African Women’s Development Fund
The AWDF “… is a fund-raising and grant-making initiative, which aims to support the work of the African Women’s movement” (womensfundingnetwork.org). The AWDF is a part of the Women’s Funding Network, and as such represents one example of the increasing trend of philanthropic efforts made by generous women donors and/or to programs benefitting women and girls. A recent article comments on both on the frequency of donations made by women philanthropists, as well as the propensity women donors have for pooling their resources to raise money in groups, often at a great scale.
If you would like to support the AWSF, the organization sas a donation button on their main page. Read more about the grant-making process. Are you a part of a regional African women’s organization? Consider applying for a grant from the Fund.
From their website, “… AWDF has provided $17 million in grants to 800 women’s organizations in 42 African countries.” These grants fall under the following categories: Women’s rights; economic empowerment; governance, peace, and security; health and reproductive rights; HIV/AIDS; and arts, culture, and sports. This important focus on bettering the conditions for millions of girls throughout the world is a part of the growing “Girl Effect” movement, an investment strategy that embraces the fact that a society that gives equal rights and opportunities to women and girls has a lot more to gain for everyone.
“To develop detection rats technology to provide solutions for global problems and inspire positive social change.” Read more about APOPO’s vision and core values.
Why it’s Important
According to the APOPO website, 66 countries and 7 territories in the world are scattered with the remnants of war in the form of hazardous materials. While many countries may be actively engaged in disarming and disposing of leftover landmines, the process is often an expensive and complicated one. HeroRATS are a relatively inexpensive and efficient way to seek out armed explosives. In addition to mine detection work, APOPO also breeds and trains rats for Tuberculosis diagnosis and remote scent tracing (further research on scent detection applications). According to APOPO, 1.7 million people die from tuberculosis each year. HeroRATS are incredibly efficient and reliable at diagnosing TB in human sputum samples; correctly identifying 5-15 new TB cases a week, allowing for those cases to be identified for treatment when they may not have been otherwise.
How it Works
Using an organic agent for landmine detection offers advantages. Where metal detectors can only react to the presence of metal landmines, rats can sniff out both metal and plastic-cased landmines. HeroRATS are bred and trained in Tanzania for work in the field. For TB detection, the rats sniff at isolated samples, scratching at the hole they believe contains a TB-positive sample. If the rat successfully identifies a TB infection, they are rewarded with food.
APOPO’s HeroRAT program has helped increase the successful detection of TB cases in their partner hospitals by 43%. In Mozambique, APOPO’s mine action work has helped clear and demine 2.8 million square meters of land, finding and destroying “over 1,860 landmines, 776 items of Unexploded Ordnance (UXOs) and 12,817 Small Arms and Ammunitions (SAA).”
APOPO offers numerous fantastic ways to get involved; you can even adopt your very own HeroRAT with a monthly or annual contribution, receiving updates along the way. You can donate directly to APOPO, but be sure to go through one of their partner organizations to make a tax-exempt donation. APOPO also offers a corporate sponsorship program: help see a HeroRAT through the entire training process; you even get to name the rat! Jobs with APOPO are also available.
Apopo in Africa
Arid Lands Information Network
ALIN is an award-winning non-governmental organization working in East Africa to facilitate the exchange of information in regions with limited access to technology. This vital access to technology-based information solutions can mean a world of difference to communities relying on crucial agricultural, environmental, and medical information to survive in arid land living conditions. ALIN has made it its mission to address the “… lack of knowledge exchange nodes in arid lands of East Africa” (alin.or.ke).
ALIN received the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 2011 Access to Learning Award for its work in bringing information and technology to rural areas in Eastern Africa. Their flagship publication is Baobab Magazine, a quarterly periodical to address “… agricultural production techniques, environment management, market information, gender, health and HIV and AIDS” (alin.or.ke). Arid land communities are susceptible to drought, famine, and other rough farming conditions, making information resources essential. The primary means by which ALIN nurtures technology and information access is through Maarifa Centres: “By investing in these centres, ALIN hopes to empower people to use technology to promote community development and bring services such as skills development, e-commerce and e-learning closer to the people. The Maarifa centres are also the hubs that create local opportunities for the people through Business Process Outsourcing” (alin.or.ke).
Started in Bangladesh in 1972, BRAC is a development organization working to meet the needs of the very poor. BRAC operates programs to give those living in poverty the tools they need to rise above their situation. The organization has a strong focus on women.
BRAC works in a wide variety of fields, including economic development, food security, education, gender equality, and others. In some cases, they provide specific services, including legal, awareness, and micro finance operations.
BRAC in Africa
Camfed is an organization dedicated to the education of the 24 million girls who cannot afford school in Africa. Camfed is committed to both making school an accessible goal, as well as following through on this initial investment and supporting girls and women at various levels of education. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and has an uncommonly high four-star rating on Charity Navigator.
Camfed offers creative and interesting ways to get involved in your own fundraising efforts, including film screenings, athletic events, celebrations, and memorial giving. Donate to specific projects or help to provide specific necessities, such as shoes and school supplies, to female students through the Camfed shop. Check out Camfed’s website for more ways to keep connected.
Supporting the education of girls and women is simply a potent investment, one that will have a ripple effect on their family and their greater community. Camfed’s operations are based on the incredible statistical correlations between education and healthy communities: educated girls are “… three times less likely to become HIV-positive” and are more likely to have a smaller, healthier families. This proven positive effect, and its potential to have an even greater, amplified effect on the surrounding society starts with an investment in solid education. According to the website, Camfed has improved the education of 1,451,600 children since 1993. Through Camfed’s work, you can help reduce drop-out rates and keep enrollment levels high.
Camfed in Africa
CARE runs an action network addressing global poverty by pooling resources and pulling individuals together to make a differences working as a community. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has a three-star rating on Charity Navigator, and is recommended by journalist Nicholas Kristof in his blog post on do-it-yourself aid.
The CARE website offers a host of resources and ways to get involved. Government policies have a major effect on world poverty. Prewritten action letters, which can be personally customized, are available on a variety of important issues for you to print and send to legislators. CARE is about spreading awareness and causing action to address important issues of global poverty. Other ways to join CARE’s work include joining Partners for Change, making a donation, or applying for an internship or career with CARE. The CARE website also offers a software tool to put together your own care package, allowing you to choose specific items to donate to an individual or community in need.
CARE works to address many of the underlying causes, related issues, and effects of poverty in 87 countries. CARE claims its programs reach more than 82 million people. 91% of expenditures go directly to Program activities. For further information, the CARE project database makes it very easy to lookup individual CARE projects.
CARE in Africa
CARE has projects and support working in 29 countries in Africa.
The Carter Center
In November 2011, President Jimmy Carter reached out to SWI Chairman and Executive Director Jon Nappa and to Storm Warriors International with a call for your help. President Carter writes that he and his wife Rosalynn created The Carter Center in 1982, after leaving office, in response to their desire to address “…two issues of paramount importance: advancing peace and preventing human suffering.”
According to the website, “The Carter Center, in partnership with Emory University, is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering; it seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health.” The Carter Center also works by five guiding principles, and collaborates with a variety of other organizations in pursuit of its mission.
Why it’s Important
In his letter to Storm Warriors International, President Carter outlines three major ways to think about helping the world and staving off storms: “Waging peace, fighting disease, and building hope.” The Carter Center’s efforts are oriented to address these three core methods through direct involvement in spreading and maintaining peace and health throughout the world.
How it Works
Waging Peace means engaging in diplomatic conversations and mediating between parties to resolve conflicts peaceably as an independent third party. In its promotion of democracy, The Carter Center also observes elections to ensure fair voting practices. In the fight against disease, they work to make preventable measures, such as water filtration and medicine, known and available to those at risk.
As an organization that truly knows the meaning of action, The Carter Center has an impressive list of accomplishments. In his letter, President Carter highlights the organization’s peace and health work. Examples include: diplomatic work with North Korea that led to communication between the United States and North Korea, the first talks in 40 years, as well as election oversight in Nigeria and Indonesia with similarly successful results. The Carter Center has been a driving force behind reducing the “… known cases of Guinea worm disease by more than 99.9 % in 25 years.” These examples are just a few of many areas in which The Carter Center has accomplished amazing results. The website also hosts in-depth individual stories of these successes.
There are a variety of different levels at which you can contribute.
Consult the list of observed elections to see where The Carter Center has been active in African countries. They are also conducting peace work and involved in specific regions to help develop rule of law in Liberia, helping to protect human rights and democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and overseeing conflict resolution in a variety of African countries.
Deworm the World
DtW Is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization promoting important deworming programs all over the world in order to keep children healthy and free of all parasites. DtW embraces school-based deworming as one effective way to address the effects of parasitic worm infections in schoolchildren. Children can become infected with parasitic worms via the skin or through ingestion. This is a major problem in areas where the soil and water are contaminated. According to the DtW website, worm infection symptoms can include “…stomache pain, coughing, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, swollen belly, blood in stools or urine, fatigue and listlessness” (dewormtheworld.org).
The DtW website offers a variety of ways to get involved. Read deworming-related news, look into DtW’s many partner organizations, or donate to help give children around the world relief from parasitic infections.
In the developing world, parasitic worms are a major health issue, and can cause a variety of malevolent symptoms. In many cases this health issue goes on to affect education, absenteeism and cognitive functions. Recognizing the linked nature of these effects, Deworm the World supports deworming as the most cost effective way to increase school attendance. According to the DtW website, the organization has reached “… 37 million children across 27 countries” (dewormtheworld.org).
Deworm the World in Africa
DtW provides support to a variety of African countries.
Doctors of the World/Médecins du Monde
“Doctors of the World is an international humanitarian organization providing medical care to vulnerable populations affected by war, natural disasters, disease, famine, poverty, or exclusion” (doctorsoftheworld.org). The organization’s backbone consists of an army of volunteer doctors and medical professionals who work to bring medical relief where it is needed.
Donate now in support of Doctors of the World. Their website also encourages interested parties to apply for an international job or volunteer role with Doctors of the World. The site also lists a few other ways to get involved.
On their “At a Glance” informational page, Doctors of the World provides the following impact statistic: “In 2010, Doctors of the World’s global network used $152 million to run 365 programs that provided medical care for more than 1.6 million individuals in 78 countries.” The organization has an international presence, growing from its original base in France to its current 15 operational locations throughout the world. The organization focuses its work and resources in four major areas: Conflict & Crisis, conducting emergency medical response, and often staying after the immediate danger has dissipated; Affected Populations, supporting refugees abroad and in their country of origin; HIV/AIDS & Infectious Diseases, fighting deadly diseases around the world; and Women & Children’s Health, providing pre-natal and pediatric care among other related services.
Doctors of the World in Africa
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
EGPAF is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing and ending pediatric HIV/AIDS and has history as a pioneering force in advocacy, fundraising, and awareness in the fight against pediatric HIV/AIDS.
The technology for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS with a high ratio of success is available. EGPAF seeks to bring the proper technologies and medicines to those in need. According to the website, EGPAF claims as many as “… one in five HIV-positive mothers worldwide receives lifesaving medications through EGPAF-supported clinics” (pedaids.org). EGPAF continues to support HIV/AIDS research, implement and expand programs fighting pediatric AIDS, as well as advocating for public policy that supports “women, children, and families with HIV/AIDS” (pedaids.org).
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in Africa
EGPAF support programs in 13 African countries.
The Fistula Foundation
The Fistula Foundation is a four-star rated charity that seeks to support and help facilitate treatment for women experiencing obstetric fistula, a very serious complication that can arise during childbirth, often leading to the death of the child. The foundation also works to prevent the condition through educational programs. For the sake of accountability, the foundation addresses its financial methods in a financial FAQ.
The cost of the surgery required for fistula repair only costs about $450. Fistula is most likely to occur in poor regions, where women often give birth without medical assistance, and do not have the funds necessary to pay for the reparation procedure. Donate to The Fistula Foundation, or donate to their Love-A-Sister program and cover the cost of fistula repair surgery for one woman in need.
As many as 100,000 women a year experience this traumatizing condition according to the foundation website. The Fistula Foundation increased its grantees in 2011 while continuing to support past grantees. The foundation website also offers a history of the organization, which allows you to see many of their grantees, and where it has been active.
The Fistula Foundation in Africa
“GBCHealth serves as a hub for private sector engagement on the world’s most pressing global health issues” (GBCHealth.org). GBCHealth is a coalition of many different companies and organizations, all working towards creating a healthier world by bringing their own special skills, resources, and assets to the table. While GBCHealth does not appear to be a non-profit organization, nor does it work with NPO’s, it does make its annual financial reports available. GBCHealth works to facilitate the corporate world’s impact in making the world healthier.
GBCHealth focuses on the world’s major health problems, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and under its expanded scope of last year, diabetes. Read about some of the many ways that GBCHealth is able to bring together organizations in pursuit of common health goals. Some programs include HIV-Free Generation/Kenya and the Healthy Women, Healthy Economies initiative.
GBCHealth in Africa
As another repository of potential beneficiaries, the GlobalGiving website operates within a similar core framework to that of Kiva or Vittana. The extensive database of organizations, groups, individuals, and projects seeking funds offers an incredible amount of choice for potential Storm Warriors; the range of causes available allows donors to hone in on specific profiles that they identify with. The GlobalGiving Foundation is confirmed as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by the IRS, has a three-star rating on Charity Navigator, and is recommended by journalist Nicholas Kristof in his blog post on do-it-yourself aid. Learn about the history of GlobalGiving, watch the TEDxYSE talk.
“Build an efficient, open, thriving marketplace that connects people who have community and world-changing ideas with people who can support them.” Via GlobalGiving website.
Why it’s Important
Rather than focusing on a single issue, GlobalGiving offers an entire marketplace of aid-related projects and causes to support. Causes that may not have found a voice otherwise are able to gain visibility and float to the top thanks to the efforts of passionate donors. Like Kiva or Vittana, this offers a highly accessible giving experience. There are a great deal of choices available, and many different options by which to filter profile results.
Connecting with donors though the GlobalGiving platform also means less work for those in the field, allowing causes to focus on their work, and not on the often-laborious efforts of raising money.
How it Works
The causes on GlobalGiving are all vetted, providing reassurance that your money will go to the cause described. GlobalGiving works with a variety of partner organizations to ensure that each cause meets a range of criteria. GlobalGiving lists four main criteria that each project must meet on its due diligence page; projects and leaders must be reliable, eligible to receive donations, make a social impact, and must not be listed in any terrorist databases. Projects can be filtered by popularity rank, country, theme, funding percentage, when added, recently updated, organization, and sponsor. There is also a donation wizard to match you to a project if you’re unsure of where to start.
Donors will receive email updates on their supported projects to provide a level of transparency, and detailed progress reports are available online. GlobalGiving connects you to a variety of grassroots projects in over 100 countries and has facilitated the donation of over $58.8 million over 5,200 projects since 2002.
Search for a project and donate now, or add your own project. For donations, make sure to cover the 15% fee that goes towards GlobalGiving operation costs with every donation to ensure that most of the funds go to the grassroots project. Jobs, internships, and volunteer positions are all available, along with plenty of other opportunities.
GlobalGiving in Africa
You can view all of the organizations in Africa, or look at listings for specific countries, including: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Globe Aware is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that facilitates international short-term volunteer programs. These programs operate under the “volunteer vacation” or “voluntourism” approach: volunteers pay a fee for accommodations, meals, and logistical support. This makes some projects more accessible to the average person. Globe Aware projects are specifically focused on exchanging cultural awareness and developing sustainability.
Although potentially an expensive endeavor, the Globe Aware experience can be a great way to combine travel abroad with working to make a difference. Register now for an opportunity to take a one-week volunteer vacation. Consider donating to Globe Aware.
Globe Aware trips are highly focused short-term experiences (one week). There is time for both some leisure and sight seeing while working on one of many projects in a developing country. Programs include educational support, community outreach, and other projects that focus on basic necessities.
Globe Aware in Africa
Globe Aware facilitates a variety of projects in Ghana, including educational support and well building.
GOAL is an Ireland-based non-governmental agency. From the website: “GOAL is an international humanitarian agency dedicated to alleviating the suffering of the poorest of the poor” (goal.ie). Their international scope and variety of successful programs makes GOAL a powerful player when it comes to significant development poor and disenfranchised communities.
Read about how you can get involved with GOAL. Explore more about the GOAL Brick Kilns Programme, recently featured in a CSM article. GOAL is currently seeking to hire professionals from a wide variety of fields. Consider working with GOAL. Donate to support the development work GOAL is implementing around the world.
GOAL operates a wide variety of development programs in thirteen countries across the globe. GOAL responds to natural disasters, as it did with the 2010 earthquake in Haiti; facilitates healthcare and nutrition programs; brings clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to communities through its WASH programs, as it has in many of the countries where it operates; runs HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs; and also operates specialized programs, such as the Brick Kilns Programme in India, which was recently mentioned in a Chrisitian Science Monitor article.
GOAL in Africa
GOAL operates HIV prevention programs and supports related services in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, and Zimbabwe (where it is a primary care provider for HIV/AIDS patients). GOAL also supports other programs in each of those countries. Other African locations where GOAL works include: Niger, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and South Sudan, each of which benefits from GOAL’s WASH and other programs.
International Rescue Committee
The IRC is a four-star rated 501(c)(3) non-profit that responds to humanitarian crises and refugee needs. The organization responds to emergencies all over the world and works to create deep solutions to a multitude of problems.
In times of emergency, the IRC is committed to arriving within 72 hours, bringing necessary support and supplies. The IRC follows through on its work, by providing post-crisis support, helping refugees adapt to their new lives. 92% of IRC’s funding goes directly to program expenses. The IRC has provided 1.7 million people with access to clean drinking water and vaccinated over 500,000 children. Read more statistics about the impact that the IRC is making.
International Rescue Committee in Africa
See where the IRC is active in Africa.
International Women’s Health Coalition
The IWHC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports women’s health around the world by working with a network of governments, UN agencies, and local agents to affect both policy and grassroots work.
IWHC has a phenomenal trove of resources and information readily available concerning the important issues that women face around the world when it comes to their bodies. Take time to look at some of the articles, facts, and a wide variety of other informational resources available, and understand why the group dedicates its resources to the issues it does. The IWHC also summarizes its work in annual reports. Donate to the International Women’s Coalition. There are also job offerings available, if you would like to get involved with the organization’s work.
The IWHC works to empower individuals in addressing the issues women face: “Since 1984, we have provided over $16.5 million in grants to women and youth advocates” (iwhc.org). Primary concerns of the organization include the connections between the health and reproductive rights of women and youth across the globe. The IWHC seeks to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic, lack of reproductive knowledge and education, access to safe abortion, sexual rights, and gender equality. Overall, the IWHC “… promotes and protects the sexual and reproductive rights and health (SRRH) of all women and young people…” (iwhc.org).
International Women’s Health Coalition in Africa
Islamic Relief Worldwide
Islamic Relief Worldwide is a “relief and development charity” focusing on poor communities all over the world. Islamic Relief USA is a registered 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, while other local partners are registered in their respective countries. Islamic Relief USA is rated four stars on charity navigator. IRW operates development, disaster response, environmental impact, health, education, and child welfare programs.
Consider donating to Islamic Relief Worldwide or one of its local partners. If you wish to get involved with an international NGO at a more in depth level, consider applying for one of the many open job positions at Islamic Relief Worldwide. The IR USA donation page allows you to select where you would like to direct your donated funds. Options include “where it is needed most,” orphan support, emergencies, food for Ramadan, or humanitarian assistance. Also, consider looking through IRW’s plethora of research and analysis resources.
Islamic Relief Worldwide’s comprehensive work includes programs focusing on sustainable livelihoods, including micro credit programs, vocational and agricultural training, among other opportunities; education, including early childhood education, literacy training, technology exposure, and other services; Health and Nutrition, including eyesight, food security, clinics, and other health services programs; orphans and child welfare, including orphan sponsorship, education opportunities for orphans, and other programs; water and sanitation, including well digging initiatives and other water security-related programs; and emergency relief & disaster preparedness programs. Currently, Islamic Relief USA is focusing on the East and West African food crises, as well as humanitarian relief for those affected by conflict in Syria.
Islamic Relief Worldwide in Africa
IRW works in African countries including Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Somalia, South Africa, and Sudan on emergency assistance, providing refugee support, health and HIV/AIDS awareness projects, community initiatives, food and water security, sanitation, farmer empowerment, micro credit, education, and support for children among other programs.
Jolkona is a 501(c)(3) non-profit program offering a marketplace of worthy grassroots causes and projects to donate to. Projects listed in Jolkona’s database must meet a variety of important requirements, including that they operate in one of five general areas: empowerment, public health, education, cultural identity, and environment. Jolkona makes a strong effort to ensure financial transparency in the giving process.
The Jolkona project profile humanizes both the giving process and the issues that people all around the world are living with by offering information and proof of impact. The Jolkona site is rich with ways to get involved, including a carbon footprint calculator, Jolkona’s NextGen program for youth, volunteer opportunities, and of course the list of all Jolkona projects. To support Jolkona itself, and ensure they are able to continue their work, you may donate to the Kona Fund, which covers their operational costs.
Jolkona means “drop of water” in Bengali, and the name was chosen in the hope that it would illustrate many little pieces coming together to have a major impact. 100% of your donation goes directly to the project you have chosen to support. Jolkona wishes to make giving accessible and affordable, while adding up to make a greater impact. Giving through Jolkona provides a way to measure your impact: Jolkona works to make sure donors receive some form of media to work as “proof of impact,” allowing them to see evidence of the donation’s effect. Giving through Jolkona means access to more nuanced information about the state of the gift, including whether it has been used or not for the project, whether it is being actively utilized, or use of the donation has been completed.
Jolkona in Africa
Browse Jolkona’s Africa projects.
King Baudouin Foundation United States
The King Baudouin Foundation United States, an affiliate of the King Baudouin Foundation, acts as a conduit through which donors in the United States can more easily give to charitable programs located in Europe and Africa. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Donate now! The KBFUS website provides a list of supported non-profit organizations in both Europe and Africa, as well as a list of HIV/AIDS initiatives, all of which you can donate to through an advised gift. You can also bring outside organizations to the attention of KBFUS, and they will complete the due diligence process for you, through the advised giving program. For donors who are looking for an even more involved process, through which KBFUS can specifically tailor a giving program your personal needs and interests, explore the KBFUS consult program.
Check the news section to get a better understanding of the work done by KBFUS. KBFUS helps to streamline the foreign aid process, handling both the legal regulations and providing due diligence analysis. The organization also seeks to promote charitable work in the fight against the AIDS epidemic in Africa, and lists specific HIV/AIDS related projects in three different countries.
KBFUS in Africa
Kiva is a non-profit organization founded in 2005 to make lending and borrowing more accessible for people all over the world. Through Kiva, someone on their computer at home in California can have a huge affect on an entrepreneur in Africa working hard to make a better life for their family. Kiva collects loan donations from lenders like you and passes on 100% of the loan to its vast network of field partners–micro finance institutions all over the world– who then disburse the loan to your chosen lendee.
Mission Statement: “We are a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. Learn more about how it works.”
How it works To make a loan through Kiva, first choose a lendee from their extensive list of people looking to borrow. Chooseing a lendee’s profile will give you access to a personal profile of the person who has requested a loan and a great deal of relevant decision to make the most informed decision about your loan. You can then choose an amount to lend, in multiples of $25.
Filter The lengthy list of potential borrowers can be filtered very easily to narrow the list down by country, gender, sector (including housing and agriculture), groups or individuals, and green or higher education causes. You can also categorize borrowers by their current loan status, whether they are still fundraising, fully funded, or paying back their loan. This tool allows potential lenders to select specific characteristics for their loan, further ensuring that their money will be used in the manner they wish.
Microfinance One possible answer to worldwide poverty that is currently being explored by many in both non-profit and for-profit sectors is the concept of microfinance. Traditionally, those living in poverty do not have enough assets to qualify for any sort of loan from conventional financial institutions. They are seen as too large of a risk to these institutions. For many institutions, the disbursement of “micro-loans,” loans under a certain threshold (usually under $1000), is actually cost-prohibitive. It costs more money to disburse the small loan, and to maintain the account with the borrower, than the institution would make upon repayment.
Organizations like Kiva work to pool resources by harnessing the power and accessibility of the internet and offer a way to provide smaller loans to those with less assets.Some involved in humanitarian work actually believe that microfinance and support for local entrepreneurship are more effective means of combatting poverty than traditional forms of aid. Scott Gilmore, of The Globe and Mail argues that encouraging local entrepreneurship is the key to helping people rise out of poverty, rather than providing one-time aid donations.
This method is similar to the World Food Programme’s goal of making themselves obsolete. The idea is that setting up systems and infrastructure to empower local resources is far more effective at providing a long term solution to poverty than simple donations are. The World Food Programme’s fifth of five published objectives is to “Strengthen the capacity of countries to reduce hunger.” Kiva works in a similar vein to help small business and individuals help themselves.
Low risk The beauty of Kiva lies in both its potential for developing sustainable solutions to poverty and its relative accessibility and low risk for lenders. Kiva maintains an incredible 98.87% repayment rate. For the most part, Kiva is an incredibly low risk way to lend. Your money will help an individual, and then you will be repayed, to either reinvest your money or withdraw it to do with it what you wish.
To be clear, there is a risk associated with your loan. Your money must pass through both Kiva and one of Kiva’s field partners to reach the intended recipient. There are any number of innocent reasons why full repayment may not be achieved, including natural occurences, health issues, or business issues. For a better understanding of the risks associated with making a loan through Kiva, please see their risks page.
Here is a full list of Kiva field partners. Each lendee has an informative profile, which provides important information about the field partner, such as the number of loans they have disbursed, and their rate of repayment. There is also a side bar dedicated to information about the field partner that highlights important statistics, such as a Field Partner Risk Rating, whether they charge interest and fees, and how long they have been on Kiva. You can also click on a specific field partner in order to view a list of their borrowers.
There is now also a Storm Warriors International lending team! After joining the team, you can see our ranking among other lending teams on the leaderboards. Teams are ranked by both amount lent and number of members. You are all invited!
Mary’s Meals is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing a daily meal to disadvantaged and poor children all over the world, often through already established schools and education programs. This school-based approach to fighting hunger is very similar to the approach used by Deworm the World and other school-based programs. Aid workers recognize the powerful draw of education, and the incalculable good a daily meal can do to support a child’s education.
The Mary’s Meals website offers various ways to get involved with helping to feed, and in indirectly to help educate, children around the world. Consider fundraising for Mary’s Meals, volunteering with the organization, sponsoring a school, or making a donation.
According to the website, there are “… 300 million chronically hungry children in the world” with millions dying every year (marysmealsusa.org). The website also hosts a breakdown of who they are feeding where. According to this information page, Mary’s Meals is currently supplying around 654,961 children in 16 countries around the world with a daily meal. The approach of providing a school-based meal is really about time allocation. Many, many children in the world must allocate their time towards survival activities, such as working for, or gathering food. There is a recognized correlation between food security and school attendance, particularly if available food is one more draw bringing children in each day. A daily meal ensures that school children are able to concentrate on their studies, dedicating themselves to activities beyond mere survival. In addition to Mary’s Meals focus on school-based meal programs, the organization has also provided emergency relief around the world.
Mary’s Meals in Africa
feeding children through school-based food programs in Benin, Kenya, Liberia (where they have also delivered emergency aid), Malawi, South Sudan, and Uganda. also as well as food for street children in Sudan
Oxfam International is comprised of a group of 15 smaller organizations in 98 countries working together towards the common goal of ending poverty. The organization is often involved in bringing aid to emergency situations and disasters. The organization is rated four stars on charity navigator. Dedicated to a message of equality and voice for all, Oxfam outlines its mission and approach in it statement of Purposes and Beliefs
Mission Statement: Oxfam International has a comprehensive list of Purposes and Beliefs, among them its statement of Vision: “Oxfam’s vision is a just world without poverty. We envision a world in which people can influence decisions which affect their lives, enjoy their rights, and assume their responsibilities as full citizens of a world in which all human beings are valued and treated equally.”
Oxfam offers a fantastic summary of current global emergencies on its website. This page acts a hub from which Storm Warriors can hone in on a specific issue that Oxfam is addressing. Oxfam is currently one of a few organizations aiding the severe famine and drought in East Africa, and are currently accepting donations. Please see more information on the Oxfam East Africa food crisis page.
The Oxfam website has a page dedicated to assisting you in getting involved with Oxfam. Look for current job openings with Oxfam, learn how you can be an Oxfam volunteer, explore Oxfam on social networks and share with your friends, help fundraise through the Unwrapped and Trailwalker programs, or share your own ideas with Oxfam.
The number of people without adequate food in this world has started increasing dramatically. To combat this, Oxfam International launched the GROW campaign, which will address and review the world’s current food infrastructure. Oxfam will strive to ensure that small agricultural producers are supported in an effort to feed the projected population of 9 billion people by 2050. Please look into this important program which is seeking to address some of the most difficult problems surrounding food production for a growing population.
For a detailed look at Oxfam’s yearly activity, please refer to their annual reports.
Own Your Own Boda
OYOB is an exciting for-profit company making an impact in the economic development of Uganda. In Uganda, many people rely on rental motorcycles to run their own boda, or motorcycle taxi, business. Unfortunately, most of these entrepreneurs can only afford to rent their bikes, and long-term rental can be very expensive, meaning a much lower gross income. This is where the “young enterprise” Own Your Own Boda comes in. Instead of continually draining money through rental services, boda entrepreneurs can opt to pay a slightly higher monthly amount; with the benefit that the money they pay goes towards complete ownership of the vehicle.
Stormwarriors should be aware that OYOB is a for-profit enterprise, serving the motorcycle taxi industry in Uganda. The profits are used to sustain and expand the company. We still feel this is an enterprise worthy of exploration due to the potential positive impact it could have on the boda industry and Ugandan economy. Knowing this, if you would like to contribute to this economic development opportunity, OYOB has a donate button on its main page.
Boda ownership leads to a severe increase in monthly gross revenue: boda riders who own their own bike make around $100 extra per month, according to OYOB co-founder Michael Wilkerson, (via csmonitor.com). According to the article, “Drivers have used that extra income to buy homes, start new businesses, and pay school fees for their children” (csmonitor.com). OYOB is poised to make a significant impact on the boda industry, with thousands of people relying on motorcycles for their livelihood and transportation in Uganda. The article states that the company has loaned about 70 motorbikes so far. Read in depth about the exciting success of this program, showing that for-profit ventures can work hand-in-hand with social enterprises.
Plan International USA
Plan is confirmed as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has a three-star rating on Charity Navigator, and is recommended by journalist Nicholas Kristof in his blog post on do-it-yourself aid. Plan works to help children in the developing world through a variety of health and education programs, as a part of a greater effort to fight poverty.
The Plan USA website outlines a mission statement: “Plan strives to achieve lasting improvements in the quality of life of vulnerable children in developing countries by:
– Enabling children, their families and their communities to meet basic needs and to increase their ability to participate in and benefit from their societies;
– Fostering relationships to increase understanding and unity among peoples of different cultures and countries; and
– Promoting the rights and interests of the world’s children.”
Why it’s Important
Plan focuses on children in the developing world, aiming to increase their access to and participation in fundamental societal necessities, such as education. According to the website, a quarter of all children in the developing world live in extreme poverty. As a representation of the future to come, children are a vital resource that must be nurtured carefully. Plan has identified eight interrelated elements, the development of which will help to create a more positive environment for the growth and lives of children worldwide.
How it Works
Plan works to increase the accessibility and quality of education for all, through a variety of programs and methods, including the provision of textbooks and other necessary educational materials and programs. In many ways, Plan is largely about spreading rights awareness – the rights to education, a safe environment, and to the solid societal foundation of a sound economic structure. The organization supports skills training (providing applicable skills and trade-related knowledge) and microfinance programs in pursuit of fueling sustainable economic solutions to poverty in the developing world.
Work at ten pilot schools has demonstrated the positive potential impact of Plan’s “School Improvement Program” (SIP): school enrollment increased from 5,818 students to 7,115 students over a four-year span. Dropout rates held an inverse relationship to the growing number of enrolled students, proving Plan’s ability to develop student retention and outside recognition of the school’s importance within the community.
Sponsor a child, donate to Plan USA, or get involved through one of the many other ways to make a difference. You can also shop for specific items required by individuals or communities in need through the Plan “Gifts of Hope” store. Many of the desperately needed “items” in the store will be matched by generous organizations, enabling your own generosity to go further and give even more. Plan USA also operates a variety of projects, under its “Because I am a GiRL” program, specifically focused on improving the lives of girls and women.
Plan USA in Africa
Plan is active in twenty-four African countries.
Slavery in Mauritania
“Real slavery” still exists in Mauritania, despite being outlawed, as a cultural and economic institution. The country did not abolished slavery until 1981, and it was not made a crime until 2007. In all this time, and despite the widespread cultural engagement of slavery, only one slave owner has ever been convicted.
According to an in-depth CNN article on the situation in Mauritania, 10%-20% of the 3.4 million population are currently enslaved in the traditional sense.
The most moving aspects of the story are the personal profiles included amongst the facts. The article tells the personal stories of a former slave, a former slave owner, and others who are affected by, or are working to change, the status quo.
The article describes Mauritania as a land of sand dunes, explaining that the isolation is one of the factors that allows slavery to exist. Adding to the complexity of the Mauritanian situation is the fact that, from the article, “Many exist somewhere on the continuum between slavery and freedom. Some are beaten; others aren’t.” There even exist hundreds of thousands of people whom do not want to be freed, according to Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves. Quoted in the article, “They did not want to be free, he recalled. Or they didn’t know what freedom was.”
The article appears to point towards global awareness and international attention as the avenues to real change in “Slavery’s last stronghold.”
Solar Household Energy, Inc.
A solar cooking oven is an affordable way to prepare food and saves on the need for potentially hazardous cooking fuel. This is particularly important for those who do not have easy access to the necessary fuels, but instead must travel or scavenge for basic cooking fuel. SHE works to help provide solar cookers and conducts training in their use.
Solar Household Energy, Inc. in Africa
Sustainable Health Enterprises
SHE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving life in developing countries. Much of their work is addressing the needs of women in impoverished regions who lack access to basic sanitary pads.
In some parts of the world, women lack access to proper sanitary materials. Women around the world are forced to use rags, bark, or even mud as an insufficient hygiene option. SHE claims that many girls can miss up to 50 days of school or work a year simply because they do not have access to affordable sanitary options. The group operates the SHE 28 campaign to encourage awareness and giving in support of women-led and operated businesses in the work of creating and distributing sanitary pads, and the positive effects those business have on local individuals and economies.
Sustainable Health Enterprises in Africa
SHE is currently setting up businesses in Rwanda.
Solar Sister is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that brings business training and startup kits to women in Africa. By investing in women entrepreneurs, Solar Sister is able to approach a variety of issues, including poverty, female empowerment, economic development, and the lack of electric light in many homes. The women benefit by learning to run a sustainable business and their communities benefit from the affordable solar light technology that these entrepreneurs distribute.
100% of all money given will be directly invested in the program. Donation amounts span a range, and go towards training, marketing, and other efforts required for each solar lamp business. They have cleverly packaged everything needed to start: “$500 is all it takes to give a Solar Sister a ‘business in a bag,’ a complete set of tools including inventory, training and marketing to start her sustainable solar business” (solarsister.org).
Solar Sister in Africa
The Solar Sister organization brings light and economic prosperity to the women of Uganda, Rwanda, and South Sudan.
One of the many organizations mentioned in Nicholas Kristof’s blog, Strong Roots is a grass roots level, non-governmental organization working on the ground in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The group is also affiliated with a range of conservation organizations.
Donating to Strong Roots is possible through a few different organizations. Donate through the Columbus Zoo or the Canadian Ape Alliance. Be sure to clearly mark that your donation is for Strong Roots.
A number of human-based infringements on the area have stressed the local ecology, especially the Eastern Lowland Gorilla population, in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park area. Recognizing that the existence and well being of the KBNP area is interrelated with that of the surrounding communities, Strong Roots seeks to help create a sustainable lifestyle for those living in extreme poverty in the area. You can read about Strong Roots’ specific projects, which are a mixture of conservation and societal rehabilitation, support, and sustainability programs.
The SWASH+ program is a collaborative effort, combining the resources of CARE, Emory University’s Center for Global Safe Water, water.org, and the Kenya Water and Health Organisation, with funding provided the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Water Challenge. The program seeks to simultaneously improve water and sanitation systems at schools in Kenya and Central American countries while also researching the effectiveness of the implementation to improve cleanliness and availability of hygienic systems, and, hopefully, reduce absenteeism and school results.
SWASH+ is funded by both the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Water Challenge. Consider donating to CARE or water.org in support of their work. Jobs are available with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CARE, and water.org. Read up on the research being done by the SWASH+ program and their reports.
Combining research with implementation, allows for the effects of the program to be observed, recorded and improved upon. One goal of SWASH+ is to better understand how WASH programs (water, sanitation, and hygiene) affect the students whom are exposed to it, and what effects such programs can have on the greater communities within which they are implemented. Read more about the importance of research to the project. The full impact of WASH programs is still being assessed, and more research will lead to a better understanding of health-related behavioral habits and how to implement WASH programs to optimize impact. It is also a goal of SWASH+ to maintain sustainable WASH systems.
SWASH+ in Africa
In Kenya, SWASH+ has operated WASH programs and extensive research since 2006.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation
TEF is an African non-profit working to develop Africa’s private sector through business leadership and entrepreneurship programs. Founded by businessman and philanthropist Tony Elumelu, TEF works to support investment in African businesses.
Read more about TEF’s work, keep up-to-date on the movement with the Africapitalist Newsletter, explore a variety of related academic and media resources, or apply to one of the Foundation’s available jobs and internships.
TEF works in three distinct areas in its quest to develop Africa: “impact investing,” leadership development, and within the realm of public policy. TEF is pioneering a new investment model; “impact investing” directs for-profit investments towards social and environmental issues. Working with strategic partners and organizations, TEF develops African business leaders through their work as a member of the Aspen Network to support small and growing businesses, as well as their African Markets Internship Programme. Finally, TEF works with governmental organizations, as well as a wide variety of groups and individuals, advocating public policy in support of the African private sector.
Tostan is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with an uncommonly high four-star rating on Charity Navigator. Tostan’s keystone program is the Community Empowerment Program (CEP) which, as listed on the website, “… includes modules on human rights, hygiene and health, literacy, and project management.” The CEP is often accompanied by, and integrated with, one of Tostan’s special projects.
Donate to Tostan, Tostan also has domestic and abroad internship, volunteer, and career opportunities available. You can also earn money for Tostan when you shop online. The organization also encourages those who want to hold their own fundraisers.
The CEP 30 month education program format is a highly mobile way to make an immediate community-wide difference. This program is bundled with various modules representing a range of the most practical and essential skills and information. Through the Jokko initiative, Tostan has found a way to spread an understanding of mobile communications technology while apparently increasing literacy. Tostan cites a number of positive community-led projects and social changes as a result of exposure to the CEP. Tostan has reached “thousands of communities” across the ten countries it operates in.
Tostan in Africa
Tostan operates in Burkina Faso, Djibouti, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Somalia, and Sudan. Tostan also partners with the Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India for its Solar Power! Project.
Touch A Life Foundation
Touch A Life is a 501(c)(3) non-profit working to provide long-term support for children all over the world through their care centers. They offer their services to “…vulnerable and exploited children in Southeast Asia and West Africa,” many of whom have been trafficked or forced into labor.
The Touch A Life Foundation began its humble origins as a small apartment offering refuge to 15 of Vietnam’s many street children. Now the organization supports hundreds of children across three different countries (touchalifekids.org).
Touch A Life Foundation in Africa
Touch A Life has worked together with a network of Ghanaian supporters to rescue over 90 children from slavery in the Lake Volta region of Western Africa. Touch A Life has a residential facility set up for the rescued to live and receive an education in.
Vital Voices Global Partnership
Vital Voices is a 501(c)(3) non-governmental organization with a four star rating on charity navigator. They have supplied some financial information for further confirmation. Vital Voices is built on a wide network of individuals, bringing together a multitude of professionals, leaders, and corporate executives who wish to nurture the potential of women worldwide. This partnership seeks to tease out and amplify those voices with the greatest leadership potential, and provide them with the tools they need to facilitate progress in their communities.
Besides donating to Vital Voices, you can register to join the Global Leadership Network directory and take a look at the Vital Voices Collection. The directory offers many social networking features, and allows you to connect with the powerful and energized women behind this Global Partnership. The collection is one way to support the Entrepreneurs in Handcrafts program (some of the money from which is reinvested into the program), where handcrafted goods are available through Bridge for Africa or Umoja Women’s Shop. Those interested in volunteer opportunities should contact email@example.com. Internships and career paths are also available.
According to the Vital Voices website, they have “…trained and mentored more than 10,000 emerging women leaders from 127 countries…” who have proceeded to make a difference in their respective communities. Vital Voices is one of twelve organization members of the Alliance To End Slavery & Trafficking. They have also presented information gathered through their Cameroon Initiative to Combat Human Trafficking as a part of an INTERPOL Specialists Group meeting.
Vital Voices in Africa
Africa is truly filled with these magnificent Vital Voices of our generation. In partnership with ExxonMobil Foundation and local groups, Vital Voices supports the Africa Businesswomen’s Network in pursuit of economic growth. Other African endeavors include the AGOA Women in Trade program and the Entrepreneurs in Handcrafts program.
Women for Women International
Women for Women International helps women survivors of conflict transition to new, self-sufficient lives. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and has an uncommonly high four-star rating on Charity Navigator.
Donate to help women survivors of war, or take part in WfWI’s sponsorship program. Find a Run for Congo Women fundraising run/walk event to participate in, or start your own event. You can also commit to one year’s work as an ambassador, or become otherwise active in fundraising for the cause.
Women for Women International offers a one-year program to provide women with the skills and training they need to make their own way and support themselves. The four-step program is based on ensuring participants can gain and sustain their own income and have the skills and knowledge that they need to make sound decisions to protect the well-being of themselves and their families.
Women for Women International in Africa
World Food Programme
The WFP is, according to their website, the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Hunger is the world’s number one health risk, taking more lives every year than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. The WFP is the United Nation’s food aid organization, providing food for 109.2 million of the world’s hungry poor in 2010 alone.
Mission Statement: The World Food Programme has a lengthy mission statement available on their website. Essentially, the primary goal of the WFP is to promote food security, defined in the WFP mission statement as, “as access of all people at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life.” This is done with the ultimate objective of eliminating any need for food aid by eliminating hunger and poverty. It is clear from the mission statement that the WFP strives to address localized emergency scenarios, as well as more permanent cases of hunger throughout the world.
The World Food Programme tackles hunger issues in a variety of ways, including providing school meals, providing food incentives for work on infrastructure, buying staple foods from local farms in developing countries through Purchase for Progress, and other programs. The WFP also operates the non-profit Free Rice website, where every question answered correctly is translated into a donation of ten grains of rice. Storm Warriors can also quickly feed a child with a warm meal simply by taking this quiz on the WFP site!
Women 4 Women
The WFP recognizes the central importance that empowered women play to their communities through its efforts in establishing programs to feed hungry mothers and female students. Women who are given the opportunity to reach their potential often have a positive effect on the communities they inhabit. Through the WFP Storm Warriors can provide sustenance for a pregnant or new mother (ensuring the proper nourishment of the mother will ensure the birth of a well nourished child), help young women continue their education by providing school meals, and contribute to the Women’s Empowerment Fund, which uses a variety of creative and flexible food solutions to empower Women around the world.
The World Food Programme also takes general donations – $1 can feed four children!
WorldServe International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to brining water and other basic needs to rural communities in Africa. Through their hard work, thousands of children now have access to safe and clean drinking water.
The WorldServe website has a variety of different ways to get involved, including the Kilimanjaro Climb, World Water Day, the Cup of Water program, and by becoming an advocate. Consider donating to one of the WorldServe programs.
On their website, WorldServe cites the statistic that “Every 15 seconds a child dies due to unsafe drinking water”(worldserveintl.org). WorldServe was the distributing organization for a massive fundraiser started by kids at the R.H. Smith School in Syracuse, N.Y. and Rotary International. Thanks to this fundraiser, which quickly gained nationwide support, WorldServe was able to distribute 10,000 “LifeStraw” devices (personal water filtration systems) to children in rural parts of Africa who are often without easy access to safe drinking water. Through the Cup of Water initiative, your single donation of $20 can provide a lifetime’s supply of safe and clean drinking water to one individual. WorldServe also develops “Life Centers” in East Africa to meet the basic needs of people living in extreme poverty, including water and sanitation, healthcare, education, electrical power, and more. Check out where some of their projects are located.
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