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Homeless Youth in CanadaThe plight of homeless youth in Canada is a recent issue in the public eye. The increased representation and awareness have garnered celebrity support, such as from Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. The married couple has committed to donating $500,000 in total to the cause. Covenant House Vancouver and Toronto, foundations dedicated to opening their door to the homeless youth in Canada, are the lucky recipients.

The Issue

The first majority study done on homeless youth in Canada, “Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey,” was conducted just four years ago in 2016. A recent study found that the youth make up around 20% of the entire homeless population in Canada.

These children often experience housing instability and child abuse prior to their homelessness experience. Once on the streets, children under 16 — around 40% of the homeless youth in Canada — struggle through increased adversity. Further, various forms of oppression often couple homelessness. A staggering number of these children identify as POC, LGBTQ+, and of many other marginalized groups.

However, organizations and philanthropists alike have stepped up to address this dire situation.

Covenant House

Covenant House is an international organization that provides support and aid for homeless youth in Canada. The organization’s mission statement is: “Covenant House launched a federation-wide initiative to design and implement a cutting-edge, data-informed strategy to help even more of our kids achieve meaningful, long-term outcomes.”

It especially focuses on offering services to members of the LGBTQ+ community, POC, and abuse victims. The organization provides more than just direct support for these young individuals. Covenant House commits to restructuring data processing regarding homeless youth, reviewing methods of information analysis and generation, and finding the best performance measurement strategies. The organization works toward short-term as well as long-term change.

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s Involvement

The serious issue of youth homelessness in Canada deeply struck Ryan Reynolds, a Canadian himself. In response, Reynolds and Blake Lively decided to donate $500,000 to the cause. The couple even matches donations up to $375,000 before the end of 2020 to encourage others to donate.

The choice of where the funds should go was a personal one. Reynolds has a long-time relationship with the Covenant House. The dedication they put into their work and the extensive impact they wield in the community inspired his “investment.”

In the interview done by Covenant House, he described the donation as an investment rather than a monetary donation into homeless youth in Canada. Reynolds stated, “The young people who pass through the doors of Covenant House more often than not have a story marked by extraordinary trauma. They are so much more than that trauma. They have so much to offer the world. Matching this gift is saying you believe in them. You believe in the power of compassion to transform the trajectory of a human being.”

The CEO of Covenant House Vancouver, Krista Thompson, expressed her gratitude for the donation and continued relationship with the couple. Thompson remarked, “Ryan and Blake truly understand that young people who are facing homelessness deserve unconditional love and absolute respect.” The money will be used to assist with youth experiencing homelessness and fund much of the research that is occurring to combat the issue of homelessness as a whole.

Manasi Singh
Photo: Flickr

Indigenous communities in Canada

The Canadian Constitution recognizes three Indigenous communities — First Nations, Métis, and Inuit. Here are five of the many Indigenous-led organizations in Canada, collectively working to create success and prosperity for Indigenous communities.

5 Canadian Organizations for Indigenous Prosperity

  1. First Nations Information Governance CentreThe First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) is working to achieve data sovereignty. With support from regional partners and a special mandate from the Assembly of First Nations’ Chiefs in Assembly (Resolution #48, December 2009), the FNIGC collects and uses data to “build culturally relevant portraits of the lives of First Nations people and the communities they live in.” Their motto, “our data, our stories, our future” reflects their vision of Indigenous stories being told by Indigenous people, for Indigenous people.
  2. IndspireIndspire is using the gift of learning to help provide academic success and long-term prosperity with support through financial aid, scholarships/bursaries, awards, mentoring and physical resources.
  3. Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada – Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada (AFOA) is creating a community of Indigenous professionals by supporting successful self-determination through “improving the management skills of those responsible for the stewardship of Indigenous resources.” This includes aid in management, finance and governance.
  4. Reconciliation CanadaReconciliation Canada facilitates the engagement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people with meaningful conversations on reconciliation and the lived experiences of Indigenous people. They aim to inspire positive change and understanding. At present, the programs and initiatives offered by the charity are Reconciliation in Action: A National Engagement Strategy, Reconciliation Dialogue Workshops, interactive community outreach activities and Reconciliation Canada.
  5. First Nations Child and Family Caring SocietyThe Caring Society supports First Nations children, youth and families. The organization has been able to provide 250,000 services and products to Indigenous children by putting Indigenous children and families first.

These five organizations are just some of many who are working to support success and prosperity for Indigenous communities in Canada. Their work helps blaze a path for a brighter future for Indigenous people and the country alike.

– Jasmeen Bassi
Photo: Flickr

How COVID-19 Will Impact This Holiday SeasonAs the holiday season approaches, there are many questions on how this holiday will look socially and economically amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March, the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has shown a significant loss following a few months of growth prior to the pandemic. Due to high levels of unemployment and potential health risks of indoor shopping and gatherings, it can be anticipated that we will not see an economic boom this holiday season. Purchases of gifts will lower due to limited budgets and food shopping will not see growth due to a lack of parties and large gatherings.

The Risk of Holidays and Low Spending Money During COVID-19

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes the risk that upcoming holidays, such as Halloween and Thanksgiving, have on the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing, mask wearing and indoor gatherings are strongly discouraged, and this poses the question as to how people across the globe will choose to celebrate. If we examine past major holidays that were celebrated globally, such as Easter, we saw a rise in utilizing virtual and outdoor settings rather than indoor gatherings involving food. As these trends will continue over the next months, a decline in global food sales is likely as well.

The holiday season is also a time of a global rise in commercial shopping. According to a study done by Accenture, consumers reported that they plan to budget $540 for holiday spending this year, which is $100 less than the average budget of 2019. This comes as no surprise, as over 305 million workers globally have experienced unemployment since April. As a result of less spending on commercial products, specifically in the United States, manufacturers across the globe are subject to business losses rather than gains that are usually experienced during these coming months. When consumers are limiting spending this season on themselves and loved ones, we also must consider the limits in philanthropy and donations for those living in poverty during this time.

Aiding the World’s Poor During the Holidays

The holidays represent a time of giving for many. When looking over the past decade, charitable donations raise up to 42% during the months of November and December. However, as people across the globe are cutting their budgets on the spending for their families and friends, it is likely that some households will be unable to donate as much as last year.

The holiday season is a difficult time for the world’s homeless, due to feelings of loneliness, approaching harsh weather, and overpopulation in major cities. Philanthropic actions and donations toward those living in poverty during the holiday season often help them get through this challenging time. Unfortunately, it appears that there will be much less assistance for those in need due to people battling their own unemployment and difficult circumstances as a result of COVID-19.

However, charitable organizations that are frequently frontrunners in assisting the world’s poor have recognized the challenges of this season. The Salvation Army International has reported seeing a 155% increase in assistance requests this year, and as a result, the organization will begin collecting holiday donations prior to the beginning of November. Also, the U.K. government is implementing plans to help food insecure families feed their children with free school meals during the months of October through December. Financial insecurity is expected to be high during these times due to holiday expenses, and the U.K. government has recognized an avenue in which they can assist families in making sure their children are properly fed, while still being able to enjoy the holidays.

Overall, this holiday season will present challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its socioeconomic effects. Globally, we have seen the world adapt to economic changes, and the work of charitable organizations will allow us to adapt and assist those in need during a holiday season that will look significantly different.

– Evan Coleman
Photo: Flickr

Cryptocurrency and Poverty Reduction
An increasing number of nonprofit organizations are looking to cryptocurrency to help reduce global poverty. The immediacy, inclusivity and stability that cryptocurrency promotes could be invaluable for those who are in crisis, lack access to a bank or struggle due to hyperinflation. Here are four examples of how cryptocurrency and poverty reduction are coming together:

GiveCrypto

GiveCrypto is a nonprofit organization that links cryptocurrency and global poverty reduction. Since founding members currently cover operating fees, 100 percent of the funds GiveCrypto accumulates goes to the recipients. While Bitcoin is the most recognized cryptocurrency GiveCrypto uses, this nonprofit also transfers money through Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, XRP and Zcash. GiveCrypto emerged on June 20, 2018, and has raised $4 million so far. The founders hope that GiveCrypto will improve the well-being of individual people struggling in their communities. However, they also intend for GiveCrypto to build up the economies of these communities. For this reason, the ultimate goal of the organization is “to help spark economic growth by giving access to property rights and financial services on an open network.”

CareBit

The founders of CareBit specifically designed the CARE coin for charity purposes. Unlike GiveCrypto which is merely a platform to distribute several different types of cryptocurrency to those living in poverty or financial crisis, CareBit is its own cryptocurrency. The purpose of creating the CARE coin is to link cryptocurrency and poverty reduction more directly. Currently, CareBit is the only independent charity on blockchain, a technology that documents and decentralizes transactions. By directly implementing a charity model into blockchain, CareBit is able to trace transactions to ensure that 100 percent of each donation reaches its intended recipient. The ultimate goal for CareBit is to increase transparency and to decrease fees, corruption and fraud in any given transaction.

BitGive

BitGive emerged in 2013 and is Bitcoin’s first nonprofit charity. BitGive partners with international relief organizations and local charities such as The Water Project, Medic Mobile and Save the Children. Just like CareBit, BitGive implements its charity directly into blockchain in order to effectively track donations and increase its efficiency. Additionally, BitGive uses the blockchain technology GiveTrack to publicly track financial information and share this information in real-time. With GiveTrack, donors can track funds and ensure donations reach their final destination. The other benefit of BitGive is that processing fees are considerably less. On average, 3.61 percent of donations go towards processing fees for the average nonprofit. On the other hand, BitGive spends less than one percent of donations on fees.

Binance Charity Foundation

The Binance Charity Foundation (BCF) is the philanthropic extension of Binance Exchange. BCF uses Binance Coin to integrate cryptocurrency and poverty reduction. In contrast to the nonprofits mentioned above which focus on financial poverty reduction, BCF specifically focuses on improving the overall health of women in developing countries. For instance, BCF has recently partnered with 46 other organizations to provide a one-year supply of sanitary products to approximately one million women. Women will receive these sanitary products by using the Pink Care Token (PCAT), a redemption-only token on the Binance blockchain.

Uniting cryptocurrency and poverty reduction initiatives demonstrates the increasing demand for improved donating systems in response to a lack of trust in how charities spend their funds. Thus, the increased transparency that cryptocurrency offers through blockchain’s traceability feature could potentially reassure donors and encourage them to donate. Whether or not cryptocurrencies will become influential enough to directly strengthen the economies of the developing world, however, is still unclear.

– Ariana Howard
Photo: Unsplash

Humanitarian Efforts of Alyssa MilanoEver since she was a child, Alyssa Milano has spent almost all of her entire life in the public eye. Memories of “Who’s the Boss?” and “Charmed” come to mind when recalling her television career. Moreover, of late, Milano was featured prominently at the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings, along with involvement in the #MeToo movement. Few know that Alyssa Milano is a philanthropist who gives to charity regularly on both global and domestic level. This is a closer look at some of the humanitarian efforts of Alyssa Milano.

Early Humanitarian Efforts

In 2002, the humanitarian aid of Alyssa Milano began in hosting a photography exhibition and auction in Los Angeles to raise money for a charity in South Africa. An avid photographer in her own right, Milano displayed her own work, as well as the photos of the children attending Los Angeles’s Venice Arts program. Nkosi’s Haven, an organization that runs care centers in South Africa for AIDS-afflicted mothers and children, received close to $50,000 from this event.

UNICEF Ambassador

In 2003, UNICEF invited Milano to become an ambassador due to her charitable work on behalf of children. Milano’s first trip to Angola was to see the issues that plagued the newly-liberated country. Milano launched UNICEF’s Trick or Treat campaign in the fall of 2004. Traveling with UNICEF to India six months after the tsunami disaster, she visited the worst-affected tsunami zones in South India to witness the relief and rehabilitation efforts. Milano’s trip also focused on education and spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS. India has the second highest infection rate in the world. Since her appointment as a UNICEF Ambassador, Milano has been influential in raising funds and awareness for UNICEF and its mission of saving and improving the lives of children worldwide.

As a founding lead ambassador for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Disease Control, Milano’s her first action was to donate $250,000 to the charity’s Drug Fund. This was used to battle lymphatic filariasis (LF) in Myanmar.

The Global Network is an advocacy group dedicated to raising awareness, inspiring policymakers and working with the necessary funding to control and eliminate the most common Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). NTDs are a group of disabling, disfiguring and deadly diseases affecting people worldwide, living on less than $1.25 a day. The World Health Organization (WHO) has partnered with the Global Network to raise the profile of the neglected disease. In addition to the other humanitarian efforts of Alyssa Milano, she remained focused on bringing this issue to the public.

Charity

In addition to the humanitarian efforts of Alyssa Milano are her charity efforts. In 2009, she became involved with charity work. She began with Water, a grassroots non-profit that engaged more than 75,000 donors around the world and raised over $13 million for operations and water projects. For her 37th birthday, Milano asked in lieu of any presents or parties, that her charity campaign receive donations.

Clean and safe drinking water is not accessible to millions of people. Many suffer from waterborne schistosomiasis, caused by parasitic worms. Not having access to clean drinking water perpetuates the cycle of poverty, Milano believes, as it keeps children out of school and women from pursuing economic growth.

Milano’s campaign brought clean water to Adi Berakit Elementary School in Ethiopia. The campaign also reached 18 other projects. She raised over $50,000 in less than a week and 250 families benefited from her actions. Projects like this one use clean water as a catalyst to improve the overall health of children and the surrounding community.

Recognition

For her commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others, Milano received:

  • a humanitarian award from Sri Chinmoy
  • The Peace Meditation at the United Nations
  • The John Wayne Cancer Institute 2004 Spirit of Hollywood Award

Milano remains involved with the charities reported in this article, in addition to many other organizations. All of the humanitarian efforts of Alyssa Milano show how she used her fame, along with constant dedication and generosity, to turn her work into something incredible that helps other people.

-Colette Sherrington
Photo: Wikimedia

Donate money, not stuffIn the midst of global tragedies, many charitable people decide to send old junk or underused resources to foreigners in need. Here are five reasons why one should donate money, not stuff if one wants to solve global hunger.

  1. “Junk” is a logistical nightmare for volunteers. The people brave enough to enter disaster sites must provide emergency care to people in immediate need. They lack the necessary time to sort, transport and store cheap diapers or old sweaters sent in by well-meaning folks. Yahoo Finance reports an incident where, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a benefactor sent thousands of pounds of cheese to New Orleans. The trouble was that no working refrigerator could hold such a gift. Lots of material goods appeal to a customer’s wants… they’re not so effective in situations of dire need.
  2. Material donations can wreck a nation’s economy. Kathleen Tierney, the director of a Natural Hazards Center in Colorado, notes how economic problems occur in recovering nations when supply outstrips demand. “If you want to see economic recovery, you don’t want to send so many supplies that you create a situation where people can’t survive in a business sense,” said Tierney. Ultimately, the best use of aid is to help a country until they can take care of themselves. It’s difficult to make one’s living selling T-shirts if a global superpower dropped off millions of shirts for one’s potential customers to wear for free.
  3. Local groups know what resources they need. The Central Texas Food Bank, the largest provider of emergency food distributions in the country, was shut down by flooding during 2017’s Hurricane Harvey. The group’s president, Derrick Chubbs, supports monetary donations instead of material aid. He reasons that relief groups in a disaster area know exactly what they need for certain situations. They only lack the funds to acquire the most helpful tools for the job. The chance to clean one’s house and accomplish a moral good is tempting for a lot of do-gooders. But one can achieve similar results by selling old junk to a consignment store (like Goodwill or Half-Priced Books) and donating the proceeds to a respected charity. With one additional step in giving aid, the effectiveness of a donation multiplies.
  4. “Stuff” is a short-term solution to a long-term problem. The media focuses on the immediate aftermath of a tragedy but often loses interest by the time victims have to return to their homes. Groups like the Salvation Army understand that maintaining emergency shelters and rebuilding destroyed sites takes a long time. This is why nonprofits want people to donate money, not stuff. Not only do charities know what to spend cash on, but they know how to divide that cash to ensure a complete job. Such relief groups cannot fix a community with a stuffed animal sent from across the country.
  5. It’s more effective to call/email your representative. So how can someone help if they feel they lack the money to keep themselves afloat? One free solution would be to contact your representative and ask that your government contribute aid to a country or region in need. The Center for Global Development reports that the U.S. donates only 1 percent of its budget towards International Affairs, which includes disaster relief. Not only can this amount be increased through advocacy, but concerned citizens can ask their representatives to support revenue-neutral bills to solve global problems. Anyone interested in this surprisingly easy path to advocacy should explore The Borgen Project’s page on calling Congress.

– Nick Edinger

Photo: Pixabay

Catholic Relief Services' Farmer to Farmer Program
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is a charity organization that works to provide developing countries with sustainable solutions to improve their lives. This international institution started in 1943 when the U.S. Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops met to offer aid for refugees in World War II. Since then, CRS has influenced the lives of many people.

Some of their work overseas includes improving nutrition, sanitation and education for communities that need it most. One of their most influential programs in the field of agriculture and sustainability is called “Farmer to Farmer” or F2F.

This program is in conjunction with USAID’s Feed the Future program. The primary goal of F2F is to educate families in developing countries about their farms to ensure a reliable food source.

According to the CRS Farmer to Farmer website, “Volunteer technical assistance from U.S. farmers, educators, agribusinesses, cooperatives, and universities helps developing countries improve productivity, access new markets, and conserve environmental and natural resources.”

Right now, CRS is working in four parts of eastern Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Each country has climate-specific and economy-specific goals which volunteers from CRS work to accomplish with the natives. Workers in Kenya, for example, have been focusing on livestock, horticulture and dairy.

Following the mission of its mother organization, Farmer to Farmer uses a comprehensive and holistic approach to assisting the families. This way, farmers in Africa will not only be able to understand what the volunteer educators are teaching them but also practice it in everyday life and be able to plan for the future.

The CRS agricultural learning program is also partnering with the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE). This organization “advocate[s] for agricultural education, provide[s] professional development for agricultural educators, and work[s] to recruit and retain agricultural educators in the profession.” This partnership provides CRS with qualified and passionate volunteers to send to countries in need.

Catholic Relief Services’ five-year F2F program has proven to be successful thus far. Hopefully, soon all parts of the world will be educated about their field and be able to provide a healthy lifestyle for their families.

Sydney Missigman

Photo: Flickr

Benefits of Charitable ActionThe inability to see the direct benefits of charitable action keeps many from contributing to charity and advocacy. However, there are several individual benefits to charity despite being unable to see the direct impacts of donation.

Below are the top 3 individual benefits of charitable action.

  1. Numerous studies show that people who act charitably and compassionately are often happier. In a psychological study on compassion by Barbara Fredrickson in 2008, participants of compassionate meditation showed increased levels of daily happiness. Also, participants experienced less depression and had higher satisfaction with life. Another study by the National Institutes of Health reported a similar finding in their research on donation. Participants of this study who donated money experienced activated pleasure centers in their brain.Findings of the Do Good Live Well Survey also reported higher happiness in charitable people. The survey consisted of 4,500 Americans, of whom 41 percent were volunteers. Of those volunteers, 89 percent claimed that volunteering had improved their overall wellbeing and 73 percent reported that it lowered their stress.
  2. As well as improving overall happiness, charitable action has also been shown to improve overall health. In the 2008 compassion study by Fredrickson, participants of compassionate meditation were in better physical shape.The Do Good Live Well Survey reported the same, as 68 percent of volunteers said that volunteering made them feel physically better. Compassion was also shown to boost immune and stress responses, according to a 2009 study by Thaddeus Pace.
  3. Charitable action has the capacity to improve important life skills such as empathy, helpfulness, and money handling. A study done by Antoine Luiz in 2008 shows how compassion impacts people’s ability to process their own and others’ emotions. The brains of participants were scanned, which showed the brain regions responsible for emotional processing were enhanced for those who completed compassionate meditation.Another study by Jennifer Mascaro in 2013 investigated further into the impact of compassion on empathy. Participants in the study were given the “Mind in Eyes Test” to evaluate their empathic accuracy. The participants who had completed a course on compassion scored higher on the test, meaning that compassion enhanced empathic accuracy.Compassionate people were also found to be more helpful, according to a 2011 study done by Susanne Leiberg. Those who participated in the study played the Zurich Prosocial Game, which tests whether they respond when others are distressed. Participants who went through compassion training before taking the test “demonstrated more pro-social behavior,” meaning that they were more helpful.

    Lastly, charitable action improves personal money management through scheduled donation. Having a scheduled donation to a charity calls for closer attention to personal finances, thus training people to be attentive to their bank account. On top of this, many charities grant a tax deduction.

Charitable action goes beyond helping those in need. Compassion and charity also can improve individual lives by making them happier, healthier and more skilled.

Haley Hurtt

Skechers Shoes Leave a Charitable FootprintAlong with a reputation for designing comfortable performance shoes, Skechers is a brand praised for its philanthropic efforts. In the past year, through the BOBS for Skechers charitable program, more than 13 million pairs of new shoes have been donated to children in need around the world as well as throughout the nation, reaching those struggling with poverty, homelessness and natural disasters.

Skechers shoes leave a charitable footprint through its BOBS for Skechers charitable program, in collaboration with charities such as Delivering Good, Inc. and Soles4Souls. Delivering Good, Inc. (formerly K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers) is a nonprofit that accepts donations in the fashion, home and children’s industries, which are then sent to help millions of kids, adults and families facing poverty and disaster. Since 1985, over $1.6 billion of donated products have been distributed through the charity’s network of community partners. Delivering Good, Inc. has been a partner of Skechers for five years and has distributed a total of 7.5 million pairs of shoes in that period to organizations domestically and internationally.

Founded in 2006, Soles4Souls has distributed more than 30 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries and all 50 U.S. states. Skechers, through its alliance with Soles4Souls, provides short-term relief and long-term solutions to individuals without access to a good pair of shoes. Every day children are kept from attending school and adults are unable to work because of the burden of walking without proper shoes, and a single pair has the power to provide relief in many developing nations around the globe. Furthermore, Soles4Souls states, “Our micro-enterprise model provides entrepreneurs the ability to start small businesses by providing a steady supply of high-quality, low-cost product; a powerful and sustainable way for people to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.”

In addition to working with various charities, Skechers involves celebrities in the process to help raise awareness about the brand and its mission to give back. Singer-songwriter Camila Cabello is the latest celebrity to work on a campaign with Skechers. The 20-year-old recently took to Twitter to share her upcoming involvement with the brand, on which she expressed, “One of the things that attracted me to Skechers is their philanthropic efforts to children in need and animals in need… because that’s something that’s important to me and close to my heart.”

Through its nonprofit partners and millions of donations, Skechers helps deliver individuals from extreme poverty, even in the simplest of ways. The Skechers movement has reached children and adults struggling with a variety of circumstances across the nation and in more than 30 countries worldwide, helping each of them one step at a time.

Mikaela Frigillana

Photo: Flickr

Help People in LiberiaApproximately 64 percent of Liberians live below the poverty line. Liberia is ranked at 182 out of 187 in the human development index. This poverty is caused by lack of sufficient farming methods, little to no access to healthcare and lack of political power. Here are some solutions for how to help people in Liberia.

How to help people in Liberia starts with the food insecurity rate. Chronic malnutrition is high, 41 percent of Liberians are considered food-insecure. Farmers that can barely support their own families are common in Liberia, this has led to more than one-third of the population being malnourished. More effective measures of farming need to be put in place to help people in Liberia.

The country has plentiful rainfall and good soil, yet it is not being used effectively. The government of Liberia has granted large plots of land to multinational companies for rubber, timber and palm oil. This has reduced opportunities for farmers to produce large amounts of food at a rapid pace. Agricultural reform needs to be made in order to fix the measures of farming and the allocation of land.

More than 75 percent of the population has little to no access to referral care services. The health care system in Liberia is heavily dependent on aid from outside resources. USAID funded Rebuilding Basic Health Services (RBHS), and since 2008, RBHS has been working closely with the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to rebuild the health system in Liberia.

Training organized groups and volunteers, investing in basic infrastructure, and supporting the prosperity of the health system are crucial. Interventions must be put in place to develop a line of communication with village chiefs, community health committee members and political representatives. A multi-faceted approach is necessary when addressing the health system in Liberia.

Poor conditions Liberia can be traced back to the military coup in 1980. An absence of political stability in any country causes conflict and poor conditions. In Liberia’s case, being unable to change economic conditions through political activism condemns the poor to stay poor. Lack of opportunity alone does not cause poverty, it is also a lack of political power to change the systems and practices that cause impoverishment.

How to help people in Liberia starts with knowledge and action, both being essential factors. Influencing public policy, financial contributions and working directly with the poor are all impactful. Even though Liberia has not had a prosperous history, there are many successful programs that are encouraging future growth for this West African country.

Lucy Voegeli

Photo: Flickr