Holiday Letter from Board President Richard Neal

Investors in Self-Help International,

As 2018 comes to an end, I hope you will join me in celebrating three things: our significant progress in the process of helping people in Ghana and Nicaragua use their talents and resources to help themselves; this year’s financial success, which has allowed us to plan for expanded programs; and that  2019 will be the 60th anniversary of Self-Help. All of this progress is due to your generous contributions, for which we are truly thankful.

Your impressive generosity has allowed us to maintain Self-Help’s mission. Internationally, we are a leader and other organizations have begun to follow our example. This imitation is recognition of the most meaningful kind, and my hope is that our ideas can be extended to many other groups of people in the developing world. Special thanks to Nora, Jackie, Megan, Susan, volunteers, board members and other helpers along the way who have done an outstanding job with fundraising this year!

New areas of emphasis are worth special attention in addition to the many ways we help people help themselves. Nutrition for pregnant women and for children during the first 1,000 days of life is critical to normal mental and physical development. We are not only teaching women the importance of protein and vitamins, but showing them what is needed and how to cultivate the sweet potatoes, beans, groundnuts and other vegetables to provide necessary nutrition. Youth group meetings in Ghana have been successfully educating young girls with the goals of keeping them in school and postponing pregnancies. If girls stay in high school, their opportunities increase, and they are more likely to avoid a downward cycle of pregnancy and poverty.

Finally, this holiday season we will celebrate a history of 60 years of assistance, development and evolution that has contributed to the Self-Help International of today. From building a sturdy tractor to leading ideas in development that will help end hunger and poverty Self-Help has a history we can be proud of. A great number of people have worked and contributed to make this possible over the years, and as we celebrate we should thank them all.

Have a happy holiday season, and I wish you a meaningful 2019!       

Richard A. Neal,

President, Self-Help International