A Journey Through our History

World Neighbors has been addressing the root problems of poverty for over 60 years. Take a journey with us through our history and successes. 



World Neighbors was first called World Assistance and in late 1952, changed to World Neighbors.

In 1952, the first program work began in Katpadi, India with improved farming techniques.

In one-three year period, 8,798 tons of compost was produced from 6,830 compost pits in Kerala, India in the early 1960s, helping to improve soil conditions.

World Neighbors investment of $563,000 between 1962 and 1974 stimulated the production of over $24 million worth of additional food in the Trivandrum District Development program in India.

Train the trainers” program work began in Guatemala in 1964, where one man from 13 different villages attended a training centered on improved nutrition, increased food production and sanitation.

In 1966, The New York Times covered our work with a women’s organization in Guatemala. The women received a loan to buy and plant potatoes. By using better agricultural techniques, they harvested over 24,000 pounds of potatoes.

In 1969, Dr. John L. Peters was awarded Guidepost Magazine’s Good Samaritan Award presented to him by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.

In 1970, the 100,000 people involved in the Trivandrum District Development program reported an increase of 6,050,000 pounds of vegetables.

In San Miguel, Guatemala, out of 650 families surveyed in 1971, there had been 465 deaths of children under 5 years old. In 1974, only 21 deaths of children under 5 were reported.

World Neighbors received a commendation from the United States Agency of International Development in 1971.

In 1976, Dr. John L. Peters retires as World Neighbors President and publishes Cry Dignity!, an account of the organization’s formative years.

Call 800.242.6387 to order your copy of Cry Dignity!

In 1981, World Neighbors public education program in Kati, Togo helped totally eradicate the guinea worm disease that afflicted a third of the population.

From 1982-1988, World Neighbors helped to reforest Oaxaca, Mexico through planting 49,500 tree seedlings.

Two Ears of Corn was published in 1982, a book that has been translated in more than seven languages and has been used as a training manual by the U.S. Peace Corps and countless other international development organizations.

By 1988, the World Neighbors program in the highlands of Peru established bi-lingual schools in 18 of its 25 program communities, enabling villagers to communicate in Spanish to market corps, transact business and expand local networks and contacts.

World Neighbors was honored by the Oklahoma Asia Society in 1996 for 44 years of program work in Asia.

Dr. John L. Peters was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize a total of three times.

World Neighbors received national recognition in the Saturday Evening Post, Reader’s Digest and through Dr. Peters’ guest appearance on the Today Show.

Our program work in Vietnam was featured at the Annual Peace Corps Association Conference in 1997.

World Neighbors supported program partner Tamakoshi Sewa Samiti (TSS), was named one of the top 5 non-government development organizations in Nepal, selected from among 3,000.  

In 1990, World Neighbors trained over 500 Quechuan women in hygiene, nutrition and literacy in the highlands of Bolivia.

In 1992, World Neighbors headquarters building in Oklahoma City received national and international recognition, being featured in Texas Architects, Design Southwest and the Australian publication, Design


In 2000, a group of women found a way to connect to women globally by starting the Work of Women (WOW!) program.



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