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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

World Neighbors, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Agricultural Programs, Economic Development, Environment, Food, International, International Development, Microfinance, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Rural Economic Development

Mission: World Neighbors inspires people and strengthens communities to find lasting solutions to hunger, poverty and disease and to promote a healthy environment.

Results: World Neighbors has transformed the lives of more than 26 million people in 45 countries since 1951.

Target demographics: Remote, marginalized villages and communities throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America

Direct beneficiaries per year: 500,000

Geographic areas served: Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean

Programs: Program service accomplishments include international programs, public education, overseas program services, program familiarization- see attached statements of program accomplishments. Our ratio for program/administrative expenses is approximately 81%. There are a number of realities that lead world neighbors to this program/administrative ratio; 1)we rely on numerous small, individual donors and foundations for our financial support and require more time by staff to support these relationships. This reality has allowed us to develop our unique and highly successful program methodology that is not driven by any one person's or organization's agenda. 2) our program is delivered by thousands of community volunteers who carry out projects for themselves. These efforts are not reflected in dollars, thus keeping our program costs low. We also do not construct buildings or provide other equipment or facilities-costs that typically boost program costs to higher levels.

Community Stories

36 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to film short documentaries in India, Indonesia, and Timor Leste about the work of World Neighbors, and I came away very impressed. WN is there for the people to help themselves for the long haul, and that's what it takes to accomplish social change. WN's focus on women is a very important way to transform village life for farmers around the world. Women have been largely marginalized outside the home, and by creating savings and loan coops for themselves, women develop a voice and power. I would love to see WN ramped up to have their programs applied on an even larger scale, so that people everywhere can better their lives.

Board Member

Rating: 5

World Neighbors empowers the communities we work within and continually makes a positive impact.

Board Member

Rating: 5

World Neighbors is an extraordinary organization. Rooted in time, results, and a belief in the dignity of every human, the organization is a leader in progressive capacity building for communities around the world. I have been involved for many years, and plan to be involved for many more. The leadership and governance of the organization are top notch, and this optimized operational ability keeps delivering results on the ground. The in country staff are amazing in all regions and the changes the organization supports in many lives around the world are incredible and well worth support.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

WN is a true grassroots development organization that finds sustainable solutions for some of the poorest communities in the world. I have seen their work first hand and the impact will out last any relief or handout solutions touted by other organizations.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I've been a consultant to World Neighbors for about 5 years. On the business side, it is run as just that--a business. It is efficient, professional and dedicated to obtaining the best value from its vendors. World Neighbors is a very responsible steward of donor money.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 3

we are passion missionary we use our processional to retied unreached million Alleviate Poverty through mission supports of people groups with this you join this ministry of help as wanted became membership of this ministry of help our email missionglobal6@gmail.com our professional HEALTH TECH MISSION , teaching agricultural extension help the framer in the communities

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

IowaEupher

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

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

1 Kathy87

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Comments ( 1 )

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worldneighbors 10/29/2012

Thank you so much for your comments! We miss you dearly, but hope you are enjoying your path.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am ardently taken over by initiatives that aim at uplifting the welfare of humanity. Considering that World Neighbours is doing just that, give me impetus to fully support it for selection.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

World Neighbors is such an inspiring and determined organization, looking to better the world in all the right ways. Every time I am up at their offices volunteering I am constantly amazed and inspired by the projects and work they put forth in order to really CHANGE this world we all live in.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One day I visited a community farmer training center near Tegucigalpa in Honduras. I stood on the hillside with three young farmers in their mid 20s. They had come because family members suggested it would be a way for them to earn their own livelihood in a way not understood by their fathers ands grandfathers. For Hosea, Julian, and Pedro it was a way out of the past. They were the poorest of the poor and many of their friends had joined the army. Those three guys now have families of their own though I have long since lost track of them. Yet I learned something that I will never forget. World Neighbors trainers have taught me that it is here among the poorest of the poor that the opportunity for improvement is the greatest and where we can be a catalyst for change that comes from within the heart. Pedro said to me one evening, please don't leave me. And we didn't for almost six years, on his own land with corn and bean production exceeding 400% greater than his ancestors.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

Because It is my good fortune to live in Oklahoma City, headquarters of World Neighbors, I have known about this organization since I heard a program at our church about 20 years ago. My husband and I thought the integrated and respectful approach to solving problems that World Neighbors brings to the most deprived villages made so much sense, we were anxious to learn more. The more we learned, the more impressed we became. Following our World Neighbors Journey to Ecuador 5 years ago, we became even stronger advocates. We were able to meet the outstanding field staff, mostly people from the area, and the villagers who told us how much WN had improved their lives. Many women said that without WN their husbands would have needed to go to another country to find work to send home money. But with the help of WN their families now had enough food and healthy living conditions for the family to remain together in their village. We are now looking forward to a World Neighbors Journey to Peru in a few weeks.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first learned of World Neighbors in 2005 from a then board member. As an international development professional, I am impressed by World Neighbor’s commitment to equity and its integrated approach to development. World Neighbors lets people set their own goals and thus strengthens communities to find lasting solutions to hunger, poverty and disease.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been on the board of World Neighbors for several years and have seen it expand and contract in its ability to do what it does so well--serve some of the poorest communities in the world with education and organization of mostly local resources, helping those communities to help themselves with agriculture, ecology, health care, and capacity building. The work of WN has been a model for other non-profit groups in international development, but I doubt if any other group does the basic work of building infra-structure and encouraging community self-help as World Neighbors. It remains a model of efficiency and good work.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In 2008 - 2009, I was warked for WN for 1,5 years, located in West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. During work with this organization I was learnt about the process of social transformation that created by involving local people with full mobilizing local recources, the transformation focused on people and the outcome shown by transformation of people, gradually their livelihood and their environtment going better. In my opinion program approach that develop by this organization is match for remote people in remote area with marginal resources for better live and right.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 3

During the work on WN, I felt a place that according to what is inside of me. WN gives encouragement to innovate, pro-poor, marginal, emphasizing gender mainstraiming the most powerful and is strong on principles and values. And always targeted at social change.
Pengelolaan sumberdaya alam (memperjuangkan bagaimana alam terjaga keberlanjutannya dan memperjuangkan hak-hak masyarakat pinggiran hutan dan sekaligus bagaimana masyarakat tersebut menjadi penjaga hutan). pengembangan program hutan kemasyarakatan, hutan keluarga, agroforestry

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was happy working with WN Indonesia, because WN provide poster, buklet, books n training to build capacity.
learning visit, sharing strategi to empower people. so the people could be self relient. the best WN n Good luck for development in laesser SUNDA ISLAND.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

on behalf of my community in east nusa tenggara province, indonesia who live far away from technology as internet which i also find many difficulties ti access. i want to say many thanks to world neighbors indonesia staff and its partner who work continuously ti assist us in solving our problem and help us find our dignity. may God bless u and can reach more and more marginalized family and damaged area.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

World Neighbors is as unique and effective in 2011 as it was 60 years ago when the organization was founded in 1951. Investment is made in people not things. Because of this, those who are supported with information and training are able to find their own solutions to crushing poverty, lack of food and clean water, better health practices for mothers and babies, even savings and credit groups. World Neighbors begins work in areas most in need with the goal of leaving a self-sustaining village behind. The successes are astounding!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

World Neighbors and WOW are great examples of people helping people. I was introduced to the organization through a former classmate, and it strikes me as a very genuinely caring, giving group of people. I am always inspired when I read up on what World Neighbors and WOW are up to. - inspired to open my eyes to the world around me, and how its inhabitants live.

Review from Guidestar

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

World Neighbors and its WOW (Work of Women) program are amazing. I first learned about World Neighbors in graduate school as a field trip. I was blown away by their focus on serving international populations living in poverty. My passion for World Neighbors stems from how they choose to serve. Rather than sending Americans oversees to "fix" problems, they work with local people to develop culturally appropriate solutions to problems with poverty, child mortality, women's rights, health, etc. They are careful to advocate for change in a manner that does not infringe on culture ... what a group!

9 Mindy G.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first was introduced to World Neighbors by a former Women's Studies professor at the Univ. of Oklahoma, Betty Harris. I had NO idea that an international development organization that has helped millions become self-sufficient was based in Oklahoma City. Ever since I learned about World Neighbors, I have been spreading news about their good work to everyone I meet. World Neighbors approach to ending hunger, poverty and disease is unique, effective and enduring. Our staff is amazing, the board is professional, committed and engaged and our leader, Melanie MacDonald is an inspiration to us all.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Susan Chambers introduced me to World Neighbors several years ago. The work that the staff and volunteers do have improved so many lives. What is most amazing is that money is key but not the most important in this organization. The hands on efforts of so many volunteers to go to needy countries and help with medical needs, farming and just understanding a different way of life is very heart felt.

6

Former staff

Rating: 5

By the end 2009, the total beneficiaries of World Neighbors programme in Timor Leste was 8,374 people (4,334 men and 4,040 women). There are 128 number of women volunteers (out of a total of 341 volunteers) work as community organizers and lead discussions on issues around health; preparation of nutritious food; processing of food using local produces; growing of herbs for making traditional medicines; sanitation; construction of toilets, small water schemes, community halls, and animal sheds; and other social development activities.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

World Neighbors is constantly working to improve the lives of burden communities and it was a pleasure to be a part of this organization!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with World Neighbors and learning about the difference they are making all over the world has been truly rewarding.The staff, the volunteers and the donors are incredible individuals and each are dedicated and passionate about the work they do to help people everywhere improve their way of life. The commitment of World Neighbors to empower women to take a stand in their communities is something World Neighbors excels at every day. World Neighbors won't stop until they have improved the world and I am behind their organization every step of the way!

3

Donor

Rating: 5

World Neigbors is so successful at what it does. It provides long term solutions to poverty. Their approach should be copied by the rest of the world.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first learned about World Neighbors 11 years ago, when I met its CEO and board chair at a conference in Washington DC. I was amazed to learn that it was then 46 years old because it was clearly doing important and effective international development work but I had never heard of it before. Since that time, I have joined the board of trustees and, in addition to my board work, have traveled to Ecuador, Guatemala and Karnataka, India to visit World Neighbors programs. During those visits, I have met many program participants, shared meals with them and learned first-hand from them how World Neighbors programs have changed their lives in very positive and lasting ways. World Neighbors works only in rural areas of developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Often, it works with communities and villages so remote that no other development organizations are willing or able to work there. World Neighbors makes long term commitments to the communities it engages with and typically remains in an area for 8-10 years. By making long term commitments and carefully planning both its entry into new communities and its exit strategies, World Neighbors ensures that the progress made while it is engaged with communities will be sustainable for decades after it has moved on to new communities and other regions. There are villages in rural India where World Neighbors first worked in the late 1950s that are still thriving in ways that neighboring communities have never done, because those communities participated in World Neighbors programs decades ago. It is hard to find other development programs that have achieved such long lasting success, no matter where you look around the world. World Neighbors always focuses its work on those areas of need that its program participants think are most important to them. It never enters a new region with pre-conceived ideas about what the people there need. However, some problems are universal in the developing world and often include issues of food security and sustainable agriculture, environmental conservation, access to clean water and family and reproductive health. Many communities are also interested in working with World Neighbors to establish micro credit associations, leadership development programs and gender equity programs. Together, these types of programs, which World Neighbors implements through partnerships with local non-governmental organizations staffed by local people, are able to significantly improve the lives of those who participate in them. Some of the tangible outcomes include greatly increased food security through sustainable agriculture, enhanced methods of environmental conservation, adequate shelter for the entire family, access to health care and and clearn water, smaller, better spaced and planned families, and more opportunities for education and income generating activities, especially for girls and women. All of these add up to increased self sufficiency, greater confidence among participants in their own ability to provide for their families, greater self respect, and above all, hope for a better future for themselves and their families.