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who we are

COPE-USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that was incorporated in Virginia in 1999 to perform international humanitarian work.
The idea for the organization emerged in a Kurdish refugee camp in southern Turkey in the aftermath of the First Gulf War.

what we do

We build sustainable, indigenous capabilities to solve problems 
at home and in democracies, where resources are few and people are in difficult situations.  
Our major program work is now in the USA.


We don't dwell on philosophy.
We have no agenda except accomplishing program objectives.
We develop and implement practical, comprehensive, 
long-term, self-sustaining solutions to real problems.

Our perspective is that people are inherently capable of handling
their own problems if they have a practical means (capability), a feasible way to apply the capability (opportunity), and a viable way of sustaining themselves (typically, long-term, paid employment).

Our role is to create the opportunities, develop the means and methods, guide and implement efforts, and leave in place a 
self-sustaining capability when people can handle it without us.

We are always at the end of the phone or a plane ride away if needed, but success is defined as leaving in place a 
long-term, self-sustaining capability.

our model

One size does not fit all but our model has worked pretty well
for a broad range of needs and issues, from construction to applied medical research.  
We design and adjust the program to fit reality and the situation 
to accomplish the program objectives.

We provide training, but think training is not enough.
Trained people will migrate to any job that enables them to support themselves and their families, 
so we align the training and education 
with long-term sustainable employment.

We "graduate" people into real jobs.

Sometimes we find the jobs, and sometimes we build a company that will be owned and run by local people (not us) to create the jobs.

Viable, profitable, long-term employment at the end of training is probably the best way to keep people in the field for which they were trained, to support themselves and their families,
and provide the services that their community and country need.
Squaring up the form to pour 
a column pad, Ethiopia
Kurdish kids, refugee camp 
Turkey, 1991
COPE International-USA
Creating Opportunities through Partnership and Education
2023 Update

We suspended our programs until late in 2023, for two reasons.  

First, a tractor-trailer totaled our president's car, with him in it, while he was driving to a meeting in the right lane of an interstate.  He sustained a traumatic brain injury that left him at the 7th percentile for cognitive and executive functions.  It has been a long way back for him.

Second, the pandemic shut down our programs for commercial indoor farming and school indoor farms.  Schools are now in session and we're resuming the program in 2024.