5 Nonprofit Organizations Founded By Celebrities
Movie stars, singers, athletes and comedians spend a large portion of their time entertaining people, giving interviews and writing autographs. On top of that, many celebrities participate in charity events like fundraisers or benefit concerts, some even going as far as to create their own organizations to give back to those in need. Here are some nonprofit organizations that celebrities founded to benefit the world’s most vulnerable.

Charlize Theron – The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project

Charlize Theron is a famous Hollywood actress and U.N. messenger of peace who cares about charity. She has especially been working hard to fight AIDS in Africa. While the disease continues to be an immense issue throughout the entire continent, it remains the most prevalent in South Africa, which is Theron’s home country. She established The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP) in 2007. The organization aims to raise awareness of the disease and contribute to its prevention. CTAOP especially focuses on younger people and collaborates with local programs to inform and support the youth in Africa. Furthermore, CTAOP partners with several companies and nonprofit organizations to successfully provide preventative means and guidance to South Africans.

Shakira – The Barefoot Foundation

The Barefoot Foundation is one of many nonprofit organizations that celebrities founded. Famous pop star Shakira has shown the impact nonprofit organizations can have. As such, she created the Barefoot Foundation in 1997. The organization acknowledges the importance of education and provides organizational and financial support to assure that children can go to school. In addition, the Barefoot Foundation also partners with the Pies Descalzos Foundation, an organization from Colombia that shares the same mission.

The Pies Descalzos Foundation opened its fifth Colombian school in 2009 to provide education, advice and general support in life to 1,800 students in the country. In 2010, Shakira promised that the Barefoot Foundation would build a school in Haiti and assured that the children attending the school would be able to obtain their academic and basic life needs.

Rihanna – The Clara Lionel Foundation

Rihanna founded the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) in 2012. Its name is a homage to her grandparents Clara and Lionel. The organization’s goal is to provide education and guidance to children and teenagers all over the world. The approach of Rihanna’s nonprofit organization is to tackle problems on both a local and global level. She wishes to raise awareness of several kinds of issues that the world’s youth is facing. Moreover, CLF is working closely with government organizations and companies to be more efficient and help as many people as possible. The organization has successfully established programs to provide basic education in places like Malawi, Senegal and Barbados. Furthermore, it provides a scholarship program to support students in their pursuit of higher education.

Bono – ONE and RED

ONE and RED are two nonprofit organizations that Bono created. The lead singer of the Irish band U2 has put a lot of effort into his charity work over the years. He has specifically focused on tackling important issues in Africa. ONE’s mission is to completely eradicate extreme global poverty and improve the lives of the poor. Bono’s lobbying efforts and the organization’s financial support have established programs. These programs aim to prevent the deaths of millions of people.

RED is a sister organization to ONE. It aims to spread awareness about AIDS and has successfully raised around $650 million to treat the disease in Africa. On top of that, Bono also co-founded The Rise Fund, a financial program that focuses on supporting progress for social and environmental matters.

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore – Thorn

Actress Demi Moore and actor Ashton Kutcher founded Thorn together in 2012. The couple’s goal was to fight against child sex trafficking. A documentary about the issue in Cambodia motivated them to create Thorn. Thorn’s approach is to develop technologies for free and share them with law enforcement and federal agencies in order to save children. The use of technology against child sex traffickers has proven to be very successful since the organization’s establishment. Moreover, Thorn’s technologies helped identify 5,894 kids who were victims of the crime in 2017. Moreover, Thorn rescued more than 10,000 children rescued one year later.

These organizations that celebrities founded have shown vigor in countering numerous challenges from AIDS to providing child sex trafficking. The endeavors of the prominent celebrities above have led to improvements in the lives of many across the globe.

– Bianca Adelman
Photo: Flickr


The coronavirus has impacted our world more than one would have guessed. Not only are hospitals overflowing, schools closing and countries going on lockdown, but our minds are confused with the mixed information being spread on the internet. Today, people receive their news from Twitter and Facebook, sometimes not even bothering to check the facts they read against reliable sources. In order to spread truth about the global pandemic, an organization called ONE created a small movement called #PassTheMic on social media. The movement began on May 21, 2020, and it lasted through June 11, 2020. Celebrities gave their platforms over to health experts, front line workers and policy experts as a way to spread facts instead of fiction.

ONE is a global movement co-founded by Bono and other activists who believe fighting against global poverty is about justice and equality for all. The global #PassTheMic movement aims to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by the year 2030. ONE has raised $37.5 billion in support of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and to fight against AIDS, TB and malaria. ONE has also participated in passing poverty-reducing legislation. This has included the Electrify Africa Act of 2016 and other laws ensuring money from gas and oil revenues be used to fight poverty in Africa.

The Age of Information

In past decades, our grandparents would sit at the kitchen table every morning with a cup of coffee in one hand and a large newspaper in the other. This is how people would receive their daily news, and they were confident that their news came from a reliable source. Fast forward a bit; our parents would sit in front of the television after dinner, the 5 o’clock or 7 o’clock news blaring with talk of war, politics and the weather. This is how they would receive their news. Today, we lie in our bedrooms and scroll for hours on social media. We have no clue if these posts are fact or fiction. All we know is that our favorite celebrity is talking about it, so it must be a big deal. ONE took notice of this new way of receiving information and took action.

As a way to spread awareness on the current pandemic, celebrities are handing their social media accounts over to those more qualified to speak on the topic. Celebrities participating in the #PassTheMic movement include Hugh Jackman, Shailene Woodley, Penelope Cruz, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julia Roberts and many more.

Experts Weigh In

Participating experts included Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former president of Liberia, who learned from the Ebola pandemic of 2014-2016; David Anderson, Director of Quality at Nightingale Hospital in Manchester; Aya Chebbi, Youth Envoy of the African Union; and many more. Each expert discusses a new topic revolving around our healthcare systems, sanitation, poverty, how to handle a pandemic and where to donate. All of the experts have shared that the world needs a global response to COVID-19, as this is affecting each and every one of us.

Dr. Anthony Fauci was the first to participate in the movement on May 21, 2020. Fauci is director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and he took part in Julia Roberts’s Instagram and a YouTube interview. Fauci shared that the United States had made little progress flattening the COVID-19 curve. At the end of May, the U.S. had more than 1.5 million infections and 100,000 deaths, and these numbers have only grown. Fauci noted the importance of listening to health experts and the practice of social distancing. In addition, he has posted on his personal Instagram about vaccine research and how to cope with COVID-19.

Many experts have taken a moment to discuss the importance of helping those who may not be able to help themselves. Gayle Smith, president and CEO of ONE, stated that the virus is outrunning us, meaning that countries and leaders need to share strategies and expertise with each other. Additionally, she said something to consider is the economic impact this pandemic has had on every nation. Healthcare and supply chains alike have taken major hits. Smith noted that not every country has the ability to prevent and protect the virus. At the same time, many have become unemployed and are unable to provide food for the table. Thus, the world needs to come together and fight rather than countries fighting for themselves.


These experts will reach millions through various social media platforms as they speak directly to celebrities’ followers. As an organization created to fight global poverty, ONE understands the importance of sharing resources. Through the #PassTheMic movement, people worldwide will have access to scientific facts about the coronavirus and information about staying safe, providing for their families and helping their communities.

 – Ciara Pagels
Photo: Pixabay

World Changing Celebrities
People often recognize celebrities for their music and performances but there are a variety of stars that use their fame as a platform to support charities, create foundations and change the world. Below are five world changing celebrities that are actively using their voice to fight global poverty.

Leonardo DiCaprio Protects Indigenous Rights

Along with spreading awareness and educating followers about climate change on his Instagram page, DiCaprio created the Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation which focusses on protecting all of Earth’s inhabitants. It has recently partnered with Earth Alliance to address and take steps to find solutions to major threats to the planet’s life support systems.

One of his most notable works is the protection of indigenous rights. Dicaprio’s Foundation helps fund programs focused on and led by indigenous people. It helps indigenous people defend their rights, create renewable energy sources, develop sustainable livelihoods and increase the political impact of advocacy efforts. As of 2015, The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation accumulated $15 million in grants to fund innovative organizations and environmental projects focused on preserving and protecting the planet.

Christy Turlington Assists with Childbirth Safety in Haiti and Uganda

Because of her personal experience with complications in childbirth, Turlington is using her voice to advocate the importance of making childbirth safe for every woman. In 2010, she worked on “No Woman, No Cry,” a documentary that told the stories of pregnant women in four different countries: Bangladesh, Guatemala, Tanzania and the United States. She expressed the need for lifesaving medical care for women giving birth in case of the occurrence of complications.

She also founded the nonprofit Every Mother Counts, an organization that focuses on the health and wellbeing of mothers all over the world. As of now, her organization has partners in countries like Guatemala, Haiti, India, Tanzania and the U.S., and has impacted more than 600,000 lives.

Matt Damon Gives Access to Safe Water

Another of the world changing celebrities is Matt Damon, who is the co-founder of, an organization focused on providing families with safe water and sanitation. The foundation hopes that less time spent searching for water will allow children to go to school and get an education, improve health and help the economy. Damon’s foundation expresses the importance of access to affordable financing through WaterCredit. WaterCredit is a pay-it-forward system that makes it possible for household water and toilet solutions by bringing repayable loans to those who need access to affordable financing. In total, Damon’s foundation has benefited more than 20 million people across 12 different countries.

The Lewis Family Improves Access to Health Care

In the 1980s, Ryan Lewis’ mother, Julie Lewis, contracted HIV due to a blood transfusion from pregnancy complications. She lived through her prognosis and decided to create the 30/30 project. The 30/30 project’s main focus is to improve access to comprehensive health care by building multiple medical facilities worldwide. The project has placed a total of 30 medical facilities in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, South Africa, Togo, India, the U.S., Rwanda, Bolivia and Puerto Rico.

The organization places medical facilities based on the needs of the area. For example, the Mbita Clinic in Kenya intends to prevent and treat major diseases, which include HIV, TB, malaria, water­borne illnesses and respiratory and heart ailments. The Mbita Clinic reduces waiting cues, prioritizes critical care needs, improves conditions for the staff and allows for service expansion due to the district’s high infant mortality rate and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. In total, the medical facilities have had 215,963 patient visits.

Bono Fights to End Extreme Poverty

In 2004, Bono co-founded the ONE organization. ONE’s goal is to end extreme poverty and preventable illnesses and diseases by 2030. ONE is a nonprofit organization with diverse groups of people. These groups come together and take action to organize, mobilize, educate and advocate for gender equality, youth employment, quality education and equal access to health services. ONE has secured over $30 billion in funding for historic health initiatives. It also helped pass the Electrify Africa Act of 2016, a U.S. legislation on energy poverty.

From actors to musicians, these five world changing celebrities put their public reputations to use by showing everyone that their voices matter and are an important key to make a difference and change the world.

– Juliette Lopez
Photo: Flickr

People who Fight Poverty
Poverty is a global issue that affects at least 80 percent of the world’s population. The number seems frightening and can intimidate any person who might want to help. Some come together to fight as a united front and tackle the worldwide issue due to the sheer magnitude of the dilemma. Either way, every solution starts with a single person and a single idea. Below describes the top five people who fight poverty today, who they are and what they do (or did) to combat poverty.

Top Five People Who Fight Poverty

  1. Suzanna Mayo Frindt Empowers Rural Communities
    She is the current President and Chief of Staff of The Hunger Project, a nonprofit organization which aids countries in South Asia, Latin America and Africa. The organization provides aid through the establishment of self-reliance within the community. The Hunger Project begins by encouraging women to take active roles within the locale by training them to obtain leadership positions. Then, it enforces self-reliance. It does this by having individuals mobilize their peers through local government to take action and improve the conditions of the area. Finally, The Hunger Project works closely with these governments to ensure it is aiding the people. This system helps bring entire communities out of poverty. As President, Frindt is in a powerful position to fight poverty. She earned her position through 25 years of experience in the field as she worked in impoverished areas, like Peru. Additionally, she co-founded the firm, 2130 Partners. The firm is another organization that dedicates itself to guidance and education. Though these are just a few of her accomplishments, these key points showcase why Frindt is one of the top five people who fight poverty.
  2. Ellen Gustafson Feeds the Hungry
    This woman is an entrepreneur, activist, author and speaker whose primary cause is to work to eliminate world hunger. She focuses on hunger of particularly impoverished areas where the problem is most prominent. Gustafson co-founded FEED Projects, a charity which provides food for people around the world. As of 2019, it has provided 60 million meals to schools around the world. She has also tackled the issue of obesity through educational activism. Overall, Ellen Gustafason’s goals may center around food, but her work has improved the lives of impoverished people in places where they often need help the most.
  3. Bono Advocates Against Poverty
    He is an American musician and frontman of the popular music group, U2. Bono’s infamy stems not only from his musical persona but also from his philanthropic efforts. The singer is the founder of ONE, an advocacy organization that works to raise awareness of poverty and fight against the issue. Similar to The Borgen Project, ONE addresses its cause through legislation and lobbying of governments. ONE focuses on reducing poverty in Africa’s poorest areas. It is just one of the few organizations Bono supports with a target against poverty. This fact showcases the musician’s dedication to both his art and beliefs.
  4. Anthony Lake Leads UNICEF in the Fight Against Poverty
    He has been the director of UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) since 2010. He earned his role through a longstanding career as a foreign policy advisor to various presidential candidates and officers of the United States. During the office of President Bill Clinton, Lake served as National Security Advisor. His political career prepared him well to undertake the leadership position of UNICEF, the organization responsible for a significant amount of the world’s humanitarian aid. Specifically, it focuses on the needs of children in over 190 countries. As Lake has taken directorship, his prominence in the fight against poverty has risen immensely.
  5. Bill Gates Shares His Financial Success with Developing Countries
    People primarily know Bill Gates as a technological innovator and a record-breaking billionaire. Through the creation of Microsoft, he has amassed substantial financial benefits. People also know Gates as an impressive philanthropist who gears his saving towards aid programs. Specifically, he has established the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a joint project between him and his wife. The program receives a significant amount of his donations. Since its establishment in 2000, the foundation has “spent more than $36 billion to fund work in global health, emergency relief, education, [and] poverty,” as reported by Business Insider. The organization is using some of that money to fight malaria and ebola outbreaks in developing countries.

From political professionals to celebrities, these five people who fight poverty show that stepping up for the world’s poor does not require a designated hero. Anyone, with the right drive and ambition, can make a change for the better. The list features only a few prominent people who fight poverty, though it does not have to end there.

– Eleanora Kamerow
Photo: Flickr

It Only Takes ONE To Make A Difference
According to Nelson Mandela, overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. The fight against poverty is not solely related to a person’s income, it also involves things such as access to water, health care, education, housing and security, and it only takes one to make a difference.

Over the past decades, numerous organizations have come together to help tackle global poverty. Through joint efforts, the world poverty rate has fallen dramatically in most areas. However, in African countries, the percentage has essentially remained the same.

The continent of Africa consists of many countries which have their own historical contributions to this issue. Many are skeptical when discussing poverty in Africa because they sense the continent’s political corruption has played a significant role in this devastation.

In the sub-Saharan Africa, over 40 percent of people are living in poverty. Though some African countries are able to sustain their society through oil and other trades, others are simply unable to do so. Most African economies are dependent almost entirely on the proceeds from natural resources and commodes that thrive on the patronage of markets in the developed world.

These economic structures are weak and their survival and sustainability are reliant on foreign support. It is believed in order to be successful in diminishing poverty in Africa, there needs to be a joint effort from different parts of society.

One organization which has taken notice of the continent’s problem and has pledged to take a stance against it is ONE. The ONE campaign was co-founded by Bono and other activists. It was created to help diminish extreme poverty and treatable diseases in Africa. The organization believes the fight against poverty is not just about charity and donations, but that it also is related to social justice and gender equality, echoing the idea that it only takes one to make a difference.

Members of the organization come from different walks of life. Members include artists, activists, business leaders, students and more. It is beneficial for the organization to have a diverse group because they will be able to bring varying viewpoints and they will be able to touch those in needs more effectively.

ONE has branches all over the world which include Washington, D.C., New York, London, Johannesburg, Brussels, Berlin and Paris. There are various volunteer opportunities with ONE in which volunteers are able to reach out to governmental officials to ask them to assist them in fighting against “diseases that affect the poor, to expand access to energy and to combat corruption so governments are accountable to their citizens.” Volunteers can also help recruit members by hosting group meetings, planning community events and seminars events.

Over the past decade, the organization has grown and made substantial headway. They have testified before Congress on HIV/AIDS development and poverty. They were also successful in enabling the passage of the Electrify Act, which will help bring electricity to 50 million people in Africa for the first time.

It is essential to remember we are all a part of one race which is the human race and it is commendable that organizations as such can come together for the greater good of humanity. People do not have to wait to be directly affected by an issue before they help with the resolution of it. Just remember you only need ONE to make a difference.

Needum Lekia

Photo: Flickr

Technical Training

Although China has experienced an annual GDP growth rate of 10 percent since the 1970s and lifted 800 million citizens out of poverty, 82 million of its rural poor continue to live on less than $1 a day. In an effort to combat poverty, the Chinese government has launched a free technical training program for the rural poor.

According to ONE, a poverty campaign organization, millions of people fail to escape the cycle of poverty because they do not have access to quality education. More specifically, currently, 59 million children of primary school age do not attend school. Though governments provide free public education programs, many families living in poverty send their children to work or have them help out at home.

In China, only 40 percent of rural students attend high school because they cannot afford the tuition, uniforms and other costs. Many students also drop out in middle school to work and help support their struggling families. By the time they are of college age, only five percent of rural students remain in the education system.

There are resource disparities between rural and urban students that have contributed to these statistics. Urban students have access to newer technology and well-qualified educators who teach them English, reading, math and sciences in state-of-the-art classrooms. Meanwhile, the rural poor learn from under-resourced teachers in crowded rooms.

Uneducated individuals living below the poverty line mostly participate in non-formal economies as self-employed entrepreneurs. Two-thirds of the Chinese rural population work in the farming, forestry and fishing industries, which make up 40 percent of all employment in China.

Providing technical and vocational education to the rural poor through China’s free program provides the necessary skills to access better career opportunities.

An estimated 1,000 Chinese schools will provide free technical training to impoverished rural communities over the next four years. Project participants will also receive a yearly subsidy of $450 from the government poverty relief fund.

“Anyone who is able to work from a poverty-stricken area can receive training,” the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development announced. The two institutions urge local governments to implement subsidies, provide fee exemptions and implement other policies to encourage students to pursue education.

Ashley Leon

Photo: Flickr


Gender equality is a basic human right that dignifies not only what each sex deserves, but what the social relationships between sexes must entail. According to the UNDP, the majority of children not attending school are girls, and nearly two-thirds of women in the developing world work informally without pay. Furthermore, “despite greater parliamentary participation, women are still outnumbered four-to-one in legislatures around the world.”

ONE launched its Poverty Is Sexist campaign in solidarity #WithStrongGirls. The social media-driven platform asks young girls and women everywhere to strike a pose and post it online with the hashtag #Strengthie. Participants are encouraged to tag women in their lives whose strength they admire, and share a link to so that friends and family can also join in the movement. Beyond the hashtag, though, Poverty Is Sexist asks the world to pay closer attention to global gender imbalances. According to the organization, nearly half of women’s skills are overlooked, compared to just 22 percent of men’s. Whether these gender prejudices come from cultural or legal institutions, the group’s campaign advocates for greater change across the board.

Women play vital roles in global markets. ONE reports that in Sub-Saharan Africa, half of the agricultural labor force is female. African women also contribute greatly to the health sector by being healthcare providers and primary caregivers.

Poverty Is Sexist is targeting the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals in order to safeguard the needs of women and girls.

Beyond Poverty Is Sexist, the ONE Blog shares how female empowerment is advancing around the world. There are stories of how breakdancing is encouraging physical and mental endurance among women, and how sewing machines are financing educational equality. The organization often spotlights independent blog publications; Indego Africa, a nonprofit social enterprise in Rwanda, published Photo Essay: Radiant Women of Rwanda, which was an exposé celebrating the 30 seamstresses working at the Umutima cooperative in Myamirambo, Kigali, Rwanda. The portraits drew upon the joy, pride and independence each woman possessed in her life.

Lin Sabones

Sources: ONE 1, ONE 2, ONE 3, ONE 4, ONE 5, UNDP
Photo: New Internationalist

Anti-Poverty _Organizations
Some say college is the best four years of your life; these anti-poverty organizations are helping to make them some of the most meaningful as well. While some groups only offer internships at their headquarters, here are some anti-poverty organizations with either on-campus opportunities, remote or summer training or volunteer opportunities. These opportunities offer advocacy and leadership experience for college students hoping to raise awareness of global poverty on their own campus.

1. ONE

According to its website, “ONE is an international campaigning and advocacy organization of nearly 7 million taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.” There are campus clubs for ONE on campuses across the country. Online, ONE offers resources, ideas and challenges for their student-run campus clubs. For more information, visit its website.

2. Oxfam

Oxfam’s mission is “to create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and social injustice.” For college students, Oxfam offers the opportunity to create and sustain an Oxfam club on campus, as well as a training program one must be selected to attend. Oxfam currently has clubs on more than 100 college campuses. To start a club on campus, you can download a “toolkit” from the website and register your university’s club with the organization. Oxfam’s leadership training program, CHANGE, trains 50 students each summer on nonprofit organizations, advocacy and more.


RESULTS is a grassroots advocacy group. It is written on its website that “with every hour of their time, volunteers multiply their impact through the enormous power of advocacy—whether it’s helping change policty to support millions of families putting food on the table or helping raise billions of dollars for the world’s most vulnerable children.” RESULTS offers a variety of ways for individuals across the country to get involved. You can listen in on a call where the staff discusses the work of the organization, tips for your own advocacy and how to get involved. Online you can learn about the different RESULTS groups in your area and connect with other people interested in ending poverty. These groups allow people to make an impact in their area by joining together, reaching out to state legislators and planning advocacy events. For more information about how you can get involved visit its website.

4. The Hunger Project

The mission of The Hunger Project is “to end hunger and poverty by pioneering sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies and advocating for their widespread adoption throughout the world.” Individuals interested can volunteer bi-annually in The Hunger Project’s global office in New York. Online, volunteer opportunities are posted as available, and those interested in being volunteer activists must follow the steps listed in the “get involved tab” under the “volunteer” section of The Hunger Project’s website.

5. The Borgen Project

The Borgen Project aims to raise awareness of global poverty and the issues that it creates. Through advocacy and campaigning, The Borgen Project forces the nation’s leaders to take notice of this global issue and encourages action to address it in U.S. foreign policy. The Borgen Project not only has volunteer and internship positions in Seattle and remotely, but also provides advocacy tips on its website.

Rachelle Kredentser

Sources: ONE, ,Oxfam, RESULTS, The Hunger Project, The Borgen Project

“We Can Do It!” Rosie the Riveter’s confident call to action and iconic pose continues to empower women. The ONE campaign, a poverty advocacy group, has adopted this traditional pose to fight for equality in a new way. Grinning girls bare their biceps appear across the site, using the hashtag #WithStrongGirls to demonstrate support for the women in poverty. Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai joins the ranks of women and girls posting these “strengthies” worldwide. The social media campaign works alongside a petition calling upon world leaders to prioritize the advancement of women in efforts to end global poverty.

As the campaign explains, “poverty is sexist.” ONE’s 2015 data report explains the significant disparity in quality of life based on gender, citing maternal morality, domestic violence, gaps in wages and education and poor representation in government. These are among the many disadvantages women, particularly women in poverty, face. Each day, 39,000 girls become child brides, 1 in every 217 childbirths leads to the mother’s death in least developed countries (LDCs) and 45 percent of worldwide maternal mortality occurs within the world’s poorest 13 percent of women living in LDCs. Life in extreme poverty is horrifying. For women, these horrors multiply.

While poverty affects women more severely than men, relief for women does not exclude men. Efforts in health and education will allow progress not only for women and girls, but also for the broader movement to end global poverty. As the report explains, educating the world’s poor, including often-excluded women, could reduce extreme poverty by 12 percent, and increasing efforts for the health of women and children “could yield a nine times return in economic and social benefits.” Introducing educated women to the workforce and reducing the current 10-30 percent wage gap in many poor nations can increase agricultural yield and create more consumers and participating members of society. According to ONE’s report, “Over the coming decade 1 billion women are poised to enter the global economy.” This kind of growth does not merely benefit women; the broader economy will see vast advancements.

These significant improvements are far from unattainable; ONE is not the only campaign to realize that the dialogue about extreme poverty needs to focus on women. The social media campaign and report anticipate a new set of Sustainable Development Goals to replace the Millennial Development Goals. The United Nations announced in March 2015 that women must be a focus of humanitarian efforts. The UN called for a focus on gender-based statistics, citing a need to better incorporate gender inequality into economic discussion.

The World Bank echoes this sentiment. A $65 million loan to Zambia’s Girls’ Educations and Women’s Empowerment and Livelihoods Project will aid 75,000 women and 14,000 adolescent girls in pursuing secondary education and gaining economic independence. It will also aid governmental systems to further these efforts. With fewer than 10 percent of poor rural girls in Africa currently finishing secondary school, such programs hope to improve both the quality of life of girls who otherwise would not have access to education, and also the broader infrastructures responsible.

By extending this issue from the realm of non-profits and governmental organizations to Facebook and Twitter, ONE is helping to catch the attention of people worldwide. Isolating issues of sexism in health and education is impossible; women in poverty must be a primary focus. Likewise, poverty is not a conversation exclusive to conference rooms and offices. Poverty is sexist, but merely by including women worldwide in the dialogue, progress towards equality and the end of global poverty is underway. By standing #WithStrongGirls, women (and men) can also help stand for those who do not yet have the opportunity to do so for themselves.

– Zoey Dorman

Sources: Poverty Is Sexist Report, ONE, World Bank, UN Women
Photo: Brit+Co

Although the fight to end global poverty is still an uphill battle, there are a lot of people who are making a difference. From celebrities to CEOs, a variety of influential leaders have created organizations to bring more awareness to poverty around the globe. While some of these organizations work together to create a larger impact, it is the founders who have made it possible in coming closer to create better living conditions for people around the globe.

Bill and Melinda Gates are both influential leaders in the movement to end world poverty. The Gates Foundation tackles issues from global health to global development, focusing on creating the best living conditions in the most efficient ways possible. Bill Gates has recently partnered with engineer Peter Janicki, where they have developed a machine that turns human feces into clean water and electricity. “The machine’s purpose is to help the 783 million people living without clean water and the nearly 2.5 billion who don’t have adequate sanitation,” according to NPR’s Linda Poon. With Bill Gates’ technological knowledge, developments in better hygiene will further help people in poor countries.

Ten years ago, Bono’s organization ONE utilized the status of famous celebrities to raise awareness about the developing world. Its focus is in Africa, but the organization is passionate about ending poverty and preventable disease around the globe. The most popular accomplishment the organization has achieved is the (RED) campaign. By partnering with multibillion-dollar corporations they have “generated more than $300 million for The Global Fund to support HIV/AIDS grants.”

In May 2013, Mark Goldring was appointed chief executive of Oxfam International. The organization focuses on six key issues to help the developing world. Equality, sustainability and giving voices to the voiceless are some of the topics the organization has tackled. The organization works around the world with 17 congregations to maximize its progress. “Oxfam is determined to change [the] world by mobilizing the power of people against poverty,” according to the organization’s website.

These are only a few of the people taking a stand against world poverty. Organizations like The Hunger Project, UNICEF and Care are bringing the world closer to a poverty-free world. As more developments and strategies are created, these organizations will be able to generate awareness in ending global poverty.

Kimberly Quitzon

Sources: NPR, ONE, Oxfam
Photo: Flickr