15 organizations that help the world

With the myriad difficulties that face the world, it is essential to have organizations making the planet a better place. Without such generous assistance, the world would be plagued with unmanageable adversities. The following is a list of 15 organizations that help improve the world with their innovative ideas and generous efforts.

  1. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is an organization that works to fight hunger and its consequential effects on a global scale. It works specifically to eradicate infectious diseases and child mortality rates in struggling countries.
  1. Doctors Without Borders
    Doctors Without Borders delivers emergency aid to people in need. These efforts include helping people in situations of natural disasters, epidemics and lack of health care.
  1. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
    The FAO’s prime purpose is to defeat hunger. It works in 130 countries worldwide to help ensure people have access to food and are not going hungry. The organization has been fighting hunger since 1945.
  1. Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Watch was established in 1978 and is an organization that reports on human rights conditions in countries all over the world. With its findings, it meets with governments and financial corporations to urge for policy changes that assist the betterment of human rights around the world.
  1. Oxfam
    Oxfam is a global organization that helps improve the world through poverty-reduction efforts. It focuses on the conditions that cause poverty and works to fix the effects of such difficulties. Its efforts include disaster response, programs to help people afflicted by poverty and education improvement.
  1. Red Cross
    Founded in 1881, the Red Cross foundation works to help people in urgent need. Assisted greatly by volunteers, the Red Cross mainly provides disaster relief, support to America’s military families, health and safety services, blood donations and international services.
  1. Save the Children
    Save the Children is a nonprofit organization that focuses primarily on helping children in need. This includes emergency response, global health initiatives, HIV and Aids prevention, disaster response and creating educational opportunities. In 2016, Save the Children reached and assisted 157 million children.
  1. The Borgen Project
    The Borgen Project is a nonprofit organization that aims to end poverty by working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy. The organization is an influential ally for the world’s poor that educates and mobilizes people to communicate with their Congressional leaders to ensure funding for poverty-fighting efforts are not eliminated. In 2017, the organization had volunteers in 754 U.S. cities and is one of the 15 organizations that help improve the world immensely.
  1. The World Bank
    The World Bank works with other organizations to provide extensive financial assistance to developing countries. It was established in 1944 and has more than 10,000 employees and 120 offices worldwide.
  1. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
    The UNDP is an organization that aims to eradicate poverty. It implements this goal by developing policies, skills and partnerships to enable people to sustain their progress and improvement. The UNDP is in over 170 countries and territories.
  1. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
    UNICEF is an organization that fights for children’s rights to shelter, nutrition, protection and equality. It does so by being children’s advocates and providing humanitarian assistance to children and their families, most often in developing countries.
  1. United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
    USAID is an international agency that provides development assistance to countries in need. It works to advance U.S. national security and “economic prosperity” by promoting self-sufficiency. It uses humanitarian response efforts to bring disaster relief and supplies to those who are struggling.
  1. World Food Programme (WFP)
    WFP’s mission is to fight world hunger and provide people around the world the quality food they need to survive. It does this by working with U.S. policymakers and other foundations to organize financial resources, as well as develop necessary policies to assist the fight against worldwide hunger.
  1. World Health Organization (WHO)
    Of the 15 organizations that help improve the world, WHO is among the largest. The WHO is an organization that works directly with governments and various partners to ensure a healthier future for people all around the world. It fights infectious diseases and works directly with mothers and children to improve and maintain their health.
  1. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
    The WWF is an international nongovernmental organization working to conserve nature and reduce extreme threats. It also aims to increase awareness to prevent further damage to the earth and its inhabitants.

These are only 15 organizations that help improve the world. There are many more that work together with partners to help make the world a better and safer place to live. Their generosity helps people on a daily basis live healthier and happier lives, and it is troublesome to think of where the world would be without such assistance.

– McCall Robison

Photo: Flickr

Syrian Hospitals Go UndergroundThe Syrian civil war has been, and continues to be, devastating. Since its inception in 2011, bombings and raids have displaced thousands upon thousands from the country. However, not everyone has the choice to flee. In fact, some have been rendered unable to leave the country because of injuries caused by warfare. This has placed a new burden on doctors in the area. How are medical staff supposed to effectively treat patients when bombs frequently and intentionally strike the hospitals in Syria? Some doctors have a solution: having Syrian hospitals go underground.

Mahmoud Hariri is a surgeon, born and raised in Syria, who has faced the consequences of war on Syrian healthcare. He reports to have once seen a patient pull a tube out of his own body in order to evacuate the hospital he was receiving care in because it was being bombed—again. Hariri spoke of the complications that these forced evacuations cause, particularly for the often unconscious patients in the intensive care units. As many of the hospitals are without elevators, doctors and support staff are left with no choice but to carry these critical patients down the stairs.

To save patients and allow medical workers to provide better care without the risk of bombings forcing evacuations, entire hospitals have been relocated into basements and caves. In essence, hospitals are using makeshift, military-style fortifications so operations can endure the bombs falling above. If a hospital chooses to stay in the buildings above the surface, they are building concrete walls and even creating “sacrificial” floors to take the brunt of the aerial attacks.

As Syrian hospitals go underground and construct protective structures, the question of financing the relocations and fortifications arises. The United States and U.N. grants are largely responsible for making these expensive projects possible. However, as the U.S. considers a drastic budget cut to the International Affairs Budget, worried aid groups are wondering how to fill the potential void caused by reduced funding.

Currently, around 25 underground facilities are in operation. However, each facility can cost $800,000 to $1.5 million depending on what the hospital needs. As a result, doctors have turned to crowdfunding in a desperate attempt to continue construction of these makeshift facilities before any official aid is lost. Even if aid continues, the regulations on how foreign aid can be spent have caused a few problems. For example, the construction itself is deemed “development,” not a humanitarian expenditure.

The good news is in the last six years, over $1.7 million has been collected by pooling funds. While the U.N. remains the main source of financial support, the French government has provided nearly $500,000 and over $2.5 has been given by private donors and Syrian NGO grants.

Syria has a long way to go. As the civil war is ongoing with no definite end in sight, medical access remains a high priority to those still in Syria. The request for pooled aid in 2017 alone was over $500 million. In order to continue to provide this much-needed care in a war zone, the medical staff is relying on the U.S., the U.N. and all the other donors to continue supporting them. It is essential that Syrian hospitals go underground. Otherwise, proper medical care simply will not be able to keep up with the needs of war-torn cities like Aleppo.

Taylor Elkins

Photo: Flickr

PEER Research
Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research is a competitive, international grants program that offers scientists researching funds in developing countries to address global development challenges.

PEER Research is designed to leverage federal science agency funding from NASA, NIH, NSF, Smithsonian Institution, USDA and USGS by supporting scientists from impoverished countries in areas including water resource management, climate change, agriculture, nutrition and maternal and child health.

Since its launch in 2011, PEER has supported more than 200 projects in over 45 countries, with a total investment of more than $50 million. These projects address gaps in scientific knowledge to combat global poverty.

PEER not only catalyzes collaborative research between scientists in developing countries and their U.S.-funded counterparts but also elevates the use of science and technology to further USAID’s development objectives.

“Collaboration is key for accelerating the impact of scientific research on development,” said Ann Mei Chang, USAID’s chief innovation officer and executive director of the U.S. Global Development Lab.

Besides scientific collaboration, PEER Research also hopes to see scientists from developing countries improve their negotiating skills, innovation and commercialization as well as different methods of communicating research to policymakers in their home countries. In this approach, PEER strives to strengthen the research ecosystem in developing countries and enable partners to become better collaborators in development.

PEER significantly helps strengthen the global scientific research community by providing opportunities for the best scientists to collaborate on crucial development issues. The following are PEER’s past successful stories:

Climate Change
In Southeast Asia, researchers successfully built emissions models for predicting air quality scenarios. The findings have effectively informed policies in Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia to reduce emissions.

Education
In Morocco, researchers have developed a computer-based instructional tool that helps translate Modern Standard Arabic into Moroccan Sign Language in real time, aiding hearing-impaired students in learning and accessing to education.

Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission
In Malawi, researchers work together to evaluate the effectiveness of Option B+, a promising antiretroviral treatment to mother-to-child HIV transmission and inform the public and the government of the results of their work.

“The research partnerships nurtured through this program are crucial to building capacity among local scientists and research institutions, strengthening linkages with international research institutions and finding solutions to global development challenges,” said USAID Vietnam Mission Director Mike Greene.

Yvie Yao

Photo: Flickr

Education in Haiti

Education in Haiti is a critical issue. Haiti is an impoverished country that struggles to educate its youth due to factors including past disasters, social disparity and present economic hardship. A couple facts put this into perspective:

  1. Haiti is the third poorest country in the world, with the majority of the population living on less than $3 a day.
  2. In 2010, 230,000 Haitian lives were taken by a devastating earthquake in Port-au-Prince.
  3. More than 400,000 Haitian children are forced to live without the care of their parents.

These factors have destroyed the lives of many Haitians. As a result, education in Haiti is not an economic priority for the Haitian government and only 10 percent of the federal budget is spent on primary and secondary schools. Haiti ranks 177th out of 186 in the world for national spending on education.

Only 76 percent of children in Haiti enroll in primary school; one of the lowest enrollment rates in the world. However, despite the low percentage of educational success, Haitians highly value literacy and proudly wear their school uniforms when they are enrolled in school. However, compared to most other countries, it takes a higher percentage of one’s income to be able go to school, making it difficult for many to attend.

The most prevalent challenges Haitian education faces include funding and teacher training. In the United States, USAID helps fund Haitian education systems. USAID supports 550 schools and strives toward improving early grade reading and writing while helping demonstrate modern instruction to teachers and staff members.

In 2014, the Haitian Minister of Economy and Finance and the World Bank Special Envoy signed a grant of $24 million to help 230,000 children attend school and receive a quality education. This is done through tuition waivers and other means of support under the Education for All project.

The grant helps focus the Haitian government’s priorities on education. It does this by aiming to increase the quality of teaching and continuously focusing on increasing enrollment.

The goals of the Education for All project include

  • Financing more than 420,000 school fee waivers
  • Improving teaching and reading instruction material
  • Constructing of 160 classrooms in community-based school

With the help of the United States and other developed countries, education in Haiti is slowly improving as enrollment rates continue to rise. Hopefully, this trend will continue and thousands of Haitians will be able to wear their school uniforms with pride.

Casey Marx

Photo: Flickr

Silicon Valley Community Foundation
With the countless global challenges the world faces today, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) stands as a crucial partner in advocating for its community’s poor and providing them with professional guidance as well as helping global causes.

SVCF’s mission is to channel the excess wealth flooding Silicon Valley into worthy, charitable causes around the world. One of the systems SVCF uses as a means of helping nonprofits all around the world is Donor Circles.

Each circle has its own focus or philanthropic cause. Currently, the Donor Circles include Donor Circle for the Environment, Donor Circle of the Arts, Donor Circle for Africa and Donor Circle for Safety Net.

Each Donor Circle consists of individuals interested specifically in the circle’s cause who wish to fund nonprofits in the given field that are in need of support.

For example, the Donor Circle for Africa “works with nonprofit groups and entrepreneurs in Africa whose projects demonstrate sustainable and affordable solutions for essential needs.” Since 2012, this Donor Circle has given out over $50,000-worth of grants.

For example, the Donor Circle for Africa “works with nonprofit groups and entrepreneurs in Africa whose projects demonstrate sustainable and affordable solutions for essential needs.” Since 2012, this Donor Circle has given out over $50,000-worth of grants.

Aside from these Donor Circles, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation also gives grants and scholarships to individuals.

On an individual level, two of the issues SVCF specializes in are immigration and education.

In a brief describing the work they do for immigrants in Silicon Valley, SVCF acknowledges a pervasive obstacle in immigrants’ successful assimilation: lack of access to educational resources and aid. The organization attributes immigrants’ difficulties in finding work to an “insufficient number of effective English-language learning, job training and legal services.”

In a San Francisco Chronicle article about SVCF, two recipients of Silicon Valley Community Foundation grants recount some of the challenges they faced as new immigrants. Ramon Alvarez, a 28-year-old Mexican-born immigrant, says that he used to fear interactions with native English speakers, but with the help of SVCF, now he will “talk to anyone.”

In a community with booming affluence, an organization like the Silicon Valley Community Foundation stands as a crucial mobilizer for the many causes that truly deserve the world’s attention.

Liz Pudel

Sources: SVCF 1, SVCF 2, SVCF 3, SVCF 4, San Francisco Chronicles

The Clinton Foundation
Bill Clinton will always be remembered first and foremost for his eight years in the White House, but he has another legacy that deserves just as much attention: The Clinton Foundation.

Founded in 1997 with a focus on Little Rock, Arkansas, the foundation has grown into an international powerhouse that has raised more than $2 billion to fund charity work around the world.

Like most ex-presidents, Clinton initially faded from the public eye. According to the Washington Post, he spent much of his time watching TiVo. Then, in 2002, he moved the Clinton Foundation to Harlem, New York, following Hillary Clinton’s successful election bid for U.S. Senate.

The foundation brought in consultants from Booz Allen Hamilton to give advice to small business owners in the local community, and the projects piled on from there. Using his celebrity power, Clinton was able to consistently recruit top-notch partners. Besides Booz Allen, he also brought in Princeton Review to bolster local students’ SAT scores.

It was not until 2002, however, that Clinton’s international work began. He met an old friend, former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, at an AIDS conference. Mandela reminded Clinton of a promise he made while still in office, a promise to help Africa after he left.

That promise materialized into the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). According to the Clinton Foundation Website, CHAI has helped reduce the cost of lifesaving HIV/AIDS medication from $10,000 annually for one patient to only $100 to $200. This has helped over eight million people in developing countries, many of them in Africa, afford medication without which they’d die.

CHAI was so successful that it became its own organization, but the Clinton Foundation actively promotes nine other initiatives: the Clinton Climate Initiative, the Clinton Development Initiative, the Clinton Foundation in Haiti, the Clinton Glustra Enterprise Partnership, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, the Clinton Presidential Center and Too Small to Fail and No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project.

The Clinton Foundation is unique in that its initiatives are its own. It consists of over 2,000 employees that serve both as administrators and field workers. As such, it operates more as a nonprofit consulting firm than a grant-making agency. A New York Times story from 2015, for example, reports that the group’s work in Rwanda includes such diverse efforts as teaching farmers to double their yields, training nurses and specialists and supporting factories that turn soybeans into cooking oil.

Behind the power of the Clinton Foundation is Bill’s celebrity. As ex-President of the most powerful country in the world, he truly is a star among stars. With this power, he has been able to raise funds that few others on Earth could hope to achieve and partner with the best organizations to put the money to good use.

As the 2016 presidential election approaches, increasing scrutiny is being paid to the foundation. With Hillary as the first female President and Bill as the first “First Man,” some people would worry about influence-buying through the foundation. Still, the breadth and depth of the good work of the Clinton Foundation cannot be denied. Bill could’ve easily faded into the background after his presidency. Instead, he used his influence and recognition to benefit not just the United States, but the entire world.

Dennis Sawyers

Sources: New York Times, The Clinton Foundation, The Washington Post

The_Global_Partnership_for_Education2015 has been an active year for global education. The fourth Global Goal in the new Global Goals for 2030 focuses on education. But according to Results, The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is the only international partnership exclusively dedicated to achieving education for all.

The Global Partnership for Education had five major accomplishments over the course of 2015.

1. GPE welcomed Bangladesh and the Republic of Congo as new partners.

Bangladesh became the 60th developing partner of the GPE. As a GPE member country, Bangladesh is now eligible for a Program Implementation Grant worth $100 million dollars over the course of three years. The Congo is the 61st developing country partner of GPE. The GPE is working with the Congo to give all children a basic ten-year education.

2. GPE calculated that it takes only $1.18 to pay for a day of primary to secondary education for a child in a developing country.

This calculation comes from The Education for All Global Monitoring Report and IMF figures for historical US inflation. According to GPE, 88 percent of $1.18 will be provided by developing countries themselves, making the international funding gap just 14 cents a day per child.

3. GPE received new funding from Canada.

Canada decided to double their contribution to the GPE. They agreed to donate $98 million dollars during the 2015-2018 replenishment period. More than half of GPE’s financing to countries in 2014 went to conflict-affected countries.

4. GPE allocated more than $245 million in grants and distributed more than $400 million.

GPE approved $245 million in grants fro Bangladesh, Mozambique, Nepal and Rwanda. It plans to use this money to provide imperative funding and momentum toward quality education for children.

5. GPE adopted a new strategy for the next five years.

The new strategic plan sets out contributions that GPE will make to focus on the Global Goal for education. The new results framework will be used to measure achievements and ensure accountability for results. GPE is invested in delivering the Global Goal of quality education for all.

GPE hopes to continue to make a positive impact in global education and to reach the global education goal. Their new strategy for 2016 identifies their biggest challenges to achieving quality education for children around the world.

Jordan Connell

Sources: Global Partnership for Education, Results
Photo: Global Partnership for Education

Ghana
The president of Ghana announced at a ceremony earlier this month that the West African nation’s government has signed new grants with Global Fund, an international financing organization that invests around $4 billion a year to support programs fighting AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis (TB).

The seven new grants, totaling $248 million, come from many supporters, including the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the U.K. Department for International Effort, the European Union, Denmark, Korea, UNICEF, UNAIDS and WHO, among others.

The primary objective of the grants is to increase how many people receive protection and treatment for HIV, malaria and TB. Specifically, the key targets address certain aspects of prevention and treatment and aim to complete the goals by 2017.

Among the goals of the grants are for 140,448 people to be assured antiretroviral treatment to control HIV, as well as increase coverage for an additional 32,246 pregnant women.

The funds will also aim to expand services to protect key affected populations from HIV, including 65 percent of female sex workers, 88 percent of homosexual men, and 80 percent of inmates, in addition to providing annual testing services for 20 percent of the general population.

In terms of malaria, the funds will be used to secure treatment for 80 percent of children under five, as well as have mosquito nets in 70 percent of households.

For TB, the goal is to double case notification rates to 103 per 100,000 and make sure 100 percent of drug-resistant patients on second-line treatment are covered for treatment, up from 42 percent in 2013.

Additionally, Ghanaian officials want to use the funds to better integrate treatment for HIV and TB in community health clinics.

The government of Ghana also plans to use domestic funds to cover the expenses for antiretroviral drugs for 22,000 current patients and 11,000 new patients.

The nation was the first to sign a grant with Global Fund, doing so in 2002, seeing advances in overall health as a result.

Since 2010, there has been a 43 percent decrease in new HIV infections, and between 2009 and 2014, there was a 51 percent drop in new infections in children. The percentage of coverage dealing with preventing mother-to-child transmission is now at 81 percent, up from 32 percent.

Successes have also been seen in preventing and treating malaria and TB, as government officials and other organizations have distributed a combined 19 million mosquito nets, as well as detected and treated 76,000 new TB cases and having 88,000 people currently in antiretroviral therapy.

Matt Wotus

Sources: AllAfrica, The Global Fund
Photo: Pixabay

seychelles
Two separate grant agreements between Seychelles and the European Union were signed on December 10. The two agreements will provide as much as $6.4 million in order to help foster sustainable development and fight the effects of climate change in the archipelago nation.

The two agreements come on the heels of warnings from both the UN and the World Bank Group about the potential of climate change to exacerbate poverty in coastal communities. Seychelles’ economy—dependent chiefly upon tourism and tuna hauls—is particularly vulnerable to effects of climate change.

Recently, Seychelles has become something of a regional leader in the fight for sustainable development. Seychelles has already reached the majority of the UN Millennium Development Goals, and is now advocating the adoption of “blue economy” principles, which emphasize the protection of maritime resources and the economic potential of the Indian Ocean’s fishing, shipping, energy and tourism sectors.

Seychelles Foreign Affairs Minister John-Paul Adam believes that the development of the blue economy could allow the Indian Ocean to become a hub of sustainable ocean management and resiliency in the face of a changing climate. Adam, speaking at the 38th annual ministerial meeting of the G77 plus China, said, “The blue economy provides a blank canvas to many developing countries to charter a completely new sustainable development pathway that is to their best interest.”

In a press statement at the same meeting, Adam called for cooperation amongst southern hemisphere nations in science and technology in order to bolster blue economy sectors. Seychelles is also doing its part in building regional cooperation, strengthening bilateral ties with Fiji in the fisheries sector.

Seychelles’ efforts to sustain development and mitigate the compounding effect of climate change on poverty exemplify the kind of regional leadership that will be necessary in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Similarly, the EU grants will need to be replicated by wealthy nations in order to provide developing nations with the financial resources necessary to not only continue developing, but to do so in a sustainable and climate-conscious way.

– Parker Carroll

Sources: Chatham House, Seychelles News Agency 1, Seychelles News Agency 2, Ventures Africa
Photo: Seychelles News Agency

somaliland business fund
Somaliland is an autonomous region in the north of Somalia that gained independence in 1991. Since then, it has been struggling with high unemployment rates and poverty.

The Somaliland Business Fund provides grants to private sector individuals or companies that have innovative plans for development in agriculture, livestock, fisheries, manufacturing and green energy. It is part of a bigger development plan for Somaliland called the Somalia Private Sector Development Re-engagement Project. The $29 million project is funded by the World Bank State and Peacebuilding Fund.

Since 2012, the SBF has awarded 10.5 million dollars in grants and $10 million in matching funds. Dr. Isail Ali is one recipient of SBF’s matching fund grant. He left his position as an orthopedic surgeon in Somaliland’s capital and purchased land in the countryside. It had been Dr. Ali’s dream to lead a quiet life in the country as a camel farmer.

He won a matching grant of $49,000 because of his inventive techniques for water conservation and food production. In four short years, his original herd of seven camels had transformed into the Saafi Camel Milk Dairy. Dr. Ali now employs fifteen laborers to help during the busy seasons.

Dr. Ali’s story represents the way the fund is not only encouraging entrepreneurs from the private sector to provide for themselves, but to also provide jobs for others.

Qani Abdi Alin started Dheeman Tailoring and Fashions using money from the SBF. Her business has now become an $180,000 company, exporting designs to countries across Africa and the Middle East. She employs six tailors.

“Hard work and determination are especially important for women wanting to succeed in a man’s world,” Alin says, providing an example for other budding female entrepreneurs.

The homepage of the SBF website features the slogan “Building a Better Future.” Since Somaliland broke away from Somalia, the region has been struggling. Somali military dictator, Siad Barre, did not let the region go easily and tens of thousands of people were killed during the secession process.

Somaliland is not internationally recognized as a state, despite having its own government, police force and currency.

The SBF and its promise of a better future might be what the region needs, but only time will tell.

Julianne O’Connor

Sources: BBC News, Somaliland Business Fund, The World Bank
Photo: BBC News