'Why We Help' can be explained by the many statistics that show the vast problem of poverty and disease in the world. 'One child dies of malaria every 30 seconds', 'heart disease is the leading cause of death in Africa', and 'diarrhea is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old'. The World Food Program estimates 842 million people in the world do not have enough food to eat and one out of every four children has their growth stunted due to malnutrition. These facts and statistics are the grim reality for families when the average wage in many developing world nations is less than a dollar a day.
However, 'Why We Help' starts with a personal story. For years, I worked on Wall Street as a computer programmer, building corporate banking systems and trading systems for financial firms. As the years went by, my walk with the Lord became distant as I aimed for success in the corporate world. Around 1999, things began to change when I renewed my walk with God and He opened my eyes to the world and its vast needs due to famine, war, political unrest and natural disasters. I was motivated to show practical compassion that the Bible teaches ('Love your neighbor as yourself', Leviticus 19:18 and Mark 12:31).
I began organizing volunteer teams for my church to go out to the developing world to try and make a difference. We encountered deep poverty, untreated diseases and other things that we take for granted in the Western world. After organizing numerous medical and dental clinic teams, colleagues from the investment banking firm that I worked for began giving me funds to purchase medical equipment and supplies for my trips. That's when World Compassion Fellowship was born.
For us, it's not statistics that motivate us. It's more personal. It is the starving baby's cry we heard in our medical clinic in a Sudanese war refugee camp. It is the mass of desperate people coming into our makeshift medical camp right after the earthquake in Haiti. It's the simple handmade bowl given to us as a thank you gift by a shoeless albino African man whose child was suffering from diarrhea and had soiled his clothes. Our volunteer team gave him literally the shoes off our feet, new shirt, hat, ointment and medicine for him and his child. This is 'Why We Help'.
The second phase of 'Why We Help' came from meeting local people during our humanitarian trips that were thankful for our help, but they really wanted to support themselves. However, they lacked business skills, training and opportunities. The causes of poverty are complex including cultural, historical, political, regional and many other causes that can be outside the control of the local people or our organization.
So we began organizing business and life trainings in practical areas such as creating a budget or managing a small business. This has evolved into a curriculum that we've now taught in numerous cities in numerous countries. Our audiences range from farmers to community leaders to entrepreneurs to students. Our other development projects include community business projects and training centers that we hope to launch in the near future. Long-term development needs to accompany the short-term relief and aid so that eventually non-profits like ours will not be needed one day.
Your partnership with us will help us get there one person, one family and one community at a time.