Odette (in orange) with two of her sisters and local FH community staff in front of their new home. Photo courtesy FH.

Canadian charity survey gives Food for the Hungry top marks

Rwandan village’s success case in point for charity’s work in developing communities

ABBOTSFORD, BC—After 10 years of assistance from Food For the Hungry Canada (FH), the village of Ntwali, Rwanda, graduated from its child sponsorship program. Now the village is not only thriving on its own, but reaching out to others in need as well.

When a young girl, Dusengimana Odette, wandered into the village with her siblings after their mother died, it did not take long for the people of Ntwali to show how assistance from FH prepared them to help.

The community quickly responded to the children’s needs. They build them a home, established a garden for the family, and came up with creative ideas to help Odette and her siblings survive.

That sort of response excites the staff at FH.

“When they start giving back like that, that’s how we know we did a good job,” says Carissa Youssef, director of Donor Relations and Communications. “We are all motivated to follow Christ’s call to reconcile Jesus to those stuck in poverty.”

Success stories like this are why FH, a Christian non-profit organization dedicated to ending poverty, recently ranked in the top 25 Canadian charities for accountability, transparency, and program efficiency by the Financial Post, who analyzed 86, 000 charities using 2012 tax returns, the most recent year with a full set of data available.

FH takes a holistic approach to achieving a sustainable plan for communities under its care, with priorities in agriculture, education, health and gender equality. The program’s success is defined by communities that move from receiving assistance to becoming fully sustainable.

“We work very hard at communicating with great clarity with what we do, how we do it, and how much of our money is actually going to transform communities,” says FH president Bernie Willock. “The fact that someone else would have a look at us and say that we are doing what we say we are doing is a great encouragement for the whole team.”

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ChristianWeek Western Correspondent