Outreach International’s Ultimate Goal
Outreach International supports local leaders and community-led groups who develop sustainable solutions to their poverty-related issues.
In that single powerful statement, one word stands out: “sustainable.” A community-led group has become sustainable when it has capable leaders and committed members who have established processes, procedures and mechanisms that allow for progress, independent of outside guidance and motivation.
Finding Their Own Ways to Fight Poverty
The group should also generate ongoing income from successful projects and membership fees to finance new endeavors into the future. And, as important, they have gained the ability to move forward with knowledge and confidence. They learn this through their involvement in the Participatory Human Development process (PHD).
After a community graduates from the process, their relationship with Outreach does not end. But rather than continuing to facilitate their development projects, we and our partners become part of their resource network. Their independence allows the facilitator to expand to new areas.
Community Development Goals Achieved
A community is ready to graduate when it has reached a series of milestones and, like any worthwhile endeavor, the process takes time. Our goal is to facilitate a community-led group’s independence in five to six years.
27 Communities Graduated in 2021
That number is delightfully, stunningly high. But it makes sense when we remember how the pandemic caused so many delays and hardships around the world.
This is one community that graduated in 2021. 93 group members, 75% of whom are women, resolved over a dozen poverty-related issues. They now have a solar powered water pump and water storage system. It supplies low-cost, accessible, clean water to the whole community.
They’ve improved the conditions of roads for commerce and a school building for quality education. Also, they built bathrooms so women and girls can bathe safely. This is so important because in many places, women’s safety is an issue that must be addressed. In addition to all this, they learned to access government benefits and pensions. They even brought electricity to their community. The lives of 432 people from 94 households are now, sustainably, improved.
This community graduated in 2021 after completing multiple projects that brought clean water, latrines and improved agriculture to the benefit of 2,000 people. They combined their celebration with their neighbors in Chamata. And, as with every graduation ceremony, government officials attended to celebrate and validate the accomplishment.
Chamata is one of the most ambitious communities with whom Outreach has worked. They implemented food loans, goat raising, clean water sources, latrines, agricultural projects and more, benefiting 2,174 people.
Eventually, Chamata leaders taught their neighboring community of Bosso the PHD process, allowing them to complete several development projects of their own, to fight poverty and benefit another 1,151 people. This one community independently spreading the Outreach method to another, an effort we call SPROUT (SPReading OUTreach), is a perfect example of what the PHD process can achieve.
Fruits of Their Labor
As a part of these ceremonies for graduated communities in 2021, the group members planted a fruit tree. And, as they nurture its growth and see it eventually bear fruit, it will serve as a symbolic reminder of their ongoing commitment to each other – their promise to continue to nurture and grow.
How to Help
To learn more about all the amazing accomplishments made by our partners all around the world, read the Outreach International 2021 Annual Report.