Our History

Global Partners was founded in 1978 as a membership organization called World Runners International Foundation. Its main objective was to focus attention on and generate support for ending hunger and starvation in the world. Over fifteen years, World Runners raised $6.5 million for organizations working to end hunger and poverty. Its success was built on a network of personal relationships, established by members from every state in the U.S. and over 50 countries. In 1989, World Runners became Global Partners and began to work directly with East African community leaders in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda to identify and implement projects in the areas of health, education, and water.

Founding of World Runners 1978

After its founding in 1978 World Runners has helped people, especially women and children, improve the quality of their lives.

The Save the Children Relays involved 25,000 participants who raised over $1 million for child health programs in the U.S. and abroad. Over 100,000 children were immunized against fatal childhood diseases. Two transcontinental relays carried the child survival messages throughout the U.S. and 10 other nations, gaining proclamations from scores of national, state, and local governments.

Other major fundraising campaigns raised over $4 million through teams running for pledges at the Boston, Oakland, New York and other major marathons, as well as hundreds of other large and small events.

Moscow Peace Marathon

Major World Runners milestones include the Moscow Peace Marathons throughout the 1980’s. One thousand runners raised two million dollars for organizations combating world hunger. The message of a joint U.S.-Soviet partnership for a better world reached hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

Founding of Global Partners in 1989

Global Partners for Development was founded with the belief that partnership and collaboration with communities in Africa was the most successful model to help break the cycle of poverty and promote human dignity. This was groundbreaking at the time and has allowed us to fund projects focused on the long term effects for social change. We value the insight of community leaders about what is really needed and what will work from an African point of view.

Whittier College honors Peter Verbiscar-Brown with PhD

Thanks to Verbiscar-Brown’s leadership, Global Partners evolved from an agency that initially used the sport of running to raise funds for a food program in Kenya to an international network, working directly with partners in East Africa to empower communities to achieve sustainable improvements.