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nonprofits in ArmeniaSince Armenia has only been an independent country for less than 30 years, its economy has been slow-building. As of 2017, Armenia has a 29.8 percent poverty rate. The landscape of nonprofits in Armenia is a good example of how diverse strategies can contribute to the reduction of poverty. Here are the top five nonprofits in Armenia.

Top 5 Nonprofits in Armenia

  1. AGBU
    • What they do: The Armenian General Benevolent Union works to promote Armenian heritage around the world.
    • Who they serve: AGBU serves all Armenians by bringing attention to the country for its unique culture. At the same time, AGBU fundraises for causes, like Artsakh. Moreover, AGBU organizes women empowerment programs, work to improve medical care and support local farmers.
    • For more information, read about AGBU here.
  2. Eevah
    • What they do: Eevah aims to feed 33,000 hungry children around the world by 2020. The sale of handmade jewelry funds Eevah’s presence in Armenia. By combining creativity, fashion and charity, Eevah exemplifies how to utilize local talent to enact change.
    • Who they serve: Eevah serves children suffering from hunger around the world.
    • For more information, read about Eevah here.
  3. World Vision
    • What they do: World Vision identifies and eradicates root causes of poverty to benefit the lives of children across. To do so, World Vision empowers communities to become self-sufficient and sustainable.
    • Who they serve: To date, World Vision has helped over 200 million children in poverty. In Armenia, they focus on ensuring children live happy childhoods through programs enriching home and school life. Additionally, they put together clothing drives to provide warm clothes to families in need during the winter.
    • For more information, read about World Vision here.
  4. Air Serv International, Inc.
    • What they do: Air Serv provides safe transportation for people escaping vulnerable and dangerous areas. Accordingly, Air Serv transports them to humanitarian organizations for help.
    • Who they serve: In April 2019, Air Serv transported 1,061 passengers into relief spaces. They are present in Armenia and surrounding countries like Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Georgia. Moreover, they have worked with the World Food Programme to provide food to Armenia and its neighbors during times of war and conflict.
    • For more information, read about Air Serve here.
  5. ACDI/VOCA
    • What they do: ACDI/VOCA fights to implement capacity-building projects across the globe. Specifically, they focus on economic advancement to help communities thrive through local programs.
    • Who they serve: In Armenia, ACDI/VOCA has supported innovative growing projects for 60,000 farmers. As a result, these programs benefit local efforts and bolster the agricultural industry. They also supported programming to provide $7 million in loans to Armenian farmers.
    • For more information, read about ACDI/VOCA here.

A labor force migration, weak agricultural system and unemployment drive Armenia’s poverty rate. However, the creativity of local and global nonprofits help provide relief to the 29.8 percent of Armenians who live in poverty. These nonprofits in Armenia prove the many ways communities can benefit from the work of like-minded individuals who want to eradicate poverty.

Ava Gambero
Photo: Flickr

Nonprofit or Non-profit
The not-for-profit business model is gaining ground worldwide, especially in the context of charity. So too is the debate surrounding the term non-profit. Mainly, is it non-profit or nonprofit? Clearly, the debate is a hot one, as there are varying opinions even in well-established dictionaries; whereas the Oxford English Dictionary uses the hyphenated version, the New Oxford Dictionary of North America recognizes the unhyphenated. Likewise, legal materials and entities in the United States seem to use the terms synonymously, including state corporation statutes and the IRS.

 

Non-profit or Nonprofit: Failing to Reach Consensus

 

Clearly, there is no global consensus. That said, the question remains whether there is some lingering significance in the disparity. Practically speaking, the many organizations and businesses that use the term do so interchangeably, which indicates there is no real difference. Directly questioned, the people at AskOxford, an email interface for addressing the OED, noted the use of the hyphen in the OED as a traditional respect for the term as originally developed, while the “new” American version has more quickly accepted the term as nonprofit.

Technically, however, there seems to be a rather clear and definite solution. Grammarians would likely argue that use of the term in it’s hyphenated form indicates its placement as an adjective, describing a following noun. For example, the non-profit business model is growing in its popularity. In its unhyphenated form, the term is used as a noun. Together, they could be used as follows: the non-profit business model is used as a foundation for many of the nonprofits across the globe.

Practically or grammatically, the terms are still taken in reference to the same idea. Neither term, however, means that the organization behind the term doesn’t make a profit. Rather, a non-profit organization, or a nonprofit, reinvests its profits in the organization or company.

– Herman Watson

Sources: Grammarist, Idealist
Photo: Ngoc Ho

Dubai CaresIn September 2017, philanthropic organization Dubai Cares celebrated their tenth anniversary. The global nonprofit was founded by Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Its mission is to provide education to citizens from countries where educational opportunities are sparse.

Currently, Dubai Cares has facilitated educational programs in 45 countries. According to The National, this has had a positive effect on 16 million youths. The organization has also partnered with other global organizations, like UNICEF, CARE International and the World Food Programme. Along with these, Dubai Cares has joined with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other nongovernmental organizations to influence the global community’s commitment toward better educational practices.

When the charity was first formed, it focused on funding educational programs created by others. After hiring Chief Executive Al Gurg, Dubai Cares began constructing their own solutions.

Dubai Cares operates under the belief that education is a fundamental right that should be available to everyone regardless of race, gender or religion. Lack of education is one of the biggest causes of global poverty. The organization is particularly interested in promoting education for girls around the world, 62 million of whom are not in school.

Over the past 10 years, Dubai Cares has built or renovated over 2,000 classrooms and trained nearly 64,000 teachers. The organization acknowledges, however, that there are many things that affect education beyond the schools or quality of education.

One of these issues involves health-related problems, including malnutrition and disease. To combat these, Dubai Cares has invested in providing healthy food, clean water and effective hygienic practices to students. Another issue that severely affects education is military conflict within the country. One recent philanthropic mission the organization undertook involved educating children dealing with national violence in Columbia.

The continued successes of Dubai Cares have cemented it as a pinnacle in the fight for global education.

Cortney Rowe

Photo: Flickr

15 Influential Organizations Committed to Fighting Poverty in Developing Countries Help
Naturally, The Borgen Project is our favorite organization fighting global poverty, but there are lots of amazing groups changing the world. Thanks to multilateral partnerships between nonprofit organizations, intergovernmental organizations and governments around the world, extreme poverty is down 50 percent since 1990. Below is a list of influential organizations that are fighting poverty in developing countries by working to better the lives of the world’s poor. This list is by no means exhaustive; this is just a sample of the exemplary organizations doing work in problem areas such as global health, water, sanitation, food, housing and education.

 

Top Organization Fighting Poverty in Developing Countries

 

  1. Oxfam
    Oxfam is currently fighting poverty in developing countries by taking on issues of inequality, discrimination and unequal access to resources. The organization provides assistance during humanitarian crises. Oxfam is also very involved in educating the world’s poor about human rights and civic engagement in order to change the root causes of poverty at the political level.
  2. United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
    Founded on the belief that all people should have a chance to live with dignity, opportunity and safety, the UNDP helps countries develop policies. These lead to sustainable development, democratic governance, peace building and climate and disaster resilience. The UNDP is a giant agency that delegates country-specific activities and programs through its Resident Coordinator System with offices in 130 countries. The organization’s highest goal is to implement the Sustainable Development Goals in all countries of operation.
  3. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
    UNICEF fights for children’s rights and welfare by strengthening legislation and social services. Initiatives include early childhood development, nutrition, immunization, water, sanitation and hygiene, children with disabilities and education.
  4. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)
    UNOCHA is responsible for coordinating humanitarian relief efforts during natural disasters and conflict, as well as raising awareness and encouraging involvement among U.N. member states.
  5. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)
    The UN DESA creates and analyzes data pertaining to the economic and social aspects of sustainable development, which U.N. member states draw from when creating U.N. resolutions as well as drafting local policy plans in each respective home country. The UN DESA’s in-depth policy analysis has helped to resolve many of the world’s most pressing socioeconomic issues.
  6. The Borgen Project
    The Borgen Project is an influential U.S.-based nonprofit fighting poverty in developing countries through civic engagement and education. The organization believes that developed countries have a moral obligation to help the world’s poor. The organization advocates on Capitol Hill for poverty reduction legislation, increasing the international affairs budget and making poverty reduction a primary focus of U.S. foreign policy.
  7. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
    USAID facilitates development abroad by allocating the U.S. international aid budget toward projects that increase agricultural productivity, lower child mortality rates and deadly diseases, provide humanitarian assistance during a natural disaster and prolonged conflict, as well as promote democracy, economic growth, environmental resiliency and women’s empowerment.
  8. Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
    ODI is an independent think tank that researches a myriad of topics such as climate, energy, poverty and inequality. The institute’s goal is to facilitate international development by providing policy advice, consultancy services and training programs to fight poverty.
  9. Concern Worldwide
    Concern Worldwide is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that fights poverty in developing countries by providing lifesaving humanitarian aid primarily focused on alleviating world hunger, increasing world health, and responding to emergencies and natural disasters.
  10. The Hunger Project
    Two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population is female. Sixty percent of HIV/AIDS cases today affect women. The Hunger Project recognizes that poverty is sexist, and believes that empowering women is essential to ending world hunger and poverty. The project fights for clean drinking water, nutrition, and sanitation, as well as economic growth.
  11. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
    The BMGF has been instrumental in saving the lives of 122 million children since 1990. This is largely made possible through its efforts to increase access to healthcare and vaccinations, which have all but eradicated polio and halved malaria and tuberculosis rates around the world.
  12. World Bank Group
    The World Bank Group is a crucial piece of our international development; it funds development projects around the world through traditional loans, interest-free credits and grants. The World Bank Group produces some of the world’s leading research and publications concerning development policies and programs. The group also offers policy advice, analysis and technical assistance to developing countries throughout the project application process.
  13. The Earth Institute
    The Earth Institute is part of New York University and is directed by Jeffrey Sachs. It is comprised of two dozen research facilities in the fields of Earth and climate science, public health, economics, law, business and public policy. All of the organization’s research is focused on the future sustainability of our planet. The institute uses its research to develop policies and solutions to the world’s problems, especially in the areas of sustainable development and the alleviation of poverty.
  14. The Red Cross
    The Red Cross in an international NGO that provides urgent assistance to those affected by disaster through vaccination campaigns, disaster preparedness and by reconnecting families separated by conflict and natural disasters.
  15. Engineers Without Borders (EWB)
    Engineers Without Borders is fighting poverty in developing countries by providing real-world engineering solutions to tough problems all over the world. Whether that be through increasing access to clean drinking water in rural communities or building roads and dams, EWB is committed to community-driven development by working alongside community members.

There are thousands of other organizations that are working to do their part on local and international scales. These groups are all increasing standards of living and fighting poverty in developing countries.

Josh Ward

Photo: Flickr

Kopernik: Using Technology to Improve the Developing World
Billions of people all over the world lack the technology allowing them access to light, fuel friendly cooking and clean drinking water. This is why Kopernik, a nonprofit technology company, is working to distribute simple, life-improving technologies to the world’s poorest communities.

The company provides these communities with items such as water filters, solar power lights and cooking stoves. Nicolaus Copernicus is the organization’s namesake since Kopernik is meant to be a catalyst for change and new ways of seeing the world. Kopernik distributes the best technology for the developing world through sourcing, connecting and reinvesting.

Sourcing
Kopernik uses its website to spread awareness about its technology. In response, countries submit proposals for the items they need the most. Then Kopernik publishes projects on the website in order to raise funds.

Connecting
Once the projects are fully funded — usually by donors — Kopernik ships the technology to its local partners. People then buy that technology at an affordable price through those local partners.

Reinvesting
Next, the local partners repay the money from technology sales to Kopernik. This money is then reinvested into new technology. Kopernik also works with local partners to assess the technology’s impact and share feedback with technology producers.

Funding
Kopernik is a nonprofit organization with a for-profit arm. The for-profit part of the organization is a consulting firm that works with technology companies in product development. The profits from the consulting business are then channeled toward the nonprofit operations.

Kopernik receives funding from companies, government development programs and individuals. Its partners also provide in-kind support such as free or discounted services. This keeps the organization’s operating costs low.

Technology
Kopernik is helping women access clean birth supplies and information about safe birthing practices. For example, in the Chittagong district of Bangladesh as well as Laos, the nonprofit provides JANMA clean birth kits to women. These birth kits contain sterile tools to reduce the risk of infection during childbirth.

In Vietnam, the organization has also connected 90 families with hearing-impaired children with affordable hearing aid technology. This makes it possible for children to learn to speak and form a better bond with their families and communities.

Impact
So far, Kopernik has served 396,325 people and distributed 90,359 technologies. It has funded 170 projects and reached 26 countries, among them Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Ghana and Nigeria.

According to Patrick Vinck of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, “New applications of technologies to humanitarian action may be the most important factor influencing humanitarian effectiveness over the next decade.” In this regard, Kopernik’s emphasis on technology distribution represents great gains for the world’s anti-poverty organizations with only more progress to come.

Liliana Rehorn

Photo: Flickr

SunSaluter: Energy, Water and Jobs Rolled Into One
There are upward of 780 million people in the world who do not have access to clean water. On top of this, an estimated 1.2 billion people lack access to electricity — that is nearly 17 percent of the world’s population. Individuals living under such circumstances suffer chronic exposure to waterborne illnesses, and hundreds of millions more must walk hours each day to collect potable water.

SunSaluter, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving energy and water access in the developing world, aims to remedy these issues in a simple and affordable way.

The goal of SunSaluter is to make energy and water more accessible through one simple device. The SunSaluter device itself uses gravity and water, rotating a solar panel throughout the day. The device generates 30 percent more electricity, is 30 times cheaper and is far more durable than motorized solar trackers.

The SunSaluter has been deployed in 16 countries and has impacted nearly 8,000 people worldwide. By boosting solar panel efficiency by 30 percent, fewer solar panels are needed and the overall system costs are reduced by 10-20 percent. This lowering of cost alone has helped the impoverished families eliminate the use of kerosene gas.

How does it work? The SunSaluter enables solar panels to produce energy more consistently through the day, beginning earlier in the morning and lasting later at night. This is critical for rural families who often wake early in the day. It helps decrease the need for batteries to store energy that is usually produced mostly around high noon.

The SunSaluter also contains a water purifier within its system. Each day the device is capable of producing four liters of clean drinking water. By combining both energy and water collection into one simple device, the SunSaluter kills two birds with one stone. It improves consistent usage of the purifier as well, which tends to be the biggest hurdle to overcome for clean water programs.

Consequently, SunSaluter is not just working to help with the lack of energy and water in the developing world. “Our goal is to provide entrepreneurial opportunities for individuals in underdeveloped countries,” Eden Full told Business Insider in a recent interview. “We give them guidance, mentorship, and some funding, and the idea is to spread this technology.”

Currently, the company’s core manufacturing operations are in India. It is looking to move into Malawi as well. SunSaluter and its impact on the developing world have only just begun!

Keaton McCalla

Photo: Flickr

BOMA ProjectAccording to the U.N., the majority of people living in extreme poverty are women. This unfortunate reality is commonly referred to as the “Feminization of Poverty.” Lack of resources, education and income for women are among the various reasons this phenomenon exists.

However, organizations like The BOMA Project are fighting to end this gender disparity among the world’s poor.

The BOMA Project is a U.S. non-profit organization as well as a Kenyan NGO. The organization was recently chosen to receive a prestigious grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Notably, the organization seeks to help impoverished women in drought-prone areas. The BOMA Project is currently operating in two Kenyan counties: Marsabit and Samburu. Both of these areas suffer from arid climates that make it difficult for their residents to thrive.

The BOMA Project’s two-year program is known as the Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP). This program empowers and educates women to sustain small businesses.

The organization states that REAP, “replaces aid with sustainable income and helps women ‘graduate’ from extreme poverty by giving them the tools they need to start small businesses in their communities.”

REAP is accomplished through five major phases:

  1. Targeting the most vulnerable women within communities using a wealth ranking system.
  2. Assigning village mentors who assist in writing business plans as well as visit monthly over the two-year period.
  3. Providing two installments of grants to help women acquire the necessary resources to start their businesses.
  4. Training women how to run their businesses successfully.
  5. Forming savings associations comprised of 3 to 4 other BOMA businesses.

The BOMA Project also teaches women how to keep track of daily budgets, be secure during unexpected shocks and save for future purchases. This all-encompassing system has been the foundation of the organization’s success since its beginnings in 2009.

Since then, 9,432 women have enrolled in the program. Of the women who have already completed their two-year training, 93 percent are no longer living in extreme poverty (according to the organization’s criteria) and 98 percent now have savings.

While these numbers are promising, The BOMA Project is aiming to expand its reach, helping 100,000 women and children by 2018 and 1 million by 2021.

Saroja Koneru

Photo: Flickr

Africa_poverty_foundationThe Mulago Foundation fights poverty by finding and funding organizations that focus on the basic needs of those who live in extremely poor conditions. Organizations range from livelihood support to assistance with energy or health issues.

In order to qualify for funding, the organizations must be equipped with scalable solutions and demonstrate the ability to deliver, reflecting Mulago as a successful foundation that continues to improve the lives of the impoverished.

Henry Arnhold created the Mulago Foundation to carry out his brother’s life work, Rainer Arnhold, after his death in 1993. Rainer Arnhold was an inveterate traveler as well as a physician and philanthropist committed to improving the well-being of vulnerable individuals.

His philosophy has been carried throughout each of Mulago’s endeavors. The foundation is entirely funded by the Arnhold family and seeks no return on investments from the organizations it supports.

The Mulago Foundation has assisted organizations like the BOMA Project, located primarily in Northern Kenya. BOMA focuses on assisting impoverished women living in low-productivity lands that are isolated from the modern economy.

By funding this organization, Mulago and BOMA have worked to double the incomes of women in this area, helping them to build their resiliency against the economic issues that accompany droughts and poverty. The hope is that these successes will continue and increase drastically in the coming years.

The main focus of Mulago is impact. The Mulago Foundation succeeds in its mission to greatly impact impoverished citizens around the world by seeking out organizations with the similar missions.

While the Foundation would like to support all organizations trying to make a difference, the funding is meant for those who have well-defined plans for the future. Impact must be real and clearly measurable. By supporting successful organizations, Mulago is able to further the impact that they have on fighting poverty.

One Acre Funds is an organization in Eastern Africa that has received funding from Mulago and the impact it has reached is certainly measurable. This organization provides significantly poor farmers with the training, materials and access to markets that they need to create a sustainable living.

In less than five years, One Acre Funds went from zero farmers to 30,000. That is the type of impact that the Mulago Foundation seeks from the organizations it supports. One Acre Funds now functions like a high-performance business thanks to Mulago’s assistance.

Amanda Panella

Photo: Flickr

Outreach_International
Outreach International, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting sustainability to end poverty, aids impoverished communities in six major ways: finding effective ways for communities to obtain clean water, fighting world hunger, promoting education, providing affordable health care, empowering businesses and encouraging sustainable community initiatives.

Outreach International was founded in 1979 with the goal of investing in people rather than projects. While working with communities to create sustainability and decrease poverty, it utilizes individuals’ untapped potential and creativity to empower them to become leaders, practice sustainability and create projects themselves that they can use to benefit the community around them.

Since its inauguration, Outreach International has assisted 10 impoverished communities defeat poverty. It has worked with hundreds of thousands of people to create permanent change and make the world a more sustainable place.

Working in countries all over the world, Outreach International has reached the corners of countries like Haiti, Nicaragua and India, with its work spanning multiple continents.

Its sustainability projects include creating cleaner ways to dispose of waste, providing housing to those affected by disaster and establishing eco-friendly and cost effective mechanisms to ensure water is free of insects and vermin.

In 2014 alone, Outreach International worked in 105 communities with 498 community-led actions, benefitting a total of 54,154 people.

Of this total, 20 percent has gone to education, 13 percent to health, 17 percent to community development, 18 percent to hunger, 11 percent to providing access to clean water and 21 percent to the startup of businesses in impoverished communities. In the last 30 years, Outreach International has touched the lives of 350,750 people.

Outreach International believes that projects don’t end poverty, people do, and that’s why it has dedicated itself to not only providing aid to those in need but helping them become the best they can be so they, too, can assist others.

It also believes that simply giving a community a gift does more harm than good, especially if the receivers aren’t educated on how to maintain, cultivate or repair the gift. Outreach International uses its resources to not only create short-term solutions to poverty but also create ways to change it forever.

Julia Hettiger

Sources: Outreach International, GIVE, Mobility Outreach International
Photo: footmeetmouth

Child Family Health International (CFHI) at a Glance
There is a plethora of organizations working toward the betterment of our world and the people living in it, however they often do not get the attention or credit they deserve. So let’s shine a little spotlight on one and take a minute to appreciate others’ hard work and the power of teamwork.

Child Family Health International (CFHI) is a nonprofit organization that is focused on global health education. They offer education programs for individuals interested in global health and related careers. Here are three ways CFHI is working towards improving global health.

1. Educate Future Global Health Crusaders

CFHI offers education programs for students or volunteers to gain experience with the clinical practices, public health and social services in developing nations. They work within Latin America, Africa and India.

Participants of community-based Global Health CFHI programs can gain valuable experience needed to build their resumes or earn college credit. CFHI offers more than twenty different programs in seven countries that work within and with the local community on projects like providing healthcare for underserved communities in the Himalayas to training midwives in Oaxaca.

2. Integrates into the Local Health Care Community

CFHI recognizes that there are already health care professionals and experts residing in the community they are working in and have partnered with existing health care providers. By utilizing local community leaders and health workers, CFHI helps support the development of opportunities for their international partners.

They invest in the continuing of their educations by offering scholarships for higher degrees and including locals in conferences and workshops. CFHI holds that students can learn not only from CFHI staff, but also from those living in the communities they are working with.

3. Invests in Host Community

Students who participate in a CFHI education program pay a fee, which is common amongst study abroad experiences. However, unlike many other programs, CFHI invests half of a student’s fee back into the community they will be working and learning in. The invested funds work to bolster the economy of the countries CFHI works with and compensate the communities for their time, expertise and hospitality.

Brittney Dimond

Sources: Child Family Health International 1, Child Family Health International 2, GoAbroad.com
Photo: Flickr