child poverty in ZambiaZambia is a landlocked country that lies between Southern and Central Africa. The majority of Zambia’s 17.5 million population is under the age of 18, and over half of the population earns below the international poverty line of less than $2 per day. According to the World Bank, the estimated median age is 16.7, making evident the country’s severely imbalanced dependency ratio. This means that the dependent population (younger than 15 and older than 65) is much larger than the workforce can adequately support. While in the past few years Zambia has made progress in increasing access to nutrition and education, children in Zambia still lack a variety of necessities. In Zambia, 45.4% of children live in extreme poverty and 800,000 children still do not attend school.

What Is Family Legacy?

Family Legacy is a nonprofit organization based in Irving, Texas that seeks improvement in both of those areas for the most affected children of Lusaka, Zambia. In a variety of ways, the organization aims to reduce child poverty in Zambia by ensuring that these children have the opportunity to attend school. There, they get one hot meal every day and extra food to take home when they have good attendance. “This makes the parents more likely to let the kids go to school, and not be forced to work,” a Family Legacy volunteer said.

What Is Being Done to Fight Child Poverty in Zambia?

Family Legacy has four programs to meet its goal of alleviating child poverty in Zambia. The first, Legacy Academy, focuses on the Academics pillar, one of the organization’s four pillars of care. This main school program ensures that the children it serves receive primary and secondary education with all the necessary materials. The second program, Tree of Life, focuses on the physical and emotional pillars. Tree of Life is a residential community that provides children who have been through physical or emotional trauma with a safe place to live while they attend school. The third program, Excel Beyond, also focuses on the academics pillar. This program is designed to support the high school graduates of Legacy Academy while they build the foundation of a successful career. Finally, Camp Life represents Family Legacy’s spiritual pillar. The week-long experience seeks to bring hope and emotional growth to the Academy students.

Family Legacy’s success can be attributed to its three-tier approach, combining education, nourishment and the inclusion of benefits to the families of these children in need. The organization’s programs saw a ninth grade completion rate that was 18% higher than the national average last year. In addition, it has 156 students currently pursuing higher education. To help with curbing hunger in Zambia, Family Legacy distributes 4 million meals annually.

What Can We Do to Help?

Family Legacy’s progress is achieved via activities in multiple parts of the globe. In Dallas, volunteers pack meals, distribute clothes, gather supplies and find sponsors. Sponsorships are programs in which a family or individual provides the financial means for a child in Lusaka to attend school and receive meals and extra food. In Lusaka, volunteers make up the summer staff of Camp Life, participate in medical internships, assist with the graduation ceremonies of Tree of Life and Legacy Academy and participate in activities with the other Tree of Life children. Beginning to get involved in the fight against global poverty seems like a daunting task, but Family Legacy makes it easier than ever to fight child poverty in Zambia.

– Carolina Larracilla
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Afghanistan Relief Organization is a nonprofit based in the United States that provides aid and education to underprivileged people in Afghanistan. Afghans Abdul Satar and Aboul Fazil Khalili founded the organization in California in 1998. It is operated primarily by volunteers, including both Afghans and Americans, and is non-political and non-religious. In addition to providing direct aid, the organization promotes self-sufficiency in Afghanistan with its educational programs. The Afghanistan Relief Organization has impacted the lives of thousands of impoverished Afghans.

Direct Aid

Afghanistan is one of the most impoverished countries in the world. Over 40% of the population lives below the poverty line. Many more live just above the poverty line and are extremely vulnerable. In order to diminish the effects of poverty, the Afghanistan Relief Organization provides direct aid to thousands of Afghans. This aid includes food, school supplies, hygiene supplies, medicine and winter clothing. Many Afghans do not have stable access to these resources without the aid of an NGO like this one. By giving these supplies directly to people in need, the organization is able to improve the lives of countless impoverished Afghans.

Changing Lives With Education

Another service provided by the Afghanistan Relief Organization is education, which is available at its Technology Education Center in Kabul. This school provides free classes for children and adults, and has had thousands of students since its creation in 2003. The classes teach things like English, computer skills, physical education and job training. The instructors and staff at the school are willing to work for small salaries. As a result, the Afghanistan Relief Organization is able to use the majority of its funding to provide educational resources for the students.

The Afghanistan Relief Organization has also created a series of women’s literacy classes. In Afghanistan, there is a large gender disparity in education, and many women lack basic literacy. These classes give women an opportunity to develop the crucial literacy skills they need to support their families. There are multiple levels of classes available, and the organization also provides $50 per month for its students as support.

Celebrity Support

A wide range of celebrities have publicly supported the Afghanistan Relief Organization, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Benicio del Toro, Halle Berry and Richard Gere. In addition to providing financial support, these celebrities use their fame to give publicity to the organization. This helps mobilize more volunteers and donors. In 2007, the organization held an auction of traditional Afghan kites to raise funds. Celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Will Ferrell and Natalie Portman signed some of these kites to increase their values. Support from celebrities like these has greatly helped the Afghanistan Relief Organization’s ability to fundraise and have a greater impact.

Afghanistan faces many problems due to its extreme poverty, and many Afghans do not have access to the resources they need. However, the Afghanistan Relief Organization has improved the living conditions of countless Afghans. The education that the organization provides, through its Technology Education Center, helps thousands of students. The Afghanistan Relief Organization is able to function due to the devotion of its instructors and staff who work for small salaries, as well as celebrities who continue to support the organization’s efforts.

– Gabriel Guerin

Refugees in Greece
As thousands of refugees in Greece continue to remain trapped in the country after an agreement closing the borders, American veterans are volunteering again to provide medical care. The agreement between the Turkey and the E.U. went into effect March 20th, leaving refugees already in the country unable to travel back to Turkey or continue on to Europe.

According to the U.N., there are 42,000 refugees located on the mainland of Greece, with another 8,000 spread across the Greek islands. Grouped in crowded camps by Greek officials, the asylum-seekers face overflowing toilets, lack of health care, poor food, violence and open harassment of women.

Many are housed in makeshift shelters in abandoned buildings. Though the country’s borders are officially closed to refugees, many still attempt to flee to Europe, with 3,000 having died or gone missing in attempted water-crossings from Turkey 2016 alone.

Team Rubicon

In response, many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) mobilized to help refugees stranded in Greece. One of them is Team Rubicon: a crisis-response organization founded by two marines in 2010 to provide aid to earthquake-stricken Haitians. Since its inception, the group evolved into an organization capable of deploying response teams around the world.

Now boasting leaders such as retired General Stanley McChrystal on its Board of Directors and retired General David Petraeus on its Board of Advisors, the veterans’ organization is active in all 50 states and around the world. Operating in small teams of current service members, veterans and civilian emergency workers, Team Rubicon deploys to disaster areas that may be difficult for larger organizations to reach.

The Borgen Project had the opportunity to interview Matt Pelak, the International Operations Chief for Team Rubicon who noted that since July, Team Rubicon has provided “primary and emergency medical care to a camp of about 200 at-risk refugees including pregnant women and unaccompanied children.”

The camp, established by the Radcliffe Foundation at a disused textile factory along Greece’s northern border, provides a reprieve from the crowded and dangerous conditions at many refugee sites.

Pelak asserted that Team Rubicon decided to deploy to Greece after assessing and concluding that the economic and emergency response capacity in the country was overwhelmed. The deluge of refugees are fleeing violence in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East.

The Team Rubicon medical specialists have made efforts to send smaller mobile teams to surrounding camps as well, providing free medical care to the refugees they are able to see.

Though they are coordinating their efforts with a slew of other NGOs and the U.N., Pelak recognized that there are simply too many refugees in Greece for the current medical resources allocated. “The medical care [we provide] can be the first in months or years for many refugees,” he said.

The Struggles of Resettlement

Efforts to resettle the asylum seekers are underway, but so far only about 1,700 have been allowed to officially relocate to E.U. countries willing to take them in. Those that arrived after March 20th are supposed to be sent back to Turkey, but the Greek government has only deported 500 so far.

The refugees in Greece who arrived before the deadline will have to wait until the government can make a ruling on their applications for asylum. Considering the number of refugees and the variety of languages spoken among them, the process may take some time. Talking about the masses stranded in Greece, Pelak urged people around the world to “Support NGOs that provide aid on the ground and strongly consider taking in refugees by pressuring lawmakers.”

Will Sweger

Photo: Flickr

medical_supportU.S. based Newmont Mining Corporation has partnered with Denver-based NGO Project C.U.R.E. to deliver $8 million in medical supplies and professional training for health providers in developing countries.

The contributions will be made in $200,000 installments over a three-year period and will help to facilitate the exchange of health care knowledge, experience and contacts in countries including Ghana, Indonesia, Peru and Suriname. The partnership is the newest installment in Newmont’s efforts to improve health care infrastructure in developing countries; so far the company has channeled $1.2 million into global health care initiatives.

“Newmont is proud to continue its support for the life-saving work Project C.U.R.E. does in developing countries around the world,” said Newmont Executive Vice President for Sustainability and External Relations Elaine Dorward-King. “Our two organizations are aligned in purpose, and our partnership gives us the means to improve lives by equipping health care professionals, tools and training necessary to help people in need.”

Earlier this year, Newmont launched the Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) program in Eastern Ghana in an effort to provide training to health personnel working to reduce infant mortality. The program teaches techniques for treating the effects of birth asphyxia, one of the conditions that have led to Ghana’s 12 percent infant mortality rate.

Project C.U.R.E. is the largest provider of donated medical supplies and equipment in developing countries and strives to provide the health care infrastructure and resources necessary for countries in the early stages of economic development. Support provided by the organization since 2004 includes medical supplies and training, protective gear and isolation facilities and supplies for wound care and medical examinations during Haiti’s recent cholera outbreak.

“This partnership has really been a full integration of both of our organizations,” said Project C.U.R.E. president/CEO Dr. Douglas Jackson. “The goal is to create infrastructure improvement, so that the whole system gets better. We want the employees at Newmont, the stakeholders and all the communities around the mine sites to be healthy.”

Many players in the mining industry have made conscious efforts to combat the social and environmental consequences that often result from their activities in developing countries by making economic development, environmental protection and social cohesion a part of their business models. In recent years, mining companies have integrated community support into their development contracts, which provide services including NGO support, community leadership training and mentoring and investments aimed at increasing business opportunities for local farmers.

In light of recent revelations regarding the implications of corporate activity on local communities – in Tanzania, for example, hydropower contracts have resulted in the displacement of hundreds of smallholder farmers – Newmont’s efforts are a reminder that corporations owe thanks to the communities in which they are permitted to operate. Programs such as Project C.U.R.E. enable them to contribute to the plight of rural communities and establish relationships that improve business conditions for American companies and generally improve the perceptions of American activity abroad.

Zach VeShancey

Sources: African Business Review, Mining Global 1, Mining Global 2
Photo: Mining Global

Legislation in Ugandan parliament threatens to undermine the work and transparency of the country’s aid organizations. The bill, described by opponents as “draconian,” will put the power of aid organizations in the hands of the government. It will add restrictions and control measures that will essentially put NGOs under work for the government rather than an apolitical frame. Particularly in areas such as government accountability and humanitarian rights, NGOs are under threat of total government control.

The bill, as outlined, would limit the growth of NGOs in Uganda, which have “led to subversive methods of work and activities, which in turn undermine accountability and transparency.” According to junior minister James Baba, the bill has been made to ensure NGOs do not introduce immoral Western practices into the country. “Some of these organizations are involved in our politics and championing morals that are against our culture, which is totally unacceptable. They have to operate in the respective areas we licensed them for easy supervision and monitoring.”

Others, such as Rama Omonya, a policy coordinator at Oxfam in Uganda, say the resolution will strictly limit the work NGOs will be able to do. It will give power to the internal affairs minister and national NGO board to supervise, inspect, restrict and dissolve all NGOs functioning in the country. Furthermore, NGOs could only work in areas where they have been approved by district NGO governing boards and with whom they have signed a memorandum of understanding. In the event of an emergency such as a landslide, NGOs would have to seek the approval of the district undergoing turmoil before working there, wasting valuable time and supplies and leaving many people suffering while waiting for the help and resources of aid organizations. If an NGO does not renew its permit, it can be fined or punished for up to eight years. Officials would have the right to search NGO office at any time and dissolve or suspend its work for actions they deem inappropriate or anti-government.

The subjective nature of this new bill would put NGOs at risk and under the strict control of the government. Humanitarian organizations and watchdog civil service organizations in particular need freedom and independence from government supervision in order to report crises and send aid to the communities that need it. According to Omonya, these organizations are vital to the welfare of many living in Uganda and should be given expanded, not restricted powers.

Beyond delivering aid and human service, NGOs in Uganda also provide education, healthcare and human rights reporting. Under the guise of the government, its power and aid potential would be severely curtailed. The accountability and transparency the government claims it would be enforcing would indeed be lessened, restricting the well-being and humanitarian conditions of people in need of aid in Uganda.

Jenny Wheeler

Sources: NGO Forum, Irin News
Photo: Flickr

YouTube has become one of the largest, most influential mediums in the world. According to the website, YouTube has more than one billion users in 75 countries, watching hundreds of millions of hours each day.

More than one million channels receive proceeds from their videos due to the YouTube Partner Program, and a small amount of these channel owners make six figures per year.

Elite YouTubers Zoella, Jack and Finn Harries, and Hank and John Green are a part of the select group who achieved super-stardom from their videos.

However, these YouTubers have more than just a high-paying salary in common. They all participate in numerous charities to give back to those who are struggling.

Zoe Sugg

With about eight and a half million viewers subscribed to her fashion and beauty blog, Zoe Sugg, also know as Zoella, donates some of her time to raising awareness for fatal diseases. Sugg starred in “The Comic Relief Bake Off” in February that funded vaccinations for babies in Uganda. Sugg has also worked with Trekstock, which gives support to young adults with cancer.

“Doing what I do, I get to meet a lot of young people that have been through the stresses and the traumas that go with [cancer],” Sugg said.

Along with this, Sugg is the first digital ambassador for Mind, a mental health charity and has participated in fundraising for the Stroke Association and Band Aid 30.

Jack and Finn Harries

Identical twins Jack and Finn Harries run the YouTube channel JacksGap that has more than 180 million views. The channel’s videos feature the brothers traveling the world, occasionally stopping to film a video for charity. In March of 2013, the twins posted a video about their time in South Africa visiting some Comic Relief projects. More than five million people live with HIV in Africa, according to the video.

“We were shocked to hear how serious the issue had become, but excited to see what was being done to help and meet the people behind the project,” Jack Harries said.

Jack and Finn Harries have helped raised awareness for this issue, because their video now has over two million views.

The twins have also helped The Rainbow Centre, Teenage Cancer Trust and Charity: Water.

Hank and John Green

Another set of philanthropic YouTube siblings with the channel name VlogBrothers hold an online presence of about two and a half million subscribers, and they use this power to promote their charity projects. Hank and John Green created Project for Awesome in 2007.

“During Project for Awesome, thousands of people post videos about and advocating for charities that decrease the overall level of world suck. As a community, we promote these videos and raise money for the charities,” Hank and John Green said.

The charity has taken place for seven years, and last year, the project raised over one million dollars.

Aside from this success, the brothers have also taken part in Partners in Health.
For more information about these YouTubers, visit,, and

– Fallon Lineberger


Sources: BBC, Boohoo, Charity Water, Mind, Prizeo 1, Prizeo 2, Project for Awesome, YouTube 1, YouTube 2, YouTube 3, YouTube 4, YouTube 5, YouTube 6, YouTube 7
Photo: Telegraph


5 NGOs Going Above and Beyond
There are many NGOs doing good for the world’s poor, but here are five that go above and beyond the rest.

1. The Garden of Hope Foundation

The Garden of Hope foundation was founded in Taiwan and acts to aid girls who were victims of the sex trade. This NGO provides psychiatric counseling and safe half-way houses for many girls while they recover from their abuse. The Garden of Hope foundation also works closely with the government to promote policymaking and discussions about the sex trade. Their main focus is to empower girls and women to stand up for themselves and realize that they, too, can have an impact on this world.

2. Save The Children

Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world what every child deserves: A healthy start, the opportunity to learn and care when disaster strikes. Save the Children acts on all fronts of poverty, ranging from education needs throughout the world to health and humanitarian issues, such as helping children with HIV and AIDS. Save the Children can be found worldwide after any major disaster attempting to rebuild communities and make them stronger. This NGO is wholeheartedly dedicated to improving the lives of the next generation and is a huge part of the bright future that we have to look forward to.


According to their website, provides innovative, market-based solutions that change lives every day through safe water and sanitation. This NGO is supporting countless projects that will hopefully provide sanitary water to everyone around the world. There is a basic human need for clean water, but this instead seems like a luxury for every 1 in 9 individuals worldwide. has become so well organized that for every $1 donated there is a $4 economic return; this comes from the countless lives that are bettered when clean drinking water is available. has been very successful in involving high-profile celebrities with its cause and has gained international recognition as one of the strongest players in sanitation.

4. Acumen Fund

Acumen raises charitable donations to invest in companies, leaders and ideas that are changing the way the world tackles poverty. This group seems to be searching out the best of the best and providing them with the funding they need to change the world for good. Acumen states that their main goal is “dignity” rather than the usual goal of profitability. They want to help people believe that dreams do come true and to provide them with an arena in which to do this. By funding leaders and innovators in developing communities, the Acumen Fund is able to build rural communities from the bottom up, allowing them to compete in the global market and, in turn, become more developed. This is one great idea that has clearly allowed people all over the world to realize that dreams really do come true.

5. The Borgen Project

The Borgen Project was founded by one man with one computer and one very big dream. Founder Clint Borgen and his team are seeking to make a mark on global poverty by going right to the source: the lawmakers. The Borgen Project seeks to educate individuals on worldwide poverty and what is being done to make an impact. They also communicate one-on-one with lawmakers to gain support for bills that will better the global community. The Borgen team has met with almost every member of Congress and the House and is continuing to inform lawmakers and the public about changes that could be made to make this world a better place to live in.

– Sumita Tellakat

Sources: The Global Journal, The Garden of Hope Foundation, Save the Children,, Acumen
Photo: Western University

According to a study made by the Mexican government agency, Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política de Desarollo Social (CONEVAL), there were 53.3 million people living in poor conditions in 2012.

This number equates to 45.4 percent of Mexico’s total population.

In Mexico, poverty is strictly linked to the decisions and actions that the government takes. According to a newspaper from Guadalajara, Jalisco, the secretaries of social development from the different Mexican states only invest between the four and five percent of their budget to social programs that do not just focus on poverty.

Education, health care, nutrition, shelter and clean water are some of the aspects that many organizations are working on to bring to the Mexican poor citizens:


This is a non-profit organization based in Vermont that fights to offer education and job opportunities to the poor in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. The organization also offers basic human services to these people living in poor conditions.

2) Children International

This organization provides assistance to children and families that live in extreme poor conditions. Their mission is to bring real change to those living in poverty. This organization is based in Kansas, and operates in different countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Honduras and, of course, Mexico. Their agency in Mexico is located in Guadalajara, Jalisco.

3) Flying Samaritans

This is a non-profit organization, based in California, that operates free medical clinics in the state of Baja California, Mexico. The organization counts with different professionals such as nurses, dentists, physicians, pilots, and translators that offer their work at no charge to people in rural areas that have no access to medical care.

4) Project Amigo

This is an organization founded by California businessman Ted Rose based in Cofradia de Suchitlan, Colima. The organization focuses in providing marginalized, disadvantaged, poor children in the state of Colima, Mexico with education. Project Amigo has the belief that education is a powerful key that can benefit the children’s future. The organization provides scholarships, material support, health care and supports the children to continue studying even during a college level.


Techo is a non-profit organization present in Latin America and the Caribbean that focuses on eliminating poverty. This organization is lead by young volunteers that promote community development by providing solutions to families living in slums, foster social awareness and action, and advocate politically in order to promote changes that could stop poverty from emerging.

All these organizations focus on overcoming poverty and creating a better life quality for Latinos and Mexicans that live in poor conditions and lack of access to some basic needs.

According to CONEVAL, in the years of 2010 and 2012 there was a decrease in the percentage and number of people that had an educational backwardness, lacked access to health services, quality and living spaces, basic housing services, and nutrition.

The results and efforts that these individual non-profit organizations have obtained, each with their own beliefs, missions, and methods, are a big contribution to the Mexican poor community, creating change and providing opportunities to the ones in need.

– Diana Fernanda Leon

Sources: CONEVAL, INFORMADOR.MX, VAMOS!, Children International, Flying Samaritans, Project Amigo, Techo
Photo: Flickr

help nepal
Are you ready to help Nepal? The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that occurred in Nepal on April 25, and its multiple aftershocks, has taken over 4,000 lives so far. That number is only expected to rise with the thousands of wounded needing medical aid.

Once the worst of the devastation has passed, the people of Nepal will face many hardships rebuilding their country and their lives. While many of the nation’s closest neighbors are traveling to Nepal to provide direct aid, the best an average American citizen can do is give money.

“It’s usually better to give money than stuff after a disaster because it gives charities more flexibility to address the immediate needs of the affected communities,” Jacob Harold, president and CEO of GuideStar, a company that maintains a database of 2.2 million IRS-recognized nonprofits, said.

Here is a list of reliable nonprofits that are accepting donations to be spent on relief efforts:

  • Save the Children: This organization has actually had programs in Nepal since the 70’s. It plans to save 10 percent of what it receives for future natural disasters.
  • Doctors without Borders: This organization is sending various medical teams to Nepal, including one that will perform surgeries. These doctors are traveling from all over the world and a donation will make sure that those in need receive medical attention.
  • The American Red Cross: The Red Cross has donated $300,000 to this disaster and that amount is just its initial monetary contribution. This organization encourages the public to not only donate on its website, but to also find a donation link on iTunes. It also recommends taking to social media to spread the word about the cause.
  • Global Giving: This organization plans to raise at least one million dollars for the people of Nepal. Aside from donating on its website, $10 donations are also accepted by texting GIVE NEPAL to 80088.
  • Social Media: Facebook has put up a link to donate on its front page, and the company is matching donations up to two million dollars. The hashtag #SupportNepal is also being used to spread awareness. The Red Cross is posting updates on the dire situation on both its Facebook and Twitter pages, and recommends clicking “Share” to raise awareness.

– Melissa Binns

Sources: Maria Shriver, Red Cross Chat, TIME
Photo: flickr

For nonprofit organizations operating on a global stage, understanding the constraints of legalities across borders is paramount. One nonprofit, the International Center For Not-For-Profit Law, or ICNL, seeks to provide legal advice and information for such NGOs.

Launched in 1992, ICNL states that it is a “source for information in the legal environment,” with respect to civil society, philanthropy and public participation. The nonprofit provides legal information and advice to NGOs worldwide in an effort to facilitate adequate legal response and education.

ICNL maintains an active list of staff that hail from countries on multiple continents. In fact, the members on its Board of Directors hail from over 30 different countries.

As noted in its mission statement, the nonprofit seeks a legal environment that “strengthens civil society, advances the freedoms of association and assembly, fosters philanthropy and enables public participation around the world.”

The organization focuses on a number of objectives. According to its website, these include empowering local stakeholders, facilitating cross-border philanthropy, developing an analytic basis for its work and fostering global norms and multilateral engagement.

While ICNL does not provide legal service for NGOs in the U.S., it does work with a host of U.S. organizations, including NGOS, with civil society issues.

In addition, ICNL maintains relationships with several different organizations to “assist and implement” its international programs. These organizations include the European Center for Non-For-Profit Law (ECNL), the Bulgarian Center for Non-For-Profit Law (BCNL) and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, LLC. The latter is a limited liability company (LLC) that works with ICNL to undertake “activities to support programs consistent with ICNL’s mission around the world.”

Earlier this month, ICNL’s President and CEO Douglas Rutzen was named one of the U.S.’s top nonprofit executives and strategists by The NonProfit Times.

No doubt, navigating a world that is separated by borders with different rules and regulations makes for a tricky situation. Because of this, it is likely that ICNL’s work will continue to be of importance in the future.

Ethan Safran

Sources: ICNL, The Nonprofit Times
Photo: hkbutterfly