My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Self-Help International, Waverly, IA, USA
When I was a child, one of my favorite stories was “The Little Engine That Could”— I think of that when I am with Self Help International (SHI)—in many ways the “little organization that can”. Headquartered in the small city of Waverly, Iowa, it has taken seriously “helping people help themselves” for almost 60 years. Self Help is an organization that models resiliency and shares it with people in Ghana, West Africa and Nicaragua in Central America. As noted in other stories, over 60 years SHI has moved successfully through change in program and support to become the effective organization it is today.
Committing to long term in each country—SHI has been in Ghana for over 25
years, in Nicaragua for over 18. This means that the program evolves with the people’s needs as they change over time to help achieve a long term goal of communities that are thriving long after SHI is gone.
Committing to in-country staff—the US staff consists of 3 full time people, plus interns who are interested in development. Staffing in Ghana and Nicaragua is several times that many. This has allowed SHI to do an exceptional job of listening to and serving people in those countries in their own culture and language.
Putting into action an increasingly integrated program based in communities. Program components of agriculture, microcredit for women, clean water, work to improve nutrition, and training that supports them are brought together on a community basis. Results from integrated, community based programs such as one for women and very young children, water systems for clean water, and working to develop agricultural enterprises are exciting.
I encourage people to check out the impact reports at: www.selfhelpinternational for more information about "this little organization that can" and its effective work.