Globally, one out of ten people live on less than $2 a day. Over 19 million of them turn to garbage dumps to survive.
These dumpsites are dangerous, poorly regulated, and the waste spills into the surrounding communities.

These garbage dump communities are home to refugees, lepers, abuse victims, orphans, and other extraordinarily vulnerable groups.

Due to the lack of opportunities in these communities, building wealth is next to impossible, trapping families in generational poverty.


The average life expectancy in these communities is 35.

International Solid Waste Association

One third of babies will die before their first birthday.


More than half of children will drop out by 7th grade.


The dump is very dangerous. Even the garbage trucks don’t stop for us. They run us over without a second thought. They call us rats. To them, We’re worth less than the garbage.


Samaritan Scholar in Honduras

This is where you come in.
You can change a life by becoming a Samaritan. Since 1994, International Samaritan has been connecting Samaritans like you, who have a calling to help, to families in garbage dump communities around the world. Together, we’re breaking the chains of poverty and improving all our lives.

Holistic Scholarships

Our scholarships cover not only school fees, but living expenses, medical care, and other essential costs that push students to drop out of school.

Safe Water & Safe Spaces

In communities that struggle with sanitation and violent neighborhoods, we prioritize bringing clean water and a safe meeting place to each community.

Strategic Partnerships

We partner with both local leaders, who identify and serve community needs, and people across the globe, who bring new, enriching opportunities.


A Samaritan Mother

May 17, 2024

Her walk of adversity didn’t make her bitter. Instead, she cultivated empathy and humor to ease the burden of her life and the ones around her. …

doctors in Ethiopia

Women Changing the World

May 10, 2024

There was nothing we could do, they assured us. When assaults occur, it’s a girl’s word against a man’s, and the local police don’t have the interest …

doctors in Ethiopia

It Starts With Us

May 3, 2024

Working with our Samaritan Scholars, the team and I see how vital it is for them to stay in school. We want the best for them, so we encourage them …

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weekend reflections

Your impact lasts generations.

As a Samaritan, you’re integral in building the Samaritans for Life network, our growing group of graduates that are changing lives. Each year, about 50 Samaritan Scholars graduate from college or trade school with a shared commitment to:

  • Love God with their whole heart, soul, body and mind.
  • Love their neighbor as Jesus loves them.
  • Raise their family to do the same.

The Samaritan scholarship program is dedicated to growing these exemplary young people so they can lead their communities.

Thank you so much for investing in me, thank you for helping me to realise my dreams. As I venture off into the world, I will ensure to hold the banner of this foundation high! I will make it my duty to make you proud.

Dr. Micashane Myton

A Samaritan for Life: Graduate from Jamaica

I had no hope. I was living, breathing, shuffling about, but I’m not sure that I was alive. My life was dark, my dreams darker. That meeting with IntSam changed my life. Hope came upon me like a dove from heaven bearing my renewed dreams in its beak.

Biniam Adem

Samaritan for Life: Graduate from Ethiopia

I am a girl who has many dreams, but, above all, I’ve always wanted a better life for my family. I knew I needed an education. Sometimes I doubted that I could achieve this… I doubted that I could graduate. But because of you, here I am. Thank you.

Jennifer Gonzalez

Samaritan for Life: Graduate from Guatemala

Be a Samaritan. Change a life.
You can join other schools, churches and people leading efforts in cities across the United States. There are many ways that you can be a Samaritan!

Advocate for Garbage Dump Communities

Pledge to Support a Scholar through School

Race in the

Samaritan 5K

The Samaritan Promise
International Samaritan is a Christ-centered organization built on Catholic Social Teaching. As followers of Christ, we serve anyone, regardless of religious belief or practice.  One hundred percent of all donations since 2019 have gone directly to services in developing nations, made possible by the generosity of our founding families since 1994.

Do you know all the different ways that you can give?

Make a standard donation

Set up a recurring donation

Donate stock from your portfolio

Contribute 1% of your estate in your will

Set up a Legacy Gift

Ask your employer to match your gift

Interested in making a donation or learning more?

Or contact Tucker, our Director of Engagement, using the form below.

About Us

International Samaritan is a nonprofit organization with the designation 501(c)(3). Our headquarters is located in Ann Arbor Michigan. International Samaritan walks hand-in-hand with people in garbage dump communities, along with those with a calling to help, to break the chains of poverty and to improve our lives together. International Samaritan gained consultative status with the United Nations in 2011.

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