For nearly 50 years, Counterpart International - a global development organization - has been forging partnerships with communities to invest in food security and nutrition, economic development and building effective governance and institutions.
Established in 1965 as the Foundation for the South Pacific (FSP) by an Australian actress named Elizabeth “Betty” Silverstein and a Marist Priest named Stanley Hosie, the nonprofit organization focused initially on helping the island nations of the South Pacific rebuild after the devastation caused by World War II. Unusual partners from the outset, Silverstein and Hosie ran FSP out of a New York City thrift shop, where the actress’ film industry friends donated clothing that was sold to raise money for programs. For more than a quarter century, FSP provided local institutions in the South Pacific with resources for rebuilding infrastructure and sustainable solutions to combat poverty. In the process, FSP improved the capacity of many local organizations forging models for international development that are widely respected and emulated to this day – across the South Pacific and around the globe.
In 1992, after the fall of the Soviet Union, USAID challenged FSP to “go global,” suggesting the newly independent states could benefit from FSP’s expertise and track record in the Pacific. From there the organization embarked on a whole new chapter, and with it came a new name: Counterpart International.
Nearly two decades hence, Counterpart has done groundbreaking work in more than 65 nations worldwide. Today, Counterpart is widely regarded as an international development pioneer and leader – known best for its unique approach to partnership and capacity building, its commitment to learning and continuous improvement, and its reputation as a responsible steward of partner resources. In all it does, Counterpart’s ultimate goal is to have enduring impact– empowering every community it serves with the ability to create lasting change and build true self-reliance.
FSP-supported flour-milling process, part of the Comprehensive Village Nutrition and Community Development project in Fiji