There are numerous approaches and ideologies when it comes to responding to the needs of the developing world. The question of whether aid is effective is one that is not answered simply.
There are a myriad of groups and individuals working hard to address extreme poverty and need around the globe. They work for justice, human rights, access to education and health care. Others are involved in research, working in war zones to collect data that helps them gain a better understanding of the HIV crisis and the socio-economic impact the disease has on children. They work to stop HIV/AIDS from leaving another generation of children without parents.
You may be wondering “Where does Outreach to Africa fit into this work?”
We think a more important question would be “WHY” we do this work. Here are some things to think about.
What do we do?
We provide education, healthcare, food, spiritual and emotional support to poor and orphaned children. We also provide access to choir/music lessons, and physical fitness activities.
Is Outreach to Africa faith based?
Yes, Outreach to Africa is a Christian organization. Our faith motivates us to love and respond to the needs of the people we serve.
Because OTA is faith based, does that restrict who receives help, and who can volunteer?
No, OTA serves individuals in need at Paul Devlin School, as well as our medical clinics, from all backgrounds. We also welcome volunteers from around the world who come from many different faiths.
Why does Outreach to Africa do this work?
We do this work because we cannot turn away from the need. Evelyn Komuntale, Outreach to Africa’s founder, experienced poverty as a child. OTA co-founder, Kathi Winter, turned her own experience of testing positive for HIV into something meaningful. Others have said they feel a deep and heartfelt personal connection to the children. Nurses and Doctors from the US and Canada are continually inspired by their colleagues in the developing world, who accomplish so much with so little. We all bring our “WHY” into the equation, and together we make an impact.
Has aid become part of the problem?
OTA deeply considers how each dollar and every gift that is donated is used. Donations are distributed responsibly. We do not give handouts. We do our best to help people where they are at, and it must be said that we are working within a broken and overwhelmed system. In light of that, we do our best to respond to each situation and area of need individually. We are motivated by our faith and our shared humanity to treat those we help with respect and to respond to them with love.
Is progress being made?
We cannot fix everything, we cannot help everyone, but thanks to our partners, volunteers, and our many supporters we are touching lives. Outreach to Africa has over 300 kids at the school; we feed them, provide housing and healthcare, and make them a part of a community. They sing in the church choir, learn to play instruments, they participate in sports and are encouraged to work hard to reach their God-given potential. In addition, our medical clinic delivers over 300 babies a year.
We have hosted 100’s of volunteers, and we hope that by being a part of this work EVERYONE comes away knowing they are significant, have something meaningful to contribute, and that we TRULY appreciate them.