I've been a donor for years, had the opportunity to go on a site visit to Malawi, and have seen their work in-person in many other countries. Having spent years of my life traveling and working abroad for, with, and next to various NGOs, I can definitely say that OI exceeds the others by leaps and bounds. They do what they say, when they say they'll do it. Not only do they have good intentions (as I believe most NGOs do), but they have the professional knowledge and capacity to implement them in a sustainable, efficient, effective manner, all without racking up huge overhead costs.
As a nurse who's lived in quite a few developing nations, I've spent much of my adult life working for, with, beside, and in conjunction with a variety of NGOs. Although I do believe that they all have great intentions, most of them fall incredibly short on sustainability, with minimal if any lasting impact. Having had the chance to travel to Malawi to see OI at work, and having seen many of their projects in other countries, I can honestly say that they're the only NGO I've ever experienced that really does what they say they'll do, and does it incredibly well. Their projects are well thought out, locally implemented, and truly sustainable. If more organizations had the mission, motivation, and mindset of OI, the world would be much better served. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank OI for all that they do...keep up the good work :)
Outreach International is a truly unique organization in the way that it approaches the problem of poverty. Few organizations are patient enough to do it right -- break the cycle of dependence that so many of the world's poor have on outsiders, and create change within the hearts, minds and spirit of the poor themselves.
Through Outreach International, communities embrace a new life-view -- defined by solving problems for themselves, by themselves. Then, as the younger generation in these communities witness the success that comes from self-motivated change, they perpetuate the practice until it becomes a part of the culture for the long term.
There is nothing temporary about the impact of Outreach International -- the change is lasting, sustainable, and passed down through successive generations in the village.
This is the way to do it.
I have worked with and served on the boards of a number of charitable organizations. Outreach International is made up of exceptional people doing very good work to produce REAL results in locations around the world where the needs are substantial. It is a classic "Teach A Man To Fish....." model - and it works.
I have visited in many of the International locations where this organization has project work, and find the work inspiring and truly sustainable. Teaching people to truly help themselves by working together with their neighbor to identify and solve their community issues means improving their life situations.
I have enjoyed giving to Outreach over the years because of their long-term commitment to communities. They help people help themselves with projects that the communities themselves get to help choose. Some choose farming, and Outreach teaches them sustainable techniques and provides everything they need to get started, then continues to help and monitor until the community becomes self-sufficient. I cannot think of a better way to reach out to those in need.
I have been donating to Outreach for many years. Their philosophy of helping people help themselves has intrigued me from the start. I made a visit to Zambia with Outreach and saw the work they do first hand. I donate to other organizations, but none can compare with Outreach and I donate to them on a regular basis.
I have recently returned from an Outreach International sponsored site visit to Malawi where we visited seven villages to see the work the people are doing to improve their lives. Members of the village committees who were running the projects reported to us on how life was before the Outreach International facilitator began working with them, how it is now, and how they hope it will be in the future. You should have seen the look of pride on their faces. Several of the leaders were women.
I was extremely impressed with the four Human Development Facilitators I met who work with the people in these very poor outlying villages and live in the same area of Malawi. In a country that appears hopeless, these people have hope because of Outreach International.
WOW. I can't tell you how much the process that Outreach International employs empowers the poor to help themselves make changes in their lives and the life of their communities. I just returned from a trip to Malawi, where Outreach is assisting the poorest of the poor villages to learn the skills and take the steps to learn communal decision; setting goals and prioritizing,,,,and learning how to submit proposals to many NGOs as well as their own govenment (when applicable). And the process is SO empowering for the women. The difference in the pride and joy and forward looking spirit in the villages where Outreach has been for 10 years, vs 3 years, vs a new village is amazing. The "soft skills" of the in country, local Outreach staff are phenominal.
Outreach International is an organization that really makes a difference in the lives of those who live in poverty. On a site visit to Nicaragua, we could see first-hand how people work together to meet community needs. I will continue to support Outreach International through personal donations and through the group efforts at our church.
On a site visit to Nicaragua, I was able to see first hand how the sustainable aspect of Outreach International has made a very positive impact on the lives of people in the communities where it has a presence. The people in these communities are guided to decide for themselves what it is that they need to improve their quality of life. By working together, so much has been achieved.
I've been a donor to this organization for over 30 years. They are one of the first nonprofits that I know of that based their mission on sustainability. Their mission is to develop long-term, sustainable programs based on the needs identified by members of the community in which they are working. They work very hard to keep their administrative costs low so that most donations go to their programs and not overhead. I will continue to be a monthly donor and have included them in my will at my death.
I'm a small donor and I've donated to hundreds of different charities over the years. Outreach International is at the very top of my list. Number One. My reason for this stems from the development philosophy that this organization pursues. There are many excellent organizations that provide emergency aid, but Outreach International focuses on fixing the underlying problems through an approach that is often summarized in the phrase "Sustainable Good." I truly believe that a donation to Outreach International has a multiplier effect because it doesn't just save a life in an emergency, my donation supports an effort that will invest in development efforts guided by a Participatory Human Development Process (PHDP) that is sustainable and will save lives over and over again. You can read more about it here: http://outreach-international.org/about-us/our-approach/our-method/
Outreach international supports people in countries with services that help promote self sufficiency as well as clothing and goods needed for their survival. This is an excellent organization for donations.
Outreach international is a great program that actualy helps people forever. I like the fact that they dont give the people things but actualy teach them. I think that is a wonderful idea and is a great non-profit program. I heard a saying that goes like this: "If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a life time." Outreach international is a great place where they really help people for a lifetime.
At my church the youth(4 of us) choose to do a fundraiser for Outreach International. In the magazine they had a packet of items that we could purchase and send over to third world countries. We picked items like water sanitation kit, shots and other medication, eye exams, chickens, shoes, and other stuff along those lines. I like Outreach International because they help people rather than just giving them food. they might teach someone how to build a house instead of building a house for them. They have the mentality of "Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day, give a man a pole and he eat for the rest of his life." I think that is a better mentality then to just give people food or shelter.
As Human Development Facilitator in Zambia, assigned to Muchinshi community in particular, and having been part of the groundbreaking work in Muchinshi for the past 11 months, I have interacted with many families whose lives are being changed by the Participatory Human Development Process.
Their stories include Florence Sanene’s, whose 3-year old son Richard Kababa’s life was changed from an almost disabled to a playful little boy through a locally managed feeding program. Severely malnourished and lacking strength, Richard was unable to walk despite his age. When a community group facilitated by Outreach International decided to start a feeding program for severely malnourished children using locally available legumes and cereal grains mixed into a ‘super flour’ called Chimamu in the local language, Florence joined in with four other mothers, seeing a ray of hope for her son’s growth. Little did she know that it was going to dramatically change both her and her son’s life –and in a short period of time.
After only 3 months of being on the regimen, i.e., 4 feedings per week using the ‘super flour’ as a supplement to family meals, much to the astonishment of everyone involved, Richard, whose starting weight was 9.500 Kg, was able to gain 1.400 Kg, to gain strength and to start walking. The feeding program started on June 7, 2012 and on August 12, 2012 Richard made his very first steps and has been improving steadily since.
Florence said, “the condition of this child was a source of concern for me and his father Dickson. We suspected it could have something to do with our poor living conditions, especially feeding but there was little we could do to improve it. So, when Richard was selected together with 4 other children to be the first on the feeding program, we accepted and supported it. We could have felt embarrassed but the facilitator was there to help, not to embarrass us. He led our community to look objectively at our situation, analyze our most critical needs and identify workable solutions. He further motivated us to start doing things for ourselves as we planned.”
“I become involved with the other ladies in the feeding program while my husband joined the vegetable growers’ group. We are active in both the farmland ownership and the clean water committees. Today, Richard is walking just as any other child, and I am hopeful that he is going to catch up with his age mates. This feeding program is a road to total recovery. Yet we use just corn, rice, beans and sometimes soya beans all locally available and even grown in our gardens. Just the mixing of the formula taught to us by Outreach International made the difference. We are looking forward to making the formula available to more kids in Muchinshi.”
Outreach International is a unique nonprofit. Rather than being a "handout" organization, it is a "hand up." Outreach's philosophy is one about empowering people and communities to have skills that are self-sustaining, rather than being dependent on others for your livelihood. It is through their approach of helping members of these communities discern what they need and finding their own solutions that lives are truly changed. I can think of no other organization that has had the kind of impact on me that Outreach has. It has been an honor to be a part of such a powerful, life changing organization.
At the birth of my first child I felt so fortunate--she was perfect and we were able to provide for all her needs. I became accutely aware of the plight of children in other countries whose parents were not able to provide the basic necessities such as clean water, food, shelter, clothing or education. I checked into many charities at that time and did not feel that their funds were used wisely or that their methods of addressing problems would really solve the problems. Years later we heard about Outreach International. Wow!, their pie chart of how donations are used is to us a wise distribution of funds. And their approach -- Participatory Human Development -- hits the bullseye! Those in need are very much involved in identifying their need/problem. They participate in the plan and they enthusiastically work the plan. And then, many times, they teach neighboring villages how to do the same. Danny and I give joyfully to Outreach International every month. They keep us informed about and involved in their (OUR) projects!
As Country Coordinator for the field program in Zambia, and having been in the field for the past 16 years, I have worked with many families in several villages of the Luapula and the Copperbelt Provinces of Zambia whose lives have been changed by the Participatory Human Development Process.
Their stories include John Mashilipa ’s from the Luano community in Chingola, Copperbelt Province, who was able to change his life from a desperate jobless poor and food beggar to a net food producer and market gardener/ vegetable supplier and says that: “I had no employment and no way to support my family. There were many days that we went without any food at all. When Outreach International began working in our community, I quickly saw that this was something I wanted to be part of to be able to help my family and myself out of our desperate situation. It was suggested that we who were out of work could farm the land around our community. Outreach International helped me negotiate a fair price and loan rate for farmland, farming tools and good quality seeds. They showed us how to use chicken manure to fertilize the soil and helped me develop simple irrigation techniques. Today, I grow enough vegetables and corn to sell some at the local market. I even supply some schools with food for their lunch programs. At the market, many people prefer organic vegetables. So, I can charge a little more.”
“I have managed to save US$350.00 and even have my own bank account, for the first time in my life! Outreach International has made all the difference. I have been able to pull myself and my family out of poverty. We enjoy three nutritious meals every day, and our children are less vulnerable to illness. They are much healthier. I have repaid my loans, but that’s not all. I have built three homes for my extended family. I am also sending the youngest members of my family to school as I am now able to pay for their school fees.”
I started working with an Outreach International site 16 years ago and continue to this day. From that point I have been committed to Outreach International and the work they do. We took 11 Jr. High youth to work in a community with families living in poverty and afraid of outsiders coming in yet all of these years later their lives have improved and we are welcomed with open arms. I have seen the changes the trip has made with the kids that go and serve. I have also seen the changes that have taken place in the lives of the families we have worked with. One of the comments made by one of the adults will always stay with me. "If these kids can accomplish this much work in a few days think how much we (community) can do for ourselves." We have tried to be an example to the community of what it means to work together to improve our lives through hard work and striving to build relationships with people that are different than ourselves. One of the biggest lessons the kids walk away with is that the families are really no different than theirs. We all desire to be safe, fed, have shelters over our heads, receive an education and most importantly know that others care. There is a ripple affect that takes place when we leave. The communities work together to improve their lives and our kids come home with a new perspective of what it means to live in poverty and how to serve others.
My relationship with Outreach International has literally changed my life. Traveling with Outreach International to Nicaragua during college and seeing their on-the-ground work first-hand had a tremendous influence in leading me to change majors and study nonprofit management. I have worked with Outreach International in many capacities. I am also a monthly donor to this wonderful organization because I believe so strongly in the work that they do.
I have been interested in OI for many years but recently I have realised more and more how the work they are doing is making such a difference in so many of the lives of the worlds poor, not just providing help but teaching them how to help themselves long term. You find out so much through Facebook, their website and the blogs that are written regularly and where the money you give is being used. Well done OI
I am very proud to have been associated with Outreach International since its beginning in 1979, and privileged to serve on the Board of Directors, back during the 70's and 80's. Over all of that time, Outreach has focused on working with impoverished persons around the world... providing the support and training of the people to empower themselves to bring about positive and sustainable change in their lives. When I was the President of the Board, I was very fortunate to travel to the Philippines twice to visit and live among the people in rural villages. The first time I went, a group of villagers were just beginning to meet together with an Outreach worker to identify their priority life concerns. The Outreach worker functioned as an active facilitator, encouraging the input of the people. Three years later, I returned to the same village - and saw the results of the people's work: there were now village leaders (leading the meetings and their daily efforts), they had worked together to increase their livelihood, were close to assuring a close-by source of fresh drinking water, and had a meeting planned with local government officials to resolve land ownership issues. WHAT A DIFFERENCE YOU COULD SEE IN THE PEOPLE! They were taking the leadership in their lives, making noted improvements, and very proud of what they had and could achieve. THIS is what Outreach achieves through a "participatory human development" process and what they mean by sustainable results! 30 years later Outreach is working with people in 13 countries and continuing to support those earlier villages. I will continue to be a supporter and donor to Outreach International - they have proven that they can achieve long-term people-changing and sustainable results! Kathy Robinson
I have seen first hand (two trips to Nicaragua) how Outreach International has been able to organize and empower villages to address their own needs to lift themselves out of poverty. This is the "Participatory Human Development Process" that has been used by Outreach International for more than 30 years. Rather than hand-outs that result in dependency, Outreach International typically sends one field staff member to a village to help them realize their own abilities and power. This results in "sustainable good", as the change comes from within the village. It is a cost-effective and long-term way to alleviate poverty.
I have known about Outreach International for many years but only during the last three years have I become a committed donor and supporter of this incredible organization. Reading about their philosophy and success inspired me to go on a "site visit" to see firsthand the way Outreach International works with poverty. Many of my stereotypes about "people in poverty" were challenged as I visited villages in Malawi where the villagers, themselves, were allowed to define their situations and solve problems. Experts from "the outside" were not telling the villagers what they needed or who was going to lead. The people were empowered! Women began to be seen as legitimate, strong, creative, dedicated problem solvers when allowed to work side by side with village elders. I saw villagers who created feeding programs for their children, built a pre-school and used local women to teach the young children, planted acacia trees to provide firewood and a cash crop, and even created a drip irrigation system to enable citrus trees to be grown to provide Vitamin C to the children. I came home proud to say that my contributions were being used so effectively to make a difference in the lives of the warm and friendly people of Malawi.
A year and a half ago I was able to go with Outreach International to see the work being done in Malawi, Africa. (No organization funds were used to pay for this trip.) I was amazed to see the results of the work being initiated by OI facilitators in the villages we visited. The improved state and increased role of women in the villages were impressive. The many agricultural, educational, and social programs generated by the villagers, facilitated by OI, and run by the village members were excellent examples of the work of OI and its "sustainable development."
I am fortunate to have seen the work of Outreach International firsthand. In its early days, I witnessed both a community well project in the remote areas of Haiti and a nutrition and agricultural center in action in the rural Philippines. As part of a film crew, we captured the process of a Haitian village, led by one of its own members, organize and complete - with some technical assistance - a project that positively transformed both the physical and economic health of that community and the surrounding area who would be able to use potable water for the first time. I know that there are thousands of such stories that have occurred through the last nearly forty years. What's more, my daughter now works for this wonderful organization, helping add to the stories of participatory community and human development.
My husband and I have been donors to OUTREACH INTERNATIONAL for many years and have been touched by the way OI helps those who are in need. We appreciate the "give a man a fish and he is fed for a day, teach him to fish and he then can take care of himself (and his family)" philosophy. It is good to know that more of each dollar we donate is used for the benefit of others rather than overhead expenses. As friends and relatives have passed on, we have taken to donating to OI in their memory, rather than sending flowers that die quickly. OUTREACH is what a charitable organization should be and we shall continue to donate to this wonderful organization. Ed & Georgia
I support Outreach International because I believe in their mission to help folks around the world by investing in their communities to create "sustainable solutions and long-lasting change". I am confident that the money I give each month is put toward bringing sustainable good to the impoverished communities OI serves.
Outreach International's focus on sustainability, their commitment to accountability and their ability to attract and retain talented and highly effective staff and volunteers assures us that our support is with the right organization. We know the impact of each dollar donated lasts for generations as witnessed through projects we have supported and personal testimonies of site-visit volunteers.
I have worked with Outreach International in Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of 2010.
It is in this collaboration at the tough, sharp end of disaster recovery and reconstruction that I have come to value the work of Outreach International.
Outreach International are acutely aware of the need to strike the right balance between providing important aid to those in need and building a community’s long term capacity to support themselves. It is this long term capacity building approach to international development that delivers sustainable good. And it is through this strategically smart work that we can all help communities build a strong future, a future free from dependence on outside support.
By combining the strongest ethical values with the highest levels of professionalism Outreach International delivers powerful results for their beneficiaries and donors. I have been privileged to work with OI over the last 2½ years and I intend to continue supporting their work long into the future.
I've been associated with Outreach International for over 30 years. I've taken site visits to Haiti, Philippines, and Nicaragua and seen the work being done by the field staff, known as Human Development Facilitators. They are local nationals who learn about the process known as Participatory Human Development Process. Couldn't be prouder of the great work to help the poor help themselves, by learning how to work together in communities and speaking up on their consensus issues. The headquarters staff are the best group and dedicated to making sure every dollar possible goes to the work in the field locations.
Of the nonprofit and charitable organizations that I have been affiliated with I am the most impressed by the management and professionalism of OI. We have been long-time donors/supporters and have been on three of their site visits. The model and process that they use for their sites seems to work very well with having only local staff working in the communities. The presentations that are given by the people involved in the efforts are very impressive and want to make you want to be more involved. We are looking forward to the next site visit.