The scope of your mission is local, but the world is waiting for you
The immediacy of information provided by the internet and world-wide media has shrunk our view of the world. Global markets are intertwined and react to one another in real time, natural disasters elicit charitable responses through Twitter, terrorist acts are posted to YouTube as they happen, and nonprofit charitable organizations are finding ways to support and learn from each other.
Even small social service organizations are finding ways to connect with international partners. At first, it may have been around adoption services, connecting with foreign orphanages to provide parentless children with new families. More recently, local and regional social service organizations have developed immigration and refugee resettlement programs. Such services have been around for a long time and do much to address immediate human needs.
But something that most local and regional social service organizations in America remain blissfully ignorant of is the wide world of possible partnership opportunities that exist with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that do really good things to meet the human needs in their countries.
I have been involved in international collaboration for years. As the CEO of a large national provider of services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), I led my organization in creating a network of international partners and developed projects in the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Hong Kong, Madagascar and Brazil. In addition to those partners, I have visited and evaluated existing and potential programs in Russia, India, Latvia, Romania, Tanzania, Argentina, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia (Sumatra). As a member of IMPACT, a coalition of five Lutheran organizations conducting pilot projects in a dozen foreign countries, I gained valuable experience in how to develop working partnerships with in-country NGOs to support highly effective and sustainable programs. As a member in InterAction, a US based organization of 200+ members engaged in international development efforts, I gained a great deal of insight into how collaborations can be formed to support community-based projects in foreign countries.
If you would like to explore ways in which your organization or a group of affiliated organizations can extend the good work you do by collaborating with foreign NGOs, please give me a call. I would love to share with you my experiences and explore ways in which I might be of service to you in broadening the scope of your mission to include international outreach.
Is It Time To Go Global?