Handouts are not the answer
From the Eyes of a Daughter of the Villageby Jessica Lambiase, former World Neighbors Intern
From August to December 2010, the International Mission Board gave me the opportunity to serve alongside career missionaries and conduct field research for my Anthropology degree while living among the Hausa people of Southern Niger.
Niger is one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world as well as one of the poorest. My village was without electricity or running water. I ate the nutrient low and undiversified staple foods. I walked miles on end to help my neighbors hand pick the crops from their field in the heat of the day with little water to sustain them. I witnessed the death of children to easily treatable diseases, and held extremely malnourished babies in my arms. In essence, I came face to face with the poverty, hunger, disease and environmental issues that World Neighbors is working so tirelessly to eliminate.
These experiences further cemented in my mind the need for an integrated approach to the serious issues plaguing the developing world. After his own overseas experience in the Philippines during World War II, Dr. John L Peters - the late founder of World Neighbors - recognized that real needs should be met with real solutions. World Neighbors seeks to preserve the dignity of our neighbors throughout the world by partnering with the local community to find lasting solutions to the challenges they face.
It was a privilege to be adopted as a “daughter of the village” in the Hausa community of Niger. It has been a further privilege of mine to learn and grow as a member of the World Neighbors community. The effective and inspiring work of World Neighbors ensures that communities around the world, such as my small Hausa village, have the opportunity through education and training to break free from the bondage of dependency on wealthy “anasara” and instead emerge as self-sufficient thriving communities.