The mission of Global Outreach Alliance (GOA) is to empower communities by promoting self-reliance through education, mentoring and sustainable development solutions.
As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, we seek to empower communities in a non-paternalistic, respectful manner to improve the quality of life by identifying areas of strength and available resources then collaborating with them to find solutions. After all, it’s their community and their projects.
Our approach differs significantly in five ways:
1.) Ownership: We exist to help locals reach their long-term goals by supporting sustainable development projects. Local ownership and collaboration are not only the prerequisites for instigating a project; they are crucial to its success. Local problems are best remedied by local solutions. GOA establishes the headquarters for each project locally to encourage organic development, homegrown solutions, use of local resources, transparency, and local involvement. (e.g. GOA-Kenya, GOA-Uganda, etc.).
2.) Unique Model of Giving: Unfortunately, in 2007, less than 5% of all charitable donations to nonprofit organizations in the United States actually left the United States. We believe donated funds should not be given to sustain organizations; they should sustain the people for whom the monies were intended. We guarantee that your donation will go right to those who need it most. For example, write us a check for $1,000 for a school building project in Kenya, or a community well project in Cambodia and 100% will go directly towards our global program services fund. We cannot preach and support self reliance programs unless we as an organization are self reliant ourselves. That is why we, as a board of directors, all have other primary means of income outside of GOA.
3.) Responsibility: Our primary responsibility is to listen, to feel, and to truly understand the needs of our local partners. We begin by learning as much as possible about the people who will benefit from our work–-their lives, their struggles, their victories, their needs, their aspirations–-rather than starting with a hypothesis about what they need. By developing trustworthy relationships with locals, we partner in a way that allows us to collaborate in developing meaningful, sustainable projects and expeditions. At GOA, we feel it is our responsibility to invest in change that will work for individual communities and to forge a union with our local partners that will improve lives in a sustainable way. Sustainability is our responsibility.
4.) Cultural Immersion: We are committed to assisting those who volunteer for overseas expeditions to become as immersed in the local culture and ways of life as possible. We protest engaging in “poverty tourism” or “hug-an-orphan” campaigns that only seek to pull heartstrings and do not emphasize the dignity of the local people who are doing the best they can to provide for their families under difficult circumstances. Our volunteers find that engaging in selfless service is frequently a catalyst for personal change. As one volunteer who built houses in Cambodia stated: ?”All of us were changed by the profound exchange of love and service. We had given them new houses to live in, they had given us a new way to understand living” (Sallie, California).
5.) Affordability: All members of our executive Board of Directors have primary sources of income outside of GOA; therefore, we’re able to minimize overhead and expenses. We work hard to leverage our in-country networks to find low-cost, yet quality solutions. With no need to pay for expensive administrative overhead, your investment to help fund a project or participate in a volunteer expedition is an affordable and effective way to make a big difference.