Global Communities (formerly CHF International) is an international development and humanitarian aid organization that operates in approximately 25 countries per year. The non-profit organization was founded in 1952 as the Cooperative Housing Foundation and provided affordable housing for low-income families in rural and urban America. Global Communities began working abroad in the 60s, and today, the organization implements a variety of programs in the areas of economic development; micro, small and medium enterprise (SME) and housing finance; governance and urban development; construction and infrastructure; civil society and municipal development; global health and emergency response.
In 2012, the organization changed its name to Global Communities to better reflect its mission and activities working with communities around the world.
Global Communities' mission is to "create long-lasting, positive and community-led change that improves the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable people across the globe".
Development means improving the economic, social and environmental conditions of communities in developing and unstable countries. In practical terms development means, for example: increasing the prosperity of a country from the individual, family and community levels up; empowering people to participate in their own governance, and building the resilience of people against challenges. Ultimately, the people best suited to decide what a community needs are the people of the community itself. This type of long-term, sustainable development leads to stability and security, reduces incentives to violence, reduces vulnerability to natural disasters and decreases the amount of time it takes to recover from natural and man-made emergencies. These changes benefit not only the people of the community, but the whole world.
Originally Global Communities was established as the Foundation for Cooperative Housing (FCH) in 1952, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation seeking to help low- and moderate- income families in America and low-income urban neighborhoods to achieve improved economic standing and quality of life through the construction of affordable housing. Following their inception, they sponsored over 60,000 units of cooperative housing in 35 states across the US. In the 1960s the organization began operations outside of the U.S. developing cooperative housing in Central America. In the 1970s this trend of working outside of the U.S. to develop housing continued and in the 1980s Global Communities' programming was entirely international. Through the rest of the 1980s and the 1990s the organization expanded its portfolio of programs and began addressing other community needs and not just housing. Global Communities has been working in Romania since 1994 to enhance the competitiveness of the business community, and prepare the country for EU accession – an effort that culminated in 2007. During the 2000s, the organization expanded its operations significantly responding to major disasters such as the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and the 2010 Haiti earthquake; operating the largest international network of microfinance institutions in the Middle East, with major operations in Iraq, Lebanon, West Bank and Gaza and Jordan; and becoming recognized as a major U.S.-based international development NGO.
- Global Communities official homepage
- Global Communities on Interaction.org
- Global Communities on GlobalGiving
- Global Communities on ReliefWeb
- Clinton, Bill (2007). Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-307-26674-3
- Brown, David (2012). In one of Haitian capital’s roughest neighborhoods, a pretty good second chance, Washington Post: http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-08-18/national/35491370_1_septic-tanks-massive-earthquake-model-neighborhood