Pathfinder International

Watertown, Massachusetts

Nov 2, 2011
Outside Magazine
Pathfinder International

A woman in Ethiopia receives contraceptive counseling and information from a Pathfinder-trained provider at a local clinic.    Photo: Linda Suttenfield, Pathfinder International

BY THE NUMBERS: More than 3.75 million people received HIV and AIDS services through Pathfinder-supported projects in 2010
WHO'S IN CHARGE: In February, Purnima Mane will take over as president, replacing longtime leader Daniel E. Pellegrom. Mane is currently the assistant secretary general of the United Nations.
WHAT IT DOES: Overpopulation can lead to poverty and conflict and can overtax water supplies, arable land, and other resources. Pathfinder was founded in 1957 to expand access to basic health and reproductive services so individuals in developing ­nations can plan families and build sustainable communities. With $90 million to spend each year, the organization reaches people in more than 25 countries with a range of local programs. In the past two years, these have included establishing a solar-powered blood bank in Nigeria, distributing delivery kits with medication for rural births in Bangladesh, and training Red Cross staffers to prevent postpartum hemorrhages in refugee settings in Tanzania. Through a project in Bihar, India, Pathfinder helped educate more than 650,000 youth in 700 villages about contraceptives. The program resulted in an average 2.6-year increase in the age of marriage and a 1.5-year increase in the age of mothers at first birth.
EXTRA CREDIT: Pathfinder spends 88 percent of its budget on programs.
LOOKING AHEAD: Recently, the group partnered with the Nature Conservancy and the Frankfurt Zoological Society on a plan to establish sustainable fisheries, healthy forests, and health care in a remote, wildlife-rich area of western Tanzania, where populations are outpacing natural resources.