How to Help People in SerbiaOver the last two years, Serbia – along with other countries in the Western Balkans – has struggled to contain a severe refugee crisis. Fortunately, there are several ways in which to answer the question of how to help the people of Serbia.

The number of refugees in Serbia has decreased since the crisis started a couple of years ago. Refugees in Serbia come primarily from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. As of late June 2017, the number of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Serbia was 5,948. In total, 93 percent of these people received shelter. This number has decreased significantly since the higher count of 7,600 refugees in mid April; at this point only 85 percent of refugees received proper accommodations.

The EU has designated humanitarian funding to Serbia as of January 2017. About €20.1 million has been spent on emergency assistance and shelters in Serbia, along with even more funding used to manage the flow of migrants.

Despite international aid and a steady decrease in the number of refugees in the country, Serbia still struggles with overcrowding and a lack of adequate accommodations for refugees. Individuals seeking asylum who cannot obtain shelter are, for the most part, found sleeping outside in the streets of Belgrade – hardly an ideal or safe outcome.

The organization Refugee Aid Serbia (RAS) works to benefit and improve the lives of refugees in Serbia during this critical time in the country. With their headquarters based in Belgrade, the organization’s areas of focus are humanitarian aid, education and community outreach. Those who are willing to donate to the cause can do so on the organization’s website. RAS also provides volunteering options and encourages fundraising events.

The agency Help Refugees currently runs 80 projects across eight different countries in Europe and the Middle East. They have focused on improving the Serbia refugee crisis since late 2015, doing things such as organizing volunteers and helping to improve living conditions by providing food and medical aid. Most notably, the organization has made major improvements to a warehouse housing site in Belgrade where 1,000 refugees lived at the time; it was evicted in 2017.

Still wondering how to help people in Serbia? Both of these organizations provide information about volunteering opportunities, as well as how to donate to the cause. With more people educated on this crisis and more people willing to do something to help, progress will continue to be made to improve the lives of refugees in Serbia.

Melanie Snyder

Photo: Flickr

How to Help People in El SalvadorPoverty in El Salvador is high; in 2015 it was measured that 34.9 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Comparatively, 15.1 percent of the population of the United States lives below the poverty line.

Poverty is high in El Salvador due to the remnants of its violent civil war from 1979 to 1992. Although a truce was agreed to, tensions between the communist rebel movement and the conservative government remain, which has led to the growth of violent street gangs. El Salvador has the highest murder rate in the world (excluding countries at war) due to the activities of its gangs. Violence and instability have created increased poverty within El Salvador.

People in the United States can help citizens in El Salvador. Many Salvadorans have fled to other countries – including the United States – due to the violence in their homeland. American citizens can help Salvadoran refugees by donating to The UN Refugee Agency’s Children on the Run campaign. This campaign is specifically aimed at providing shelter, education and physical and mental care for children and families fleeing the violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Donations can be made through UNHCR’s website.

Save the Children works within El Salvador to help improve the quality of living for Salvadorans. Through Save the Children, one can sponsor a child from early childhood through to early adulthood. The program supports children throughout their education by providing specialized programmings, such as early literacy programs for toddlers and life-skills programs for adolescents. Save the Children also provides families with seeds and livestock that they need for survival, and tools and temporary jobs to give them an income and teach them new skills. Donating to this cause is a great way to help the people, especially children, of El Salvador.

More hands-on approaches can be used to help people in El Salvador as well. Volunteer opportunities are abundant through a variety of organizations. One such organization is Help International. Help International works on an assortment of projects including building community centers, running outreach programs to assist at-risk youth and reforestation campaigns. One can apply to participate in Help International’s El Salvador program through their website.

Finally, simply sharing this information with friends and family and brainstorming ways you can help can go a long way in helping the people of El Salvador overcome poverty.

Mary Kate Luft

Photo: Flickr

How to Help People in the Dominican RepublicA 2016 World Bank Report states that, despite the Dominican Republic’s status as one of the countries with the greatest growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, one in every three citizens is poor.

While there was a substantial decrease in poverty from 36.4 percent to 32.3 percent in 2015, the country is still in dire need of reform and aid. With limited access to healthcare, proper sanitation and developing industries outside of tourism, citizens often have little socioeconomic mobility. As a result, President Danilo Medina declared that reducing this extreme, widespread poverty is the key goal in the country’s 2016-2020 plans.

Although an April 2017 World Bank report did state that the business and investing climate has improved alongside access to social services, there is still a great need for improvement.

However, there are three organizations that are directly addressing and helping alleviate the issues plaguing the island. By doing so, they are showing not only U.S. citizens, but anyone concerned, how to help people in the Dominican Republic:

The Mariposa DR Foundation
Inspired by the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, this organization seeks to minimize both the gender gap and generational poverty through the education and empowerment of young girls. The organization assists in funding the education, health and empowerment of a girl, as “she will reinvest 90 percent of her income back into her family and her community, making her the most influential figure in the today’s world.” The Mariposa DR Foundation invests in girls’ education, enforces community engagement and service and provides a well-rounded health program to each girl. The foundation believes its model can be easily recreated in other poverty-stricken communities across the globe.

Many donations, volunteers (which include countless U.S. college students) and a capital campaign keep the young foundation afloat. The investment the Mariposa DR Foundation currently helps over 100 girls in more than 35 families while giving the Dominican Republic an educated generation of girls to round out their industries.

Sister Island Project
This organization’s mission is to foster “community empowerment, cultural exchange, diversity and equity awareness and action supporting social justice and compassion in the Dominican Republic and the U.S.” The project provides access to health care, education, creative outlets, political empowerment and safe housing to people in the Cruz Verde village and the Yabacao region. Volunteers keep the project going by teaching classes and helping build homes. Many volunteers are helping while staying in the U.S. by holding fundraisers and raising awareness.

The project maintains a learning center where health and education classes are taught. Sister Island Project has also built houses for community members, given scholarships to university students, coordinated micro-enterprise projects and distributed over a ton of donations. Sister Island is lifting communities up with an integrated approach.

The DREAM Project 
Based upon six values (integrity, opportunity, inclusion, quality, sustainability and transparency), the DREAM Project focuses on “early childhood education, high-quality primary education and holistic youth development.” Volunteers for the DREAM Project come from all over the U.S. and are never too young; a six-year-old can donate pencils and a girl once raised funds for the project at her bat mitzvah. With 14 programs in 27 different communities, the project is aiding over 7,000 children in the Dominican Republic. It promotes change first through early childhood education, then quality primary education, both of which lead to a holistic youth development in adolescence. This approach results in youth who are better-equipped with decision-making skills and job training, which creates more opportunities for success. With more opportunities for success and higher-quality education, poverty can be reduced in a generational way.

By donating to, volunteering for or simply raising awareness for these organizations, people can help these impoverished communities and subsequently show others how to help people in the Dominican Republic in more substantial ways.

Gabriella Paez

Photo: Flickr

How to Help People in LibyaLibya was war-torn for centuries before it experienced a brief respite in the spring of 2017; but this North African country has again entered into turmoil. Between rival militias, Egyptian bombing and Arab revolts, Libya has once again become vulnerable and at odds with not only itself but also neighboring countries. Citizens of the U.S. and world now ask how to help people in Libya affected by these conflicts, and thankfully, quite a few options exist.

As Charles R. Swindoll said, “The difference between something good and something great is the attention to detail.” There’s a plethora of possible ways to aid other countries around the globe, and just giving money can be a controversial and often ineffective method of reaching individuals, or the “details.”

Often times, impoverished individuals fail to receive money because donated monetary funds get lost in translation and/or siphoned to the elite; thus, essential money never makes it to the people who need it most. Also in many cases, only a fraction of the money donated to charities actually goes towards the cause because of the charity system’s filtration system.

Although effective and impactful ways to donate to causes such as those in Libya do exist — for example, “effective giving” as endorsed by Forbes, or NPR’s bypassing charities and giving directly to poor people method– here are three of the most impactful ways on how to help people in Libya without utilizing money.

1. Restoring Family Links

Conflicts in Libya separate families and friends on a regular basis. But, thankfully, organizations such as the Libyan Red Crescent and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) work to connect family and friends separated, disconnected or lost due to migration, conflict and/or political and dissident activities.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent operate predominately on a volunteer basis, so the opportunities to become involved in the Libyan Red Crescent are (almost) endless.

2. Signing Petitions

The government and legislation in Libya dictate and incite many of the issues occurring in the country today. From prisoners of war to civilian protection rights, prosecutions and the environment, there exist numerous movements and debates that could really utilize global support.

Helping aid systemic issues can influence a larger portion of the population and create more rapid change in any country, and Libya is no exception to such universal effects.

3. Donating Supplies

Programs that donate supplies directly to impoverished or war-torn areas are commendable options for those that want to help Libya with “on-the-ground” measures. Organizations such as The Red Crescent and ICRC, and Medecins Sans Frontiers provide much-needed supplies, medicines and food directly to Libyan refugees or displaced persons.

Unlike money, this method ensures that the right resources actually get to those in Libya that need it most .

The ousting of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and the subsequent breakdown of his government afterwards created different kinds of political, social and fiscal turmoil within the country. With such unrest and displacement at work in this globally influential country, the ways on how to help people in Libya are almost infinite.

Focusing on the individual is critical, but the act of giving is always preferable to no action at all.

Allegra Upton

Photo: Flickr

How to Help People in NepalOn April 25 and May 12 of 2015, two earthquakes of 7.8 and 7.3 magnitudes, respectively, severely damaged approximately 40 percent of Nepal. Currently, many people are continuing to suffer due to a humanitarian crisis, which has left nearly 824,000 homes destroyed and millions of people displaced. Despite such a large amount of devastation and a lack of aid, there is plenty of information regarding how to help people in Nepal.

  1. Spread the word
    Narayan Adhikari, the leader of Nepal’s Accountability Lab, told Aljazeera that the Nepali
    government’s reconstruction goals have not been met due to “poor coordination
    between government and donors, a lack of understanding of local concerns, and a dearth of civic engagement.”Social media is a great resource for people who wish to help aid disaster relief in Nepal, because various platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram drive civic engagement. In fact, one of the easiest ways to help people in Nepal is to spread the word about the slow reconstruction process following the devastating earthquakes.Social media platforms may be conveniently utilized in order to educate more people regarding Nepal’s humanitarian crisis, and then, an increased awareness and passion may spark a quicker reconstruction process.For instance, according to the British Red Cross, Facebook draws the most traffic from Nepal’s
    Internet users, and specifically, the Nepal Red Cross Society page is extremely useful for disaster relief updates and information regarding how to help people in Nepal.
  2. Support nongovernmental organizations
    Mercy Corps reported that the earthquakes displaced roughly 2.8 million people. However, only
    a small percentage of those affected by the earthquakes have received funds due to the Nepali
    government’s slow disbursement process.There are many organizations that are dedicated to ensuring that the people of Nepal affected by the earthquakes receive the proper help necessary including Hands for Help Nepal and HELP NEPAL Network.
  3. Volunteer abroad
    Adhikari reported that destroyed roads and a lack of clean water and food due to the effects of the earthquakes are continuing to plague Nepali citizens. AmeriCorps and Habitat for Humanity are examples of national community service organizations that employ people in order to rebuild areas like Nepal that are in need of disaster relief.These organizations require a lot of commitment; however, they are great resources for people who want to dedicate their time to help people in Nepal.

All in all, the 2015 earthquakes devastated a great amount of Nepal’s land, roads, houses and
people. However, Nepal’s problems are by no means incurable. People can help people in
Nepal in a great variety of manners to ensure that the people there can return to lives of normalcy and prosperity as soon as possible.

Emily Santora

Photo: Flickr

How to Help People in Benin
In Benin, 36.2 percent of the population lives on less than $1.25 per day. Although the country is a stable democracy, corruption and a lack of economic development prevent Benin from raising more of its population above the poverty line.

USAID supports Benin’s development in food security, human rights, gender equality and health. The best way to help people in Benin is to show support for USAID so that Congress will continue to allocate funds to this agency.

So, how to help people in Benin? Call local congressmen and urge them to protect the International Affairs budget. Proposed budget cuts will decrease funding for USAID and the State Department by 31 percent.

Benin has a Global Food Security Index score of 40.2 out of 100. USAID supports agriculture and food security by working to increase private investment in Benin’s agriculture and by encouraging sustainable agricultural productivity.

Benin scores well on measures of effective governance compared to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, with a political corruption rating that is about half of the average for the surrounding region (a higher score indicates more corruption). Democracy and respect for human rights are encouraged by USAID’s two anti-corruption initiatives.

A civil society support program works with communities in Benin by educating people about high-level corruption and supporting legislation that reduces the likelihood of future corruption. The National Anti-Corruption Agency, directly supported by USAID, ensures that corruption cases are seen by the Ministry of Justice and are dealt with using appropriate judicial processes.

For measures of gender equality, Benin ranks lower than the average of the surrounding region, with only 7.2 percent of seats in national parliament occupied by women. USAID bolsters the ability of service organizations to provide support to victims of gender-based violence and educates local women leaders to spread awareness about gender-based violence laws.

Benin ranks well compared to its neighbors in health measures, but still has an average life expectancy of 59 years, which is significantly shorter than that of developed nations. USAID focuses on improving access to reproductive health services, fighting malaria and HIV/AIDS and training health workers to allow people in remote communities to access basic health care.

Part of USAID’s efforts within health in Benin is dedicated to obstetric fistula repair and prevention. Every year, 1,300 women in Benin do not survive childbirth, and 26,000 suffer from postpartum complications including obstetric fistula.

This condition is characterized by a hole in the birth canal due to prolonged labor without sufficient medical attention. The condition causes leaking of feces and urine, which often results in these women being shamed and ostracized from their communities.

USAID provides funding to the Integrated Family Health Project, which partners with local NGOs to combat fistula. The program focuses on treating existing fistulas, prevention, community education and helping recovered women resume their life.

One woman in Benin developed fistula at 34 years old after a prolonged childbirth. All of her friends and family abandoned her due to the smell of leaking urine and waste.

She learned of an opportunity for fistula repair through the radio, and she was transported to a hospital and given the surgery she needed for free thanks to USAID. She thanks the program for giving her back her life.

To help people in Benin in several influential ways, give local congressmen a quick phone call to support the International Affairs budget.

Kristen Nixon

Photo: Flickr

How to Help the People in EcuadorNatural disaster, domestic violence and overcrowded health facilities endanger the people of Ecuador. Despite being an oil-producing country, Ecuador’s economic resources cannot surmount these threats. Twenty-two percent of all Ecuadorians live in poverty, particularly in non-urban areas, where approximately 42 percent of rural residents are poor. Below are three solutions to the question of how to help people in Ecuador:

  1. On April 16, 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the nation of Ecuador killing a reported 676 people and injuring 16,600. More than a year later, foreign aid is still needed to assist the country with this tragedy.The earthquake left 250,000 children and adolescents in need of relief. Many continue to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or are sick due to unsanitary conditions and lack of water or food. Hundreds of children are still living in shelters. Help is needed to rebuild structurally sound homes. Non-government agencies, such as SOS Children’s Villages, are supporting this process.
  2. Seventy-eight percent of Ecuadorian girls experience domestic violence. Roughly 69 percent of girls between the age of 10 and 15 are victims of sexual assault. Six out of 10 women in Ecuador suffer some form of sexual violence.The Fundacion Bolivar Education sponsors the Center for Women Struggling with Domestic Violence program in Quito, Ecuador. Volunteers are needed to assist psychology professionals with therapy. Additional help is needed performing administrative tasks to support the social workers and find sources of funding.
  3. While public healthcare is free in Ecuador, rural medical facilities are overcrowded. Volunteers are needed to assist medical personnel. Medical professionals who would like to know how to help the people in Ecuador should contact Volunteer Forever. Similarly, dental professionals can find volunteer placement through the American Dental Association website.

Additional information on how to help people in Ecuador is available on the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Ecuadorian Red Cross website. The IFRC touches 150 million lives and works through the generosity of 17 million volunteers.

Heather J. Hopkins

Photo: Flickr

How to Help People in BurundiCitizens of the Republic of Burundi are plagued by malnutrition, unclean water, unsanitary conditions, poor hygiene, low quality education, food scarcity, overpopulation, sexual and gender based violence and child labor. And the question is: why is this crisis prevalent and how can everyday people help? The long-term solution to helping people in Burundi is to fix how monetary resources are allocated by its government.

Seeing as that task is daunting for the layman, the following paragraphs provide information on how to help people in Burundi.

Helping people in Burundi is frankly, difficult. This is because the European Union, Belgium, United States and other western countries have decided to suspend all bilateral aid (when one country’s government gives financial aid to another’s country’s government) to Burundi’s government because of human rights violations and an unwillingness to engage in sincere negotiations for peace.

Prior to the freeze, bilateral aid accounted for about half of Burundi’s overall budget. Lack of bilateral aid will only further hurt the country’s economy, and Burundi’s economy was already one of the least developed in the world.

While bilateral aid has been suspended, humanitarian aid has not. Here are three humanitarian organizations you can donate to in order to help people in Burundi:

1. World Food Programme

People in Burundi need food. The World Food Programme (WFP), the leading humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide to help them get that food, needs donations. In Burundi, only 28 percent of the population are food-secure and as many as 58 percent are chronically malnourished. WFP provides hot meals to primary school aged children in food insecure areas to encourage school attendance. Two hundred thousand children currently receive assistance from this program.

WFP also offers food assistance to 70,000 pregnant and nursing women who are underweight 6 months before birth and for up to 3 months after birthing. In addition, WFP provides food to refugees and people living with HIV and AIDS. Finally, WFP teaches locals in Burundi how to be more efficient in agriculture through its Food-for-Training/Food for Assets program.

Three hundred and fifty thousand people are being taught infrastructure development, how to rehabilitate deforested areas, agro-forestry and micro-economic training.

2. BeyGOOD

People in Burundi need access to clean water. Donate to Beyonce’s organization, BeyGOOD. BeyGOOD is working with UNICEF to supply safe water to people in Burundi. A statement on Beyonce’s website states: “With your help, nearly half a million people will gain access to safe water, as BEYGOOD4BURUNDI and UNICEF will support building water supply systems for healthcare facilities and schools, and the drilling of boreholes, wells and springs to bring safe water to districts.”

Donation gifts range from $3.11 for a collapsible 68-ounce water container for one person to $1,430.06 for a water tank kit for 1,000 people.

3. The Burundi Education Fund 

People in Burundi need better quality education. Poverty and hunger have made it difficult for students to obtain an education. After the 6th grade, the Burundi Educational System simply does not have the room or resources to place children in schools. This results in students having to compete to be selected for the next grade by taking difficult placement tests. In some cases even if the student passes the test, he or she cannot move further in education due to the inability to afford tuition fees or school supplies.

The Burundi Education Fund, Inc. is a charitable Christian organization formed to provide materials and financial support to students and schools in extreme poverty in Burundi, Africa.

Specific successes of the organization that have helped students obtain their education include building a 26-bed dormitory safe house for the girls of Muramba High School, a running water fountain that provides clean drinking water to more than 1,900 students in the Mubimbi district and supporting a transfer student program.

The highly selective transfer program offers high school students a chance to continue their education in the U.S.

These are the most vital examples on how to help people in Burundi. The organizations above are addressing key needs of Burundian people’s lives that help them to obtain their basic human rights. While helping the people of Burundi may seem daunting, to be a responsible global citizen one must not turn a blind eye to tactics that can help others improve their quality of life.

Take action today and help one of the world’s poorest and hungriest nations become food and wealth secure.

Jeanine Thomas

Photo: Flickr

How to Help People in IraqWhile the people of Iraq certainly underwent extreme oppression under the former totalitarian leader Saddam Hussein, the United States’ stated mission to spread democracy by overthrowing Hussein and invading the country in 2003 has not proven to be a success by many standards.

While it has indisputably achieved important strategic military objectives, former President George W. Bush’s decision to do this has also cost U.S. taxpayers over $2 trillion thus far, resulted in approximately half a million civilian and combat casualties, devastated the quality of life for millions of Iraqi citizens and unfortunately, it does not appear to be a conflict that will be ending anytime soon.

Perhaps the two most damaging results of this conflict for Iraqi society have been the decline of education and widespread health problems and mental illness, both of which are byproducts of the violence taking place across the nation.

Fortunately, organizations and individuals across the globe have recognized these problems and have become actively involved determining how to help people in Iraq. Listed below are these two problems, the methods in which certain humanitarian organizations are seeking to combat them and also ways in which the average citizen can help to be a part of the solution.

Education is necessary for the stability of any society, and, generally speaking, provides children with a safe and healthy socialization process, which is why it is important to consider the fact that roughly 3.5 million children in Iraq attend school infrequently, if at all.

From 2011 to 2013, the British Council and members of the European Union supported a project called the Support to Improving the Quality of Education in Iraq program, which was intended to improve educational conditions in Iraq. The project cost approximately $10 million and implemented programs designed to provide resources, improve teaching skills and develop high-quality curriculums. Overall, the project was a success, allowing 800,000 students of all ages in southern and central Iraq access to a quality education.

Another organization that fights for the improvement of education in Iraq, among other things, is the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Similarly to the British Council’s approach, the IRC is concerned with finding a long-term solution when trying to solve the problem of how to help people in Iraq get an education. They seek to do so by providing well-trained teachers, safe learning environments and reducing the problem of overcrowded schools. You can donate to their cause here.

Perhaps the largest organization that is making the largest strides for the improvement of Iraqi education is UNICEF. In 2016 alone, the organization helped to allow 682,000 children access to an education and provided over 520,000 children with school supplies such as backpacks and stationery. They have also created new ways of how to help people in Iraq by providing cash to families who are particularly vulnerable, offering summer classes to students who have fallen behind and even operating mobile schools in various parts of the nation. You can donate to their efforts here.

In a country where there an estimated 11 million people are speculated to need some form of humanitarian aid, there is no organization more noticeably devoted to providing adequate healthcare to Iraqi citizens in need than Doctors Without Borders (DWB). The organization currently has ongoing projects in almost the entire country with the exception of the southeastern region and works in five major cities or villages including Baghdad, the nation’s capital.

With many medical facilities and resources destroyed, medical care in Iraq is expensive and hard to come by. Millions of citizens have been displaced from their homes and others find themselves miles away from the nearest medical facility. While their mission is not over, DWB has effectively countered this negativity with tremendous success, providing healthcare and first aid to millions of people across the country, putting their own lives on the line to do so.

Currently, their main agenda is providing aid to those affected by the ongoing crisis in Mosul, the country’s second largest city. On the western side of the city, an estimated 60,000 civilians are trapped by the ongoing fighting, which has consistently produced large numbers of civilian casualties and severe displacement. To help solve this problem of displacement, DWB has created displacement camps in different areas of the country, camps who have seen dramatic influxes of people in the recent months.

In June 2017, DWB opened a project in western Mosul and reported a high number of patients needing life-saving treatments. In their June 2017 update, Jonathan Henry, the Emergency Coordinator for the DWB project in west Mosul, stated that “this influx of wounded patients is yet another example of the horrific suffering and indiscriminate violence suffered by civilians, including women and children, throughout the battle for Mosul.” You can donate to DWB here.

Above all, as an American, when asking the question of how to help people in Iraq, the quickest, easiest and best thing you can do is reach out to your congressional leaders and express to them a desire to increase the U.S. foreign aid budget. In doing so, you help to ensure that the wealthiest nation in the world will do more than it currently is to bring these atrocities to an end and allow the country and its neighboring regions to one day see an era of development and prosperity.

Hunter Mcferrin

Photo: Google

How to Help People in CongoWhen most people hear the word “Congo,” the country they are thinking of is The Democratic Republic of Congo. There are actually two Congos: The Democratic Republic of Congo and The Republic of Congo. This article will address The Republic of Congo, which is often simply referred to as “Congo.” Though there is a discrepancy there, there is very little difference between the effect that poverty has on these two African nations’ impoverished citizens and how to help people in the Congo.

The poor in Congo experience extreme circumstances. The coastal African nation is affected by the HIV/AIDS virus, with 3.5 percent of the population having the disease. Other diseases plague the population as well, mostly due to poor sanitation and unclean drinking water.

Though there are many more problems impacting Congo, none are as well known as the issue of hunger. Around 47 percent of the Congolese population lives below the national poverty line. This means most of the country struggles to provide proper nutrition to their families, especially if unassisted by food aid programs.

However, with food aid programs tackling the problem of hunger around the globe, more Congolese have access to nutritious foods.

Influential Organizations
One such organization is the World Food Programme (WFP). Each year, the WFP helps to reduce hunger in about 80 different countries around the world. As the organization explains, there are over 5,000 trucks, 70 planes and 20 ships delivering food rations “on any given day” to people affected by hunger worldwide.

As for Congo, WFP is there providing school meals, refugee food assistance and even giving specialized foods to people living with HIV/TB.For John and Jane Q. Every person asking how to help people in Congo, WFP is always open to donations, which can be found in the top right corner of their site. WFP also hosts volunteers and has career opportunities for anyone seeking to go a little further with their assistance to the people of Congo. Volunteering is open to anyone aged 18 and over and can be applied for on their website as well, under the “Get Involved” tab.

Another promising organization is amfAR. This organization focuses on research and is dedicated to discovering a cure for the HIV/AIDS virus, investing $480 million in research as well as providing some 3,300 grants to research teams.

As mentioned above, AIDS is a devastating factor in the lives of the Congolese people. Developing a cure to HIV/AIDS would improve the lives of those in Congo as well as millions around the world.

How to Help
One way how to help people in Congo is to support HIV and AIDS research. Like the previous organization, a donation button for amfAR can be found in the top right corner of their page. AmfAR also sells products, like t-shirts and hats, the proceeds of which contribute to AIDS research. These can also be found on their page

But one of the easiest ways how to help people in Congo is to pick up the phone. Calling members of congress is a great way to show them what the important issues are on the minds of their constituency. A simple phone call can also get them to consider foreign aid legislation more seriously.

Finding phone numbers for congressmen and senators is quite simple. On the Borgen Project link, enter your zip code in the “Find Your Leaders” step.

Then, once you have their numbers, you can get them to view a piece of legislation with an easy, 30-second call. This is all you have to say: “Hello, my name is… and I would like you to protect the International Affairs Budget,” or consider whatever piece of legislation you choose (there are several more listed on The Borgen Project page). At most, the intern will ask you for your zip code—and then the call is over.

Getting friends and family to do this can generate a lot of support for an issue, and even gain the support of the leader after as few as seven to ten calls. With funding for bills like the International Affairs Budget held in tact, or even increased, millions of lives can be saved in impoverished places all over the world, like Congo.

Stephen Praytor

Photo: Flickr