Grassroots Asia identifies and empowers grassroots projects in Asia that contribute to emergency relief, basic care (food, water, shelter, health care) and education for the underprivileged.

Board of Directors

Grassroots Asia was founded in 2003 by Debra Pennington to work at a grassroots level for the poor and under-priveleged in Asia. It was from her pilgramage travels through Asia that she developed a love for the diverse cultures and spiritual practices on the Asian continent. She now works for multiple organizations as an advisor, fund-raiser, instructor, and project coordinator. Grassroots Asia currently has three dedicated directors, paid professionals, and several volunteers who offer advice, skills, and expertise in various capacities.


Our Philosophy

Grassroots Asia provides professional support in the United States for grassroots efforts by individuals and organizations in Asia that address education, basic care and emergency relief. Special consideration is given to projects which offer creative and progressive solutions to poverty and child welfare.

To identify partner organizations in Asia and assess programs, the staff makes regular visits to established and new projects. The organization regularly consults with project leaders and knowledgeable sources in Asia and the United States.

A collage of Asian health and medical missions

Grassroots Asia strongly supports the concepts of self-governance, self-empowerment, and self-sufficiency in an environment of respect, love, and individual human rights. We do not advocate any one religious belief and feel that individuals have the right to determine their own spiritual path.

Additional Project Considerations & Approach:

  • Social return on investment
  • Minimum 3 years of proven success
  • Programs that encourage self-sufficiency, self-expression, and self-development
  • Quality management in well-structured programs
  • Transparency & accountability standards
  • Beneficiaries' involvement in decisions and planning
  • Promoting selfless service to humanity and social service
  • Organic, grassroots development
  • Balancing emergency aid with long-term solutions