Building sustainable communities
What makes us sustainable? Diversity and connection. Our strategy includes welcoming a variety of ideas, while integrating these diverse approaches into effective projects and programs. All of our success can be attributed to ceaseless teamwork, empowering community leaders and international volunteers, alike. SELF sees our community not just as the local village, but the whole world, which is why we are committed to supporting the environment and fighting climate change.
SELF embodies the idea that teamwork and alliances drive sustainable change. Dr. Paul Farmer, a world leader in global health, said, “success will not come without real partnership”. In all of our programs, we focus on empowering community leaders and encouraging active participation. When we are welcomed to begin an alliance with a new community, the first step is education. Our goals for this initial education include leadership training, gender equality, and teamwork. If a community is unwilling or unable to be active participants in plans for development, we cannot continue until they are ready. Our projects are not gifts, they are partnerships.
Diversity of Funding
Part of what makes our organization sustainable is our variety of funding sources. Small community grants help fund special projects, such as the water tower we built in Nuevo Paraiso. We also receive resources and funding from other local and international NGOs, as well as Honduran organizations. Fundraising events help fund larger projects, as well as our general operating expenses. However, the majority of funding for SELF from individuals, generous donors committed to sustainable change.
Sustainability is also about equal opportunity, and social justice is one of our core values. As we move forward with our community development strategies, SELF supports diversity in every aspect. Education for community members always includes information about respect and gender equality. SELF also welcomes volunteers from all walks of life. Education and commitment are keys to sustainability, but we cannot move forward as a team without mutual respect.
Focus on the Environment
Protecting the planet for our future generations is another way SELF supports sustainability. One of the focuses of our Clean Water Team program is reforestation, to both fight climate change and fortify water sources. We also teach young students about the effects of climate change and the importance of protecting nature and our environment. At our Honduran offices, many of our pieces of furniture are handmade from recycled palettes. Whenever possible, we try to reduce waste and reuse materials. One of the projects we have done with international volunteers at Big Dreamer’s School is creating beautiful works of art with recycled materials.
You can make a difference
SELF helps hundreds of children and families, and they depend on the generosity of supporters like you. Each and every donation makes a difference.