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International Samaritan

International Samaritan

Ann Arbor, MI, US

We serve victims of severe poverty by partnering with them and others to alleviate hunger, homelessness, endemic disease, and ignorance. Since 1994, we have been focused on garbage dump communities where chronic poverty is most prevalent.

About This Field Partner


What We Do

Garbage dump dwellers are some of the poorest people in the world. They barely survive by digging through the city dump for recyclables to sell. We strive to build better communities for garbage dump dwellers.

We first start by working with local governments and nonprofits to try and bring basic infrastructure to the dump communities. After a strong relationship has been established we then address the vital needs of each community. This paves the way to begin to build homes, medical facilities, community centers, adult training schools, and fund micro-loan and scholarship programs.

Our programs serve over 25,000 people in the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

The programs include education and care for nursery aged children, elementary to high school education, youth sponsorship, adult literacy groups, a nutritional program, a medical and dental program, micro-loans, a housing program, and service immersions.

Our History

The scene was nightmarish: hundreds of people searching through Guatemala City's garbage dump for food to eat and recyclables to sell, dwellings made of nothing more than cardboard and tin, children sleeping on trash bags...

This was the scene that Father Don Vettese, S.J., and a group of students came upon when their van was detoured due to an accident. Traffic brought their van to a halt at the 750-acre city dump. The students could not believe what they were seeing and asked Fr. Vettese if they could help. Later that year, in 1995, International Samaritan was foudned. SInce then we have expanded our service to eight different countries worldwide and continutously strive to serve the poorest of the poor.

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International Samaritan

Ann Arbor, MI, US

We serve victims of severe poverty by partnering with them and others to alleviate hunger, homelessness, endemic disease, and ignorance. Since 1994...

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