Community Improvement, Capacity Building

Beyond Borders, Inc.

Working to end child slavery and prevent violence against women and girls in Haiti.

Norristown, PA


Beyond Borders helps people build movements to liberate themselves from oppression and isolation.  In Haiti and the United States, we are bringing people together for just and lasting change.  We support movements in Haiti to: end child slavery, guarantee universal access to education, end violence against women and girls, replace systems that oppress the poor with systems that support dignified work and sustainable livelihoods.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Mr. David Diggs

Main Address

PO Box 2132

Norristown, PA 19404 USA


Haiti, education, literacy, exchange, capacity building, development, justice, peace, slavery





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Women's Rights (R24)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Beyond Borders is working to end child slavery, prevent violence against women and girls, ensure universal access to quality education, and help the very poorest families to lift themselves out of poverty.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Child Protection

Rethinking Power

Model Community Initiative

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

In order to build the movement and put an end to the practice of child domestic slavery in Haiti, Beyond Borders is implementing a community model to prevent child slavery in rural and metropolitan areas, and is working from both sides of the problem.

The goal of the rural Model Community Initiative is to spread the vision, hope, methodology and means, that will allow rural Haitian communities to win the battle against poverty and better protect the well-being of their children; and for the movement to grow, carried by independently, by the communities themselves. Its objectives are to:
1) Achieve universal access to primary school for school-age children;
2) Improve literacy rates among school-age children and adults;
3) Increase economic capacity and food security for 260 families identified as the most impoverished in nine intervention communities;
4) Stop the flow of children into servitude from families; and,
5) Family reunification for at least half of already separated children.

The urban Child Protection Program contributes to the emergence of a broad social movement that demands the respect of all children's rights in Haiti, with a special focus on stopping of the practice of enslaving children (restavèk). Its objectives are to:
1) Increase the number and capacity of newly engaged individuals and community structures to protect the rights of children and youth;
2) Reinforce the capacity of adult survivors, activists, Community Based Organizations and Child Protection Brigades already engaged in child protection work; and,
3) Increase civil society collaboration and participation in multi-stakeholder mechanisms for improved coordination, knowledge sharing, and advocacy.

The goal of Beyond Borders' Rethinking Power Program is to prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG) and HIV, and promote women and girls' access to balanced power with men and boys. Its objectives are to:
1) Reduce social acceptance of gender inequality, intimate partner violence (IPV), and sexual abuse of women and girls.
2) Decrease experiences and perpetration of IPV and sexual abuse of women and girls.
3) Increase girls' sense of safety and freedom to make decisions.
4) Decrease HIV/SRH risk behaviors.

Grassroots Community Mobilization: Engages broad cross-sections of communities and society through multiple participative methodologies.

Competency-Based Capacity Building and Technical Support: Sustained change depends on the successful training and mentoring of community activists, local leaders, women, men and youth to prevent VAWG and violence against children, and support survivors of violence. Beyond Borders engages people over time, nurturing activism skills so they become agents of social change. This same strategy is used to build capacity of community based organizations to use Beyond Borders' methods to mobilize their own communities.

SASA! (Start, Awareness, Support, and Action) is a phased community mobilization methodology, with over 850 pages of tools for engaging communities to prevent VAWG. Beyond Borders completed the adaptation and pilot of SASA! for Haiti in 2015.

Beyond Borders' Power to Girls is the first guide of its kind to employ a phased community mobilization approach to specifically address violence against girls, focusing on girls' safety, agency, and voice. The toolkit includes 500+ pages of activists' tools, including guides for girls group mentors and secondary school curricula.

Open Space: A participatory approach to collective decision-making; used to facilitate town hall meetings with stakeholder groups to encourage critical thinking and begin a collective discernment process toward local initiative.

Education is a Conversation - Child Rights Training: Stories gleaned from ethnographic interviews help Haitians examine root causes of violence against children. In 22-sessions, participants are guided through discussion about physical, sexual, and emotional abuse of children, parental responsibility, and activism. Participants practice intervention skills through role-play exercises.

Child Protection Brigades: Volunteer, peer-selected committees raise awareness, intervene to protect children, and help children access protective services and family reunification.

Social Mapping & Wealth Ranking: Facilitate community collection of data on economic and social well being of community members, including child welfare and school enrollment.

Graduation Model: Helps destitute families develop sustainable livelihoods and overcome critical vulnerabilities in housing, health, and schooling.

Accelerated Education: Specialized classes help older, unschooled youth recapture 6 years of primary school content in 3 years.

Tuition matching: Provides schools with financial stability to support operations.

Book banks: Provide Creole-language textbooks for low cost rental fees, helping families overcome the cost barrier to accessing education.

Adult Literacy Education: Improves basic literacy, business skills, and boosts livelihoods capacity.

School and Community Gardens: Experiential learning opportunities for students and farmers.

Seed & Tool Banks: Farmers access seed and tools at low cost.

Beyond Borders is one of the foremost child rights actors in Haiti and a steadfast partner to Haitian communities. Its 23 years of experience, expert knowledge on the issue of child slavery in Haiti, and evidence-based grassroots approaches to social and behavior change distinguish this organization from its peers.

Beyond Borders was one of the first to develop and implement participatory, dialogue-based tools to shift social norms in Haiti. It has rigorously continued testing, adapting, evaluating and sharing these tools to ensure applicability and impact both upstream and downstream, in urban and rural settings.

Beyond Borders is rapidly emerging as an expert in VAWG prevention. Its successful adaptation of SASA! for Haiti has important implications for VAWG activists both throughout Haiti and globally. The new Power to Girls methodology is already garnering international interest and places the organization at the cutting edge of empowerment efforts to support girls.

Across its programming, Beyond Borders is guided by the wisdom of a Haitian proverb that says: the rock in the water does not understand the misery of the rock in the sun. This proverb embodies Beyond Borders' belief that those living with suffering—the rocks in the sun—are best suited to identify their problems and generate lasting solutions to address them. It also informs Beyond Borders' approach to collaboration with Haitian communities, which focuses on the strength and dignity of the Haitian people, unlike more traditional charity models that focus on their need.

For more than twenty years, Beyond Borders (BB) has worked to help Haitians build the movements to end child slavery; guarantee universal access to education; end violence against women and girls; and promote economic justice and sustainable livelihoods. Beyond Borders' approach promotes dialogue, participation, and respectful exchange in creating space for communities to develop solutions to the challenges they face. Beyond Borders supports networks of individuals, organizations, and communities addressing the educational needs and human rights issues of groups traditionally marginalized and without access to basic services. Its three complementary programs reach some of Haiti's most marginalized people in more than 55 urban and rural communities. Through training, awareness raising, and advocacy, Beyond Borders helps communities, institutions, families, and individuals harness their power to create lasting change.

Shifting social norms and affecting change to societal conditions are gradual processes. While an external agent can infuse resources and training to catalyze this work, transformation must come from within the community itself. Beyond Borders' three complementary programs share the common theme of igniting community-led processes toward liberation and change.

BB tracks these top-level impact indicators: 1) Reversal of the flow of children into servitude; 2) Decreased incidence of intimate partner violence and sexual abuse 3) Increased capacity of communities to protect the children and to prevent VAWG 4) Universal access to primary education 5) Increased economic capacity and food security Universal Quality Primary Education: Third grade reading scores are widely accepted as indicative of other educational outcomes in a school. The Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) is administered to a random representative sample of 3rd grade students each year, with the goal of a 15% improvement each year among third graders against baseline. EGRA scores can be compared to baseline (collected in June 2016), scores in the model school, and national scores collected by the World Bank. Regular supervisory visits help trainers observe changes in how teachers relate to students, how actively students participate in conversations, and how effective a teacher is supporting students. Progress on increasing education access is currently measured using the social mapping child welfare component that tracks school attendance. We are piloting a digital, community-wide household census that will provide more detailed information. The four-year goal is to achieve 100% access to primary school in each community. End Child Slavery and Other Practices that Imperil Children: Evaluating changes in the flow of children into servitude is done with social mapping and household surveys, both which include child welfare components, allowing for identification of children living in servitude. The qualitative Most Significant Change evaluation tool engages program participants in self-evaluation, often uncovering unintended consequences of interventions. End Violence Against Women and Girls: BB's Rethinking Power program conducts rapid assessments (surveys and focus groups) among a random convenience sample of residents to measure changes in attitudes and behaviors, improved capacity and increased knowledge of VAWG. BB is currently engaged in research collaborations with the Global Women's Institute (GWI) at the George Washington University, and University of California at San Diego (UCSD) and Raising Voices. UCSD will study what inputs make it possible to take an effective method like SASA! to scale in another place. GWI will research the impact of SASA! and Power to Girls as implemented by Beyond Borders in eight new intervention communities. Baseline data was collected in early 2017, end line scheduled for 2021. Sustainable Livelihoods and Economic Justice: The Poverty Scorecard is used to measure progress of Graduation program participants. Globally recognized indicators gauge movement toward livelihood and food security goals. The wealth-ranking component of social mapping exercises measures economic progress of families and deepens community self-awareness and solidarity with the most vulnerable.

Since 2010 more than 40,000 Child Rights Activists – modern-day abolitionists – have been trained and mobilized in more than 100 rural communities and urban neighborhoods to build the movement to end child slavery in Haiti. Evaluations show that Child Rights Activists trained by BB are twice as likely to intervene to protect a child. These Child Rights Activists include a network of more than 900 adult survivors of child slavery, launched and trained by BB, who are organizing to ensure that no child ever again suffers what they did. In the last decade, abolitionists trained by BB have accompanied 462 children to escape slavery, return to their families, and enroll in school. In 2018, seven of the 16 communities on Lagonav Island that are home to schools that are in Beyond Borders' Schools Not Slavery Network became slavery-free, or 'zewo restavèk' communities. These seven communities achieved universal primary education for primary school-aged children; brought all over-aged children who started school late because their parents couldn’t afford school fees up to grade level through an accelerated education program; had significantly improved educational outcomes for primary school students, and; brought an end to the flow of children from the community into domestic servitude. The partnerships formed between schools that are in Beyond Borders’ Schools Not Slavery Network, and local Child Rights Activists trained by Beyond Borders and the community Child Protection Brigades these trained activists organize and launch with support from Beyond Borders, are key to realizing these achievements. Evaluation of the SASA! pilot revealed significant movement toward VAWG prevention: the number of community members who believe that a married woman has a right to tell others if her husband has beaten her increased by 33%; people who believed that it is generally a woman's fault if a man rapes her decreased by 44%; and, the number of people who reported telling others near their homes about physical abuse or forced sex by a man toward a woman in the last 12 months increased by 22%. In the fall of 2016, we launched our 18-month Family Sponsorship Program. Since then, 229 families in two cohorts have graduated. In the most recent cohort, which graduated in September 2018, 149 out of 151 families successfully completed the program. The program is targeted to the most vulnerable families in a community, who are invited to join after a through selection process. Families receive cash subsidies for the first six months, weekly coaching visits throughout, and two productive assets (farm animals, or the goods to start a small store) to use to generate new, sustainable income. Intensive training teaches participants how to manage their new assets, start saving, and generate increasing levels of family income and security. To graduate, families must be able to provide for themselves, and keep all their children at home, and enrolled in school.

External Reviews


4-Star Charity 2018

Charity Navigator

Affiliations & Memberships

Charity Navigator 4-Star Charity 2018


Beyond Borders, Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Part-Time Staff and Volunteers.


This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity