For more than 25 years Operation Mercy staff have been partnering with others to build hope, capacity, and community to transform lives, including our own. This involves listening, learning, encouraging, coaching, working, and modeling new ways of thinking and acting. It requires long-term perseverance because change takes years to see, Operation Mercy needs partners who will work with us beyond the 12-month project cycles that are typical in the intentional aid sector.
Real change takes long-term investments with people. Many donors don't realize that the best outcomes of community development programs are normally not visible until after the first 5 years. Great projects become very vulnerable between the end of one funding cycle and the beginning of another. The shortage of undesignated funds to cover these funding gaps leads to the premature closing of high potential projects.
This funding project is an investment into Operation Mercy's long-term effectiveness and resilience. It hedges our vulnerability to inevitable funding shortages that take place between project cycles and allows us to prioritize funding to where it is needed most at any particular time.
Rachel is a mother of a child with disabilities in Central Asia. 10 yrs ago it was considered shameful to bring her child out in public. Rachel was depressed, insecure, and had little hope Today she leads a community organization that helps integrate kids with disabilities into public schools. She has become a voice in her nation regarding the rights of people with disabilities. Operation Mercy staff have walked with Rachel for 10 years. There are many more Rachels in process.