Built on 20 years of experience, WE Villages is our international development model that addresses the five primary causes of poverty. This highly effective five-pillar model helps provide holistic and sustainable solutions that work in tandem to transform communities.
Each pillar is a critical component to breaking the cycle of poverty. WE Villages’ five Pillars of Impact are: Education, Water, Health, Food and Opportunity. Through this program partner communities work in collaboration with WE to take ownership of the program and projects to create lasting change. We help community members develop the skills, strategies and infrastructure to take charge of their future and maintain long-term change.
Why These Five Pillars?
It starts with schooling. If we’re going to talk seriously about ending child poverty, we need to talk about education. Giving a child an education is the best way to set them up for success and break the cycle of poverty.
Children—especially girls—can only attend school if they have access to clean water. It frees girls from the daily task of collecting water for their families, and prevents waterborne illnesses that make children sick and unable to go to school. So we work with communities to provide sustainable clean water solutions like wells and hand pumps.
Children can only attend school if they and their parents are healthy. Clean water is one solution, but families also need access to health care, and programs that teach disease prevention and healthy living. So we partner with communities on health initiatives like clinics and vaccination programs.
Children can only attend school if they are well fed. Hungry, malnourished children are at best inattentive, at worst, sick. Made possible by founding partner Nutrien, we work with communities to provide programs that promote food security and improved agriculture, like school gardens and irrigation projects. This ensures communities have better access to healthy food, and food to sell, improving economic outcomes as well.
Children can only attend school if their parents have the financial means and time to invest in their education and their basic health. So we teach parents, often mothers, skills such as animal husbandry that help them generate an income and accrue savings.