When we talk about helping people help themselves, we look to a certain set of principles to guide us in this task.


  • Go to the people
  • Live among the people
  • Love them
  • Learn from them
  • Plan with them
  • Work with them
  • Start with what they know
  • Build on what they have
  • Teach by showing
  • Learn by doing
  • Not a showcase but a pattern
  • Not odds and ends but a process
  • Not a piecemeal but an integrated approach
  • Not to conform but to transform
  • When their task is accomplished, our work is done, and the people will remark, “We have done it ourselves.”
(Adapted from the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement [PRRM] principles, as noted here.)