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I went to WN as a health student in college about 5 years ago. The half hour I spent there was so impactful in a way I could never have imagined. That visit inspired me to choose international health as a focus for my studies. I became a volunteer then and have supported WN ever since. The way they empower a community is so beautiful. They never come into a priority population and just start giving them things to make life easier. WN TEACHES, they INSPIRE and they help GROW a community. They are innovators in health practices. They have a health indicator wrist marker that Mom's can use to measure there childs nutrition health. The "clean birth kit" is simple, so simple it works! Terrace farming is something that enables communities to have food security and sustainability. I am so proud to be a WN volunteer and hope that there work is recognized to a greater extent.
The work of World Neighbors first made a strong impression on me in the mid 1990s as a college student studying international development at the University of Oklahoma when I did volunteer work at Headquarters. Now I am honored to serve on the Board of this well-established organization that after many decades of work continues to be both cutting edge and fresh in approach in working with communities. The holistic methods of WN are smart, long lasting and important in stabilizing many communities around the globe. I am honored to support this amazing organization in its continued success.
I have had the opportunity to see first-hand what a terrific job World Neighbors is able to do by taking a long-term approach to enabling villages in very poor regions of the world to solve their most important problems whether it be water, HIV-Aids, access to health, or food security. I visited villages in the Lake Victoria area of Kenya where villagers had leaned how to live productive lives with HIV-Aids, water sources had been purified, regional health centers had been build, and families not only produced enough food for themselves but also had enough to sell in the market. What is so remarkable is that it is the people who identify their most critical problems, develop a plan for solving them and provide the leadership to implement the solutions. World Neighbor's staff guide the process and identify the technical knowledge that is needed but they don't "do it for the villages." The result is that after a few years, World Neighbors can move to other villages and the work that has been accomplished continues because the local people own the solutions and have the knowledge to continue the work. The work is remarkable!
In July 2010, my wife and I had the opportunity to observe the work of World Neighbors direction in East Africa. I was emotionally moved by the testimony of the people in the villages in Kenya and Tanzania where World Neighbors works. To witness three projects in three different phases of development was an incredibly valuable look at how World Neighbors works with local leadership to create the capacity for long-term and sustainable community renewal and development. The "guide by the side" work that I saw illustrates the power of the World Neighbors' work.
Review from Guidestar
We had the opportunity to have a cross generational tour of the work world neighbors did in Honduras. We toured World Neighbor farms and communities that were thriving and them visited communities funded by the government that were hurting. The difference in self esteem and independence was amazing. We also met a young peace corp worker who volunteered with World Neighbors because "they are making a difference and we aren't ". Wow! That says it all to me.
I've seen first hand the amazing work World Neighbors does in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. Its work inspires people and helps communities identify and address their own particular circumstances and needs. There is no 'one size fits all' approach to its methods. World Neighbors works with community leaders through a long term and collaborative process to understand and address key challenges facing the community whether it is sustainable agriculture, micro-credit facilities, public health etc....very much a 'teach a person to fish' role. The impact of World Neighbors work extends far beyond the community leaders and volunteers with whom WN works most directly....like ripples emanating from a stone tossed into a pond, the results of World Neighbors work spread far into a community and its neighbors. A truly exceptional international development model.
I've been on two trips to see World Neighbors' field programs - one to Ecuador and one to Peru. Far off the main roads and out where the campesinos walk in from distant hillside fields with their crops, I met men and women whose lives had been transformed to the good by programs started by World Neighbors. Each story shared the basic truth that World Neighbors helped by bringing the right tools to the community it worked with - whether that was a dialog on village priorities, the mechanics of a micro-finance cooperative or how to terrace hillsides for optimum irrigation. In each case the people learned how to use the tool, took pride in using it well, spread the word to friends and neighbors about it and thereby spread the benefits far and wide. World Neighbors.
Review from Guidestar
As a Junior at OBU, I decided to conduct a research project over World Neighbors as part of my International Justice course. I was highly impressed by the organization and, after graduation, I had the great opportunity to serve as a Marketing and Communications intern with World Neighbors US based staff in OKC. This opportunity not only gave me invaluable personal and professional growth, but also allowed me a closer look at an amazing non-profit that is producing life-changing results. The US staff is passionate about what they do, and welcomed me as a valuable member of their team. What an amazing team to be a part of! World Neighbors provides concrete ways to provide lasting solutions to hunger, poverty, and disease, and to promote a healthy environment. They preserve the dignity of individuals in communities they serve by finding integrated approaches to the major issues developing communities face. Their mission is to inspire people and strengthen communities. My brief time with World Neighbors inspired me to live a life that fosters change and to continue to support organizations that do just that!
Thank you so much for your comments! We miss you dearly, but hope you are enjoying your path.
World Neighbors is not only a fantastic organization, but is equipped with an excellent staff and volunteer network who are all passionate and hard-working. I was fortunate enough to volunteer at one of their annual fundraising events this year and was amazed at the turn-out. World Neighbors is such a well-run non-profit and I am always happy to help them out!
What I love most about working with World Neighbors is the fact that they help people to grow by helping them to improve their lives. What greater reward is there, than to be proud of yourself, and knowing what you are capable of accomplishing.