Giving hope to villagers and families by holistically educating and empowering them to become self-sustainable.
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What is Transformational Community Development?

Transformational Community Development (TCD)© is GHNI’s coaching-based process for helping villages transform themselves and break the cycle of extreme poverty. Our TCD staff help villages form sustainable development committees in five main areas, and then coach them in the 4L’s: Low Cost, Low Tech, Local Resources and Local Leadership.












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How does TCD work?

We’ve created a video series that tackle many of the frequently asked questions about TCD: 


How does TCD Work?

In order to bring Transformational Community Development (TCD) to a village, our TCD staff partners with local villagers to identify and implement solutions for their community in five key areas: water, food, wellness, education, and income.

Each key area provides a foundation to achieve village-sustainability, and requires the community to take ownership in transforming their village.

What are the key principles of TCD?

One of the key principles of Transformational Community Development (TCD) is sharing a common vision between our TCD staff and local villages. TCD cannot be sustained without the community working alongside our team and then taking ownership of the programs in each of the five areas: water, food, wellness, education, and income.

When the community takes ownership, they are able to customize initiatives and make decisions that will not only allow them to be involved in each step, but also directly transform their own village and feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.

How do you select a village to do TCD work?
  • We first look for villages that have community leaders who are motivated to improve their environment and have a high probability of being a model to surrounding villages. We want to help as many villages that are experiencing extreme poverty as we can, with the aim that they then inspire other villages in their area to adopt the TCD model. 
  • Second, we assess the needs in the five development areas of TCD (water, food, wellness, education, and income) to determine the probability of the village successfully maximizing the benefits of TCD.

Other considerations in how we select villages: Can we find partners who will introduce us and help us build relationships with the community? Does the community want change? Are they open to new ideas? In order for TCD to be effective in a village, the community has to take the initiative and invite us on the journey with them in the transformation process.

Why is community participation important?

For a community to be self-sustainable, they must buy into the program and be involved in the process of TCD from beginning to end. The community not only has to want change, but also be ready to co-invest their own resources (time, talent & treasure) and assume responsibility for the development of their own community.

Our goal is to support, coach, and walk alongside the community. But, it is the leaders and individuals within the community, who take the initiative to achieve true sustainable transformation and have the desire to multiply the successful results.

How do we not only maintain but also increase participation for sustainable development?

The community needs to be involved in every step, idea, and decision in order to have complete buy-in to become self-sustainable: from selecting and taking ownership of the projects to investing and implementing those projects into the community for transformation.

Through work with our local, regional, and field leaders, we are able to identify key village leaders and develop committees to create a safe and trusting environment in which those individuals and groups can ask questions and begin to take ownership in transforming their village. These individuals then emerge as leaders, taking on the responsibilities of encouragement and showing others how to participate.

What is and How do you find a Person of Peace?

GHNI has created the term “Person of Peace,” a respected person in the village who can convince the village to trust GHNI coaches and grant access to the community.  Our regional and local leaders have extensive experience in observing and identifying people in the village who can fill the role of a “Person of Peace”.  This is one of the first steps in identifying a village that has a high probability of being a successful Transformational Community Development village that will embrace a trustworthy partnership and be a TCD village with a multiplying effect.

To find this person, we spend time speaking with the local population and government officials, and take community surveys to identify a champion/leader who can open doors for TCD.

What is a local champion and why are they essential?

In order for Transformational Community Development to be adopted and successful, there needs to be someone within the community who will help lead the village into understanding the benefits of sustainable development, also known as the local champion.

A local champion is vital to the success of sustainable development. He or she will be an example and a teacher of TCD to the whole community. They will also be the one to continue the projects when the village has graduated from TCD.

Five Key Elements of TCD:

TCD focuses on helping a community in these five development areas.


safe clean water for drinking, cooking and washing


resources for sustainable family income generation


primary level education for every girl and boy


viable, nutritional food to end chronic hunger and malnutrition


solutions for critical sanitation, disease-prevention, and home health

TCD Transformation Grows Exponentially In Neighboring Communities

As a village graduates and becomes sustainable in the five TCD areas, the neighboring villages want to join in as well. They see the possibilities and fresh hope. Our core TCD village then helps coach and train these surrounding villages. Where before there was war and hostilities, peace between the villagers can also take root as the villagers help one another transform.

The self sustaining TCD work in Dhoker Jhara Village, India for example is now impacting 16 of their neighboring villages with new hope and their own sustainable solutions.

Empowerment Centers

In areas of extreme poverty, women and children are particularly vulnerable. So we developed Empowerment Centers to augment and focus our TCD efforts with women, who are critical to a vibrant village.

Through Transformational Community Development (TCD) and Empowerment Centers, we are helping women develop sustainable skills to support themselves and their families. They are learning valuable knowledge and tools from Birth Life Saving Skills (BLiSS) to decreasing birth-related mortality for women and children, starting and running small businesses, financial management, literacy lessons, and hygiene for family and community health and wellness.

*Nurbiah with two of her daughters in Indonesia, Polewali


By donating today, you can help sustainably transform the lives of villagers in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Will you join us to bring hope to the poorest villages of the world and help them transform themselves?

Our Impact

Learn more about the countries where we work and see the impact GHNI is making!


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