World Neighbors works with the rural poor in 16 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America to strengthen the ability of individuals and communities to solve their own problems of hunger, poverty and disease. World Neighbors’ programs integrate improved sustainable agriculture, community-based health, reproductive health, environmental conservation, water and sanitation, and livelihood strategies, including savings and credit.
The purpose of World Neighbors is to strengthen the capacity of marginalized communities to meet their basic needs, and to determine and sustain an equitable and inclusive development process.
World Neighbors is a people-to-people nonprofit organization working at the forefront of worldwide efforts to eliminate hunger, disease and poverty in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
World Neighbors affirms the determination, ingenuity and inherent dignity of all people.
By strengthening these primary resources, people are helped to analyze and solve their own problems. Success is achieved by developing, testing and extending simple technologies at the community level and training local leaders to sustain and multiply results.
Program priorities are food production, community-based health, family planning, water and sanitation, environmental conservation and small business.
Founded in 1951 and rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition of neighbor helping neighbor. World Neighbors is anon-sectarian, self-help movement supported by private donations. World Neighbors does not solicit nor accept U.S. government funding.
Some Facts about World Neighbors
World Neighbors currently supports 64 programs that directly affect 300,000 people in 15 countries including seven of the 12 countries identified by the World Bank as accounting for 80 percent of the world’s poor (1998 World Development Indicators, The World Bank.) Those countries are India, Indonesia, Kenya, Peru, and Nepal.
World Neighbors’ annual operating budget is just under $5 million. Support for programs comes from private contributions by individuals, foundations, churches and organizations. World Neighbors does not solicit or accept U.S. government funding.
World Neighbors has always been non-sectarian. World Neighbors has a headquarters staff of 25 full- and part- time employees in Oklahoma City.
World Neighbors Programs
Since 1951, World Neighbors has supported hundreds of programs in 64 countries in Asia Africa and Latin America. World Neighbors operates programs for an average often years. At the beginning of each program’s operation, there is already a plan in place for phasing out support. As World Neighbors moves to other areas of need, they leave behind networks of leaders with the skills to enable a community to undertake development initiatives on its own.
Please select a region going at web site to see further prefect details, general information about the people we help, and the bright futures that are curled.
Select an issue from the list below:
Community Health and Nutrition
Environment/Natural Resource Management
Local Capacity Building
How We Work
Our approach is simple. In cooperation with our global neighbors, we:
- Select the areas where we work on the basis of need and opportunity.
- Listen to what they have to say and what limits their success. Establish a relationship of trust.
- Help strengthen their capacity to identify, analyze and solve their own problems using the resources and the simplest tools to do the job.
- Try new ideas on a small scale. Stay practical to generate early enthusiasm and success.
- Help document the results and apply lessons learned to improve programs.
- Reinforce their capacity to maintain and multiply results and ongoing problem-solving process by forming new partnerships and by coordinating with additional villages and local organizations.
- Widen program impact by recording and sharing the results and process with larger scale organizations, villages, networks, coalitions and governments to influence policies and actions.
Our approach aims to strengthen the ability of communities to address the problems they face and to meet their basic needs. By beginning with people and by helping them to set their priorities and manage the development process themselves. World Neighbors respects the dignity and self-worth of the people with whom we work. This approach also makes it much more likely that programs can continue without outside support.
Training & Outreach
World Neighbors does not send in “outside experts.”‘ Programs are led by committed trainers who come from the geographic areas where we work and speak the local languages. Of the more than 350 field staff based in 15 countries, only two are from North America. Many of our programs are carried out in partnership with local organizations, while others are operated by World Neighbors.
By participating in this self-help process, communities gradually develop their capacity to identify, analyze and solve problems, whatever they may be. Local trainers and volunteers learn how to identify needs, experiment with solutions and evaluate results. Eventually, these local trainers replace the World Neighbors-supported staff working in the community as World Neighbors moves on to work in other areas of need.
World Neighbors starts where people are and responds to their expressed needs. Therefore, programs often address a range of critical issues such as low food production, high infant mortality, poor maternal health, scarce drinking water, soil erosion, deforestation and unemployment. All of these issues are inter-connected in the lives of the rural poor, and World Neighbors has found it effective to work in an integrated, holistic manner.
As programs and local organizations are established. World Neighbors encourages them to join together to form wider networks and associations. A network of village health committees can do more to improve health conditions than a single village. Farmer groups that are linked to one another – and to other organizations – can more effectively protect a vanishing forest than a single group of farmers acting alone.
Action learning is the systematic and participatory analysis, learning and documentation of program need, context, process, outcomes and impact. Action learning is a fundamental feature of World Neighbors programs and these activities used to inform decision-making, improve programs and widen impact.
Food and Agriculture
> While there are many different approaches, sustainable agriculture is generally defined as a type of agriculture that ensures meeting the food needs of the present without endangering the earth’s capacity and the ability of future generations to meet their own food needs. Sustainable agriculture refers to ways of practicing agriculture that balance environmental, social, and economic dimensions of farming while maintaining productivity over the long-term. Sustainable agriculture requires the integration of three dimensions:
> Sustainable agriculture includes the non-chemical but also the transition strategies of encouraging farmers to move from one method of farming to another. Sustainable agriculture is not a goal to be attained, but an on-going dynamic process that continually adapts itself to the changing environment.
Community health care is an important part of World Neighbors programs aimed at building local capacity to meet basic needs and promote a self-sustaining local development process. World Neighbors community health programming is based on the principles of primary health care that emphasize prevention of illness, home management of uncomplicated cases of illness and prompt referral as necessary. Our programming includes 1) control of infectious disease (prevention and treatment), 2) childhood immunization, 3) clean water supply and sanitation, 4) nutrition promotion, and 5) reproductive health.
World Neighbors supports the vision of reproductive health as articulated at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. This vision states that:
- Sexual relations should be free of coercion and infection.
- Every pregnancy should be intended.
- Every birth should be healthy.
Environment/Natural Resource Management
> Community-Based Natural Resource Management is a people-centered approach to the integration of conservation and development.
NINE KEY ELEMENTS TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNITY-BASED NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (CBNRM)
Lessons from World Neighbors’ experience around the world over the last decade confirm a number of key elements essential for building effective community-based approaches to natural resource management:
- Multi-stakeholder Collaboration is a pivotal mechanism for building consensus among all stakeholders and for coordinating joint efforts.
- Conflict Management Mechanism. Creating venues and milestones to convene stakeholders over the long-term is essential for managing natural resource conflicts.
- Participatory Action Research. Assessment and information gathering efforts undertaken jointly by stakeholders consciously includes local knowledge as well as scientific expertise. Collaborative fact-finding generates a mutually agreed perspective for action.
- Strong Local Organizations are built from the bottom-up. Forest-farmer groups address key conservation and development concerns at the farm and community levels, while inter-village networks address multi-community concerns at the ecosystem scale.
- Livelihood Improvement and Environmental Services. Farm and community enterprises linked to environmental conservation help sustain environmental services. Linking upland with lowland and urban communities through environmental services provides opportunities for reinvestment.
- Policy Support and Law Enforcement are essential to curb illegal encroachment leading to ecosystem degradation. With adequate policy support, communities of place become more effective custodians of natural resources.
- Collaborative Management Plan. Healthy &cost stems and sustainable communities are built on shared responsibilities and decision-making among all stakeholders through joint management plans based on the principle of subsidiary.
- Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation. Monitoring the natural resource base and application of the management plan is seen as a means to address accountability, build trust, and promote learning, innovation, and adaptive responses.
- Gender and Social Justice in Access To and Control of Natural Resources is the ultimate measure of the sustainability of community-based natural resource management efforts.
World Neighbor’s purpose is “to strengthen the capacity of marginalized communities to meet their basic needs, and to determine and sustain an equitable and inclusive development process.” The issue of community and organizational capacity building is therefore central to our work.
World Neighbor’s recognizes that we can’t remain in one site for too long- nor would it be desirable to do so. (Project initiatives generally last from 5 to 10 years.) We seek to strengthen local autonomy other than create dependency. This requires transferring responsibilities to local partners, and organisationing out of direct Financial support. In many cases local organizations evolve into NGOs or associations of rural people. Sometimes these organizations can strengthen other local organizations.
This focus on “strengthening local capacity” requires a clear vision about our role as a support organization, and a conscious, explicit strategy to identify and strengthen capacities.
A critical component of World Neighbors’ people-centered approach is empowering women and men to listen to one another and work together to improve their lives. Helping marginalized groups, including women, express their ideas and be heard is an important part of this work.
World Neighbors Approach to Gender
Because of the varied contexts in which World Neighbors operates, World Neighbors does not have one uniform ‘gender approach.’ There are, however, general principles that guide our gender-related work, These include: linking gender relations with concrete needs, involving men and women, using gender-sensitive participatory methods; addressing unequal responsibilities and decision making, and approaching gender issues at a variety of levels.
World Neighbors Programs in Asia
Keep checking these pages for the latest information about our programs in Asia. As field reports are filed, they will be posted on these pages. Also check out our News and Events pages for program updates and late-breaking news. One example is as below-
Where there is a will there is a way.
“Subhadra’s courage and leadership is showing the way for other villages.”
The small village of Nellur is one of hundreds of farming communities scattered across the dry expanses of India’s Deccan Plateau. All of Nellur’s 250 families live off the land and rely on a short rainy season to secure one meal a day. Many of the families do not own the Land they live on. The communities in this area live in extreme poverty and lack access to basic services like drinking water, schools and health facilities.
Life is especially difficult for the women of Nellur, who work an average of 15 hours per day, gathering firewood, cooking and washing, caring for their children and working in the fields with the men. Five of those hours are spent carrying water. Women suffer many health problems due to their low status, heavy workloads and lack of health care.
“Even pregnant women, work until their date …….. and there many stories of women delivering in the field or on the road,” reports Dr. Subhash Gumaste, Eorld Neighbors Associate Area Representative for India. “The nearest primary health center to Nellur is about 11 kilometers (7miles) away. Before the program begun, the poorest families have never seen the government nurse who was supposed to visit the village once a week.
World Neighbors supporters come from all 50 states and throughout North America. Join together with other World Neighbors supporters for presentation by visiting field staff fund raisers and other special events and exhibits. If you would like to know more about World Neighbors we invite you to contact us:
World Neighbors International Headquarters
4127 NW 122 Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73120 USA
001-800-242-6387 or (405) 752-9700
Fax: 001(405) 752-9393