For almost 14 years, I have worked with Outreach International. This organization uses a participatory approach of organizing affected communities in solving their own issues, which is not observed in many organizations’ interventions. During my career in development with Outreach, I saw people find their smile, their hope, their confidence, and above all, a positive meaning to their existence and lives.
Outreach leads the poor to believe in their own ability to transform themselves and their environment, and helps them realize that they are the only ones to be at the center of their own success.
I would like to share the following experience from my own community where I work:
At the beginning of 2017, a borehole was financed, finalized, and equipped with a hand pump to provide residents with access to more water. Given the large number of individuals needing water, the pump failed to meet community needs due to the time required for pumping. The community analyzed the problem by itself and decided to sign an agreement with a solar pump supplier. Soon the solar pump will be installed to allow a large number of people to be served in record time. This demonstrates that communities are now able to analyze a problem and propose a solution without the intervention of outsiders, and is also a clear sign of their independence. With just the income from the installed pump, the community is paying for the realization of this project.
LUNDA KINE KINDA Abdon Michel
As one of the Human Development Facilitator based in Lubumbashi, DR Congo and assigned to the wide community of Kalebuka in the rural Southeast part of the city of Lubumbashi, I have the privilege of seeing first hand people’s lives transformed by the Participatory Human Development Process. You should see how proud they are to share their stories with visitors. Amongst them, maybe Phiri and Boni had the most tremendous change of their lives. Both are active members of local groups we organized in Kalebuka I and Kalebuka II. They are married and fathers of 7 and 5 children respectively. None completed his primary education.
Here is what Phiri said recently:
"Initially, when we started to get involved with Outreach International’s program, I thought that was as always, but things began to take shape for my life." Working on the project of clean water supply as a community, I had the opportunity to be trained in the repair of hand pumps with my friend Boni. I am now a craftsman repairer, with a certificate that proves that I can repair the hand pumps. At least Outreach International with its program gave me the opportunity to have qualifications. I was a mere hunter and casual farmer. Apart from the three hand pumps we receive from Outreach International that we maintain regularly, we receive more and more demands in addition, to repair many other hand pumps in our community and even in neighboring communities. I have started to feel that I am also being appreciated and valued as a worthy person, as compared to the time when I was without qualification. These people (Outreach International) came to help me develop; today I am also proud to help my community by repairing their hand pumps and by training others in the repair of pump. It is in this way that I participate also in the supply of clean drinking water to my community. Our training allowed us to have very good tools kits for the repair that many do not have.
Outreach International helped the two of us to have qualifications, with the possibility of getting employment in drilling companies.”
I have been a volunteer and donor for Outreach International for many years. Their work helps people around the world help themselves through education, initial donations and continued support. Their motto of Sustainable Good typifies their mission of helping people and improving their lives. Projects such as providing clean water, lunches & supplies for school children and animals & seeds for farming all work towards sustaining people and making it possible for them to support their families and become more independent. OI manages their budget and projects very well. I'm very glad to continue to support OI for the coming years.
Outreach International encompasses everything you would want in an organization. From the volunteers to the board members to the PHDP they use to create incredible and sustainable project work, OI continues to exemplify the best of outreach in an international setting while maintaining the highest standard of care and empowerment of the individuals and communities they work with.
I have traveled to site visits with Outreach International in the Philippines and Nicaragua, and can easily say that the work they are doing there is incredible. Not only are they able to integrate the community in their project work, but the community members themselves are in the leadership roles. By actively listening to the needs of the community and facilitating life-changing project work OI is truly changing the world.
Outreach is a program that helps others to help themselves by teaching them how to grow food for themselves. Show others how to run a farm. Build a well and maintain it.
They are a great organization that has grown by helping others help themselves.
I am a contributor living on a fixed income. I want my small donations to make a big impact. I know I can get that with Outreach International. They make the most of my monies. I have peace of mind knowing that what I can give is making a better world. ZJS
It's about creating PEACE! Worldwide peace. When people have their needs met, they begin to have hope about their future. They believe they can change their life for the better. That's when they begin to feel peace within themselves and their community. PEACE is what Outreach International provides.
If you believe in Peace, you can believe in Outreach International. One way to have peace among peoples is to give them hope, give them the necessities of life, give them education. Fathers want to support their families, mothers want to feed their children, kids want to feel safe. Outreach works towards those issues. This brings peace to a family, peace to community, peace to the world.
Sustained commitment and dedication are words that are accurate and true for Outreach International (OI). The programs initiated in countries and villages across the globe are created with long term sustainability and support from OI. Through this type of commitment and hands on training with the people directly affected by the programs, individuals lives are being enriched and enhanced in ways that were not possible before. Knowing that OI continues to support and sustain these needs is what sets OI apart for me. I've been a donor for years and plan to continue to support this wonderful nonprofit for as long as possible.
For years I have been donating to Outreach International, but it was only in the last couple of years did I get the opportunity to become a volunteer at their World Headquarters. I have always been intrigued and most inspired by the fact that the organization sustain the programs they create. The fact that they work with the communities around the world to create support sustainable programs, really sold me on this non-profit. Through volunteering, I have come to know many of the staff at their headquarters and its easy to see their dedication and excitement about their organization. I am proud to be a donor for life through their easy automatic deduction program.
I am excited about Outreach International.
For several years, I represented Outreach International at the Combined Federal Campaigns. The administrative costs of OI was always the lowest of the agencies represented there, which meant that the money was going to the programs and people in need, not administration.
The process used by Outreach is transformative. It establishes self-worth, while at the same time alleviating some of the problems of the poor, who are then blessed with better health and nutrition, fewer illnesses, and more sustainable environments.
My husband and I contribute financially to Outreach International because we strongly believe in their mission. The model of sustainability is a highly effective system of support. The Outreach International helps others to help themselves. We are more than happy to give our support to this top notch non-profit. Kudos to OI!
To those who live in poverty, Outreach International is their ticket out! It is a slower process than handouts, but because it teaches reliance on the community, the team and the individual, it builds programs that are sustainable and lasting. These programs come from within the community or team where they empower and build confidence. We have witnessed the joy and pride in the people who are living and working within the communities and we have seen the end result (gardens, wells, houses, etc.)! These communities are vibrant, children are attending school, people have jobs, families have food and life is good!
Outreach also realizes that there are times of natural disaster such as the recent typhoons in The Philippines when time doesn't permit the process to unfold, in which case a handout is necessary. They are on top these situations also.
With a low overhead budget, dedicated volunteers and a nine-step process (Participatory Human Development Process) that is proven (and sought out by other organizations), we know that Outreach International is exemplary and a Great Non-Profit!
As a hand up rather than a hand out organization, Outreach International's approach is to teach indigenous leaders to help their community identify and prioritize their needs and then find a sustainable way to meet the most urgent needs while, at the same time, training new leaders. Education of community leaders and schools for children are a top priority for Outreach. It has been my husband's and my privilege to serve nearly 20 years as either regional advisors or local representatives, sharing the story of the amazing work of OI. We have, as we have traveled, visited various communities where the testimonials of positive impact have been eagerly related as well as visually apparent! Peace corps service was our first face to face exposure to the terrible plight of those living in poverty. Vaguely aware of but not a contributor to or volunteer for Outreach International until our first hand encounter with poverty, we returned from Peace Corps and became active supporters and contributors. We love that they build confidence, instil dignity, promote the worth of persons, teach sustainability and believe education and justice is the path to peace!
Peace and Justice are not just words spoken at a church service. Peace and Justice require action. Outreach International is an organization of action. We are called to uplift the worth of all persons, lift each other out of poverty, promote communities of peace. This organization does just that. They do not just throw food and medicine at people or villages. The members of this organization help people to help themselves be self sufficient, help communities work together to build economies that are self supporting. I highly encourage all who want to invest in the future of Earth to donate funds, time, sweat equity through Outreach International. You will not be disappointed. In fact you will be a blessing to others and help them to be a blessing to even more people...
I have supported Outreach International for about ten years and agreed to be a regional advisor two years ago. I continue to support the mission of Outreach International because of its mission to help communities become self sustaining. The opportunity to fund carpentry tools; sewing machine; chickens or a water buffalo; school supplies blew my mind. The catalog is fun to go through. It provides a meaningful gift alternative when shopping for that person who has everything, or as a fitting memorial to a loved one who has passed on. I used the Advent Stable materials last year and will do so again this year. The congregation loved the information contained in bulletin inserts provided by OI. We made the four animals highlighted last year and are looking forward to crafting the gifts for this year's Advent Stable.
My husband and I have donated to Outreach International for a number of years and recently I have been privileged to be a volunteer in the home office. The staff are great to work with and I love hearing the stories of the impact that Outreach has made in the lives of people around the world. The Outreach philosophy of sustainability to eliminate poverty assures me that my contributions are used where they will do the most good.
Donna, Helen and I went to Los Fresno for Outreach International. We went down to teach new skills to approximately 30 women that could be used in their everyday lives. Donna taught canning......she used local vegetables and fruits......made some salsa for one example and demonstrated the process. Helen taught sewing.....each of the women made a denim purse......it was fun and enjoyed by all. I taught decorating of cakes and cupcakes......the ladies seemed to enjoy their creative side. We all learned and hopefully everyone was able to take something from the classes.....if nothing else....self worth. Would do it again in a heart beat!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.