We have just approached our 5th year of projects and we have much to celebrate but, most excitingly we have a lot to look forward to in the future. You can look at some of our projects here and read about volunteers’ past experiences here.
We are at a turning point in our work and we wanted to take this opportunity to define what it is we have done and what lies ahead of us. We have always worked according to core values which drive us as individuals and as an organisation but we have never defined them. Today we share with you those values and how they have influenced us in the last five years and how we see them driving us in the future.
Supporting Guasa’s principles. We are
We have worked with volunteers from all over the US, the Dominican Republic and from different places in Europe – the UK, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden and the organisation itself is located across two continents. We live in a world where borders mean less and less. We see Supporting Guasa as a means of bringing together a network of volunteers with a common goal.
At Guasa we believe in simplicity. Our projects are simple. Our approach to funding is simple – we do what we can with what we have. We are not here to change the world. We simply want to provide assistance, where required to a community we love.
While our team has many different skills and experiences we have not become complacent. When we are at a loss, we seek out information, we research and take stock and we are always looking to expand our team. We are constantly learning – in the future we’d like to continue along this route and perhaps engage in more research of our own. However, the most important questions we have asked are the ones we pose to Guasa’s community. Our work has no value if we ignore the very people we strive to support. Guasa has some fantastic home grown development initiatives and a healthy civil society. We want to be a part of that and we want this involvement to continue and improve.
Now and since our beginnings in 2010, we are completely run by volunteers. We pay no wages. We don’t believe that NGOs like ours should operate like a business – we don’t want the motivation to keep ourselves in business. Neither do we want the community to become dependent on us – which is why our teachers are a support – not a replacement. We don’t want to take jobs from the community.
Sustainability for us in the short term means our projects are long lasting, financially viable, easy to reimplement and have impact. For example, year on year volunteers notice the difference in children’s English. However, in contrast our ultimate aim of long-term sustainability in the future means that instead of focusing on delivering English education, we would like to look at teacher training, so that, eventually our volunteers are no longer necessary.
Accountability means everything to us and it has defined us throughout our existence – we are transparent and accountable to you, to our donors, our volunteers, Guasa and each other. You can read about what has worked and what hasn’t on our volunteer blogs and we ensure every volunteer writes an evaluation. We’d like to take this further in the future, and obtain more formal evaluations from the community of Guasa, as well as creating a better picture of what we do through data. While we believe strongly in our work and the results we achieve, we recognise the need to be able to demonstrate our achievements more concretely using data. We use this information we collect to plan our next projects already, but we know that we could do more.
As you can see, we have the ideas and the skills to evolve but we don’t yet have the means. Like many organisations, our biggest challenge remains funding. We need regular donors, grants and increasingly diverse sources of funding. Don’t forget to check out out ‘Support us‘ page.
You can help us in lots of different ways. Vounteer with us. Share our posts on Twitter: @SupportingGuasa, Facebook: facebook.com/supportingguasa and Instagram: instagram.com/supporting_guasa. Donate a few pennies and become a member. We make pennies count so, however little you can give, we’ll make sure it goes a long way.