January E-Newsletter

World Neighbors – Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow 

Whether you have been a friend of World Neighbors for over 50 years or only 5 months, you should know our successful development model working in Asia, Africa and Latin America has never changed. 

World Neighbors founder Dr. John L. Peters once said, “And World Neighbors shall continue to be a person-centered program. For unless the individual is inspired, all the schemes designed for his improvement are destined to fail. Only that program which can speak to him completely and directly, with respect and concern, but without condensation or paternalism, can house him, challenge him. We need only to go out to serve rather than to sell, to demonstrate rather than to denounce.” 

Dr. Peters’ quote sums up World Neighbors philosophy, still holding true after more than 57 years of investing in people. Our mission of inspiring people and strengthening communities to find lasting solutions to hunger, poverty and disease is as relevant today as it was when Dr. Peters pursued his vision to help poverty-stricken people decades ago. Learn more about Dr. Peters and the history of World Neighbors. 

Today, 1.4 million children die each year from lack of access to clean water, 800 million people go to bed hungry everyday and 529,000 women die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth a year. And these are the people who World Neighbors has helped transform - more than 25 million people around the world since 1951. 

Tamakoshi Sewa Samiti (TSS), a community-based organization located in the remote district of Ramechhap, Nepal is a genuine example of the stability and progress that occurs with World Neighbors help. Emerging from World Neighbors support many years ago, this voluntary grassroots organization grew to over 6,000 members in 40 villages, providing basic services in preventative and reproductive health care, sustainable agriculture, water supply and income generation through rural micro-enterprise. TSS has become self-sustaining and World Neighbors has phased out of that area - a true World Neighbors success story! 

World Neighbors work is successful because we do not make decisions for the communities, but act as a catalyst for change, offering education and training. The people decide the priority in which to address their struggles and they make the changes themselves. This way instills self-confidence in every man and woman who take part in the process and they develop more pride and determination in the future of their families and communities. 

World Neighbors has proven that our integrated approach of addressing the root causes of hunger, poverty and disease is the real solution. The problems that communities face are interrelated, such as farming practices, reproductive health, gender issues, water and the environment. If better health services are the only focus for a community, but the clinic does not have a source of clean water or proper sanitation, then its ability to heal is intensely diminished. Or, if a community has clean water sources, but improved farming practices are not addressed, there will still not be enough food. You cannot address one problem and expect lasting change without solving all of the related issues.  

That’s been the World Neighbors way for over 57 years and will continue to be that way. 

In 2009, we will continue to inspire people and strengthen communities to find simple, practical solutions to the struggles they face daily. For as little as $19, you can help World Neighbors provide the training and support that one person needs to change their life. Please donate today and inspire a life.


What is the difference between development work and relief? 

Relief generally focuses on external aid and addresses the symptoms of a problem rather than looking at the root causes of problems to create lasting change. Relief is a short-term fix and focuses mainly on individual needs, causing people to become dependent and preventing them from finding lasting and sustainable solutions to their problems. Relief is often necessary when there are manmade or natural disasters, but it does not ensure long-term development. 

Development is about people and changing their ability to work together to solve their own problems with the resources they already have on hand. Development addresses root causes, develops long-term solutions and social change and empowers communities. At World Neighbors, we do not hand money to poor people to alleviate their poverty but instead focus on ensuring they are self-reliant for the long term. 


Cry Dignity! by John L. Peters

You will learn about an organization, founded by Peters, that believes in treating illnesses, not symptoms, by providing realistic answers to some of our world’s most basic problems. And these answers are the result of actively listening to the needs of rural people and then determining how to effectively fix those problems by offering education and training, not by giving away food or material aid. 

Through Peters’ eyes, you will witness the kind of walking compassion that transcends language, dogmas and cultural barriers.  

Click here to view a PDF of Cry Dignity!