Why do we not serve the many needy places in the United States? We in fact do serve many needy places in the U.S. This happens because AaVI’s founders and many of its contributors are Rotarians. Most of us Rotarians are engaged in service to the needy in our own communities, and we routinely participate in joint projects that cross state and regional boundaries. Since projects with an international component are more difficult to set up and manage, Adopt-a-Village International and Rotary have enjoyed a synergy in international humanitarian initiatives for more than five years.
Why do we work in developing countries? Since we are focusing on opportunities outside the United States, we can make the maximum impact where the need is greatest: in developing countries. In addition, part of what AaVI does is to educate and inform people locally in the U.S. as to the desperate plight of more than a billion impoverished men, women, and children who struggle just to survive.
What are the compelling needs that face the areas we serve? We seek out smaller communities where it is easier to identify fundamental needs and directly engage the local community leaders there. These needs include basic nutrition, sanitary drinking water, health and dental care, as well as education and job-skills training. Adopt-a-Village International focuses on both the causes and consequences of poverty.
Are we functionally specific; geographically specific? As mentioned above, we focus on nutrition, health, dental care, education, potable water and sanitation. In a broader context, we’re seeking ways to help people help themselves out of poverty. Geographically, we are focusing all of our efforts in Ecuador and Peru.. Presently, we are limited more by AaVI ’s size rather than by other constraints. Geographically, over time we’re committed to building and developing a few highly leveraged partnerships, concentrating our resources in these two countries
What we will want to say we have accomplished after 10 years? In ten years we’ll be pointing to many examples of communities once destitute and without hope, to which we’ve given a hand up. We will have helped these communities acquire basic necessities such as nutrition and a sanitary and healthful environment. In addition, the villagers will have gained the skills, the knowledge and the internal resources to continue to progress without further extensive reliance on outside assistance. In having done this, we will have provided many Americans, who are so richly blessed, with an opportunity to make an important and lasting difference in our world.
How are we unique? In several ways. First, we give people a personal opportunity to see, feel, and know the face of poverty. Second, we provide an opportunity for a hands-on experience, going abroad to help provide hope and relief in an impoverished environment. Third, AaVI avoids initiatives that are principally “feel-good” in nature but fleeting in value, in favor of developing and deploying programs of lasting value to communities which can best benefit from this type of assistance. Fourth, we partner with in-country humanitarian service organizations to maximize our own effectiveness while keeping our expenses low.