Hello my name is Juan López Chamorro, I have worked for 12 years with Outreach International from Nicaragua, experiencing a change on a personal level mainly, promoting a change of attitude in people from communities living in chronic poverty.
Through the implementation of the Participatory Human Development Process methodology, I have gained access to families from communities that live with a series of problems that affect them, making them identify the problems in order of priority, seeking alternative solutions, being They themselves are the protagonists of their efforts before local and international institutions and NGOs. As people are doing, learning and experiencing work in their community, they are raising their level of consciousness, empowering themselves and solving problems from simple to complex scales.
I can assure that Outreach International uses a powerful tool called PDHP (Participatory Human Development Process) that becomes even more powerful when it is facilitated and implemented by the people of the communities themselves.
Since I started working with Outreach International as a human development facilitator, I have learnt so many things, which are of benefit to me, my family as well as the communities I have been with. I like the approach/ strategy that Outreach International use as a tool to resolution of the issues, Participatory Human Development Process which involves those who are affected to participate, which also justifies that no one knows everything. I also learnt that provision of skills is the best way to prosperity rather than provision of material help. So Participatory Human Development Process is the best tool to resolution of issues because it fits in all situations, raises the people’s consciousness to develop trust in themselves.
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.”
If I would die today and given a chance to live again, I would always choose to work with Outreach International (OI). This organization has given me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of many people trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty. With my work as Human Development Facilitator (HDF), I have personally witnessed how the less fortunate and hopeless people were empowered to act collectively to resolve issues of poverty affecting them for a long time. My heart was filled with joy! It was such a fullfilment to see how they successfully resolved their issues, which according to them are not for themselves but for the future generations. This was made possible by Outreach International's powerful approach/methodology, which is the Participatory Human Development Process (PHDP).OI's investment is to empower people in the community; these people in return also empower other communities. The touch of OI starts a ripple of empowerment with the hope of attaining sustainable development and eradicate poverty in the future.
The method used by Outreach International is one of the most uncommon ways of resolving community issues, and as such it has not just impacted the community residents where we are working but even us as facilitators. For instance, the method of PHDP has greatly changed me the way and how I look at other people and even the way I look at myself. PHDP has empowered people to realize and appreciate their potentials.
In my 20 years of association with this Organization working in the field in 4 different countries with teams of 4 -8 field staff, I have had the privilege of hearing so many testimonies of changed lives and of seeing so many lives radically transformed by the work of Outreach International: entire communities getting access to more clean water and sanitation; producing enough food for themselves and even an excess to sell thanks to treadle irrigation; starting to make enough income to improve their houses and send children and grandchildren to school and college; creating, building and managing their own schools and kindergartens; feeding the malnourished, elderly and orphaned children; learning to use and erecting hand-washing stations and water-sealed and even flushable toilets; creating and managing their own clinics; changing from fishermen to fish farmers; planting thousands of trees; starting to have a voice and to be be heard and become visible to local and central Governments, etc.
It is not the kind of intervention that continuously provide material assistance for a short-term relief or continuing dependency. No. It is a sustainable change that impact both the people's existence and psyche; the kind of transformation that improves material life alongside increasing consciousness and capabilities while changing people socially and mentally for a long-lasting good. It is the kind of actions and interventions that transform both the development staff and the beneficiaries in their journey together; the kind that let the people participate in defining collectively their own happiness and getting fully involve in its pursue, escorted by donors and operators along the paths towards that happiness with both the field staff and the beneficiaries getting transformed in the journey.
At Outreach International, we strive to end poverty while creating conditions for the poor to take charge of their destiny and create better communities for themselves and a brighter future for their children.
That is why I am still with Outreach International and choosing to remain.
McAdamson Willinedi Nkhoma,
I am working with Outreach International, the process of PHDP that we use in facilitating people in the communities in Malawi it has changed me too in the living standard.
In the past I was just an ordinary person without making proper plans for our day to day work in our family mainly on farming, and I could make budgets for myself only without involving my wife with an aim of she cant contribute to the budget making, after I realized that PHDP needs participation of all members of the family, now a days my wife Dorcas is a farm manager while am concentrating to the work with Outreach Development Program doing PHDP in the partner communities.
We are earning more in the farm than in the past when she was not involved, Outreach International indeed has helped me have more changes through the process of PHDP.
Why am I still with Outreach International when I've been here for 19 years already? It started with the need to be employed for income, followed by commitment when my work context and direction deepened. Now, it's about passion. Passion that sustains me - making me happy, proud and fulfilled as the impacts of participatory community development work are manifested: people's projects are earning, their consciousness and capabilities are intensifying, participants are increasing with neighboring communities joining. Even families of the staff were benefiting with the positivity and capacities that staff were sharing. We were "tooled" enough to carry out what we need to work on. Isn't it too rewarding?
I was started working with outreach international from 2010 to till now through MGS India. Outreach have working many of the poor communities to help the people to work together to bring change in their lives. outreach has helping to the people how they develop their knowledge, capabilities, empowerment themselves and resolution to their problems. By this working people creating sustainable solution to end the poverty in the lives of the poor. I am the blessed to work with this organization, because we able to work with poor people in communities.
I am not working just for earn, how to develop and sustainable to the development works by the empowering of people.
It is a great blessing for me to work with outreach International. Outreach international working in the poor communities to transform the people’s lives. Through the process of Outreach international people help themselves. Through this process people get awareness, develop their skills, knowledge to resolve their issues and they get empowerment and capable to act themselves in making sustainable community. People who are getting tangible or intangible benefits from outreach international are not confined with them but they are helping others to improve their lives and to come out from the poverty. Outreach International impacted many Indian communities
Working with Outreach is a great blessing, because OI work for sustainable development of the communities. OI empowering the people to act and make their situation better. I like the process that they do not provide/distribute the people tangible things/cash according their need but teach them to access the things/cash from other resource agencies. I think that is wonderful job, if we give a man one T-shirt he will wear minimum 6 month. if we teach a man how to get a T-shirt and he can buy many times. Outreach international is a great organization, which is providing skill, knowledge and capable to the people to sustain themselves.
Working with Outreach is a great blessing. It makes me feel and realized that the poverty that I have been is nothing compare to what the poor have been experiencing. I am blessed to be an agent of change in the lives of many in the poor communities. How I wish others could also experience and see first hand how people work together to bring change in their lives, how they utilize their indigenous knowledge and capabilities to empower themselves and create sustainable solution to their own problems. The work of Outreach is contagious that is why it is growing, people are growing, partners are growing.. and that means we are creating sustainable solution to end poverty in the lives of the poor.
As soon as I graduated from the university with my degree in Social Sciences, I started working with this organization. From the 2 organizations that they support in the Philippines where I was and is employed, I've been with them for more than 9 years combined! With my degree, I was offered by other agencies for teaching position, social work jobs, etc but I decided to stay and work with this organization. Why? Here, I work not just to earn for a living but is deeply appreciative with how this organization push for sustainability of community development by empowering the people to act and make their situation better. They encourage the rich and empower the poor to negotiate for sharing of resources. In every community that they work in they radiate hope and genuine love.
The Outreach International from 2012 till now it is able to source ore funds for funding poor people in the communities of Malawi particularly in the 12 partner communities that Malawi staff are working.
The time when we invited government staff from the department of agriculture to give awareness of how to take care, replace/plant trees and about the causes of deforestation through unnecessary fires (bush burning and cutting trees without its purpose into the partner communities that we work, at first the community members were not understanding about this ideology from ODP and government, But when we explained/facilitate about the effects of cutting trees without real purpose and burning the bushes, that these two things if not taken care it brings land degradation and the soil will not produce bumper yield to the crops that the farmer may grow.
The community people from the communities we work are now able to protect their lands that they inherited from there parents and the laws/polices are made within the villages that protects the burning of the bushes and cutting trees without a purpose. In additional to this the members have been able to submit proposals to different NGOs and GOs demanding tree seeds as well as polythene tubes for good germination of seeds, the most encouraging this is that OI when observed these people replacing trees in their own villages through facilitation from its workers, it provides funds that are meant to food for work while these members of groups are planting trees during the lean months from December to April this has happen for three times in different villages that ODP works. Outreach International is also providing more support to its field staff/HDFs financially in order to implement the PHDP work efficiently the community members has been able to plant acacia and eucalyptus trees and other trees that replaces the fertility of the soil . As a result in five years coming the 12 villages will have more to benefit from these trees when it comes at the time of selling because one acacia or eucalyptus pole of 5 inches thick and 7 to 15 feet long is sold at $3.70 USD as of now. each partner village has more than 1,000 growing trees.
Thats why Outreach International is rated meets the expectations of the poor people.
McAdamson Nkhoma - Malawi Field Program
My family and I have been donating and supporting this organization. It is dedicated to empowering local communities to help themselves in ways most helpful to each unique local village or city. I am a professional social worker. I have worked with a large variety of nonprofit organizations during my career. I have been impressed with the values expressed and implemented by this organization. I have also been impressed when I have met people from villages that have been helped by Outreach International. They have made great contributions around the world including Haiti and The Phillipine Islands.
I was fortunate enough to work for Outreach for a few years, and was overwhelmed by how much good work so few employees accomplish around the world. It was amazing to watch their energy, dedication, and professional skill. During summer and winter terms, college students compete to intern at Outreach, to travel to places where they can learn about authentic participation, to teach the next generation about poverty that can be overcome, and to create new resources that appeal to all ages. Elderly volunteers are regular as clockwork, filling the back offices with laughter and long hours, preparing mailings and special products.
Since working at Outreach, I have used Outreach's children's program and catalog to teach large groups of kids from around the country about Outreach's message of making a difference by partnering with others to make sustainable change. Children are easily engaged in this message and purpose using Outreach's well-designed resources, Shop, and Catalog.
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.