure that I could ever have a better one. If I am giving money, time, and myself back to any organization, It's going to be One Heart Source, and its mission. Go ahead and step into the best decision you will ever make by partnering with One Heart Source, you won't regret it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with One Heart Source was probably the best experiences of my life. Traveling to South Africa was the first time I've been out of the country and the first time I've ever traveled alone. So going to a place so far for two weeks was easily one of the scariest and best things I have ever done. From the moment I landed in Cape Town till the time I landed back in the US two weeks later, I have never felt safer or more loved. The staff and other volunteers welcomed me with open arms. We all went from being strangers to a family. The kids we worked with were amazing. Getting to know the community was an indescribable experience. I felt so involved and learned so much. I hope to get the opportunity to go back next summer. Volunteering with this organization is such a life changing experience!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Becoming a OHS volunteer was probably THE best decision I've made in a long time. The staff, directors and leaders were extremely welcoming and passionate about the mission of OHS. Being a pre-health student, I was exposed extremely valuable learning experiences. This organization has become very dear to my heart in just a short two weeks time. I hope to return next summer and urge college students to apply. Thank you One Heart Source for a life changing opportunity.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One Heart Source exceeded any expectations I had coming in, and my expectations were very high. From the bonds developed with those working alongside you to your immersion into the culture, OHS provides a unique experience that stays with you after it's over. This program truly has it all, and the only negative to my trip was that I didn't stay longer. I can't wait to get back to South Africa next year and expand on our work even further!

2 aras

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was evident that the spirit of the local people had either rubbed off or remarkably coincided with that of the OHS Team. One Heart Source and our South African hosts certainly helped us all more than we helped them. Nothing was done without love and the efforts of the organization to create an inclusive environment led to what I regard as a second family.