Who are we?

Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” — Nelson Mandela

"International Needs approach is different to traditional aid in that it seeks to bring transformation to the body, soul and spirit. Without changing hearts you can’t change the world."

Helping people to help themselves

The Mamanwa Tribe, Leyte, Philippines, used to live as squatters on mining slag, without water or sewerage. We have helped fund 23 houses on their own land. Pamela (below, on right) is the elected tribal leader as she is the only one
in the whole tribe who has an education. The photo below right is two of the houses that we have built on their own land together with local community people who have come to visit to celebrate the finishing of the project.


Irene Oblitey’s business in view — a success story!

Together with NZ Aid, we worked in Ghana over three years, with 300 young girls identied by their community as being vulnerable or already working in the sex trade. We found many apprenticeships for these girls (which means working for nothing for three years while being trained). At the end of 2015 when our joint project ended, we identified 70 young people who had not finished their apprenticeships. We then worked with our own project costing $50,000 to get these young ones over the finish line!

Irene, after she had finished her apprenticeship, had a sewing machine donated but had no knitting machine. When she was given a knitting machine it changed everything, she was able to move from 7 clients a week to 20.

"The knitting machine at home has helped me save time to work on some of my materials. This is so because formally I had to queue at other places where they had the machine and most often spent my whole day there which was at a cost. Currently I do the knitting at my convenience and I am able to save the money I would have used to pay for the knitting done outside my home. Economically, my income has increased and I am earning enough to cater for my needs and that of my family since my parents are unemployed with one very sick".


A collaborative programme between NZ Aid, International Needs NZ and Youth for Christ Fiji for solo mums.

Fijian single-mothers are amongst the most vulnerable; they are ostracised and shamed, with no support from the government and no real support from family. They live in extreme poverty. 

The ‘Solo Mum Programme’ trains local single mums to run their own businesses. The women are taught practical business and life skills over the 3-month course. The training is for women with little or no income who can’t provide for their children and lack the confidence or means to change their circumstances. Once training is completed they return home with renewed faith and confidence in their abilities. 

Makereta Baravilala is 36 years old and lives in Suva with her children. After completing the progamme she successfully runs a small canteen from her home and sells flowers every Thursday and Saturday at the markets.
Makereta is now independently earning profits every week. These profits mean her children are fed and clothed and they can attend school. She speaks highly of the Solo Mum training and what she has learned helps her with her business daily.


Our progress

How we work

Spiritual passion

God has called us to serve those living in poverty, regardless of race, gender, nationality or religious belief to change lives. “Transformed lives and changed communities” is what we hear and see happening in our work every day.

Professional excellence

We are committed to professionalism and we are serious about doing everything to a high standard with integrity, so we keep our administration costs at the lowest we can manage. We belong to the Council of International Development, to who we are accountable for our work practices.

How do we work?

We help the people in the world who are in the greatest need, regardless of race, religion, gender or nationality. We do this:
Through our global partners and associates identify the places of greatest poverty that they would like to address.

We operate through local churches wherever we can; we believe churches are the most powerful local and global network for God’s love to reach people in poverty. This makes lasting, sustainable change for an individual and a community possible.

Most of what we do is about empowering the community leaders to facilitate processes to recognise their own needs, their own strengths, and find their own solutions to poverty.

We respond to emergency situations. When disaster strikes in the most vulnerable parts of the world, we pour our resources through our local staff and, in the case of major disasters, we partner with experts to help people recover.

We use your money carefully. In New Zealand we have a small gifted team of four full time staff, plus interns, volunteers and contractors that enable us to keep our costs low.

Sponsorship works in Nepal - a success story

“Hello my name is Milan Tamang from Kathmandu in Nepal. I was sponsored from age 6 by Uncle Peter and Aunty Jessica from Dunedin from 1996 to 2012. 

It was a challenge for my parents to provide good education as they could not afford our school fees. The support I received through IN was a huge blessing. I completed my schooling with good grades with God’s grace, IN staff help and my sponsors. I received this support all through high school and went on to study Business and Office Management.

Currently I have two jobs. I am a manager at a Guest House called ‘Dwelling Place Guest House’ and secondly I am a tutor for 25 kids in a slum area in Kathmandu. These are free classes that are run by Global Mission Partnership.

I am involved in two churches as a worship leader.

Thank you so much to IN and my sponsors for helping me to build up my roots and bring me to this place. Without your support I would not have completed my studies and would not be the man for God that I am today.

Thank you
Milan Tamang”

We believe that child sponsorship is a key to effecting positive change to the world. Nearly 50% of all the money we send overseas is sent to support children and tertiary students. An estimated 8.4 million children worldwide have been helped by child sponsorship through International Needs and other child sponsorship organisations. Each child that is sponsored impacts around twelve more people, as the sponsored grow up as literate, educated young people and take their place in the world. Sponsoring one child may not seem to be doing much good, but if you see yourself as part of a movement that is impacting 8.4 million of the poorest children, then you are denitely part of something that is making a huge difference.

There are two main models of child sponsorship. The “notional child model” where the child’s support is pooled in an impoverished community and the community leaders then use the money where most needed to help the children and the community. World Vision’s child sponsorship would be an example of this kind of sponsorship model. We at International Needs use the “focused child approach” where the community or church leaders identify children from the poorest of the poor, and we focus on helping that one child to get educated, so he or she can, after they have have gained an education, find work which will help their whole family break the cycle of poverty. We see transformed lives at a cost of $40 a month!

About us

We are a group of followers of Jesus, who are passionate about changing the world and helping where the need is greatest. We work through local national leaders helping them find solutions to their nation’s spiritual and physical poverty and in doing so unlock people’s potential. We want to “transform lives and change communities”.

For more than 40 years we have loved the people of the developing part of the world by:

Sponsoring vulnerable children — We believe in giving the poorest children on the planet a chance to have an education as well as access to food and health care. We have helped an estimated 25,000 children through our sponsorship programme — 80% of those children go on to live better, healthier lives than their parents.

Challenging injustice — Injustice is something that Jesus couldn’t stand and neither do we! For many years
International Needs has been involved in liberating Trokosi Slaves in Ghana together with NZ Aid. We provide funding for orphanages, schools, and vocational training skills for vulnerable young women and girls in Nepal and Ghana to prevent them being exploited. We rescued 600 Ghanaian boys, between 6-12 years of age, from dangerous and abusive working conditions on fishing boats and provided them with schooling in a safe environment. We currently operate a single mums’ training program in Fiji (together with NZ Aid) enabling vulnerable and often socially excluded
women to set-up their own micro-businesses. This successful operation is providing the women with an income and a sense of self-worth. We are currently helping a marginalised group called the Mamanwas get their own land after being homeless refugees in their own country (The Philippines).

Meeting urgent needs — Whenever disaster strikes, especially in one of the 30 countries we work with, we
rise up to help. We have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for disasters such as hurricanes and floods in
the Philippines, assistance for Syrian refugees in Turkey, a village rebuild in Papua New Guinea, and clean water
for 66 isolated villages in Bougainville. These are a few examples of the great needs we have reached out to
with God’s love.

Changing communities — We empower national leaders to rebuild their communities with love, support
and practical care. We also believe that by empowering local churches to help the communities that they live in,
having enough food, access to clean water, education and health, a transformation will occur in the community. International Needs has 1200 national workers worldwide.


Our History

International Needs was founded in 1974 when Ray Harrison (pictured on the far right), a New Zealander, came
to believe that we could reach the world for Christ through empowering local national Christian leaders who
had all kinds of networks and grassroots people already in place to help. As we worked in the poorest nations of the
world, International Needs could not ignore the poverty-stricken, the abused and the destitute. Over time
we morphed into a caring organisation that had “the good news of Jesus on one hand and the compassion of
God in the other”. 

In 2015 we divided into two separate trusts. One trust called International Needs that focused on church
planting and evangelism. The other called International Needs Humanitarian Aid Trust, which focuses on child
sponsorship, community development and disaster relief.

We realised that some of our supporters liked our humanitarian work, but not necessarily our evangelism

These two trusts enable us to hold the two very different focuses in balance without compromise to our
commitment to both aspects of our work. The “International Needs Humanitarian Trust” is approved for
overseas tax deduction status and the “International Needs” evangelism focused trust is not.