Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Welcome to our new International Director

On April 1st 2011, David Shamiri became International Director of World In Need. We thought it would be good to get to know him a little better, so we asked him some questions.


1. How did you come to work for World In Need?

In Summer 2002, I went on a mission to Turkey. The man I worked with had worked with Ron George the year before, and had copied Ron’s model. When I got to Turkey, everyone , it seemed, was talking about Ron George and World In Need.

The following December, I went to a conference in Germany and World In Need had a stand there. I introduced myself to Ron, told him I was from Yemen, that I now lived in Poland, and wanted to get into Missions and relief work. Ron invited me to the World In Need conference, which took place in May 2003.

I then went back to Poland and to my studies. After graduating in 2004, I was sent to Yemen to work there. I quickly realised that I needed more training and came back to Poland. Soon after that I met my wife, Magda, and my plans changed.

I went to work for the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) and worked with overseas students in Poland. When my time with them came to an end, I emailed friends all over the world, asking them to pray for me as I worked on what to do next with my life. Ron emailed back, inviting me to come to Crowborough, to work for World In Need.

2. What drew you to World In Need?

I grew up in Yemen, the poorest of all Arab countries. I was surrounded by examples of poverty, and the difficulties and complications that caused for people. I wanted to help. As a Christian I wanted to get involved, helping people hear the gospel through me, as I had heard it through others. Working for World In Need enabled me to merge these two things.

3. What do you see as the strengths of World In need?

The biggest strength is that we work with indigenous people, locals in the countries rather than sending foreigners in to tell them what to do. We listen to local people and hear what they need, then get alongside them to help them achieve it.

Also, we are a low budget organisation. We think more of the poor people in the field than we do of ourselves at our Headquarters. This model is our strength.

As well as caring for those overseas, we care about communities local to us. We reach out to people here, and are always looking out for volunteer workers, no matter their age or physical abilities.

We are pioneers in many fields. World In need started working through indigenous peoples long before anyone else did this. Other organisations now do the same. Ron George is a visionary, and is far ahead of everyone else. We also build sustainable projects, and work to build trade not aid. We encourage communities to work for themselves and not be dependent on foreign aid. We are always looking for new ways to assist people, and are very flexible in our work.

4. What do you hope to achieve as International Director?

Here in the UK, I hope to be able to reach out to a greater number of people, so that more people will hear about our cause and come alongside us. Internationally, I hope that we can complete all the projects we’ve started, especially the bigger ones, that we can help more children to go to school and grow up with hope, and that through us, more and more people will see that they can do things for themselves.

5. Where do you see World In Need in five years time?

In five years time, World In Need will be a well known humanitarian and development NGO. We will have a number of sustainable projects by which communities find hope and employment, and more children will be able to access education. We will be working alongside bigger organisations, from whom we can learn and we will be growing.

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