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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

World Neighbors

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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 Haiti

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

31 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.