Signpost International began in 1992, as the result of a visit by an Anglican minister to a Filipino shanty town.
“Living in an urban slum, amongst poverty, malnutrition, disease and death, deeply shocked me,” remembers Kerry Dixon.
“I returned from the Philippines, to the church where I was a minister, and told my friends what I had seen and experienced there.”
“Signpost was born out of their generous response to that need.”
When faced with individual suffering in developing countries, there is often a strong need to do something to help. This is a familiar story in international development – most agencies are founded as a result of individuals’ very human reaction to a desperate situation – and Signpost International was no exception. But that powerful, emotional response is only the start of the journey.
“Back then we did not have much – other than our enthusiasm – to make up for a lack of desks, equipment, money and knowledge,” says Kerry.
But, over the past 20 years from its small beginnings in a back room of a house, Signpost International has grown, learned and developed.
Over the past two decades Signpost International has worked with street children in the Philippines, Brazil and Eastern Europe; built homes and schools for orphaned children in post-genocide Rwanda; provided skills training and livelihoods for hundreds of families living in poverty in communities in the Philippines, Uganda and India; enabled thousands of children to access education; established sustainable community healthcare programmes in urban shanty towns; and provided food security programmes for Ugandan refugees.
So what about the years ahead?
Signpost International itself has developed into an organisation that puts local communities at the heart of what we do, successfully engaging the people we seek to support so they can develop their own solutions to their own needs. It is certain that it is their voices, needs and concerns that will shape the things to come…