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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Pathfinder International

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: AIDS, Family Planning, Health, International, International Development, Reproductive Health Care, Reproductive Rights

Mission: Pathfinder International’s mission is to ensure that people everywhere have the right and opportunity to live a healthy reproductive life. 

Geographic areas served: Pathfinder has brought reproductive health care to tens of millions of people in more than 120 countries in Africa, Asia, the Near East, Latin America, and Europe. Today, our 800-plus employees work alongside more than 300 local partner organizations, helping implement 60 regional and multi-national programs in more than 25 countries

Programs:

Since 1999, Pathfinder’s Geração Biz program has improved access to sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention information and services for young people aged 10-24. Pathfinder is implementing the project in all 11 of the country’s provinces in collaboration with the Government of Mozambique and civil society youth associations. Identified as a best practice by the World Bank, Geração Biz increases young people’s access to youth-friendly clinical services by integrating youth-friendly services into existing public sector facilities and through adolescent-only clinics. Information about these services is disseminated by a national network of peer educators who are trained by the project to engage young people in discussions about sexuality, teen pregnancy, abortion, HIV and AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections, and provide them with contraceptives to promote safe, responsible, and gender-sensitive sexual and reproductive behavior. 

Community Stories

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a senior case writer and researcher at Harvard’s Global Health Delivery Project, I have had the opportunity to study the strategy and effectiveness of numerous programs operating in resource limited settings around the world. Last year, my work enabled me to get to know Pathfinder International intimately, as I and my team developed a case study of Mukta, one of Pathfinder’s HIV prevention programs in India. Throughout my experience researching the program and working with Pathfinder’s staff there, I came to appreciate the strength of Pathfinder’s human rights framework and its implications for their work on the ground. Mukta works with marginalized female sex workers and men who have sex with men, key populations whose vulnerability to HIV is exacerbated by structural and social factors that create formidable barriers not only to their ability to access HIV prevention and treatment services, but to their day-to-day safety. Pathfinder’s staff united excellent management practices with their human rights framework to build the capacity not only of the local NGOs they deliver services through, but of the communities themselves to set agendas, develop strategies to effect the change they deem most necessary and, ultimately, improve health outcomes. I was consistently impressed by Pathfinder’s commitment to excellence in management and data use practices, as well as their focus on sustainable change both for communities and for the governments who represent them.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

My name is Ayubu H.Samuel,aged 29 from Tanzania.
Am Executive Director of TALIA FOUNDATION from 2007 up now 201, our organization is dealing with children,women,youth and other vulnerable Group in Tanzania my duties for my position IS to monitor day to day activities.
I was born January 141982 and my father was died in January 20 19982 so now i live with single parent.

We have work with different Donor GTZ,RFA. Our organization is working by good transparency to the staff,community and other community

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Pathfinder International helps empower the world's poorest women to have healthier families by spacing their pregnancies, through education and contraceptives. Maternal death rates are greatly reduced with training for mid-wives, devices to control excessive bleeding after delivery, and tetanus vaccines. All of their work is done in a culturally sensitive manner, so Pathfinder's work is welcomed, not seen as intrusive or insulting.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Pathfinder International does so much work to help people in need around the world. They help the hungry and the poor, women, children, and families through their work.

Review from Guidestar

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Pathfinder has become an incredible resource for me as a U.S. trained physician working with reproductive health issues in southern Mexico. I value the information and tools that I've found on Pathfinder's website and look forward to creating more of a partnership between Pathfinder and the local public health system. I've recently submitted a proposal to the regional Secretary of Health dilrector suggesting that he allow me to jumpstart a rural midwifery project and create new and improved reproductive health program at the primary care clinic in my town.

Review from Guidestar

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Pathfinder International for more than 15 years. I became engaged because I believe that having access to family planning/reproductive health care is a basic human right and that providing such services is the key to solving many of the BIG challenges facing our world today - challenges such as poverty, resource depletion, civil unrest and gender inequality - to name a few. Pathfinder operates in more than 20 developing countries with a high level of efficiency and effectiveness. I have seen the work - first hand - in Viet Nam, India, Ethiopia and Egypt. I was impressed - not only by the poverty and great need I saw - but also by the creative, common-sense approaches used by Pathfinder. In each community, programs are tailored to the local practices and customs, the vast majority of the workers are local, community leaders are engaged for support and every attempt is made to leave behind sustainable programs.

Review from Guidestar

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I was traveling in Africa as a guest of the African Women's Development Fund, I had the honor of also visitng a Pathfinder project in Nairobi, Kenya. I saw first hand how many women (and the men and children in their lives) were being helped. Seeing women with various stages of HIV/AIDS really expanded my understanding of what "maternal heath" encompasses.

Review from Guidestar

3

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have two philanthropic priorities – land preservation efforts and Pathfinder International. We support Pathfinder because we feel strongly about population issues and women’s reproductive health and rights. We also know that Pathfinder is committed to addressing trends that include how increased population impacts environmental pressures. We especially admire how they are committed to empowering local communities and efforts to integrate family planning work into primary care, HIV/AIDs, maternal care and other services that already exist, making the most of every opportunity to educate and increase access. We also want to note that they put an exceptionally high percentage of the contributions, compared to many other charities, into the causes that they serve (rather than administrative overhead).

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a former Pathfinder staff member, I repeatedly saw the effective and enduring ways in which they help women realize their personal and reproductive health rights. Training and resources for quality health care are integrated with information and knowledge for senior health officials, as well as extensive discussions and information with community members. It is this level of commitment to community conversations that brings the social and cultural changes essential for real development work to be sustained and eventually grow of its own accord.
I am proud of Pathfinder's decades of commitment to this extremely important work -- without progress for women, there will be no lasting change.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Pathfinder International does crucial work around the world, providing education and access to health care. Pathfinder saves lives. It also helps to improves lives in profound ways. Providing information and resources for wellness and family planning enables women to gain control of their lives, allowing them in turn to contribute positively to their local economies and their communities.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Pathfinder is uniquely committed to the best interests of the people they serve in underdeveloped areas. Their projects and aid focus upon enabling and empowering the recipients to make a better life for themselves by increasing the likehood of self-improvement and independence. The staff acknowledges and respects the ability and desire of the recipients to work with them to achieve specific goals towards that better life.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I am proud to support Pathfinder, and the good work they do ensuring health for people in the developing world.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Pathfinder is a most inspriing and important orgnaization. It strted as an organization to help women with family planning, but has expanded to fund women's health generally and even to help with edcation and scolarships for young women. I have traveled with Pthfinder before it was Pathfinder, when Clarnece Gamble was starting out helping orgnaizations in India and Japan . Since then it has grown enormously, but still keep in toch with the poorest and most needy women on the countries it serves. It helps with childbirth, HIV-AIDS, sanitation, to alter the custom of child marriage, too early motherhood, fistula, female circumcision. It is nothing short of inspiring to visit Pathfinder sites and meet the workers.

Review from Guidestar

1 jgkahrl

Board Member

Rating: 5

Pathfinder's work supports its belief that every woman, man, girl and boy has the right to a health life supported by reproductive health and family planning services. Its respect for the rights and dignity of the people it serves are apparent throughout all its programs. Its results have been shown by the decreasing birth rates and rates of maternal mortality in the areas where it works in the developing world. Its creative and innovative programs live up to its name; it creates new paths in the arena of reproductive health.

Donor

Rating: 5

What I find most extraordinary about Pathfinder, and what compels me to contribute to it, is its commitment to a fundamental principal that it’s mission is driven by the needs of the people it serves – even if that means that it loses federal funding at times of Conservative ascendancy. I was introduced to the organization by the late Susan Swift and will be forever grateful to her for that.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

Tell your story here and help others understand this charity
Pathfinder have really gone far in reaching the unreached. ofcourse the challenge is still great but they really try within their means.In Uganda for instance, they are operating in the more needy areas like Northern Uganda instead of concentrating in the Central where its easier and much more cheaper to work, but of course with immense duplication and resource wastage. Bravo, Pathfinder, just like their name!

Volunteer

Rating: 3

i have been involved in so many undertakings pertaining voluntary work in assisting the need in a society.from the experiences i have heard in kenya especially during the post election violence when i roamed around western region in kenya to help those who were subjected to ethnicity discrimination because of their political stand etc. I remember at one time having ran short of finances because of providing basic needs to some guys whom I did not even know their background status but because of their needs I had to spend up to last penny until a friends came to our rescue.
Despite the fact that I did all that, I came across this NGO by the name pathfinder international which has really moved me a lot from whatever volunteer work they are doing. If wishes were horses 25 percent of global earnings could be channelled to fund it and enhance a better world for you and me.I was touched by the organisations work in ethiopia, kenya,just to name but a few states. In future I look forward to working close with the non profit- making pathfinder international so that it can reach too far many people who need this assistance e.g boy - girl child for a better tomorrow. WYCLIFFE KHAEMBA

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I am the grandson on the founder of Pathfinder, Clarence Gamble. When I was growing up Pathfinder was part of the family conversation and values but it is now, forty odd years later, I realized what a significant issue over population has become on a global basis. The National Geographic recently ran a cover story on the immensity of our global population. The John Deere monthly magazine "The Furrow" also ran a cover story on the topic.

I am a cattle rancher in Montana and realize from a land a livestock perspetive that a land base, be it a field, a ranch, or the world, can only support a limited number of beings be they cattle or people. If I run more cattle than the carrying capacity of my ranch the ecosystem of the ranch declines which is followed by the health and condition of my cattle. The same is true of the number of people in the world and there are certainly too many people in different areas. One of the illustrations in "The Furrow" was a map of the world with different countries with a representation of the nutritional needs of the people and how much of the world is quite under nurished.

I recently visited India with my mother on a Pathfinder board member trip and one of the startling things I learned is that in India, the line between being above and below the poverty level is the difference between having two meals (which is below) or three meals a day (above). It was startling to me coming from the United States.

My grandfather saw the need for population consideration decades ago, he came at it from both a number of people stand point, but also and most importantly from a consideration for the human experience. He realized that families with too many children be that 5 or 12 are not able to give their children a healthy quality of life.

We in the United States take it for granted that we can choose when and how many children we have and our choice can be made to match the stage of our own lives, and or our economic resources in the family. Birth control is completely common and accepted.

In fact , just this evening I was watching the final episode of "Live to Dance", a hugely popular tv program similar to "American Idol" but about dancing. One of the advertizements was for a birthcontrol pill which I and my nine year old daughter watched right along with the program. Such information and distribution is not the case in most of the world.

Pathfinder, with its work in helping families choose when and how many children to have, is helping all of us throughout the world.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I learned about the Pathfinder Fund in the late 1960's while finishing a
Masters in Demography at Georgetown and working in the Population Division at the World Bank. Pathfinder was one of the handful of NGO's that were effectively operationalizing the concept of disciplining human numbers to maintain global ecological balance by promoting programs at the community/family level that educate, motivate and enable women to self-determine -- hence, limit --their fertility.
Over the four decades since Earth Day 1970, I have taught courses in Population, Resources, Environment and Sustainability at Georgetown University, George Washington University, University of Michigan, Middlesex(MA) Community College and Portland State University.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am not sure how long Pathfinder has been an NGO, but when I began to take notice I was amazed only because I receive several emails from NGOs. And at the point I began to tell myself there isn't any thing else that could, should. or would attrack my attention it did.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I got to know pathfinder through wrongly addressed mail in my mailbox but i never regret it. Being a health worker, i'm greatly impresed by how Pathfinder is strongly advocating for the reproductive health especially of girls and women. The success stories are a great proof the someting considered simple can positively change a woman's life somewhere. It is also very touching to see that they are willing to receive anything one can donate to change a life. Bravo Pathfinder.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I remember when the gag rule was still in force, and Pathfinder wrote series of articles on the Gay rule, and advocated for its withdrawal. Pathfinder was the only organisation at that time that I knew was passionate about ensuring that reproductive health rights was not violated by the gag rule....

Thank you to Pathfinder for staying stong, even in the weakest of times...

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 3

I know Pathfinder is doing great job in creating access to quality reporducitve health services and choices, doing promotional activites and buidling the capacity of health worker in some parts of Ethiopia.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Overpopulation is the cause of the worst problems facing our planet. This is the only well reviewed charity that addresses the true underlying cause of global warming etc etc

Thank you!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a former Pathfinder employee, who was able to see the organization's programs first-hand, I continue to donate to Pathfinder because of how efficiently they carry out their important mission. Pathfinder's programs are developed to suit the needs of the local community; the substantial reliance on nationals, instead of expats, is one example of this local focus. I have seen that this organizational choice allows for greater access to the community and ultimately a deeper impact through its programs. I am truly grateful that Pathfinder values and supports local professionals to carry out its work and that is why I stay connected with the organization.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Pathfinder offers an impressive array of reproductive health care services to women around the world. After studying in West Africa, I began paying greater attention to stories from that region of the world. Pathfinder's work in West Africa is exceptional. Reproductive health care services require a high degree of cultural sensitivity and Pathfinder manages to integrate these services into high-risk populations beautifully.

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a retired OB/GYN. I spent my working life trying to meet the needs of women in my local area, both under and over privileged, for education and services that promote reproductive health and family planning. I want to continue to promote those goals through my charitable giving. Pathfinder does a great job using donors' money to actually make things happen on the ground for women who would otherwise have no access. That is why I make a monthly gift to make sure they stay in business.

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Pathfinder is by far the most professional NGO to which I contribute. When I asked that they stop spending contributions on mailings to me, they immediately dropped back to one mailing per year (this was at least 12 years ago), stewarding their funds for the important work they do.

My favorite part of that work is that they teach others and help secure the tools for them, to take care of themselves, rather than making themselves important.

Pathfinder is a service organization, not an empire builder. That is what I appreciate about them the most: Pathfinder gets the ideal of being "in service".

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I heard about Pathfinder so many years ago that I don't remember the context, but I know they do a great job of training people from developing nations to provide the necessary reproductive services that are so much in short supply. They have helped millions with family planning and reproductive health issues. It is one of my favorite charities. It should have more funding by our government. As the founder of Pathfinder said "Whatever your cause its a loss cause unless we stop population growth."

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

Pathfinder International works towards empowering poor, disenfranchised women in one of the most effective ways I can imagine: through reproductive health care and education programs tailored to the need of a community.

Pathfinder works on the ground to help provide services, education, and community building to women. Most importantly of all--and really the crucial reason I support them so wholeheartedly--is that Pathfinder does not import western doctors and educators, but trains community members to lead programs--an incalculably important technique that serves to strengthen existing communities.

In addition, Pathfinder tailors its programs to the needs of regions, adapting to whatever a given area needs most (be it HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, women's health clinics, etc).

I discovered Pathfinder through a friend of my parents who has been involved with them for years. After she invited me to one informational reception, I got very excited, and told her emphatically that I wanted to get involved. Before long, this friend helped a number of us younger people who had expressed interest in Pathfinder form a youth board, through which we have been planning informational and fundraising events. Pathfinder is incredibly strong on the ground, but word about their work needs help getting out. The fact that a dozen of us young people banded together to try to help Pathfinder grow is a testament to this inspiring organization.

Review from Guidestar

Adam B.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been impressed by Pathfinder's ability to connect donors in the U.S. with the work they are funding internationally. Pathfinder has also done a great job showing the impact of its work.

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Every problem known to humankind is exacerbated by population issues, and millions of females in developing countries have little or no access to b.c. or support for using it. So when looking for a charity to support for Christmas, and Pathfinders popped up on FB, our family knew we'd found the one for us- give girls a FUTURE before they create another generation.

Review from Guidestar

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

Pathfinder is an excellent resource for the entire world. Through their promotion of viable medical planning and assistance to folks that need to get on their feet, etc. Chiefly they provide a much needed force that all of us need - hope.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Pathfinders continuously over the years aids the most disenfranchised members of our world community. Bless them.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a public health professional from a developing Country, where there are a lot reproductive health issues. I know Pathfinder working in my country for a long time effectively. The organization have been engaged to bring changes in women's life, and they are doing very great work.

Review from Guidestar

1 Amy L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an incredible organization that works to create a better life for families around the world, by empowering adults in impoverished countries to take control over the most important of decisions: when and whether to have children, and whether they are best situated to care for those children. If you think about overpopulation, the environment, and the global economy, you soon realize that this is one of the very most important causes in existence today; one that needs our urgent and wholehearted support.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

For a number of years I was working in family planning, mainly in the Middle East. I came to know Pathfinder well at that stage - and appreciated the way that their approach was strictly tied to listening to what their national partners felt was good and right. "Participatory" was not in the vocabulary, not in the jargon, not in the officially promoted approaches, but Pathfinder was applying the principles because their work ws based on respect. It's founder created the organisation with this perspective in the forefront.

My field of work changed - broader, both in subject matter and geography, and I see less of their work in the field. Nevertheless, when I do see work supported by Pathfinder, or meet people who have benefitted from Pathfinder training, I am always delighted to note that the principles are the same - not token stakeholder consultations but listening to the national partners.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Pathfinder is a great organization I've supported for years. They give women in some of the most impoverished countries the means they need to decide if and when they will have children.

Pathfinder works with local organizations in each country to offer international family planning. In my mind, this is the most important social cause in the world because it helps individual women and families take good care of the children they have and raise themselves out of crushing poverty. (Did you know 48% of the world live on less than $2 per day?). Curbing overpopulation also helps the environment. And countries with lower fertility are ususally more peaceful.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I came to know about Pathfinder through a relative who worked there several years ago. Though the international health (and related) field was somewhat new to me, Pathfinder has helped me to understand more about the needs around the world. Not only do they keep in constant contact via emails and newsletters, but they have even held live events in my area (San Francisco). Through these forms of communication, I have been able to learn more about what Pathfinder does and where they serve. I'm proud to be a donor of Pathfinder and appreciate their efforts to keep small donors like me connected.

Review from Guidestar