Costa Rica's Poor
In the last few years, Costa Rica has experienced an increase in poverty, despite predicted lowering rates. In 2021, poverty reached 23% of households. This is equivalent to 383,500 households. About 6.3% of these households live in extreme poverty, meaning they cannot meet their basic needs. Translated, this means that 376,800 people cannot meet their basic food needs to survive. Increasing unemployment rates, which rose to 18% in 2021, are partially to blame for the increased poverty level among Costa Rica’s poor.

Women and Poverty

Poverty affects women at a more significant percentage in Costa Rica. This is partly due to the low labor force participation rates of women in the region. Paired with the lower wage that women often make compared to men, it seems inevitable that more women in Costa Rica continue to fall into poverty. Single mothers are specifically at risk. More than half of single mothers live in poverty, and their situation continues to deteriorate.

Bringing Awareness to Slums

Slums are one of the most concentrated examples of the intense poverty throughout Costa Rica. According to GlobalGiving, “Costa Rica has over 300 of these precarios in which more than 35,000 families live, almost all of them existing below the poverty line.”

A video that The Tico Times posted walks viewers through Triángulo de la Solidaridad, one of the best-known slums, in a tour that Boy with a Ball, a nonprofit organization that is working to improve the community. The video depicts tiny homes made of tin and wood crammed closely together. The community has unreliable electricity and no sewage system. More than 500 families live in these conditions, with 50% remaining unemployed. In an effort to bring awareness and relief to these communities, Boy with a Ball offers tours of the slums to tourists. Matus, a tour guide for Boy with a Ball explains his motivation behind aiding the cause: “I like [the tours] because this way I can show the other side of Costa Rica that normally tourists wouldn’t see.”

Boy With a Ball

Boy with a Ball began in 2004 when a small group of volunteer workers moved to San Jose, Costa Rica to work in some of the most dangerous neighborhoods. Since then, the company has created teams working in Kenya, Nicaragua, Nigeria and multiple cities in the U.S. In 2021, the organization impacted 2,577 youth and had more than 1,000 volunteers. The organization has also created 11 tutoring centers with more than 60 operating small groups to create personal mentoring relationships with youth in poverty.

Boy with a Ball works to reach the youth in the slums who often become involved in crime and drug trades in an attempt to escape their circumstances. By providing mentorship and the resources necessary to transform them into leaders for the community, the volunteers hope to encourage the next generation to build a life outside the slums.

The Future of Costa Rica’s Poor

The organization Action Change has extended its work outside of the slums in an attempt to bring education to more children and lower future poverty rates. According to Action Change’s website, “Poverty is a huge factor in education, families that have parents with less than 6 years of education, tend to have lower income and their children don’t finish school.” In addition, low funding for schools has left many children without a safe space to learn and play, by gathering funding and empowering community members, Action Change hopes to grow local communities and develop education throughout Costa Rica. The organization encourages students to stay in school by providing them with better-quality learning materials and safer school environments.

Action Change has supported more than 50 projects worldwide and celebrated the 15-year anniversary of its work in 2020. Action Change has raised more than $2 million to fund its projects to help Costa Rica’s poor.

Both Boy with a Ball and Action Change hopes to change the future statistics of poverty by empowering the next generation to build sustainable and prosperous lives. One child at a time, Costa Rica works to prevent future families from suffering the same poverty as their ancestors.

– Brooklynn Rich
Photo: Flickr

Charities Operating in Nigeria
In Nigeria, approximately four out of 10 citizens live in poverty, according to a report from the World Bank. The document details an analysis of Nigeria’s first official poverty numbers in almost 10 years, reporting upon the increase in poverty rates due to weaknesses in the labor market, minimal market growth and human capital as low as 0.4 in 2020. In the report, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri spoke about the overlap of financial and humanitarian interests. He remarked on the necessity of “boosting health and education, bolstering productive jobs, and expanding social protection.”

With elevated inflation rates pushing more than 8 million Nigerians below the poverty line, the World Bank stresses the three types of reforms for Nigeria:

  • Macroeconomic reforms
  • Policies supporting farm and farm-household enterprises’ productivity
  • Bettering electricity, water and sanitation access

Below are five charities operating in Nigeria which have aims that align with the listed reform focuses:

1. Lagos Food Bank Initiative

Founded in 2016, the Lagos Food Bank Initiative (LFBI) is a nonprofit that focuses on nutrition to fight hunger and reduce food waste. With a focus on children, pregnant women, lactating mothers, those with diet-related illnesses, citizens older than 50 years old and impoverished families, LFBI combats poverty on the front lines. Since its founding, LFBI has reached 160 communities through its various programs, such as:

  • Education Enhancement Intervention for Food Insecure Students (EDUFOOD)
  • Temporary Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
  • Family Farming Program
  • Nutritious Meal Plan Intervention for Vulnerable Mothers and Children (NUMEPLAN)
  • Job Placement Program
  • Nutrition Intervention for Diabetes Self-Management (NIDS)
  • Food Bank Network Nigeria

According to the 2021 annual report, LFBI distributed 641,207 kg of food and sundry, placed 195 citizens in jobs and served 294,855 beneficiaries, logging up to 33,3312 volunteer hours.

2. Amaudo Itumbauzo

Established in 1989, Amaudo Intumbauzo aids those “roaming the streets” and living with mental illnesses in southeast Nigeria. According to the website, as a result of both “negative cultural beliefs” and a lack of resources or understanding, many vulnerable Nigerians are left without treatment, care and even homes.

Amaudo aims to provide a place for healing, offering a rehabilitative “safe haven” while also administering community-based services on mental health awareness and discrimination. The organization’s rehabilitation center, Okopedi, accommodates up to 60 residents living with severe mental illnesses, helping residents with support through counseling, medication, training and family tracing. Through other projects, such as the Ntalakwu project, Project Comfort and the Community Mental Health Programme (CMHP), Amaudo works to promote a deeper understanding of mental illnesses and support those mental health effects.

3. The GEANCO Foundation: Saving and Transforming Lives

Established in 2005 by Godwin Onyema, the GEANCO Foundation (representative of the initials of each member of the Onyema family: Godwin, Ebele, Afam, Nche & Nma and Chukwogzie Onyema) is one of the five charities operating in Nigeria that aims to improve health care and save lives in Nigeria.

Since its founding, GEANCO has aided more than 200 Nigerians in receiving life-saving medical procedures, such as hip and knee replacements and bone structure repairs. Moreover, the organization makes significant donations to schools, and maternal and infant health facilities and funds “hundreds of thousands” of scholarships, all working to provide Nigerians with opportunities to secure a safe, healthy future.

4. TASTE Nigeria

TASTE is a U.K. charity that encourages volunteers from around the world to share expertise in sustainable technology with Nigerians. One of TASTE’s primary focuses in communal support is providing access to clean water. One way the organization aids communities is through funding the development of “powered burholes,” which pump fresh water through pipes, which they did recently in the town of Jemkur. From working with locals to developing community construction teams, TASTE supports community members through a series of “streams,” as listed on its website:

  • “Geological surveying of potential water locations.
  • Community support in the development of sanitation systems.
  • Drilling services for boreholes to supply clean drinking water.
  • Water delivery to needy communities.
  • Visiting schools in Jos to teach children about the work of TASTE and to help them understand the importance of basic hygiene principles.
  • Taking a high-profile approach to honest & ethical standards in business.”

5. Education as a Vaccine (EVA)

Education as a Vaccine (EVA) is a nonprofit that aims to improve Nigerian health and further development in Nigeria. EVA focuses on reaching the youth by providing “innovative, efficient and effective” education lessons on reproductive and sexual health as well as child rights. With nearly 46% of the population currently less than the age of 15, Nigeria’s 40 million women of “childbearing age” combat “disproportionately high levels of health issues surrounding birth.”

Founded in 2000, at the core of EVA is the belief that when equipped with necessary resources and support, young people contribute largely to the development of an entire country.

According to the website, EVA’s primary advocacy focus areas are:

  1. Passage and implementation of national legislation on health, HIV and AIDS basic education
  2. Financing and provision of female condoms
  3. Provision of comprehensive and integrated youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services
  4. Financing and scaling up quality implementation of comprehensive sexual education– in and out of school settings.

Since its founding, EVA has served 185,201 children, 464,925 youth and 70,671 adults. In total, EVA’s programs have reached 720,797 individuals through:

  • Advocacy
  • Care for Orphans and Vulnerable
  • HIV Prevention Education
  • Sexual & Reproductive Health Education

While these five charities operating in Nigeria are conducting meaningful and impactful work, they are just a few of many organizations focusing on alleviating the symptoms and causes of poverty. Each organization’s website show information about their work, current focuses, efforts and programs.

– Micaella Balderrama
Photo: Pixnio

Charities Operating in Botswana
Botswana, located in the center of Southern Africa, has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. This is mainly due to the country’s careful economic management, diamond wealth and its multi-party democratic government. As of 2021, Botswana has a population of approximately 2.4 million. The country is currently an upper-middle-income country with the potential to become a high-income country by 2036. However, Botswana is facing some challenges. Botswana’s reliance on diamonds makes the country vulnerable to external shocks, which the COVID-19 pandemic made clear when the economy decreased by 8.7% in 2020, according to the World Bank. Furthermore, while Botswana prioritizes education and provides nearly free primary education universally, in 2021, the unemployment rate in Botswana was at 26%.

The World Bank estimates that children in Botswana spend 8.1 years in school, from age 4 to 18, but the number decreases to 5.1 years when factoring in how much time children spend actually learning. This certainly contributes to adults being unable to attain jobs that require certain skills or levels of education. Although progress needs to occur, there are numerous charities in Botswana administering aid. Here are five charities operating in Botswana.

1. Camphill Community Trust

Camphill Community Trust was once a small school, but it currently has more than 100 centers in 18 countries. It supports individuals with learning difficulties and disabilities from early childhood to adulthood. It provides education, a sense of community, and work experience. Camphill Community Trust offers Rankodimo Kindergarten, which is pre-primary learning for 20 children ages 3-5, as well as Rankoromane School for 60 children ages 5-14. Finally, there is Motse Wa Badiri Training which offers quality education, training and jobs for those with disabilities.

It offers a four-year learning program for those who are 14 years or older called The Integrated Learning for Living and Work Programme (ILLWP). It is available to give students an expansive basis of knowledge and skills. There are 96 students enrolled currently. Overall, Camphill Community Trust is one of the charities in Botswana offering beneficial learning and work experience to children and young adults, helping their chance to become successful adults.

2. SOS Children’s Villages

Botswana is one of the top four countries that HIV and AIDS impact the most. HIV and AIDS have caused suffering for those afflicted and their families and it has negatively impacted Botswana’s economy as it commonly affects working adults. This hurts households financially and decreases the workforce in Botswana. There are around 160,000 children lacking parental care and among them, 120,000 lost that care because of AIDS. When the children’s parents are ill, they have to focus on working to provide for themselves instead of receiving an education. With this in mind, SOS Children’s Villages have been busy making sure that families have basics such as health care, education and counseling available to them.

The organization has been giving support and needed services to more than 130 territories and has helped 4 million children by strengthening family ties and other forms of care. SOS Children’s Villages also provides homes to families in Francistown, Serowe and Tlokweng. These homes are for families completely unable to care for their children. Since each family’s situation is different, the SOS Children’s Villages assistance adapts to each family. SOS Children’s Villages is one of the noteworthy charities in Botswana that is striving to give children a positive environment and a secure future.

3. Ray of Hope Botswana

Ray of Hope Botswana aspires to give children an education that is both comprehensive and consistent since 2015. Located in Gamodubu village, it is a youth-led organization that mentors more than 100 children who are typically 7 years old or younger. Gamodubu village has a primary and secondary school, but for children under the age of 6, the academic foundation is inadequate. Ray of Hope Botswana’s focus is on children who lack access to stable and good quality education. It provides tutoring in Math, English and Life Skills. It is one of the charities in Botswana determined to motivate children to rise above the poverty line.

4. Caritas Botswana

Founded in 1984, Caritas Botswana’s aspiration is to assist people out of poverty. The agency’s efforts promote the poor’s quality of life as it targets education, more adequate use of resources, improved access to health services and community involvement. As previously mentioned, HIV is a serious issue in Botswana. Caritas Botswana’s contributions, which consist of raising awareness and educating people about HIV and AIDS and offering transportation to those needing treatment, are essential in fighting this disease.

Additionally, Caritas Botswana runs more than 20 preschool centers, which train preschool teachers and give education, nutrition and welfare to more than 700 children. Along with this, Caritas Botswana helps communities cultivate long-term solutions for socio-economic development by contributing micro-financing and agricultural supplies such as seeds and farming tools. The agency also helps households increase their income by establishing credit programs and savings.

5. Lady Khama Charitable Trust

The founder of Lady Khama Charitable Trust, which is one of the many productive charities operating in Botswana, is Ian Khama, the fourth President of the Republic of Botswana. Founded in 2002, it raises funds for charities in Botswana that aim to help vulnerable children, women and people living with disabilities. Lady Khama Charitable Trust’s main asset is finding local organizations which are needing support and then providing them with that support. It has more than 18 “community upliftment projects,” nine of which are its core beneficiaries. This includes Camphill Community Trust, Bana Ba Metsi, Childline Botswana, Flying Mission Services, Little Friends Center, SOS Children’s Villages, Ray of Hope Foundation, Cancer Association of Botswana and Sponsor a Child Trust.

Despite the hardships Botswana faces, the country is improving. These five charities operating in Botswana are working to provide much-needed aid to Botswana. With focuses on education, serious illness, inequality, job production, health and security for children, each one is helping Botswana progress with its individual programs and techniques.

– Megan Roush
Photo: Pixabay

Charities Operating in Paraguay
Paraguay is a country located in central South America with a population of 6.7 million people. While its poverty rate has declined in recent years, Paraguay remains one of the poorest nations on the continent, with 26.9% of people living in poverty in 2020. This is particularly prevalent in rural areas, where more than a third of the population lives below the poverty line. As citizens struggle with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, natural disasters and government corruption, charities are stepping up to provide vital aid to those most in need. Below are the five charities operating in Paraguay that are working to improve the lives of its locals.

1. Fundación Paraguaya

Fundación Paraguaya is the first of the five charities operating in Paraguay. It focuses on eliminating poverty, targeting mainly young people and women. It teaches skills to enable impoverished families to improve their financial situations, teaches entrepreneurial skills and strengthens small businesses by providing loans.

Fundación Paraguaya’s Self-Sustainable Agricultural Schools, which teach entrepreneurial skills to young people living in rural areas, have been particularly successful. In 2021, the HundrED Research Report recognized the schools as having a “tremendous’” impact on agricultural communities. So far, the school has enabled 97 graduates to learn real-world skills which have helped them to become financially self-sustainable.

2. Fondo de Mujeres del Sur

Fondo de Mujeres del Sur (FMS) is a nonprofit based across Latin America that aims to empower women and other marginalized communities. FMS fights for the sexual and reproductive rights of women, runs programs to tackle gender and sexuality-based discrimination and promotes economic justice for women in Paraguay.

The work of FMS is especially important due to the highly prevalent gender inequalities and violence against women in Paraguay. The World Bank reports that between 2019 and 2022, there were 143 cases of femicide. The fact that there were reports of 30 cases of femicide between January to September 2022, six more than in the same period the previous year, indicates that violence against women is not going to reduce on its own and that organizations such as FMS should tackle it through its work.

From 2012 to 2015, FMS implemented a program to defend and promote women’s labor rights. The program provided financial and technical support to organizations and unions of female workers in the domestic and sewing industry in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. It enabled meetings between organizations in order to allow women to collaborate in advancing their rights. In Paraguay alone, three female worker organizations received support thanks to FMS.

3. Global Infancia

Global Infancia is a Paraguay-based charity that aims to create a culture of respecting children’s and adolescents’ rights. Not only does it lobby the government to enact laws that protect children, but it also engages with and informs the public on issues affecting children’s rights and works with families and children in Paraguay to improve their lives.

Global Infancia’s impact is of particular importance due to the widespread mistreatment of children in Paraguay. The Paraguayan government ran a survey in 2017 involving approximately 8,000 households and found that nearly 50% of those interviewed used violence as a form of discipline against children.

Global Infancia’s community development program works to improve the quality of life for underprivileged children and adolescents in the cities of Remansito and Villeta. It is currently providing over 1,700 under-18s with educational and early developmental services, as well as helping them to develop skills that will prepare them to enter working life.

4. Caritas Paraguay

Caritas Paraguay (locally known as Pastoral Social Nacional) is a nonprofit addressing the needs of what it calls “the new faces of poverty: people deprived of their liberty, the homeless, immigrants and small farmers.” While the charity began as a U.S. aid program, delivering food, clothing and medicines, its role has evolved and it now raises awareness about poverty, promotes grassroots groups and encourages community organization.

Along with Caritas’s yearly Lent campaign, the charity has also launched an emergency appeal in response to the flooding in the region of Chaco. As the majority of those that the yearly foods affect belong to agricultural, indigenous communities facing high levels of poverty, Caritas’s work is vital in helping those who are most in need.

5. Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is an international charity fighting global poverty and homelessness, which has helped more than 4,500 families in Paraguay alone. Its branch in Paraguay focuses on tackling the poor housing situation where, according to the Inter-American Development Bank, 39% of families in urban areas live in inadequate housing. The housing situation affects indigenous farming communities even more, as the number of families living in inadequate housing increases to 50% in rural areas.

Habitat is helping Paraguayans by offering assistance in the repairing and building of homes for underprivileged families, allowing them to repay loans through affordable mortgages. It also offers affordable construction materials to locals and grant credits for the construction of houses to families who cannot afford traditional loans.

While Paraguay is yet to overcome the challenges of poverty and inequality, these five charities operating in Paraguay are instrumental in providing aid to the neediest and impoverished. Women, children, the indigenous population and small farmers, groups that the rest of the society often overlooks, benefit greatly from the work of these charities, and hopefully will continue to do so with further donations and support.

– Priya Thakkar
Photo: Flickr

Charities Operating in China 
Despite China’s rapid economic development, in 2014, more than 70 million people lived in poverty within China’s rural communities. Here are five charities operating in China.

1. Give2Asia

Only 26% of China’s 622,000 rural health stations have a qualified medical practitioner. Furthermore, very few of these stations have the proper equipment, with the 2008 Sichuan earthquake damaging many of them. Poor health care has a devastating impact on the wealth of communities and is the leading cause of poverty in China’s rural communities, according to an International Journal for Equity in Health article.

Give2Asia’s Rural Doctors Program aims to provide 1,000 medically trained professionals to China’s rural communities. The program also aims to rebuild and properly equip dilapidated health stations, emphasizing early Leukemia diagnoses. This program should significantly improve the health of China’s rural people, increasing their ability to work.

2. The China Environmental Protection Foundation

Whilst China has a huge quantity of renewable water, much of China still suffers from water scarcity. This is due to a combination of rapid pollution and population growth, as a result of industrialization.

Water security is essential for lifting a population out of poverty. The China Environmental Protection Foundation (CEPF) recognizes this and has taken an education-focused approach to provide rural China with water security. For instance, CEPF’s “Green Mountains and Clear Waters” initiative has provided more than 2,500 Chinese students with clean drinking water. CEPF has also created “Streams Action – Honeywell Safe Drinking Classroom,” which educates rural primary school children on water safety. CEPF hopes to educate and mobilize Chinese students to protect the Yangtze River from further pollution, as 459 million people depend on its water.

3. Rural China Education Foundation

Illiteracy is a leading cause of poverty within China’s rural communities. Pertinently, 95% of China’s farmers are illiterate or semi-illiterate, according to an International Journal for Equity in Health article.

One of the charities operating in China is the Rural China Education Foundation (RCEF). RECF provides education to primary-age children across rural China. Its initiatives range from book clubs to summer camps. In the spring of 2021, 370 rural Chinese children received social-emotional lessons from RCEF’s “rural education innovators.” These lessons centered around building positive relationships and developing emotional intelligence. Combining literacy with social skills and vocational-specific classes, RCEF aim to equip rural Chinese children with the means to escape poverty through employment.

4. Habitat for Humanity

Due to China’s enormous population of more than 1.4 billion, housing poverty is a prominent issue. This issue is more prevalent in China’s rural communities, where an earthquake struck in 2008. Homes in urban centers are prohibitively expensive, leaving rural Chinese people without well-maintained homes.

Habitat For Humanity (HfH) began operating in Sichuan in 2000. Since then, HfH has provided more than 1,400 cheap, sturdy and sanitary homes for low-income families. It has also improved rural infrastructure and mobilized Shanghai corporations to improve living conditions for elderly people. Affordable housing is key to lifting China’s rural communities from poverty.

5. Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture China Office

Despite China’s colossal land mass, there is not enough farmable land to feed its vast population. Furthermore, the amount of soil available to farmers is shrinking, due to soil degradation and water scarcity. Farms are often small and maintained by an aging population as rural Chinese children are choosing wealthier urban lifestyles. These factors pose a significant threat to Chinese food security.

The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture China office has created several programs to combat the looming threat of food poverty in China. For instance, the “Sichuan kiwifruit value chain project” incentivizes and trains young people in the cultivation of the Kiwi, one of China’s most profitable cash crops. This program also educates rural Chinese youth on building profitable businesses and even provides supermarket affiliations to farmers. This program also educates rural Chinese communities on the importance of proper irrigation and crop rotation, in an effort to reduce soil degradation.

The Significance of Rural China’s Prosperity

China has successfully lifted 800 million people out of poverty over the last 40 years, however, China’s rural communities are in danger of being left behind. The well-being of China’s rural communities is vital, not only for China but also for the 21% of the world’s population they feed, according to Syngenta Foundation. The charities operating in China that maintain the well-being of its rural people are integral to global food security.

– David Smith
Photo: Pixabay

Charities Operating in the Philippines
The Philippines is an archipelagic country located in Southeast Asia with a population of 111 million people. Among the 111 million people, 21.6% of the population live in poverty and 75% of people in the south live in poverty. Despite the economic growth that the country has seen over the last few years, many people living in poverty are unable to experience economic growth. One can attribute poverty in the Philippines to natural disasters and violence throughout the country. With the dangers of sharing the world’s highest frequency of tropical storms, people living in poverty suffer since they cannot garner the agricultural and industrial resources necessary to help them. Charities operating in the Philippines work hard to help people living in poverty find ways to access the necessities required to live prosperous lives.

5 Charities Operating in the Philippines

  1. Cross Catholic: Cross Catholic Outreach is one of the five charities operating in the Philippines. It began its journey in 2001 and expanded into Southeast Asia in 2003. In the Philippines, the Cross Catholic Outreach works through its ministries to help people in poverty, and they do so by “sending financial support, shipping material and providing professional consultation for relief projects.” Cross Catholic has collaborated with partners like Answering the Cry of the Poor (ANCOP) and the Daughters of Wisdom to help extend its reach throughout the country. ANCOP is an extension of the Couples of Christ (CFC). Cross Catholic has helped ANCOP build hundreds of homes for the poor and helped fund social development programs since 2006. Cross Catholic work with Daughters of Wisdom in Manila and Cebu city has helped give children in poverty an opportunity to access education, health care and sanitation products for those who are unable to access or afford the services.
  2. CARE Philippines: CARE has been working in the Philippines since 1949. Since then, it has worked to alleviate poverty and combat social injustice through three leading roles: “Humanitarian Action, Promoting Lasting Change and Innovative Solutions and Multiplying Impact.” Human Action consists of saving lives, especially women and children, and the most marginalized in times of emergency. CARE Philippines’ humanitarian action also consists of “preparedness and early action, emergency response and recovery and encourages future resilience and equitable development.” Promoting Lasting Change and Innovative Solutions consists of streamlining and providing innovative solutions for sustainable development along with providing services and empowerment of women, all of which rely on understanding the drivers of poverty and social injustice.
  3. PAC Canada: PAC Canada is another charity operating in the Philippines. It began working in August 2016 alongside 600 residents of Barangays (villages) 128, 143, 144 and 145 through fostering relationships from trust and respect. PAC Canada focuses its operations on Tondo, Manila. It established its headquarters there on July 20, 2019, the same day Canada Revenue Agency listed it as a charitable organization. PAC Canada’s work focuses mainly on improving the lives of impoverished children and families after its founder, Phillippe Blanchard, sought to find ways to support them. Some of PAC’s programs include Watch Baby Grow (WBG) and Watch Toddler Blossom (WTB) Sponsorship (nutritional supplements) Programs along with Play and Catch-Up After School Programs, all of which focus on helping children.
  4. Save the Children Philippines: Save the Children Philippines started operating in the Philippines in 1981 and focused its work alongside “local communities to design sponsorship programs for kids.” In addition, the programs Save the Children created seek to develop programs that ensure that children can grow and learn in a safe environment to adulthood, which means ensuring that children get an education and mother and babies are healthy through accessible health care. Save the Children Philippines managed “to protect 16,082 children from harm, support 17,032 children in times of crisis, provide 393,164 children with a healthy start in life and support 11,492 parents to provide for their children’s basic needs.” Save the Children Philippines is one of the five charities operating in the Philippines helping to alleviate poverty.
  5. Project PEARLS: Project PEARLS started operating in 2010 and focuses on helping children and alleviating poverty. Project PEARLS’ programs revolve around education, health care, nutrition and empowerment through skills development. As part of the education initiative, its scholarship program helps more than 700 students in four communities: Tondo, Manila, Bocaue, Bulacan; Naic, Cavite and Zamboanga Sibugay. The charity also “provides breakfast to hundreds of children in Tondo, Manila. In partnership with organizations and individuals, we also bring critical medical and dental services to the communities.”

Looking Ahead

All five charities operating in the Philippines work effortlessly alongside their partners and communities by establishing programs geared towards helping those living in poverty, especially children who find access to essential services and need to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives and eventually escape poverty.

– Arijit Joshi
Photo: Flickr

Christopher Hohn’s Philanthropy
Sir Christopher Hohn is a well-known hedge fund manager and founder of TCI Management Fund. However, he is also one of the most prominent philanthropists in the world, establishing the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation which is dedicated to alleviating child poverty worldwide. Hohn’s net worth as of 2022 sits at $8.21 billion, the majority of which he has committed to charity. Here are nine facts about Christopher Hohn’s philanthropy.

9 Facts About Christopher Hohn’s Philanthropy

  1. Christopher Hohn’s Beginnings: Christopher Hohn was born in October 1966 in Addlestone, Surrey. He became a hedge fund manager while completing his bachelor’s degree.
  2. The Origins of Hohn’s Philanthropy: Hohn studied Economics and Accounting at the University of Southampton and received his MBA from Harvard University in 1993. In 2003, Hohn left Perry Partners to found his hedge fund, TCI Fund Management, along with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). With its founding, Christopher Hohn’s philanthropy would begin to take shape and make immense contributions to his goals of helping children across the world escape poverty. Hohn’s wife encouraged Christopher to conduct his philanthropic work publicly because “she was against starting a fund just to make money for myself,” he says. “She said if you [did the philanthropic pledge] publicly, it would encourage other people.”
  3. The Knighthood: Christopher Hohn’s philanthropy earned him a knighthood in 2014. As a hedge fund manager of a company that managed billions of dollars, he separated himself from most other hedge fund managers entering the market, due to his active approach to charitable policies through his TCI Fund Management and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.
  4. About the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF): The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation is the world’s largest philanthropy that focuses on improving the lives of children in developing countries. Since its inception, CIFF has established offices in Addis Ababa, Beijing, Nairobi, London and New Delhi and has also worked with other organizations to help children out of poverty.
  5. CIFF’s Offices: CIFF individually established these offices to collaborate with partners within those countries, to facilitate the organization’s goal of alleviating child poverty. For example, CIFF’s office in Nairobi underwent establishment in 2009, and the Addis Ababa office emerged in 2019. CIFF established its offices in Ethiopia for initiatives like WASH and NTDs, along with its regional investments, such as Girl Capital, all with the intention of alleviating child poverty. Similarly, CIFF’s office in Delhi (established in 2007), currently based in Rajasthan, aids India in promoting child health and development. The CIFF office there also supports the India National Deworming Programme, which works for the complete elimination of worms in children there.
  6. Climate Investments: In 2019, CIFF also established an office in Beijing, where it works with multiple partners to address changing weather patterns; it specifically focuses on sustainable development and a low-carbon economy. In London, CIFF’s offices focus on climate investments through involvement with EU policy-making and further involvement with local campaigns. In September 2019, CIFF launched the Clean Air Fund at the U.N. General Assembly, which focuses on the quality of air in India, the U.K. and Eastern Europe.
  7. Partnership with UNICEF: During Global Citizen Live in September 2021, CIFF partnered with UNICEF to pledge $50 million towards improving child nutrition, with a specific focus on tackling “child wasting,” a severe form of malnutrition that affects 47 million children worldwide and multiplies their risk of death in comparison to healthier children. CIFF’s collaboration with UNICEF resulted from the Global Action Plan (GAP) on wasting, a plan that UNICEF pioneered. The initiative employs a “holistic approach” that combines prevention, treatment and early detection methods. It also allows countries to unlock matched funding to treat child wasting.
  8. Other Efforts with UNICEF: In August 2021, CIFF also collaborated with UNICEF to raise $13 million for UNICEF’s Soccer Aid campaign, with proceedings going towards initiatives that fight child-wasting. Funds from the campaign also help UNICEF provide vaccines, safe spaces and proper nutrition for children.
  9. Recent Efforts: Sir Christopher Hohn’s work has contributed $2 billion to charity, and he has also pledged most of his net worth to these causes. In 2021, CIFF, in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ELMA and other philanthropies, committed $130 million to help maintain essential health programs.

Success to Date

Christopher Hohn’s philanthropic work, through the TCI Management Fund and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, has made great strides in helping children across the world escape poverty. These organizations, in partnership with other philanthropies, have contributed billions of dollars to ensure that children across the world can escape hunger and poverty.

– Arijit Joshi
Photo: Flickr

Charities Operating in Russia
Through the work of five charities operating in Russia, vulnerable people are able to receive health care support and treatment as well as assistance in instances of abuse and exploitation. Here is information about these five charities operating in Russia.

5 Charities Operating in Russia

  1. INGI. Crisis Centre for Women. This nonprofit organization was established in 1992 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Its main goal is to support women who are victims of several types of violence, discrimination and human trafficking in Russia. According to France24, “Russia in 2017 decriminalized certain forms of domestic violence, classifying them as an administrative offense and not a crime.” The organization provides psychological help for women who have suffered from abuse; interacts with state and local authorities; draws attention to women’s rights through media; creates and carries out women’s rights lectures and seminars; organizes charity auctions and events to raise money and offers legal support in court, among other efforts. From January to August 2022, the INGI. Crisis Centre received 5,346 requests from women in need and 3,660 people requested online consultation services. In addition, 126,148 women used the “P.O.L.I.N.A” platform (a tool that helps women access essential services and assistance) and the organization provided 345 instances of legal advisory services.
  2. Podari Zhizn. This charity foundation helps to ensure child cancer patients in Russia are able to access high-quality cancer treatment regardless of economic status. Podari Zhizn pays the costs of treatment for children with “oncological, hematological and other challenging conditions and illnesses,” its website says. Also, the foundation supplies medical facilities with equipment, medication and blood donations. When it comes to families with ill kids, the organization pays for transportation and accommodation expenses and offers legal and psychological support. In 2021 alone, the foundation provided assistance to almost 7,750 young patients. Podari Zhizn has two partner organizations, in the U.S. and the U.K.
  3. EVA. Established in Saint Petersburg in 2010 by activists, the EVA Association became the first organization in Russia to focus its efforts toward “[protecting] women who are affected by the HIV epidemic and other socially significant diseases.” The EVA Association brings together “63 activists and specialists and [five] non-commercial organizations from 39 cities across Russia.” In Russia, there are more than 500,000 HIV-positive women. And, many members of EVA are also navigating through life with HIV. All donor funds are spent on programs: “the breastfeeding support program for HIV-positive mothers, HIV prevention among drug users [and] the center for the development of activism,” the EVA website says. Over the years EVA has implemented more than 50 projects in the areas of peer counseling, HIV testing and prevention, parenting and “development of nonprofits and activism.”
  4. Lighthouse Charity Foundation. This Foundation was founded by Nyuta Federmesser and Lida Moniava in 2018 to support “children’s hospices in Moscow and the Moscow Region.” It also offers help and assistance to those families who decide to “transfer critically ill children to their homes” for care. On an annual basis, Lighthouse Charity Foundation projects support around 1,000 families whose kids suffer from critical illnesses. The Foundation consists of more than 300 professionals and 300 volunteers. In 2021, its budget stood at 950 million rubles — only 20% came from government funding and 80% came from donations “from ordinary citizens.” In 2022, the Foundation raised about 896 million rubles but still requires 960 million rubles considering it has 811 children receiving its care services.
  5. Hospice Charity Fund VERA. This nonprofit operating in Russia since 2006 supports the provision of “palliative and hospice care for children, adults and elderly.” Unfortunately, the “Russian state medical and social system does not cover care” for patients with terminal illnesses, VERA explains. Hospices receive support through charitable contributions only. Back in 2006, VERA had just four employees and one institution it supported. Over 16 years, VERA has contributed to developments in professional palliative care in Russia and now has more than 60 employees providing support to more than 30 hospices around the country.

These five charities operating in Russia, though not the only ones in existence, play a significant role in helping the most marginalized and vulnerable groups of people requiring aid and assistance.

– Elizaveta Medvedkina
Photo: Unsplash

Charities Operating in Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is a country located in West Africa. Its name translates to “the land of the incorruptible people.”It has a population of 21.5 million people and is one of the poorest countries in the world, with more than 40% of its people living below the poverty line. Despite the vast amount of humanitarian work conducted throughout the country addressing changing weather patterns and sustainability, Burkina Faso is still vulnerable to frequent natural disasters, including droughts, floods and diseases. Charities including Save the Children, SOS Children’s Villages, CECI, Humanity & Inclusion and Caritas work tirelessly to help alleviate poverty throughout Burkina Faso through education, provision of clean water and sanitation along with human development and the survival of children. Here is some information about the above five charities operating in Burkina Faso.

Poverty Situation in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso, as mentioned before, remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with 40% of people living below the poverty line. According to the Human Development Index report that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) carried out in 2021-2022, Burkina Faso ranks 184th out of 191 countries. In the last few years, poverty in Burkina Faso has correlated with consistent political instability and violence the country continues to face with many people being displaced. With heavy reliance on agriculture as its primary source of economic development, Burkina Faso has suffered due to low agricultural output by 4.1%. With violence and political unrest, more than 900,000 people are internally displaced and remain in extreme poverty. This mostly affects children, with more than half of the 2.2 million people in Burkina Faso seeking humanitarian assistance being children. 

Save the Children

One of the five charities operating in Burkina Faso is Save the Children, which began working in Burkina Faso in 1982. With children at the forefront of the organization’s focus, Save the Children works tirelessly to ensure security in their lives. Save the Children has become one of the biggest charitable organizations in Burkina Faso through its programs dedicated to education, safety and child health. Some of the work the organization has carried out revolves around multiple aspects of quality of life. It includes greater access to universal health care, resources and tools for treating malnutrition in children, food programs to combat insecurity and malnutrition and financial discipline teachings to help families support themselves and maintain quality health care. 

SOS Children’s Villages

The organization came to Burkina Faso during the 1990s and established itself in 1997 north of the nation’s capital; since 2004, SOS Children’s Villages has taken the initiative of operating SOS Family Strengthening Programs that ensure that children can grow and live in an environment of familiarity in the case that the child loses its family. One of SOS Children’s Villages operates in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso with a population of 1.5 million people. SOS Children’s Villages’ work in Ouagadougou, specifically the SOS Social Center revolves around its mission to ensure that children have access to health care, education and social services through family strengthening programs. SOS Children’s Villages is among the five charities operating in Burkina Faso that help families and children find social security while providing access to the very necessities required to survive.

Humanity & Inclusion

Burkina Faso became the first country where the organization began its work in 1991, focusing on “defending the rights of people with disabilities and responding to the urgent needs of the people affected by conflict.” Humanity & Inclusion’s work in Burkina Faso spans multiple facets, including physical rehabilitation, maternal and child health, inclusive education, disaster risk reduction and mental health and psychosocial support, along with road safety and protection. Humanity & Inclusion is one of the five charities in Burkina Faso that works tirelessly to address poverty in Burkina Faso by focusing on development, health and rehabilitation. The organization’s 187 members undertook 12 projects within the country, with 50% working on humanitarian efforts and 25% on chronic crises and 25% on development needs in 2021. 

Caritas

The organization emerged in 1956 and began operations in Burkina Faso in 1998. Caritas’ presence covers the entire country of Burkina Faso through its “15 diocesan offices and more than 200 Caritas parish branches.” By utilizing the branches, Caritas “aims to promote mainly community and integral human development, social justice, peace and human rights.” Caritas Burkina offers programs that align with its goals of alleviating poverty by solely focusing its work on women and families along with younger individuals through humanitarian development that fosters solidarity and sharing of resources to help facilitate expansion.

The Barka Foundation

The Barka Foundation is an organization that began in 2006 and is based in the United States. It began its work in Burkina Faso in 2009. The Barka Foundation is a younger charity compared to other charities discussed. Still, regardless of longevity, the Barka Foundation is among the five charities that operate in Burkina Faso. The organization focuses its work from a perspective of longevity and community-driven programs involving accessibility to clean water, agriculture improvement, women’s empowerment and human rights and minimizing the effects of changing weather patterns. The Barka Foundation sets itself apart from other organizations working in Burkina Faso by ensuring that its mission to alleviate and combat poverty does not obstruct the lives of the indigenous people, thereby mitigating western influence and developing relationships with them to help provide them with basic survival needs.

Looking Ahead

All the charities mentioned above work tirelessly to address poverty in Burkina Faso. Each charity offers and provides unique programs and initiatives to help the people of Burkina Faso access necessities such as health care, rehabilitation and social and economic security, along with tools to combat the effects of changing weather patterns and, most notably education and security for children affected.

Arijit Joshi
Photo: Flickr

Charities in AngolaAngola is currently one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and the second-largest oil producer in Africa. Despite its eye-catching profile, many challenges plague this sub-Saharan country, from severe humanitarian crises to serious human rights abuses. The country is also struggling to recover from the ruins left behind by a 27-year civil war. Angola’s dark years might not be over yet, but the country is moving in the right direction. A part of this positive momentum is driven by charities operating in Angola. These charities have brought hope, support and development to several marginalized and neglected groups in the country. Here are five charities transforming the lives of Angolans:

RISE International

RISE International was formerly called the African Refugee Committee (ARC). Founded in 2001, ARC started as a nonprofit organization that provided relief and support to people displaced by the Angolan civil war. In 2003, a year after the war ended, ARC changed its name to RISE International.

While RISE continued to provide relief to refugees, it added a new plan: rebuilding Angola by bridging the country’s education gap. RISE builds schools for children in rural areas that receive little to no attention from the Angolan Ministry of Education. Since its inception, the charity has provided education to over 140,000 Angolan children and built 194 schools, with several more underway.

Hope For Our Sisters (HFOS)

Hope For Our Sisters (HFOS) is an advocacy group for women’s health focusing on maternal care. The organization is working to eradicate fistula in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Nepal.

Various factors can cause fistula depending on its type. This charity mainly focuses on obstetric fistula, caused by prolonged or obstructed labor and traumatic fistula, resulting from sexual violence and trauma. Women suffering from fistula are often abandoned by their loved ones and ostracized from their communities.

HFOS partners with other charities and organizations in Angola to provide rehabilitation, aftercare and empowerment for these shunned women. They also sponsor awareness campaigns to prevent the occurrence of the disease and provide treatments, including repair surgery.

It currently has two ongoing projects in Angola: the Ultrasound Empowerment Program and the Aftercare Program. The Ultrasound Empowerment Program helped 151 and another set of 50 women have been empowered to generate income through the Aftercare program.

Mothers2mothers

Mothers2mothers is an award-winning charity that operates in several sub-Saharan countries. Driven by its commitment to eradicating AIDS and maternal and child deaths, the charity started working in Angola in 2019. Since then, it has partnered with the country’s government and the Ministry of Health to offer aid to more than 10,000 Angolans, as of December 2022.

The charity uses its innovative Mentor Mother Model in local communities to administer HIV tests and treatments to those who need them. This model involves selecting women trusted by their communities and training them to administer necessary medical care. Its efforts have also resulted in the virtual elimination of mother-child transmission of HIV among its beneficiaries.

World Vision International

World Vision is a global leader in humanitarian aid. Created in 1950, the charity’s mission was inspired by a homeless Chinese girl helped by Bob Pierce, its founder. Pierce got the idea to seek a permanent solution to poverty. That idea birthed the World Vision.

Today, the charity has helped over 200 million children escape poverty in over 100 countries worldwide. One of those countries is Angola. World Vision began operating in the sub-Saharan nation in 1989. Its Angola mandate is to improve food security, provide access to water and sanitation services and offer better education opportunities to disadvantaged children.

Every year, about 1 million people in Angola benefit from the charity’s programs each year.

UNICEF

UNICEF’s interventions in Angola have had profound and widespread outcomes over the years. In 2022 alone, the charity reached 214,449 people with clean and safe water and vaccinated over 270,000 children against measles, polio and acute diarrhea. And the list goes on.

Despite its huge success, UNICEF’s humanitarian impact in the sub-Saharan country remains limited due to inadequate funding. The organization currently needs $33 million to cater to the humanitarian needs of 1.5 million Angolans.

Providing a Brighter Future

These five charities operating in Angola have achieved commendable results. The commitment and actions of the nonprofits have helped to revive core sectors of Angola’s economy, including health care, agriculture and education. With more children in schools, Angola can envision a brighter economic future with fewer woes. Thanks to some of these charities, thousands of Angolan women are healthier and safer and can provide for their families and children.

– Amarachi Orjiude
Photo: Flickr