Information and stories about nonprofit organizations and NGOs

Generous Coffee Co.'s Purpose is Giving Back
Ben Higgins, a former star of “The Bachelor”, gives back through his company Generous Coffee Co. He does this with his friend and business partner Riley Fuller and they operate Generous Coffee Co. as a not-for-profit organization. The purpose that Higgins and Fuller have in mind stems from kindness, efficiency and sustainability. Generous Coffee Co.’s customers know that the company uses its profits to change lives for the better around the world

The Foundation of Generous Coffee Co.

Higgins and Fuller had the idea for Generous Coffee Co. in Honduras at the end of 2016. While having dinner, a friend asked them how Fuller’s nonprofit, Humanity and Hope United, would survive if its fundraising ran out. Fuller founded Humanity and Hope United in 2010 after a family mission trip to Honduras inspired him in 2007.

Honduras is home to 8.5 million people, but 70 percent of them earn less than $1,200 a year. The country has the highest rate of income inequality in Latin America. In rural areas, 50 percent of the population lives beneath poverty levels, which means that one in every five people make less than $1.90 a day, or less than $700 a year. Education plays a large role in continuing or ending the cycle of poverty, and the Honduran education system is doing extremely poorly; only around 30 percent of students continue to high school after sixth grade because their families cannot afford secondary school. Ninety percent of the students who stop in sixth grade have to repeat a grade at some point. Approximately 100,000 students drop out of school every year because they need to start working to help provide for their families.

Humanity of Hope United

The critical conditions for families in Honduras inspired Fuller to found Humanity of Hope United. The organization currently provides relief to multiple villages throughout Honduras by providing people with clean water, making education more accessible and working to improve employment opportunities. Humanity of Hope United has an education sponsorship program where donors sponsor children for $100 a month, which pays for a student’s food, transportation, school uniform and school supplies.

The organization also creates job opportunities with the Grand Farm, a 30-acre farm that grows crops and raises animals in a village called La Coroza. The farm currently has 126 people working on it who make around $10 a day, and about $50 for each cow that they sell on the farm. This is a significant improvement over the average $2 per day that other Honduran farmworkers make. In 2019, Humanity of Hope United reached a milestone when it exceeded its goal of raising $200,000 to purchase The Grand Farm for the people of La Coroza. In fact, the organization has raised $215,000 for the farm. Humanity of Hope’s work started the goals that Higgins and Fuller continued with Generous Coffee Co.’s “purpose, not profit” business model.

Generous Coffee Co.’s Coffee and Reach

At the beginning of the project, Higgins and Fuller invited Drew Scholl to be a partner in Generous Coffee Co. because Scholl had already tried to create a coffee company that worked with developing countries. Together, the three of them established Generous Coffee Co. in November 2017. Generous Coffee Co.’s purpose is to invest 100 percent of its profits into charity organizations to help the countries that make the company’s coffee. The company operates in Honduras, Rwanda, Colombia and Guatemala, and roasts the beans at Utopian Roasters in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Higgins’ home town. All of the coffee sold by Generous Coffee Country has single, traceable origins. After roasting and packaging, the company sells its coffee directly online. Generous Coffee Co. has over 50 volunteers that help the company in its efforts to spread generosity and give back to the people who make its coffee.

Every two or three days, the company ships coffee orders to consumers and cafes. In 2018, Generous Coffee Co. launched a clothing line that sells t-shirts that single mothers in Haiti make, providing them with a living wage and retirement insurance. The company also started a program where people can go on trips with the company and opened its inaugural Generous Coffee Shop in Golden, Colorado at the Tributary Market. As Generous Coffee Co.’s purpose of giving back to its sources continues, the company aims to let people invest in the company and to expand globally into Generous International.

Purchases of Generous Coffee makes a positive impact worldwide, and its customers know that by buying from Generous Coffee Co., they are giving back to its sources.

Cyndi Payton
Photo: Wikipedia

fourngoadvocacygroups
When it comes to encouraging global change, advocacy groups are an essential piece of the puzzle. Advocacy groups and non-governmental organizations (NGO) are organizations that support a cause politically, legally, or through other means of facilitation. In the fight against global poverty, and many other worldwide maladies, here are four NGO advocacy groups.

Advocates for International Development

Advocates for International Development, otherwise known as Lawyers Eradicating Poverty, is an advocacy group and charity that supports global change through a legal lens. This organization recognizes that developing nations may not have proper access to legal expertise and that in order to secure sustainable development, legal services need to be available everywhere.

Advocates for International Development provides pro bono legal advice, access to lawyers and law firms, law and development training programs and many more legal services. This organization’s reach has spread to over 100 legal jurisdictions worldwide, with a network of over 53,000 lawyers at the NGO’s disposal.

With its goals based on recent U.N. initiatives, Advocates for International Development aims to see the world ridden of extreme poverty by 2030.

MADRE

MADRE advocates for female involvement in policy-making and legislative decisions worldwide. MADRE also provides grants and donations to smaller women’s advocacy groups, having donated over $52 million to those groups since MADRE’s founding in 1983. This organization recognizes unequal representation in legal processes across the globe and fights to ensure that society hears all voices.

MADRE also works alongside the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law to provide quality legal services to women in need. Together, these entities use law-based advocacy to ensure the international security of human rights and to correct any human rights violations.

As of 2019, MADRE and CUNY School of Law have drafted a successful treaty, demanding the redefinition of gender in the eyes of the United Nations General Assembly’s Sixth Committee. This redefinition will pose to protect the rights of all genders in future international human rights disputes.

The Global Health Council

The Global Health Council advocates for global health awareness and legislation to pass through the U.S. Congress. On top of securing strong global health policies, this organization focuses on preventing premature death in children and adolescents worldwide. The Global Health Council also facilitates smaller organizations, working with them to achieve goals beyond the scope of U.S. Congress.

The Global Health Council is one of the world’s largest membership-based global health advocacy groups. This organization has over 100,000 members, with branches in over 150 countries. With the help of the Global Health Council and all its members, infant mortality has reduced by 50 percent worldwide and maternal mortality has reduced by 43 percent.

Amnesty International

Amnesty International is an NGO that advocates for the international security of basic human rights. Amnesty International gathers its information through direct research, sending crisis response teams across regions worldwide to record and report human rights violations. From this organization’s research, activists gain the necessary fuel to push for the protection of human rights everywhere.

One of the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization, Amnesty International has more than seven million members and offices in more than seventy nations. For upwards of fifty years, this organization has been an essential consultant to the United Nations for international human rights policies.

Amnesty International has made major humanitarian strides, such as helping free 153 falsely imprisoned people worldwide in 2018 alone, and influence international laws surrounding refugees, the death penalty and many other human rights issues.

There are countless more organizations worldwide fighting to make the world a better place. These four NGO advocacy groups are just a few examples of what public support and mobilization can achieve.

– Suzette Shultz
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Top 5 Nonprofit Foundations
Throughout the world, millions of people face the development of disease. Many of these diseases are not yet curable, which has forced many to be fearful for their lives. Several organizations have come up with ways to fund research and provide information to those suffering from these diseases so that they can live longer and happier lives. These top 5 nonprofit foundations are among the many nonprofit organizations that have dedicated their lives to curing disease.

The March of Dimes Foundation

The March of Dimes Foundation is a U.S. nonprofit organization that works to improve the health of mothers and babies. Formed the day before World War II, the March of Dimes Foundation, formerly the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (NFIP), became very popular like its founder, Franklin D. Roosevelt. With the war in full effect, the Foundation was able to gain its rise through “radio, Hollywood and the personal appeal of the president.” The organization established the Office of Global Programs, that allowed worldwide partnerships with communities in Latin America, Europe and Asia bringing in prenatal education and care. The March of Dimes Global Network for Maternal and Infant Health has supported programs in China, Brazil, Lebanon, the Philippines, Malawi and Uganda.

United Way

United Way’s mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world and advancing the common good. The organization collaborated with the Shanghai Charity Foundation to provide teacher training, a place for children to learn, educational toys and other learning materials for 20 kindergarteners. In 2010, the United Way worked with the Airbus Corporate Foundation to create the Flying Challenge, which encourages at-risk middle and high school students to stay in school. So far, the challenge has allowed more than 600 students from Wichita, Kansas to Getafe and Cadiz, Spain the opportunity to receive mentorship through the Flying Challenge initiative.

The Global Fund

Among the top 5 nonprofit foundations listed, the Global Fund is the newest organization to raise, manage and invest the world’s money towards infectious diseases. Since 2002, the Global Fund has focused on three infectious diseases; AIDS, TB and malaria. The organization has invested more than $4 billion a year to support programs in more than 100 countries. Many of these programs are occurring in countries within Eastern Europe, Central Asia, North Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Pacific, and mainly, Sub-Saharan Africa.

The WHO

The World Health Organization formed in 1948 and is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health. WHO has six regional offices, including its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO regional office in Africa and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention work together to end disease outbreaks and build stronger health systems. WHO has provided technical leadership in surveillance, vaccination and case management, and has deployed 700 international experts that respond to disease outbreaks. On July 2019, the Ministry of Health reported 2,620 Ebola cases with 1,762 deaths and 737 survivors.

UNAIDS

UNAIDS is the main advocate for accelerated, comprehensive and coordinated global action on the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Young women between the ages of 15 and 24 are more likely to obtain the virus. Four in five new infections in Sub-Saharan Africa among adolescents aged 15 to 19 years are girls. More than 35 percent of women around the world have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some time in their lives. This makes it 1.5 times more likely for them to obtain HIV than women who have not experienced this form of violence. Towards the end of 2018, UNAIDS used $19 billion towards the AIDS response in low-and middle-income countries, which was $1 billion less than the previous year. UNAIDS believes that the AIDS response in 2020 will require $26.2 billion.

These top 5 nonprofit foundations have continued to raise money to fund research for cures that impact millions of people in the world. They have made it their responsibility to ensure that patients and their families gain the necessary care to gain power over their lives.

– Emilia Rivera
Photo: Flickr

Goonj
Goonj is a non-governmental organization working in various parts of India. It aims to share unused and unrequired materials from urban households with people living in rural areas to fulfill their needs. The organization believes that countries and economies can use urban discard to alleviate poverty and enhance the dignity of the poor.

The organization works across 23 states in India with 250 partner groups. It has offices with 150 full-time people and thousands of volunteers. The organization receives about 80-100 tonnes of material each month and turns it into material that people can productively use in the remote and impoverished areas of the country. In its latest annual report for 2017 to 2018, Goonj highlights that it has been able to reach over 3,600 villages in India and has dealt with more than 4,000 tonnes of material.

Various Initiatives

Goonj has performed various activities in different fields of work from 2017 to 2018. Some of its highlights include sanitation activities where it repurposed basic essentials like clothes and utility items into materials for women to use during menstruation. In addition to this, its initiative, Not just a Piece of Cloth, also aims to break the culture of shame and silence around menstruation. It turns these cloths into biodegradable clothes for women to use. When people from urban areas contribute their cotton bed sheets, curtains and shirts, the organization turns them into cloth pads for women in rural areas. It also holds gatherings for women to talk openly about the issue of menstruation, which many still consider a stigma in Indian society.

In the field of education, Goonj’s initiative School to School works towards using urban school material to address gaps in the rural education systems in India. Goonj was able to share 39,416 school kits to over 2,100 schools and 1,200 educational setups in villages. In addition, children in rural areas learn value for their belongings as they take up various educational and behavioral change activities which reward them these school kits. Not only does this initiative provide the poor with resources for education, but it also teaches them values.

Other areas of work that the organization focuses on are road repairs, disaster relief and health that it can perform with the excess raw materials it receives. Its initiative Cloth for Work works on rural developmental activities while Raahat provides disaster relief. Meanwhile, Green, an in-house brand, creates items from the last bits of materials it receives. These are also extremely successful ventures and have impacted a large population of the country.

Awards and Recognition

Goonj has received various awards for the work it does all over India. In 2012, NASA and the U.S. State Department chose it as a Game-Changing Innovation and in the same year, Forbes magazine listed Anshu Gupta, Goonj’s founder, as one of India’s most powerful rural entrepreneurs. In recognition of its important work, Goonj has received the Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project by the Global Development Fund and continues to impact the country to build sustainability and impact the rural population.

– Isha Akshita Mahajan
Photo: Flickr

Obstetric Fistula in Uganda

Obstetric fistula is an injury that is caused by a prolonged labor. Obstetric relates to childbirth and the postpartum period, and fistula is Latin for hole. The hole occurs between the birth canal and the bladder or rectum. The side effects of the injury commonly result in uncontrollable leakage of urine and feces.

Uganda’s fertility rate is ranked 11th in the world. Although there has been a decrease in the fertility rate, maternal mortality remains high. Much of this is attributed to mothers suffering from obstetric fistula. There are an estimated 140,000 women living with obstetric fistula in Uganda. Ugandan women are at high risk due to limited access to quality maternal care, and transportation costs to the repair facilities also contribute to the prevalence of the pregnancy-related injury.

Hidden Costs of Repair

In 2015, USAID supported a research study to better understand the financial barriers that Ugandan women face when seeking fistula repair surgery. Aside from medical expenses for fistula care, Ugandan women struggle with the cost of food and water during their recovery period at the facilities. In addition, the cost of child care or hiring employees to manage businesses create a larger financial burden. Thus, this injury has a direct impact on women living in poverty.

Most of the mothers both interviewed and in focus groups struggled with loss of income, lack of quality health services and transportation expenses. The non-medical costs of care like transportation, food and lodging become expensive for surgical patients. Ugandan women spend up to $25 on one-way transportation to a fistula repair facility. For these reasons, even free surgery is rarely actually free.

Care for Repair

In 2004, the USAID created the Fistula Care Plus Project, which has supported more than 51,124 fistula repair surgeries around the world. A total of 3,534 of these repair surgeries were for women with obstetric fistula in Uganda. Along with providing care, Fistula Care Plus trained 26 doctors and 761 nurses to perform fistula repair surgery in the country.

The project focuses on expanding efforts for community awareness, family planning services and maternal health care. Fistula Care Plus is working with three private, faith-based hospitals: Hoima Hospital, Kitovu Mission Hospital and Kagando Mission Hospital. It also works with two government-run hospitals: Kamuli Mission Hospital and Jinja Hospital. There are also other projects that work to provide care for Ugandan women.

As an international nonprofit organization, the Uganda Village Project works directly with community based organizations and local government. This project educates the community and maximizes public health. The Uganda Village Project collaborates with Uganda Childbirth Injuries Fund to repair women with the injury.

Through village outreach, health center referrals, radio shows, and word-of-mouth communication, the Project is able to identify women with obstetric fistula in Uganda. After gathering groups of women, the Uganda Village Project transports them to repair camps at the Kamuli Mission Hospital. Once the women arrive, they are repaired by surgeons from the Uganda Childbirth Injuries Fund. These organizations are making an effort to maximize the aid and services that Ugandan women need.

– Francisco Benitez
Photo: Flickr

WE CharityAn organization originally founded to stop child labor, WE Charity has since shifted its focus to addressing the leading causes of child labor and poverty, such as health care, education and job opportunities. Since 1995, WE Charity has helped millions of people both domestically and internationally by providing opportunities to make an impact on social issues around the world. WE Schools, WE Day, WE Villages and ME to WE are all sub-organizations that help to promote WE Charity’s mission to empower all people to help change the world. These are seven ways that WE Charity is making an impact.

7 Ways WE Charity is Making an Impact

  1. WE Charity aims to end child labor and poverty by focusing on the underlying causes, such as lack of access to clean water and health care, food insecurity and lack of education and job opportunities. WE Schools works domestically to help students understand social issues by providing curricular resources and professional development opportunities for educators as well as mentorship programs for students. WE Villages works internationally in developing countries to provide opportunities for improved independence in local communities.
  2. WE Charity provides various programs to ensure that communities have access to a wide range of educational backgrounds and career opportunities. These programs are offered to everyone—although they do focus more on women and girls—and include areas like animal husbandry, vocational training, leadership skills training, business and financial literacy and artisan projects. Over 30,000 women have been given the tools to maintain financial independence and provide for their families.
  3. WE Charity provides access to preventative health care and works to enhance health care programs that are already in place. It has helped to provide medical supplies, health awareness workshops and clinical resources. Over 130,000 patients have been helped in Kenya alone.
  4. WE Villages is a modern, sustainable development model that focuses on five pillars they claim are imperative for community development. These pillars are education, water, health, food and opportunity. WE Villages partners with communities in over nine countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to provide sustainable community development.
  5. WE Villages has provided over 1,500 schools in partnered communities, allowing more than 200,000 children the opportunity to receive an education. One million people have better access to safe water and sanitation. Farmers located within WE Villages have helped to deliver over 15 million meals to local families.
  6. ME to WE is an offshoot organization that has created employment and economic opportunities for over 2,000 people in WE Village communities. Not only does it help provide financial opportunities in the communities, but it also provides a sustainable source of funding for WE Charity. Over the past five years, ME to WE has donated an average of 90 percent of profits to WE Charity, which is then reinvested into the charity and its programs.
  7. WE Charity hopes to double its impact over the next five years. Currently, it has impacted 12,300 schools and 2.3 million youth participants through the WE Schools program, but it hopes to reach 24,000 schools and 4.8 million students over the next few years. WE also hopes to double the amount of WE Villages from 50 to over 100 within the same timeline.

Together with its partner charities, WE Charity is working to raise awareness for a variety of social issues as well as focusing on putting an end to poverty and child labor. WE Charity has already helped millions of people by providing sustainable communities, access to healthcare, better education and safe water. Over the next several years they hope to double the number of people they have reached and make an even bigger impact around the world.

– Jessica Winarski
Photo: Unsplash

Plastic For ChangeUsually, the highest rates of plastic waste are correlated with areas highest in poverty. In fact, 80 percent of ocean plastic comes from areas of high poverty. What if there was a way to use plastic for change to clean up the ocean, and in doing so, lift people out of poverty?

Solutions to the Plastic Problem

This is the very motivation behind the Plastic Bank. Founded in 2013 by David Katz and Shaun Frankson, Plastic Bank is a nonprofit that pays people in poverty-stricken areas to pick up ocean trash. The organization pays these individuals a digital income in order to monitor corruption and ensure accuracy. Plastic Bank also throws in benefits including school tuition, cooking oil and more for people in these countries.

So far the organization has completed one major project in the Philippines, employing fishermen for $2.50 an hour (nearly double the average wage in the Philippines) who were able to remove three tons of waste as a result. Plastic Bank is working in Haiti and Indonesia to do projects of the same, or greater, magnitude.

Further Impact of Plastic Bank

Not only is this method far cheaper and more effective than government-run programs, but it is also teaching local communities who are often most directly affected by pollution, the importance of recycling and the proper way to go about it. In many countries like the Philippines or Haiti, survival trumps recycling etiquette, and therefore trash accumulates in the streets and waters. This contaminates the water sources, creating large numbers of people without access to clean drinking water. In Haiti, 75 percent of the population lacks access to this basic necessity.

Plastic Bank is transforming the way plastic is seen. The organization wants to help people realize the value of plastic and how we can use plastic for change. By educating individuals about the uses of plastic, they learn to view it as precious — a kind of currency almost.

Plastic Bank uses the recycled plastic to make what they dub, “social plastic,” plastic that other companies can use knowing they have helped people out of life in extreme poverty. Companies like Dell are using plastic in pellet form to make products such as computers and other electronics.

Going Above and Beyond

Other organizations have headed up similar efforts, including The Bounty Network, which recently completed a clean-up project in the Philippines, specifically in Manila Bay. Working with Filipino locals, the organization cleaned up nearly three tons of trash. Project participants were paid in both cryptocurrency and knowledge — having learned about the importance of caring for the earth.

This new trend of cleaning oceans by empowering disenfranchised people to make a difference is a win-win solution. With a steady income, people in countries like Haiti and the Philippines can overcome poverty, and with clean oceans, they can have safer, healthier environments that could even become good sources of food.

– Hannah Stewart
Photo: Wikimedia

nonprofits that provide clean waterClean drinking water is a necessity that many in developed countries rarely ponder about. Yet, for more than 780 million people around the world, clean drinking water is a luxury that is difficult to access. Because of this widespread lack of clean water, more than 3.4 million people die every year from causes related to poor water and sanitation. Nevertheless, there are many nonprofit organizations that have made it their mission to address this global clean water crisis. Here are five nonprofits that provide clean water to the world.

5 Nonprofits that Provide Clean Water

  1. Charity: Water – One of the most widely known nonprofits that provide clean water to the world is Charity: Water. Scott Harrison founded the organization in New York City in 2006 after he witnessed the life-threatening effects of contaminated water in Liberia. Charity: Water is a nonprofit that brings clean and safe drinking water to developing countries. It has funded 38,113 water programs in 27 developing countries for more than 9.6 million people in Africa, Asia, Central and South America. Throughout the past nine years, the organization has dug more than 16,000 water projects, set new standards for donor engagement and public communication and raised more than $200 million from donors. Every penny of Charity: Water’s donations go directly to clean water technologies.
  2. Blood:WaterBlood:Water is a nonprofit that has partnered with grassroots organizations in sub-Saharan Africa to bring clean water and HIV/AIDS support to African communities since 2004. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, the organization was founded by the multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning band Jars of Clay and activist Jena Lee Nardellaone. Blood:Water provides an array of solutions for different African community’s needs. In addition, to providing HIV/AIDS community care and support and capacity building for its African partners, Blood:Water provides water, sanitation and hygiene solutions, such as wells, toilets and handwashing stations. This organization has worked with more than a dozen African grassroots organizations and has brought clean water to one million people in 11 different countries.
  3. Water.org – When actor Matt Damon and Gary White merged their organizations, H2O Africa and WaterPartners, they formed Water.org in 2009. Its headquarters is currently in Kansas City, Missouri. Water.org provides access to safe water and sanitation in developing countries. It works with local partner organizations to build wells and provide thorough training seminars on the importance of good hygiene practices and its link to better health. Water.org created the WaterCredit system as a long-term solution, which provides household sanitation and safe water by giving expert resources and small loans. This organization works in 13 countries and has provided safe water and sanitation to more than 21 million people. Its commitment to providing safe water and sanitation to everyone is why it has great ratings and is ranked in the top 10 percent of global charities in regard to its financial accountability and transparency.
  4. Lifewater International – As the oldest organization on this list of nonprofits that provide clean water to the world, Lifewater International was established in 1977 by William A. Ashe. Headquartered in San Luis Obispo, California, Lifewater’s mission is to “end the global water and sanitation crisis one village at a time.” It focuses on managing training sessions for field staffers in fields such as water treatment, sanitation, community health through hygiene, well drilling, hand pump repair, effective community development and WASH in schools. This organization takes great pride in its transparency and accountability and performs systematic checks on projects even after they are completed. Since its inception, Lifewater has helped 2.5 million people across 45 countries.
  5. Generosity.org – The final organization on this list of nonprofits that provide clean water to the world is Generosity.org. Philip Wagner founded the organization in 2008 with a commitment to “providing clean water for drinking and sanitation needs, one community at a time.” It is headquartered in Valley Village, California. Generosity.org collaborates with its local partners to utilize their knowledge and expertise to select the proper water solution for each region. These solutions include rain-harvesting systems, wells and spring protection systems. To date, Generosity.org has helped 470,000 people, funded 813 water projects and served 20 countries.

Unclean water is an issue that still needs to be solved in many developing countries. The above list describes some of the most widely known nonprofits that provide clean water to the world. Like many of the other crises the developing world faces, the work of these and other organizations may make the global water crisis an issue of the past.

– Jacob Stubbs
Photo: Flickr

Global Citizen FestivalMusic festivals are growing in number and popularity across the globe. The Global Citizen Festival, however, offers so much more than good old fashioned entertainment. Here’s how this festival is mobilizing its attendees to fight against global poverty.

Who is in Charge?

The organization behind the festival is a nonprofit called the Global Poverty Project. The main goal of the organization is to educate people about global poverty issues and ways they can help. In 2011, the Global Poverty Project launched the Global Citizen Campaign, which has led to a total of 14 million global-poverty-reducing actions by people across the world. The campaign’s ultimate mission is to end extreme poverty by 2030.

The organization is also well-known for launching the first Global Citizen Festival seven years ago. The annual festival is held in New York City’s Central Park and features a slew of well-known performers such as Janet Jackson, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B and The Weeknd. The premise of the festival may sound reminiscent of Live Aid, the 1985 “superconcert” which raised nearly $127 million in famine relief for Africa.

How to Attend

In order to obtain a ticket for the festival, potential concertgoers must watch online videos about global poverty, complete quizzes on these videos and take action by volunteering, or emailing/calling congress members. Those who accomplish these tasks are rewarded with a free ticket to the festival. The event itself is alcohol-free and is loaded with global-poverty related booths that offer games, photo-ops, information, and opportunities to take action. At previous Global Citizen Festivals, world leaders have come on stage intermittently to educate attendees about all that can be done to combat global poverty in their everyday lives following the music festival. In 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were among these speakers.

The Festival’s Impact

The actions that the festival incites have led to the creation of programs, policies and funds; the effects of which have been felt by nearly 647 million impoverished people across the globe. For example, after receiving 4,700 tweets from Global Citizens, The Power of Nutrition (a U.K. based team of investors) committed to providing Rwanda with $35 million allocated toward ending malnutrition in the nation. Policies and commitments such as these which have been prompted by Global Citizens equate to more than $37 billion.

The Global Citizen Festival is a prime example of a positive, action-oriented event with the aim of eradicating global poverty. It offers people an affordable way to fight the good fight, while also enjoying the talents of world-famous performers.

– Ryley Bright
Photo: Wikimedia

NGOs aiming to end poverty
Hunger and poverty are problems millions of people face around the globe. According to The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, 815 million people were chronically undernourished in 2016. However, in the past few decades, the world has made major progress in terms of alleviating hunger and poverty overall. Between 1990-92 and 2012-14, the global undernourished population reduced by 42 percent. There are several non-governmental and nonprofit organizations continuing on that trend to eradicate world hunger and poverty through several different methods. Below are five NGOs aiming to end poverty and hunger.

Akshaya Patra

Akshaya Patra is a nonprofit organization that began in Bengaluru, India. Since the year 2000, the organization has been providing poor children with fresh and nutritious meals at schools. The aim of the organization is to eliminate malnutrition in children, as well as support the right to education for children whose families cannot afford it. When the organization started out, it was a very small-scale project that focused on local schools in rural regions. Initially, the organization began with feeding 1,500 children locally. Today, Akshaya Patra partners with the Indian government and multiple state governments. Additionally, it feeds 1.7 million children across the country. This makes it the largest mid-day meal program in the world and one of the most successful nationwide NGOs aiming to end poverty.

Green Shoots Foundation

Green Shoots is an organization that emerged in 2010. The organization approaches poverty through microfinance, sustainable development and holistic programs. The main aim of the organization is to improve access to education and access to medical aid in developing Asian and African countries. There are multiple programs that the foundation has implemented based on the specific needs of each region. Some of these programs include Education Loans and Social Entrepreneurship (ELSE), Food Agriculture and Social Entrepreneurship (FASE) and Medical Assistance and Medical Education (MAME). Countries that the Green Shoots Foundation has worked in include Cambodia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam and Kyrgyzstan.

Action Against Hunger

Action Against Hunger is an organization that focuses on ending hunger around the globe. The organization focuses on families with young children. So far, Action Against Hunger has contributed to providing aid in over 45 countries to over 21 million people. Its main aim is to double the number of children it is aiding by 2020, due to the fact that millions of children around the globe still remain undernourished. The organization deals with problems that stem from or worsen hunger as well, including nutrition and health, water and sanitation, food security and livelihoods and emergency response.

BRAC

BRAC is a non-governmental organization from Bangladesh. The organization mainly aims to end poverty but also focuses on several other issues that people living in rural or poor communities face. Its main social development goals include eliminating extreme poverty, increasing financial opportunities and choices, developing skills for employment and investing in education. BRAC emerged in 1972, and has since positively impacted the lives of over 100 million people globally. The program focuses on developing and improving conditions in 11 major countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Today, BRAC is the largest development organization in the world.

Water School

Water School is an organization with the aim to provide clean water and make it easily accessible to rural and poor communities in Uganda. It also educates such communities on sanitary practices involving water, health and education. Water school believes that health and education go hand in hand, and therefore focusses on improving conditions for both issues in poor communities.

Hunger and poverty are extremely large scale global issues that will take time, global effort and multiple solutions to solve. The examples of the non-governmental and nonprofit organizations above show that though progress is slow, it is steadily progressing.

These five NGOs aiming to end poverty have made significant progress on their own. Several similar organizations across the globe are working towards meeting multiple hunger and poverty goals as well.

– Nupur Vachharajani
Photo: Flickr