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Core Values


SERVICE TO THE POOR
Shoulder to Shoulder, Inc. exists to serve the poor. We are a university and community based international organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in resource-limited communities thru an integrated approach to health, education, environment, and economic development by engaging community partners and university students, staff and faculty in education, research, and service.

WORK IN CONJUCTION WITH OTHER LOCAL COMMUNITY LEADERS
Shoulder to Shoulder works with local leaders to develop collaborative health teams who share common values. We avoid taking a paternalistic approach in “helping.” The community assumes ultimate responsibility for all projects in that community.

SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY IMPACT
Short term medical trips tend to be the norm in many organizations. However, a long-term sustainable relationship opens possibilities for continuity of care, health promotion and disease prevention. Long-term relationships also lay a foundation for health education, public health issues – including family planning and reproductive health – economic development, agricultural development, improvement in schools and many other activities that impact the health of the poor. It is this broader, comprehensive vision of sustainable community growth that poor communities deeply desire and Shoulder to Shoulder aims to promote.

SAFETY
Each participant is responsible for his/her own safety. Participants must request permission from team leaders to leave the group for any reason. Volunteers are urged to acquire personal evaluation insurance (medical students are required to have this insurance). Volunteers should seek advice from their own personal physician prior to travel for recommendations regarding immunizations and malaria precautions.

BE A LIGHT NOT A JUDGE, A MODEL NOT A CRITIC
Shoulder to Shoulder volunteers avoid condemning the lifestyles, religious affiliations, and methods of other relief organizations. Shoulder to Shoulder does network with other organizations who share a common vision of service to the poor. Shoulder to Shoulder, as its stated policy, does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, disability, or national origin. Members of all religions, including those who do not ascribe to any religion, are welcome as Shoulder to Shoulder volunteers.

REPORTING TO SUPPORTERS
To uphold our integrity as relief workers, all volunteers agree to submit a trip report to their respective team leader. Each team leader helps prepare reports to our sponsors. We believe that this results in more trust and understanding between team participants and donors supporting Shoulder to Shoulder activities.