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WE ARE IN A RAPIDLY CHANGING WORLD.
What happens in one place can have quick effects in many other regions
and nations across the seas. But those effects can be uneven. While these
changes do offer opportunities, people can only seize them if they can
see them, and if they have the tools they need to turn change to their
For almost 40 years now, our organization has worked with
local people, helping them take responsibility for their own well-being.
We have a unique range of experience, overwhelmingly successful. Because
our development “technology” of “smart partnership,”
is about helping people and communities to help themselves, our methods
work equally well on small islands trying to preserve their beaches, reefs
and cultures against the encroaching modern world, and in post-industrial
cities clustered around closed and rusting factories. We help people make
rational choices, to direct change the way they want it, rather than the
way outsiders think best.
True to our name, we identify counterparts, communities,
companies and governments, across the globe, who can build lasting ties
and work together to make things better for all of us. Our partners, all
over the world, make us different. We don’t even pretend to know
it all — but in each location, we know people who do.
In the new Millennium, the world
has changed drastically, and our approach is needed more than ever before.
Between us, the peoples of the world have the ability, the wealth and
the tools to enrich life for everybody.
However, while some countries are indeed richer, more
secure and better informed than ever before, the last decade of the old
Millennium saw some countries afflicted with war, economic crises, natural
disasters and hunger on an unprecedented scale.
In more and more of these places, Counterpart has its
own staff working with enthusiastic local partners, with governments and
other international agencies to help people help themselves.
In the islands of the Pacific and the Caribbean, the jungles
of MesoAmerica, in Africa, in South America, in the sub Continent and
in Central Asia, our network provides hope, help and expertise to bootstrap
We are involved in schools, in hospitals, in businesses,
in markets, in developing tourist industries that benefit the locals,
in rebuilding communities atomized by political and economic change. We
help them tap into networks of information and experience that can assist
In some places, we work with groups of people who have
barely left the Stone Age, and in others where governments used to do
almost everything, but have now moved out of whole areas of people’s
lives. Indeed, in some places we work, governments have disappeared completely
leaving chaos in their wake.
We know from our long experience that even after decades
of repression or breakdown, local communities have an in-built strength
to recover rapidly with just a little help from the outside to tap their
own resources. They can identify their needs and organize themselves to
That is why, for us, communication is a key development
tool connecting communities. It provides access to the rest of the world,
because the Internet offers access to global markets and global knowledge.
The Net levels the playing field because access to world markets lowers
geographical isolation as a barrier to development. It shows where help
is, and how to move it, but it also encourages those who can help to match
up with the needs of others. We apply the dynamism and efficiency of the
best of the private sector so that the world can profit from our development
"“We are recognized for building bridges across
cultures, sectors and communities."
-- CHRISTINA SCHUIERER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COUNTERPART DEUTSCHLAND