Mission: Via International is a 501(c)3 service organization based in California. Dedicated to building "paths to self-reliance for an interdependent world," Via International has more than 37 years of experience addressing community needs by supporting community members to become agents of positive change.
Results: Via International has learned from nearly 40 years working in the US/Mexico border region that people are their own best resource. We now need to support the Mexican work to be sustainable and governed in Mexico by Mexican leadership. We are needing capacity building funds to do that. Via International is also expanding to additional communities, we need more hands on deck to make that possible - the combination of VolunTours and Community Development can be self-financing given sufficient scale. We need to have the capacity to reach out, involve more communities and volunteers, and support self-reliant, community-based work in more locations.
Target demographics: Low-income communities, primarily women and children. Also service oriented corporations and youth interested in volunteering.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 3215 community members (women and children) 1420 volunteers (student and corporate)
Geographic areas served: Mexico, Guatemala, New Mexico, San Diego, Appalachia, Sri Lanka.
Programs: Emerging from the communities, programs are designed to improve quality of life through nutrition and ecology training, community leadership education and microcredit and microenterprise support. Voluntours programs offer educational travel and service learning opportunities to engage with community development initiatives. The Via Institute provides a framework to nourish personal development, foster community engagement, strengthen organizations, and promote global dialogue.