Returning to Ranger’s roots in health and wellness, World of Difference partnered with Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals (RMUoHP) to include graduate healthcare students  and faculty volunteers on expeditions. 

romania

Malawi

KENYA

Uganda

Ghana

zambia

 

Over the years, World of Difference Founders continued to learn, grow and evolve their model to better address the needs of those communities they serve. Continual growth and evolution is an important part of the WOD organizational culture.

From 1988, World of Differences Founder and President, Dr. Rick Nielsen (Ranger) During his service in the Navy and Yearly visits to Africa for Operation Smile, the magnitude of need that was present heightened his passion to "Make a Difference". From volunteering for the Operation Smile Orthopedic Team and Burn Management Team in Romania to starting Reach the Children in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.  WORLD OF DIFFERENCE has continued on its journey to support Educational Systems, along with enhancing and empowering those in Africa in Resilient Agriculture and Health and Nutrition.

 

In 2006, Ranger, his wife Jodi, and daughter Kindee, formed the 501(c)3 charitable foundation World of Difference (WOD), which officially launched in early 2007. Their focus at that time was in enhancing educational opportunities for children in Kenya. 

1988-1998

OPERATION SMILE

1992-1994

AMERI-KEN REHABILITATION (KENYA) AND OPERATION SMILE (ROMANIA)

While serving on active duty in the U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps, specializing in clinical electrophysiology, Dr. Nielsen was selected as a member of the inaugural Operation Smile team that traveled to Kenya. He returned to Kenya annually with Operation Smile between 1988-1998.

Dr. Nielsen was a member of the orthopedic and burn management team in Kenya. Together with Dr. Melanie Carlone, Dr. Nielsen formed a foundation called Ameri-Ken Rehabilitation (Kenya) and Operation Smile (Romania), providing physical therapy and rehabilitation to the underserved population in Kenya. These experiences assisted him in gaining a deep understanding and appreciation of a third world environment, culture and issues and how he could contribute their resolution.

During his service in the U.S. Navy and annual expeditions to Kenya with Operation Smile, the magnitude of the challenges he observed heightened his passion to make a difference. In 1992, Dr. Nielsen was invited by Operation Smile to lead a project under the direction of the World Health Organization to care for infants in the orphanages of Bucharest, Romania. Dr. Carlone served on that team.

1998

SVU EXPEDITION

In 1998, Dr. Nielsen (affectionately known as Ranger) organized an expedition to Kenya with his daughter, Kindee Nielsen Dixon, as part of her senior year project. The team of volunteers consisted of twenty-five college students from Southern Virginia University and one parent chaperone, Kevin Clawson.

This expedition ignited a shift in focus for Dr. Nielsen. Although he had loved his service with Operation Smile, he realized at this time that “there are other organizations who provide medical care in third world countries. However, it seems that little is being done to address the educational needs of underserved children.”

1998

REACH THE CHILDREN

From the 1998 expedition, Dr. Nielsen (Ranger), daughter Kindee, and Kevin Clawson created the humanitarian foundation Reach The Children (RTC).

1998-2006

RTC HIV EDUCATION

1998-2006. Under the direction of Dr. Nielsen and Kindee, Reach the Children built several primary and secondary schools and libraries in Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, and Zambia. Additionally, RTC instituted an HIV / Aids prevention program reaching millions of children in the Kenya school systems, created HIV orphan care programs, provided agricultural support, and offered thousands of micro-credit loans. Reach the Children continues to use similar programs today.

2006-PRESENT 

WORLD OF DIFFERENCE

In 2006, Ranger, his wife Jodi, and daughter Kindee, formed the 501(c)3 charitable foundation World of Difference (WOD), which officially launched in early 2007. Their focus at that time was in enhancing educational opportunities for children in Kenya.

Through his rich Navy and humanitarian experiences, Ranger recognized that “the future of any country lies in the strength of its youth and the education they receive.”  At that time in Kenya, many children were deprived of access to education due to lack of funds for required uniforms, registration, and transportation costs to and from the school. Children were also often kept at home to support family needs.

Over the years, World of Difference Founders continued to learn, grow and evolve their model to better address the needs of those communities they serve. Continual growth and evolution is an important part of the WOD organizational culture.

2013

RMU JOINS WOD

Returning to Ranger’s roots in health and wellness, World of Difference partnered with Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals (RMUoHP) to include graduate healthcare students  and faculty volunteers on expeditions. In addition to supporting WOD projects, these students engage in healthcare educational experiences in hospitals and clinics.

In 2014, under the leadership of Kindee Dixon and Brie Stewart, World of Difference partnered with the non-profit foundation Warm Hearts to lead an expedition team to Malawi, Africa.  Due to civil unrest in Kenya at that time, this expedition opened the door to focus World of Difference efforts in Malawi.

2014-2015

PARTNERSHIP WITH WARM HEARTS

2017-PRESENT

2MALAWI SUPPORT WITH COUNTRY DIRECTOR AND SCHOOL SUPPORT

Eston Mgala, a respected specialist in permaculture (permanent agriculture) systems, joined the WOD team as a consultant supporting the three pillars and expedition support in Malawi. World of Difference brought in Consultant Aly Clare to refreshed and enhanced its logo, vision, mission and culture based approaches during the 2019 year, She recently joined WOD as the Director of Operations . This included updating all social media platforms, a new website new YouTube channel and volunteer base approaches. Even with the conflict and challenges of 2020-2021, World of Difference has continued to support the communities of Selengo and Chimwala while establishing new approaches for the upcoming 2022-2025 years and beyond.