Why not just give them what they need?
Many people have questioned G.E.P.'s partnership model. Why do we make the community pay for half of the project themselves? After all, these are people living in extremely low-income areas that can not afford even basic resources. Wouldn't it be better to donate all of the needed resources instead of only half?
This 50/50 split, our Partnership Model, is what makes G.E.P. different from other international aid organizations. Although traditional aid - where the donor provides 100% of the resources - is better than no aid at all, G.E.P. believes that it presents a few problems.
First, traditional aid creates dependency on the part of the local community. Communities in developing countries become accustomed to only receiving what is given to them. They start to see themselves as powerless to improve their own situation, relying completely on outside help. G.E.P.'s Partnership Model builds a sense of pride and responsibility among community members as they can look at their own schools and point to their own accomplishments. As part of G.E.P.'s Follow-Up Services, staff conduct workshops to encourage communities to further improve their schools through their own initiatives.
Second, traditional aid does not always take into account the needs and wishes of the local community. When this happens, even donors with the best intentions can make contributions that gather dust, unused. G.E.P. involves the local community in every step of the process. Because parents are contributing half of the costs required, they gain a sense of ownership over the project, and are far more likely to make sure the resources are used effectively. The project - and the resources it provides - belong to the parents and the community, not to G.E.P.
See what the ERDP has accomplished in Kenya, Guatemala, Tanzania and Indonesia.