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al otro ladoMore than 4,000 asylum seekers in Tijuana have written their names on a waitlist in hopes of presenting themselves at the U.S. port of entry. It is unclear how the list began since the U.S. government doesn’t claim jurisdiction and neither does Mexico. Regardless, the waitlists are followed and migrants’ names are slowly crossed off as they are brought to state their cases. Most asylum-seekers are from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, many of whom are fleeing gang violence, political instability and extreme poverty. Al Otro Lado and other nonprofits are helping the migrant crisis.

The Migrant Crisis

Central Americans from the caravan have been labeled everything from refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants to invaders, aliens and criminals. However, despite widespread disagreement and confusion about the caravan, U.S. immigration and international laws dictate that people have the legal right to seek asylum. Asylum seekers’ have the right to present their cases to an immigration officer, but with so many asylum-seekers to process, thousands of individuals and families are left waiting in limbo.

As Policy Analyst at the American Immigration Council Aaron Reichlin-Melnick explains, “The government would argue that high [asylum] denial rates indicate they’re fraudulent asylum claims… the more likely answer is that people are genuinely afraid for their lives–they may not know the ins and outs of a complex asylum system.” For many nonprofits, the situation is clearly a refugee crisis, and they treat it like one. Since caravans began arriving at the border, humanitarian organizations have been on the ground providing shelter, medical care and legal assistance. This is one way that Al Otro Lado is helping.

Al Otro Lado

Al Otro Lado is a legal services nonprofit based in Los Angeles, San Diego and Tijuana. Over the last four months, Al Otro Lado has helped more than 2,000 migrants in Tijuana while also fighting larger battles to protect the legal rights of asylum seekers. Operating out of an Enclave Caracol, a three-story community center turned migrant shelter, Al Otro Lado provides legal orientation and know-your-rights training to asylum seekers waiting in Tijuana.

Though Al Otro Lado is focused on upholding international and U.S. law, it is not immune to the controversy and violence that has accompanied the migrant caravan. The organization and its staff have received death threats, and co-directors Erika Pineiro and Nora Phillips were detained and forced to leave Mexico in January. Still, Al Otro Lado continues their operations in Tijuana, but now they just unplug their phones between calls to cut down on the death threats.

Other Notable Organizations Helping the Migrant Crisis

  1. In April 2018, Food Not Bombs served food to migrants out of the Enclave Caracol community center. They accepted donations of food, spices and reusable plates among other items.
  2. UNICEF works with the Mexican government to provide safe drinking water and other necessities to asylum seekers. The organization also provides psychosocial services and trains authorities on child protection.
  3. Save the Children provides emergency services, legal representation, case management and works to reunite migrant families.
  4. Amnesty International, like Al Otro Lado, is concerned with upholding immigration law. The organization monitors the actions of Mexican authorities at the border and also documents the situations and conditions that migrants face.

Organizations like Al Otro Lado, Save the Children and Amnesty International see the migrant caravan as a humanitarian issue beyond party politics. They have wasted no time supporting migrants and asylum-seekers who have risked their lives journeying to the border. However, unless governments and organizations address the larger issues that led the people to leave in the first place, they will continue migrating. Faced with violence, persecution and poverty, it’s hard to imagine anyone who wouldn’t do the same.

Kate McIntosh

Photo: Flickr

Yemen Peace Talks
The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is cause for despair; however, the recent Yemen peace talks in Sweden and outreach programs providing humanitarian aid are offering new hope to those suffering from the conflict. Through the Yemen peace talks, the United Nations was able to negotiate a ceasefire agreement on December 18, putting at least a pause on the war until countries can reach a further agreement. This finally opens the door to providing humanitarian aid.

Opposed to War in Yemen

Despite President Trump’s wishes, the Senate ended all aid in military assistance to Saudi Arabia following the peace talks. Thanks to Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont for writing the agreement, the War Powers Act was used to assert Congress’ role in military power, overriding the White House. According to the New York Times, Trump was against the end of military assistance in fear that it would cost America “billions” of dollars in arms sales, putting the fear of losing money in front of regard for human life (a reference to the Saudi Prince having allegedly killed American journalist Jamal Khashoggi).

The humanitarian crisis currently taking place in Yemen was caused by war, and the only way to stop it is to end the war and promote peace. Humanitarian organizations such as Save the Children and CARE, along with several other organizations, wrote a letter to the U.S. government to use their influence to end the war. Providing more military support will only perpetuate the problem; whereas, peace will resolve it. Lise Grande, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, stated that the priority must be to increase access to currency and ensure that Yemenis are able to access shipments of food.

Humanitarian Aid

With the ceasefire in play, the focus can be shifted to the humanitarian crisis and helping the suffering people in Yemen. About half of Yemen’s population is subject to starvation and is in dire need of aid as a result of the war. “The big countries say they are fighting each other in Yemen, but it feels to us like they are fighting the poor people,” said Mr. Hajaji to the New York Times. Hajaji is a father who has already lost one child to starvation and is afraid of losing his second, who is struggling to stay alive.

According to Save the Children’s fact sheet, about 85,000 children are estimated to have died from starvation and disease since the beginning of the war in Yemen. Despite the high numbers of people who have died or are suffering from starvation, organizations like Save the Children are making a difference and increasing the number of survivors. This organization has treated nearly 100,000 children suffering from malnutrition and is operating mobile health clinics in the hardest-to-reach areas.

Ways to Help

People from the U.S. can help alleviate this issue in numerous ways. One such method is by contacting Senators and U.S. representatives through the United States Senate website and urge them to give aid and resources to Yemen. Since Yemen’s famine is income based, the best thing the people can do to aid is to donate money to those in need to survive. Organizations like Save the Children are also distributing cash and vouchers for food to families as well as education and safe spaces for children to keep getting an education despite the harsh circumstances and ongoing recovery from war trauma.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is providing outreach through healthcare, nutrition, water/sanitation services and by providing financial assistance to those struggling survive. Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is providing education, food security, shelter and water outreach to many Yemenis. Volunteer and/or donating to these organizations will help their work reach more people.

The resolution of the Yemen peace talks to enact a cease-fire and the U.S. halting its military assistance to Saudi Arabia serve as a positive catalyst for change in the right direction. The ongoing battle is now the aid for Yemenis in an attempt to end their critical condition of poverty. Organizations such as Save the Children, IRC, NRC and UNICEF are providing outreach and saving people’s lives, making significant progress in the work to end Yemen’s humanitarian crisis.

– Anna Power

Photo: Flickr

five NGOs are petitioning the government to end the war in Yemen
The war in Yemen between Houthi rebels and the Saudi led coalition has created the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Despite the dire situation, there is reason to hope. On November 26, five NGOs petitioned the U.S. Government to call an end to the war. Two days later, the U.S. Government announced it would add an additional $24 million to USAID’s Office of Food for Peace. On December 13, the Senate voted to end the United States support of the Saudi coalition. These are the five NGOs that are petitioning to end the war in Yemen.

Since 2015, there have been more than 16,000 civilians casualties, 22.2 million people, including 11 million children, are in need of aid and eight million are at risk of famine. The war has led to a host of other problems as well, including a cholera outbreak and a lack of access to clean water. Many organizations are trying to stop the conflict in Yemen. These are 5 nonprofit organizations working hard to protect the people of Yemen.

These are the 5 NGOs that are petitioning to end the war in Yemen

  1. International Rescue Committee (IRC): The International Rescue Committee, headed by David Miliband, a former U.K. Secretary of Foreign Affairs, is focused on humanitarian relief operations in war-affected areas. Right now it operates in more than 40 countries, and its refugee resettlement program operates in 28 U.S. cities. The IRC has been providing aid to Yemen since 2012, working to protect women and children as well as provide access to healthcare and education.
  2. Oxfam: Oxfam is a global organization working in more than 90 countries to end poverty. Led by Abby Maxman, the former Deputy Secretary General of CARE International, Oxfam believes in identifying and changing the root causes of poverty rather than just sending material aid. Through fighting and eliminating injustice, Oxfam feels that poverty can finally be eliminated. The organization has been working in Yemen since 2015 to prevent diseases by providing sanitation, hygiene assistance and clean water to those affected by the war.
  3. CARE: CARE is active in 93 countries around the globe working to combat social injustice and poverty. The organization is headed by Michelle Nunn, who previously ran the organization Points of Light and had been a candidate for the U.S. Senate. CARE current goal is to reach 200 million of the world’s most vulnerable people by 2020. CARE has been working in Yemen since 1992 and is currently providing food, water and sanitation to one million Yemenis people each month.
  4. Save the Children: Save the Children is an organization that works in the U.S. and around the world to provide for underprivileged children. It is headed by Carolyn Miles, who has been with the organization since 1998. Save the Children is active in 120 countries worldwide promoting nutrition, health and education programs. Save the Children is doing just that in Yemen by treating almost 100,000 Yemenis children for malnutrition through mobile health clinics.
  5. Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC): The Norwegian Refugee Council started its relief efforts after World War II and continues its mission to this day. The organization is active in 32 countries across the world to provide clean water, education, camp management, legal aid, food assistance and shelter to refugees. The Norwegian Refugee Council is headed by Jan Egeland, who has been with the organization since 2013 and was appointed in 2015 by the U.N. as special envoy to Syria. In 2017, the NRC has provided food for more than 300,000 Yemenis and shelter to more than 50,000.

These 5 NGOs that are petitioning to end the war in Yemen are all fighting for a better world for the world’s poor. Through their work, they were able to spur the government into action. Since the petition, millions of dollars have been added to the aid package for Yemen, and the U.S. has voted to end its military involvement in the conflict.

Peter Zimmerman
Photo: Flickr

War in SyriaSyria’s civil war has been raging on for eight years now. The conflict has created a huge population of 5.7 million refugees in critical need of humanitarian assistance. The resulting humanitarian crisis is one of the worst the world has seen in recent years. Several organizations are on the ground trying to provide humanitarian solutions for the victims of war in Syria.

Syrian Democratic Forces

Recently, the Islamic State (IS) made its last stand to desperately hold on to the last tiny piece of territory it has, a small town in Eastern Syria called Baghouz. In September 2018, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) initiated what they hope to be their final military push to reclaim IS turf. The operation has been excruciatingly slow and deadly.

Civilians are struggling to slip out of the militants’ grasp and into the global humanitarian community. The SDF is working to help extract the civilian families out of the last holdout of IS fighters. It is believed that several thousand people are still huddled together in the final IS enclave. The people pouring out of Baghouz to seek shelter from the war in Syria pose a huge humanitarian challenge.

Almost 40,000 civilians have already left the diminishing IS territory, but the flow was severely interrupted when IS fighters closed off all exit roads. IS extremists were obstructing civilians from escaping, using them as human shields from airstrikes. Now, small groups of refugees sneak out into humanitarian corridors with the help of smugglers. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a humanitarian organization working to help refugees escape the war in Syria and to monitor refugee movements.

Save the Children

Children escaping from the war in Syria are especially in need of humanitarian assistance. Beyond food, health services, education and other basic needs, child refugees require mental health services. Syrian refugee children consistently show signs of psychological trauma. Save the Children is striving to provide necessary services for Syrian child refugees. Among other things, they are working to establish recreational spaces and centers for unaccompanied children in the refugee camps. They provide mental health and socializing services in a safe environment for war-weary children.

According to Save the Children, the war in Syria has made it the most dangerous country in the world for children. In Syria, 5.3 million children need humanitarian assistance. Children are not only the victims of violence but also the targets of abduction and recruitment into armed groups. In three refugee camps in North-East Syria, there are more than 2,500 children from at least 30 different countries.

There is much work to be done, and Save the Children emphasizes that the organization is in dire need of more support. Extra funding is necessary to provide case management and protective services for more children. Foreign children need their countries of origin to facilitate repatriation. Save the Children urges the international community to help preserve family unity and aid those returning to their countries of origin from the war in Syria.

Other Humanitarian Organizations

Humanitarian organizations help 700,000 people each month in North Eastern Syria. In March, Brussels will host a pledging conference to raise more funds for humanitarian aid to Syria. In 2018, various nations collectively raised $5 billion for Syrian relief. In Syria, the United Nations aid feeds around 3 million people each month, and U.N. medical assistance has treated nearly 3 million patients.

The U.N. and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have been cooperating to transport and deliver large amounts of aid to refugee camps in Syria. On February 6, the largest of such shipments arrived in Rukban, a refugee settlement in the demilitarized zone established by the major warring parties. The majority of Rukban’s inhabitants are women and children. The convoy included 133 trucks loaded with food, health and nutritional supplies, hygiene materials, education items, children’s recreational kits and vaccines. The aid came at a critical time to help save the lives of at least 40,000 people who live in the settlement.

The Syrian Society for Social Development (SSSD) is another humanitarian organization working to enhance the lives of marginalized Syrians. They improve and provide schools, community centers, safe spaces, elder care facilities and other communal programs. Since the beginning of the conflict, they have been able to increase the scope of their assistance in both geographical range and by the number of people helped. Their programs have benefitted more than 1 million people.

There are organizations doing everything they can to help Syrian refugees survive and return to a peaceful life. Thanks to the efforts of thses humanitarian organizations, refugees, who have been surrounded by airstrikes and extremist violence, have shelter against the harsh Syrian winter.

Peter Mayer

Photo: Flickr

Top 10 Facts about Girls’ Education in Laos
Laos is one of the most poorly developed countries in the world. Decades of colonial rule, economic mismanagement and government instability have created cycles of inter-generational poverty in Laos that currently affect young people in the country. Education attainment in Laos, specifically, lags behind surrounding countries and other developing countries. Additionally, as a relatively patriarchal society, Laos struggles to provide equal opportunities to the girls and boys in the country. In the article below the top 10 facts about girls’ education in Laos are presented

Top 10 Facts about Girls’ Education in Laos

  1. The initial rate of enrollment is about equal for both genders. However, the retention and completion rate for both genders is much lower. Girls in smaller villages especially are not expected to finish primary school. In many cases, unsafe conditions for girls and male preference have contributed to a higher dropout rate for girls.
  2. Girls are less likely than boys to attend school and complete their education. Girls lag behind boys in both primary and secondary education. Cultural norms that are inclined to males, poverty, racism and discrimination against ethnic groups and a general lack of attention given to girls’ education all contribute to this disparity.
  3. Girls from minority ethnic groups have the lowest enrollment and completion rates of any other child demographic. Over 50 percent of girls from ethnic communities in Laos do not attend school. Many of these ethnic communities do not speak Lao, the official language of Laos. As a result, children in these communities are unable to receive a proper education as educational materials are only available in Lao. Additionally, girls from smaller ethnic communities have a higher poverty rate and are less likely to have the opportunity to attend school.
  4. The attendance rate for children in urban areas is around 95 percent.  That number drops to 85 percent in rural villages with roads and to 70 percent in rural areas without roads. The gender disparity in school attendance also widens in rural areas as 95 percent of both girls and boys attend primary school in urban areas, whereas only 77 percent of girls versus 83 percent of boys attend school in rural areas without roads.
  5. Child marriages result in many underage girls dropping out of school. Around one-third of Laotian girls are married before the age of 18. These girls are far more likely to become pregnant and begin child rearing at a young age. This hinders their ability to attend school, as many Laotian girls are burdened with the responsibility of caring for children and are not supported by their husbands to attend school.
  6. Organizations such as the Lotus Educational Fund are giving greater opportunities to rural Laotian girls to complete their primary and secondary education. This is done by providing girls with the materials they need to succeed in schools, such as textbooks, writing utensils, backpacks and bicycles to help them travel to school safely. Additionally, the Fund works to improve the health and wellness of the girls, by providing them with eco-friendly health kits and menstrual items. They also are working towards establishing scholarships to send more rural girls to school.
  7. Training for teachers in rural areas improves educational access and quality in Laotian villages. This is especially true when investments are made to support training for young female teachers that focus specifically on improving the education of young girls in villages. Investments in educating female teachers by the Australian government help women in Laos pursue fulfilling careers and serve to improve the learning outcomes of primary school students.
  8. Girls’ education in Laos is improving, albeit rather slowly. The percentage of girls who receive primary education has improved by less than 0.5 percent each year since 2005. To improve this slow growth, programs in Laos are working to address the wide gender gap in education by training female ethnic teachers in villages to provide higher quality education and outreach to a greater number of girls. Although the development is slow, the gender gap in primary school attendance continues to shrink, especially in urban communities, where the attendance rate is nearly equal.
  9. Educational nonprofit organizations are operating within schools in Laos to actively address gender and racial disparity in education. Organizations such as Save the Children, Room to Read and Plan International have launched educational programs in rural Laotian communities to get more children, especially girls, into schools. Save the Children has collaborated with the Ministry of Education and Sports in Laos to enact educational programs in the 10 poorest districts in Laos with a particular emphasis on ethnic minorities and girls.
  10. Pressure from the U.N., international nonprofits and foreign aid providers have encouraged the Laotian government to place more emphasis on education and gender equality. The Basic Education Quality and Access in Laos program, implemented in 2014 in partnership with the Australian government, aims to get more children completing their education in Laos. While Laos still only spends 3.3 percent of its budget on education, the education sector in Laos has shown some growth because of foreign aid assistance.

These facts show that while educational access and completion is far from equal for both genders in Laos, there are numerous programs and investments being implemented to address this imbalance. Hopefully, greater investment in girls’ education on Laos will allow the country to achieve levels of education comparable to other developing nation in the world.

– Tamar Farchy
Photo: Flickr

10 Refugee NonprofitsWe are living in a tense political time, especially pertaining to immigration and international conflict. Therefore, the work of refugee nonprofits is more important than ever. Not only do they help people who have been torn from their homes to find housing and work but they also assist them with getting acclimated to new countries. Here are 10 refugee nonprofits that are providing a light for those individuals who are displaced and struggling.

10 Refugee Nonprofits Giving Hope

  1. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) – This organization responds to humanitarian crises all over the world by providing money transfers, access to schooling and healthcare and even safe spaces for women. In 2017, IRC helped almost 23 million people attain primary healthcare and created 16,179 business—more than half of which are female-owned.
  2. Refugees International – Founded in 1979 as a movement to protect Indochine refugees, Refugees International has since expanded to become a leading advocacy group, working to pressure global officials to focus on assisting refugees.
  3. HIAS – This Jewish nonprofit covers advocacy as well, but also focuses on providing refugees with legal assistance as needed. They are committed to helping refugees of all faiths from all countries. Additionally, HIAS helps relocate those who have been displaced to the U.S.
  4. American Refugee Committee (ARC) – Another one of the 10 refugee nonprofits is ARC which provides a wide variety of services to refugees in need. Since 1979, ARC has supplied emergency response teams to assist with man-made and natural disasters on the Thai-Cambodian border. It also provides education, healthcare and water sanitation to refugee communities.
  5. REFUNITE – This group uses technology to reconnect separated refugee families. REFUNITE created a database that displaced peoples can use to try and find their lost loved ones. Thanks to their efforts, their website now has over 1 million profiles, making it much easier to reunite separated relatives.
  6. World Relief – Though it covers many other sectors beyond refugee issues, World Relief plays an important role in helping the displaced. This group gets in on the ground floor and meets refugees at the airport to help them find housing, learn English and even get jobs.
  7. Mercy Corps – Specifically doing work with the Syrian crisis, Mercy Corps has provided food and other resources to families who are displaced. Mercy Corps has also provided safe spaces for children and communities that need to start over in a new country such as the work in the U.S. Mercy Corps, which is currently helping 1.8 million people who have been affected by the Syrian crisis.
  8. Save The Children – As can be inferred from the name, Save the Children focuses on children in need. The group is active in 120 countries responding to disasters like refugee crises and advocating for the children affected. They also provide basic care such as shelters and food for children separated from their families.
  9. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) – LIRS meets in person with refugee families and provides them with legal and social services such as education, housing and language training. To date, they have helped more than 500,00 immigrants and refugees.
  10. Doctors Without Borders – Focusing mainly on medical assistance and healthcare, Doctors Without Borders works by responding to humanitarian crises in impoverished countries across the world. Displaced refugees often have no access to professional healthcare, and Doctors Without Borders fills that void.

With 68.5 million people displaced in the world today, groups like these 10 refugee nonprofits are giving hope to those who have experienced more than their share of despair. These organizations and the many more who work to alleviate poverty and suffering around the world are more important than ever.

– Amelia Merchant
Photo: Flickr

global education solutionsEducation is a paramount issue worldwide. Many don’t realize the number of people that aren’t capable of obtaining an educational experience, and the widespread need for global education solutions.

Key Facts to Know About Education

  • About 59 million children of primary school age are currently being denied an education.
  • Almost 15 million girls in primary school will never have the opportunity of learning to read and write.
  • It would take $39 billion annually, in order for all adolescents to attend school.
  • In a third of countries analyzed in UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report, there are less than three-quarters of teachers trained to national standards — which has led to 130 million students in school who aren’t learning the basics.

Children fortunate enough to go to school don’t always realize how many people wish they had the same opportunity. Access to quality schooling is a current problem for children residing in multiple countries. In Africa, specifically, all children don’t have the opportunity to attend school due to wars, weather conditions, lack of secure environments, etc. These setbacks can breed an impoverished environment, which makes children have to sacrifice their right to an education for survival.

Many schools around the world are unsatisfactory due to unsanitary environments, the lack of classroom management and the inability for students to stay engaged. The capability to read, write and communicate is so vital, especially for very young children. These skills tend to be exciting for primary school students because they are more receptive to learn at this age.

Benefits of Education

Education is a vital tool that entails obtaining knowledge through experiences, specific subject matter and relative immersion. Looking at global education solutions, everyone’s learning experience is different. Some people may be homeschooled, while others may attend public or private school.

Education has always proven to be a beneficiary for those who were fortunate enough to attend school. Language development, reading, writing, and numeration are some of the basic skills of literacy. While these may seem like small elements, they contribute to a bigger picture. Education helps reduce poverty, increase income, stress the importance of good health/hygiene, boost the economic growth, prevent disaster-related deaths, promote gender equality, combat HIV/AIDS, etc. The list is infinite and has significant global impacts.

The longer one attends school, the more knowledge one will obtain. Missing an education, especially a high school diploma, can hold one back from acquiring a job in some countries. People tend to equate education with money, and to an extent, this is often a reliable mindset to have. Without an education or some form of trade experience, it is very hard to find a job that pays enough for life’s essentials — food, water and shelter. If one lacks an education and/or these basic necessities, it can make it extremely difficult to take care of oneself and family and can lead to poverty.

What Is The Solution?

Among the multitude of things that can be done to improve school systems, change begins through a society’s attitude about the value of education. This impacts how independent nations collaborate to aid those who lack strong educational systems. Next, a nationwide level of respect has to find its way into the classroom. Teachers absolutely have to be trained and certified to properly educate the youth in every subject.

According to the Learning for All Symposium arranged by the World Bank (2014), some countries will not meet their primary school teacher requirements by 2030. Filling in teacher gaps is a challenge that can make a tremendous difference to global education. School districts have to start by hiring the best candidates for teaching positions.

Funding is the most imperative matter as far as global education solutions go. Money is necessary to maintain schools and the instructional materials needed for students. Organizations such as the Global Education Fund, Global Partnership for Education and the International Education Funders Group (IEFG) provide and receive donations for school systems worldwide.

Organizations Contributing To Global Solutions

Statistically, girls are more likely to be married before the age of 18 than they are to be enrolled in secondary school in 26 countries across the globe.

Spreading awareness and the importance of getting an education is another major factor to global education solutions. Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States, began a foundation in March of 2015, called Let Girls Learn. This organization brought together the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Peace Corps, the United States Department of Labor, United States Department of Agriculture and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), as well as the United States President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS.

Recognizing the many issues that adolescent girls face when trying to pursue an education, this organization is invested in expanding educational opportunities. The agencies paired with Let Girls Learn are contributing to the cause by providing safe access to schools, helping rebuild education systems, creating alternative learning programs, improving the policy and access of schools and providing nutritious meals. Parallel to Let Girls Learn, there is a plethora of organizations with the same mission — help improve the education for the youth.

Save the Children

Save The Children is another foundation that assists children around the world by ensuring a healthy start to life, and presenting an equal opportunity for education. This organization trains teachers to engage with students through effective teaching practices and introduces children to the power of artistic expression — drawing, painting, dancing, music, etc. They fulfill their goal by implementing a strong foundation for learning, even during a crisis.

As of 2018, Save The Children has provided 13.8 million children the opportunity for an education. This organization accomplishes such an amazing feat through childhood development programs that help children survive physically and emotionally; financial services that provide and educate children on money and savings in order to break the cycle of poverty; and even youth employment.

Global Education is something that can’t be entirely solved until everyone does their part to help out. Governments, school systems and parents need to work in tandem to help children receive the learning experiences they deserve.

– Kayla Sellers
Photo: Google

LesserWhen thinking about the growing issue of poverty, classic humanitarian organizations come to mind like the Red Cross, UNICEF and Oxfam. However, there are many other deserving and impassioned groups who do not receive the same media time as these large organizations, but who should be noticed for their work and compassion. Here are five lesser-known humanitarian organizations working to reduce global poverty.

Hunger Plus, Inc.

Hunger Plus focuses its efforts on reducing global hunger and deaths caused by it. It is Hunger Plus’ goal to find a way to reduce global poverty by promoting access to a simple, yet very necessary thing: food. The organization also spends time and effort bringing medication to those in need to provide care against preventable and communicable diseases. Hunger Plus focuses its outreach both domestically and internationally and recently aided victims from Hurricane Harvey.

Save the Children

Save the Children is an aptly named organization as it focuses on just that – saving the children and bringing a future to every child born. The group works in 120 countries, providing access to education, food and safety from violence. The majority of donations within the organization go directly to children in need and Save the Children is quick to mobilize their funds. The organization works in times of crisis and in everyday life as a first responder to protecting children in harm’s way. During a crisis, Save the Children ensures children and their families are protected and have the resources necessary to survive the emergency.

Action Against Hunger

While Action Against Hunger works internationally, it is still one of the lesser-known humanitarian organizations. It works to reduce hunger by providing hands-on assistance and by shifting the focus from groups to individuals. Action Against Hunger believes that world hunger can be reduced by focusing efforts on mothers in developing countries. One of its goals is to educate women to accurately diagnose hunger needs and assist in reducing malnutrition. Action Against Hunger has won numerous awards and has been the leading force against hunger for approximately forty years.

Relief International

Relief International is an international organization that works in 19 countries to prevent human suffering. It is one of the lesser known humanitarian organizations and focuses on implementing the RI Way, a method used by the organization to encourage communities to discuss solutions for current situations. The group then assists in implementing the solutions. Its method is to deliver immediate access to basic resources like money, food, water and medication. Relief International also remains until a long-term solution has been established as a success. The aim is community-based, so individuals within the community are thinking of the best solutions for their group instead of accepting existing solutions that may not work.

Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders is a volunteer-based humanitarian organization that focuses on delivering medical care where necessary around the world. While it is a large organization, Doctors Without Borders is one of the lesser-known humanitarian organizations because it rarely uses the media as a means of promoting itself. The organization does not receive funding from the U.S. government in an effort to remain impartial and independent in times of crisis. Doctors Without Borders treats many medical issues from stitching up a cut to providing emergency services to treat HIV/AIDS, malaria, meningitis and more. The group also teaches medical education to ensure safety standards are maintained when it leaves.

There are many lesser-known humanitarian organizations outside the media’s influence that are worthy of donations and assistance. More widespread focus on certain issues and attacking the same problem from different angles may just be the way to reduce global poverty.

– Kayleigh Mattoon
Photo: Flickr

15 organizations that help the world

With the myriad difficulties that face the world, it is essential to have organizations making the planet a better place. Without such generous assistance, the world would be plagued with unmanageable adversities. The following is a list of 15 organizations that help improve the world with their innovative ideas and generous efforts.

  1. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is an organization that works to fight hunger and its consequential effects on a global scale. It works specifically to eradicate infectious diseases and child mortality rates in struggling countries.
  1. Doctors Without Borders
    Doctors Without Borders delivers emergency aid to people in need. These efforts include helping people in situations of natural disasters, epidemics and lack of health care.
  1. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
    The FAO’s prime purpose is to defeat hunger. It works in 130 countries worldwide to help ensure people have access to food and are not going hungry. The organization has been fighting hunger since 1945.
  1. Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Watch was established in 1978 and is an organization that reports on human rights conditions in countries all over the world. With its findings, it meets with governments and financial corporations to urge for policy changes that assist the betterment of human rights around the world.
  1. Oxfam
    Oxfam is a global organization that helps improve the world through poverty-reduction efforts. It focuses on the conditions that cause poverty and works to fix the effects of such difficulties. Its efforts include disaster response, programs to help people afflicted by poverty and education improvement.
  1. Red Cross
    Founded in 1881, the Red Cross foundation works to help people in urgent need. Assisted greatly by volunteers, the Red Cross mainly provides disaster relief, support to America’s military families, health and safety services, blood donations and international services.
  1. Save the Children
    Save the Children is a nonprofit organization that focuses primarily on helping children in need. This includes emergency response, global health initiatives, HIV and Aids prevention, disaster response and creating educational opportunities. In 2016, Save the Children reached and assisted 157 million children.
  1. The Borgen Project
    The Borgen Project is a nonprofit organization that aims to end poverty by working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy. The organization is an influential ally for the world’s poor that educates and mobilizes people to communicate with their Congressional leaders to ensure funding for poverty-fighting efforts are not eliminated. In 2017, the organization had volunteers in 754 U.S. cities and is one of the 15 organizations that help improve the world immensely.
  1. The World Bank
    The World Bank works with other organizations to provide extensive financial assistance to developing countries. It was established in 1944 and has more than 10,000 employees and 120 offices worldwide.
  1. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
    The UNDP is an organization that aims to eradicate poverty. It implements this goal by developing policies, skills and partnerships to enable people to sustain their progress and improvement. The UNDP is in over 170 countries and territories.
  1. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
    UNICEF is an organization that fights for children’s rights to shelter, nutrition, protection and equality. It does so by being children’s advocates and providing humanitarian assistance to children and their families, most often in developing countries.
  1. United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
    USAID is an international agency that provides development assistance to countries in need. It works to advance U.S. national security and “economic prosperity” by promoting self-sufficiency. It uses humanitarian response efforts to bring disaster relief and supplies to those who are struggling.
  1. World Food Programme (WFP)
    WFP’s mission is to fight world hunger and provide people around the world the quality food they need to survive. It does this by working with U.S. policymakers and other foundations to organize financial resources, as well as develop necessary policies to assist the fight against worldwide hunger.
  1. World Health Organization (WHO)
    Of the 15 organizations that help improve the world, WHO is among the largest. The WHO is an organization that works directly with governments and various partners to ensure a healthier future for people all around the world. It fights infectious diseases and works directly with mothers and children to improve and maintain their health.
  1. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
    The WWF is an international nongovernmental organization working to conserve nature and reduce extreme threats. It also aims to increase awareness to prevent further damage to the earth and its inhabitants.

These are only 15 organizations that help improve the world. There are many more that work together with partners to help make the world a better and safer place to live. Their generosity helps people on a daily basis live healthier and happier lives, and it is troublesome to think of where the world would be without such assistance.

– McCall Robison

Photo: Flickr

Save the Children in SudanFollowing decades of non-stop armed conflict, Sudan has a horrible human rights record and ranks as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Violent clashes and subsequent displacement of citizens have particularly hurt the country’s most vulnerable population: children. Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organization for children and is currently engaged in 120 countries, including Sudan. Save the Children has worked to improve the welfare of Sudanese children since 1983.

Sudan has been plagued by a string of violent conflicts. In 2005, the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983-2005) concluded with the signage of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Subsequently, in 2011 residents of South Sudan overwhelmingly voted to secede from Sudan. The secession of South Sudan resulted in a mass migration as citizens of Sudan relocated to South Sudan and vice-versa.

This mass displacement separated tens of thousands of children from their families. To address this crisis, Save the Children has implemented a family tracing and reunification (FTR) program. FTR is the first initiative that Save the Children launches in conflict zones.

Save the Children partnered with UNICEF and community-based networks to introduce FTR following the creation of the Republic of South Sudan in 2011. The program identifies and registers unaccompanied children, then works to reunite them with their families. Unfortunately, the longer a child remains separated from caregivers, the greater the risk that the child will become a victim of violence and exploitation.

Last month, Save the Children and UNICEF aided 399 unaccompanied Sudanese children. Additionally, the partners have just reunited their 5,000th child with his mother. In total, 16,055 separated children have been traced and documented by all the family reunification organizations in Sudan.

Save the Children in Sudan further supports children by supporting community-based child protection networks. The organization leverages existing community structures to identify and respond to child protection issues. Through these networks, Save the Children aims to raise awareness and spread information to prevent child matriculation into armed forces, to reduce the number of children separated from caregivers and to educate the community about existing resources that combat child abuse.

Additionally, the organization has created child-friendly spaces that help children recover from trauma and re-enter their local communities. Save the Children establishes child-friendly spaces in all conflict zones where it operates. The nonprofit coordinates these spaces with existing local services to expand the care options available.

Save the Children combats major social problems through public information campaigns delivered at schools, child-friendly spaces and community centers. In Sudan, the organization disseminates information about two major safety threats: the recruitment of children by armed forces and the continued presence of landmines and unexplained ordinances. Additionally, Save the Children addresses the root cause of child enrollment into armies by working to improve the economic circumstances of vulnerable children.

Save the Children believes that the existing legislative framework for the protection of Sudanese children is inadequate. Physical discipline is still widely accepted in schools and homes. Therefore, Save the Children helps national civil rights groups campaign for new protective policies and expansion of government bodies that combat physical punishment.

In 2013, Save the Children’s child protection program in Sudan directly impacted 969,000 people, including 551,974 children, and indirectly impacted 5,025670 people, including 3,318,931 children. Its efforts are going a long way to alleviate the issues caused by the ongoing instability in Sudan.

Katherine Parks

Photo: Flickr