Helping Communities Harness Their Own Potential
Relief International (RI) puts communities at the center of their own solutions. Partnering with some of the world’s most vulnerable populations, RI works with them to define their needs and design tangible solutions. Evidence shows that programs designed, built and judged by the community they serve are more likely to succeed long term. RI beneficiaries are not mere recipients of aid, they are participants in their own success.
They’re people like Marem Tiben. Marem lives in North Darfur’s Zamzam Camp for displaced people where roughly one-sixth of all residents suffer from malnutrition. Marem’s own children were malnourished. After they received life-saving treatment from Relief International, Marem enrolled in RI’s Kitchen Gardens program. The program teaches families how to grow vegetables in spaces as small as a burlap sack. Not only do families like Marem’s gain much needed sustenance, they regain control of their lives. Some gardeners are so successful they have surplus to sell at Zamzam’s markets. “My kitchen garden allows me to depend on myself,” Marem says. “My family’s health will be very good and we can use the income from the kitchen garden for school fees.”
Marem’s experience illustrates what we call The RI Way. The RI Way engages local participation to create programs that integrate all four areas in which we work: health, education, economic opportunity and water issues. Each program is designed in partnership with local organizations and lays the foundation for long-term success by developing the community’s civic skills.
Take RI’s Minor Fixing program. Created at the suggestion of camp residents plagued by leaky pipes and broken water heaters, Minor Fixing trains Syrian refugees in Iraq’s Darashakran camp to carry out basic plumbing repair. Would-be plumbers take a 10-day training course. After passing a final exam, each graduate receives a tool kit — and responsibility for 16 families in his or her neighborhood. Since it launched in 2015, Minor Fixing has turned out more than 200 volunteer plumbers — more than half of them women.
In Africa, Asia and the Middle East, RI empowers families to feed themselves, to restore their healthcare systems, and to educate their children. Just like you, these are hardworking individuals who take pride in supporting themselves. They are not looking for a handout, just an opportunity to lead productive lives and to take control of their own destiny.
Donate today and become a part of a real life success story.