Developing Our World is a not-for-profit organization that is centered around holistically developing the community. They offer a range of services in many sectors, including health and education. Focusing on holistic community development means that this organization aims to operate at the grass-root level, from where it acts to create an impact all the way to the top-most levels of the society.
It is no surprise that community development requires deep, detailed, and careful long-term planning. Of course, to be able to plan effectively, one needs ample and accurate information. Understanding this fact, Developing Our World took the fantastic initiative of Exploratory or Research Trips. Through trips of seven to ten days, these exploratory trips allow the participants to visit different locations and research, engage with the locals, build relations with them, interview and spend time with them. These trips are meant to provide enough information about a specific area and community.
The choice of going on these research trips is open to individuals, churches, schools and organizations. They can book a trip and spend seven to ten days working in communities all around the globe. These trips provide a great opportunity for the people who are interested in community work to research the community, build capacity and develop and contribute to individual and communal projects that improve the lives of the local population.
As part of the trip, individuals can visit three to five villages so that the team leaders and the community workers can select where they want to go and serve in the years to come. These trips are followed by a five-year program, a detailed plan of which is available on the organization’s website but can be summarized as follows:
Year one: This year involves community engagement through meeting community leaders and participation in activities with the locals, such as worship. The emphasis is on getting to know the locals, researching and using the obtained knowledge to lay the foundation for future trips.
Year two: This year, the main focus is on God through the development of vertical relationships. It involves worship, teaching, visits and training.
Year Three: This year is similar in structure to the previous year.
Year Four: This year is focused on the development of horizontal relations, which refers to the individual’s relationships with others in the community.
Year Five: This year is similar in structure to the previous year.
While this is the basic plan, it could be changed in terms of years, depending on what the church or organization commits. Developing Our World completely understand and is flexible about the factors that would influence this decision. This is the reason why this aspect is open to discussion so that it can be decided for how long the work of that group will last.
The holistic approach of the organization means that each trip is meticulously planned, keeping the values of the organization as well as the community in mind. Dependency is not encouraged at all. Also, the Executive Director of Developing Our World traveled to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua the week of November the 7th to the 15th, 2019. The purpose of this trip was to explore the places where teams of leaders from the not-profit organization can be sent to perform research and community development services.