I started volunteering with this organization as an accountant. When I was asked to help when they were first getting off of the ground, my thought was that their dreams were big, but that I was sure it wouldn't be a lot of work for a while. Boy was I wrong - they started with a bang and made remarkable inroads in a foreign land very quickly. Soon I was converting Thai Baht and Ugandan Schilling into American dollars for financial accountability. What a remarkable start - and they haven't stopped. I truly love the fact that they made a decision to start a Thrift Store (run by volunteers) and a Coffee Shop (run by volunteers) that were both successful in bringing in a regular stream of financing for the ministry while bringing together a new community right here in Arvada. This community of thrift shoppers, gourmet coffee drinkers, homemade pie aficionados, young business start-ups and passionate humanitarians give of their time, are briefed on people groups at evening seminars and even pay their own way to travel half way across the world to serve in grim, war-torn, poverty-stricken and displaced peoples areas. Truly an amazing home-grown organization with enough passion to move them into the next decade.
Supporting this loving & intelligent organization with finances and volunteering has been among the most fulfilling pleasures in my life. I only wish there was more I could do to assist them in their passionate help of the most helpless.
I have known the founder of global refuge international Brian McNeely for over eight years and have served overseas as a volunteer in one of their programs in Uganda, I find this organization to be extremely competent, financially efficient, and focused specifically on the needs of the individual victims of human and physical disaster caused crisis they serve in the field. They go to places that most organizations would not dare to go into and work with indigenous people to get the work accomplished. I highly recommend this organization for anyone who wants to be involved personally or financially and caring for people difficult places around the world.
Review from Guidestar
I have been with GRI for sevev years and know first hand what it means to "Abandon the Middle" Go and Give to share the Love of Christ in a dark place meeting needs face to face with people in desperate need. GRI gets the most bang for the buck of any organization I know. Monte Watson MA, MHA, OTR. US Army Major, Retired. JOIN us!
I traveled with GRI to Thailand where the organization was providing medical care to refugees from Burma. These people are allowed to be in Thailand, but they have no services from the government. GRI provided medical care, medicine, vitamins, encouragement and hope in Christ. I also worked with Global Refuge in Uganda. Many people in Uganda die from complications from malaria, which can be prevented by sleeping under a mosquito net. GRI goes to remote villages and gives families these nets, as well as tests and treats malaria cases. They also distribute medication to individuals who have tested positive for HIV. Over the years, many lives have been saved by the humanitarian efforts of Global Refuge. My experiences with GRI have been life-changing.
GRI serves in difficult places where the needs are great and other charitable organizations are reluctant to venture. I had the opportunity last fall to teach medics at the GRI course on the Thai-Burma border. It's an unstable area with only the most basic health care.
I was impressed by how much the medic students had learned in a short period of time, and how all the logistical challenges (housing, teaching facility, translators) had been overcome. This sort of training offers hope and practical assistance in this difficult area.
I went with GRI to Uganda last summer with some of my classmates from nursing school. GRI was able to use our skills and resources as nursing students to help serve the people of Uganda. We taught HIV education classes to GRI's HIV vulnerable groups in 10 villages. We also passed out medication, visited hospitals, clinics and even stayed at a maternity clinic overnight and witnessed the birth of three babies. The missions trip through GRI was one of the best experiences of my life. It help me to grow spiritually while learning about the healthcare and medical needs around in Uganda. The GRI team in Uganda was very welcoming and made us feel right at home. GRI is an excellent example of how to provide the best and most needed kind of service in a place like Northern Uganda.
As someone who has worked overseas, for seven years now, with non profit organizations I can personally say that Global Refuge International rises above them all. Their commitment to communication and accountability is a priority for them, and it shows. Working together with nationals, and training, supporting them to become leaders in the local projects is something that they do extremely well. (This is something that is lacking in almost every organization I have personally worked with or under.) I admire their goal of creating long standing projects within cultural boundaries, rather than creating short "Western" fixes that do not work culturally, nor long term. Most of all, GRI approaches all that they do from a Biblical standpoint. The same measure they use on others is, first, used towards themselves. They have not come in with answers but rather with a humble attitude of following Christ into each new health initiative they take on.
In May 2010 I travelled to Northern Uganda with GRI. I was part of a team consisting mostly of nursing students. Our mission was to work with HIV-AIDS vulnerable groups in the villages around Lira. Our team taught those groups about personal health and hygiene, household health and hygiene, and about how to prevent the spread of HIV.
Our GRI interpreters were superb. It was obvious that GRI has an influential presence in those villages, and that they help as many of the villagers as possible with medications, transportation to hospital facilities, health education, and so much more.
I will definitely take another trip with GRI in the future.
GRI does great work in going places others fear to work and opening up opportunities for other groups to safely work there. Many organizations use all of their donor funds to provide a lifestyle for their employees and small amounts of money actually get to the people in need. GRI is the opposite of that and does tremendous work for the budget they seem to have. I would recommend them with the highest of regard and my prayer is that many other donors will join in partnership of this wonderful work.
Review from Guidestar