SALINE, Mich. — World Connect is an international nonprofit organization working in 13 different countries across the world to support education, the protection of the environment, global health and entrepreneurship to name just a few sectors under which its projects fall.
While its work is varied, the organization is centered on the idea that “women and children are the centerpieces of their communities and when they have opportunities to thrive, their communities thrive.”
Working in tandem with Peace Corps volunteers, World Connect is able to launch innovative projects in areas where help is needed most. The organization has already planned 14 projects to take place in 2014.
In Haiti, where one in three girls don’t have access to family planning and the teenage birthrate is high, World Connect plans to create an educational program about sexual health and family planning catered to young girls. In addition, the program hopes to build better relationships between locals and health centers, so that those who need care know where and how to get it.
Literacy is the focus in Senegal, which World Connect aims to improve by creating libraries in rural villages.
Often, young boys are favored over young girls when it comes to education, as the girls are pulled out of school to help work at home or are given to husbands. To combat this, an additional focus of the project will be placed on ensuring that educational opportunities are available to all.
In order to combat food insecurity in Kenya, the organization has plans to introduce rabbit farming on a larger scale.
Rabbits are a good source of protein, which an agriculturally-based diet often lacks. This project will help impoverished and food-insecure families by introducing a dependable source of animal protein for consumption and trade.
In rural El Salvador, getting access to water and sanitation is often difficult. In fact, in some areas of the Ocoa Provence, water is only delivered on average once every eight days.
Families have resorted to gathering water from local rivers, which are often contaminated with diseases, and there are not enough latrines to support the number of people living there.
World Connect’s plan to improve these sanitation issues is to introduce many new and improved latrines into the area. In addition, the organization will run sanitation workshops so that locals know best how to protect themselves from water-borne diseases.
The organization’s work is varied, with many different kinds of projects in numerous countries across the world. Each project is tailored to address specific issues in each community. World Connect utilizes the help of trained volunteers to oversee the projects and ensure their success.
Bill Haney, the organization’s founder, has recently taken on a new focus of empowering those in the United States as a means of garnering support for World Connect’s development projects.
In a statement about the organization’s future, Haney said, “Our plan for the years to come is to expand our projects to additional countries and to expand dramatically the number of American kids participating in our unique citizen democracy and cement the same spirit of local empowerment and endorsement we are achieving abroad, right here at home.”
Hopefully this tactic will inspire the next generation of citizens to take action and help fight poverty on a global scale, including supporting World Connect’s inventive global development projects.