Poverty in Bosnia and HerzegovinaAccording to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), over half of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s population lives in pastoral, rural areas of the former Yugoslav state. Despite being far away from urbanized areas, such as Sarajevo, inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s countryside are not without access to services in their local area, with most being close to a doctors’ practice, primary school, grocery store and post office. However, rural income is low, unemployment is rife, and the overall rural poverty rate is far higher than that of city dwellers. A lack of governmental attention on the systemic issues of poverty has caused three aid organizations to take matters into their own hands and support the parents and children who are most affected by poverty in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Idyllic Surroundings, Idle Realities 

As it continues to patiently await its membership to the European Union (EU), Bosnia and Herzegovina, without the additional perks of affinity, is equally experiencing the continental rising prices of food and other household essentials, alongside the soaring fuel and electricity prices that come with having the EU as its largest trading partner.

With only 53% of rural households earning an income from employment and 50% receiving social benefits from the state, the already fragile conditions of those on or below the poverty line, most prominently in towns and villages, have worsened, leaving mothers and children, in particular, to succumb to the harsh effects of poverty in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A survey in 2013 found that the disadvantages of rural life are felt most in education and employment, with small towns and villages being most at risk of social and political exclusion by way of the absence of economic opportunities and effective welfare programs.

Obraduj Nekgoga

In 2017, the Obraduj Nekoga Foundation was created in Sarajevo to provide support across Bosnia and Herzegovina for struggling families, focusing on delivering supplies and food for the children of the families most impacted by rural poverty. From Trebević to Vlasić, many organization members venture over mountains and travel for long hours daily to provide aid and advice to families in the countryside.

Since there are very few jobs in both the private and public sectors, many parents can only find work in summer, either picking raspberries or strawberries in the fields. Only able to work for one season out of the year, families must use their savings sparingly, and children are often left short of their necessities, such as nappies and formula, as well as toys and games.

With the help of donations and volunteers, Obraduj Nekoga has helped to feed hungry families in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s towns and villages, promoted the healthy growth and steady development of children and mitigated the effects of rural poverty.

Charity Bosnian Kids

Similarly, Charity Bosnian Kids was set up in 2018 to target the food insecurity experienced by many families across Bosnia and Herzegovina, an issue highlighted by the fact that most children “consume at least half of their meals at school” and those meals “may be the only food they regularly eat.” Many of these families are located in towns and villages where access to employment and regular income is virtually impossible, so schools become the only way children can maintain a regular, healthy diet.

In the school year 2022/2023, Charity Bosnian Kids provided 445 children a daily school lunch and a total of €51,873 was donated across 2021/2022. The organization also combats poverty through its Food at Home for Bosnian Families program, where donations are used to create and send food packages to families so that they have access to necessities.

SOS Children’s Villages 

SOS Children’s Villages ensures orphaned or abandoned children are cared for. The organization primarily adopts a preventative approach by giving Bosnian families access to counseling to encourage them to stay together if it is safe to do so, thereby reducing the number of children who are abandoned by their families due to economic or social pressures that are synonymous with poverty in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

As the level of school attendance is extremely low for rural children, many young people from Bosnia’s countryside end up lacking qualifications, which makes it more challenging to break the cycle of poverty. SOS Children’s Villages aims to intercept this cycle by strengthening families through legal and psychological support and creating sponsorships for children to complete their studies. The organization currently has 8962 beneficiaries in Bosnia and Herzegovina, all on the journey to a better and brighter future. 

Looking Ahead

Where state welfare programs are lacking, aid organizations work hard to alleviate poverty in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Obraduj Nekoga, Charity Bosnian Kids and SOS Children’s Villages have all sought to ensure that children and families are receiving the necessities that they cannot afford, alleviating the food insecurity dimension of poverty to the best of their ability. While this does not tackle the systemic roots of poverty in Bosnia and Herzegovina, these three organizations have improved the livelihoods of thousands of citizens in a short period, making a significant impact with small sums of donations, thus pointing to the level of change that can be achieved through the selflessness and determination of charities.

– Zara Brown
Photo: Unsplash

Child Education in Sri Lanka 
Sri Lanka is considered a developing nation, as its GDP per capita in 2021 stood at $1,973. The quality of life in Sri Lanka also remains low, with 13% of the population living on less than $3.65 a day in 2016. Despite the setbacks that Sri Lanka faces, the country has made many strides regarding child education. Currently, the literacy rate in Sri Lanka stands at 93%. According to Sri Lankan laws, education is free and mandatory for all children until the ninth grade. Afterward, the child can choose to continue their education or take on a job. Many organizations are continuing to work to improve child education in Sri Lanka. 

ChildFund Sri Lanka

ChildFund Sri Lanka is a nonprofit organization working to improve child education in Sri Lanka. The organization implements “child protection, humanitarian assistance, early childhood development, education and youth empowerment” programs. According to UNICEF, preschool education in Sri Lanka is poor. Only 39% of preschool teachers received at least one year of professional training. There is an insufficient focus on the stimulation of motor, cognitive and socio-emotional skills. ChildFund Sri Lanka implemented the Eat, Play, Love – Early Childhood Development program. The program aims to improve health, nutrition and early learning experiences for children. ChildFund Sri Lanka is on track to reach 1 million people by 2024. 

SOS Children’s Villages

Another organization working for child education in Sri Lanka is SOS Children’s Villages. SOS Children’s Villages estimates that 15,000 children are growing up without parental care and 14,000 children are not in school due to financial difficulties. SOS Children’s Villages is working to ensure that all children in Sri Lanka grow up in a caring and financially secure family. The organization strengthens and supports children’s families but also provides solutions for children who are unable to grow up with their biological parents. After 41 years of service, SOS Children’s Villages have impacted 17,000 lives of youth and put 4,000 children under financially secure care.  

Sri Lankan Children Foundation

Another nonprofit organization working for child education in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Children Foundation (SLCF). The mission of the SLCF is “to improve life chances for underprivileged children in Sri Lanka.” In the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed 14,000 children, damaged 183 schools and impacted about 100,000 children. The SLCF is working to find ways to help Sri Lankan children, particularly orphans, whom epidemics, poverty and natural disasters like the tsunami of 2004 impacted. In 2021, the SLCF implemented a successful program in which they renovated the playground and washroom of a children’s primary school and also provided educational materials to respond to the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown. 

ChildFund Sri Lanka, SOS Children’s Villages and the Sri Lankan Children Foundation are just three of the many organizations working to improve education for children in Sri Lanka. Each is making a significant impact in ensuring children in Sri Lanka have access to quality education, equipping them to find the path to a brighter future.

– Yana Gupta
Photo: Flickr

Child Poverty in BulgariaBulgaria is a beautiful country located on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe, known for its rich history and wonderful beaches bordering the Black Sea. Also known about Bulgaria is that it is one of the poorest countries in Europe. In 2022, food price inflation hit 22%, affecting low-income Bulgarian households disproportionately. Young people are also heavily impacted as the child poverty rate in Bulgaria stands at 22.9%.

While securing equality for Bulgarian children is an ongoing journey, there have been some positive steps in the right direction.

Ongoing Efforts

In 2021, Bulgaria enacted the Bulgaria Child Guarantee National Action Plan (NAP). Specifically, this plan places a strong emphasis on early education. Children whose parents obtain a low level of education are 10 times more likely to be living in poverty — emphasizing the importance of ending a generational lack of access to education.

This plan also touches on the idea of health care aid as a way to help children living in poverty, placing a specific emphasis on children who suffer from disabilities and chronic illnesses. Nutrition is also an issue for underprivileged families, and with the NAP, children are able to receive free lunches and parents are able to receive access to mental health care. The housing strategy supports access to housing for migrant children and emphasizes the importance of providing support for immigrant children’s easy adaptation. Lastly, the NAP placed a focus on the development of foster care systems and aid to young parents. 

Mission Without Borders

Yamur faced financial hardship growing up, as her father had to leave school at a young age to support their family. However, with the assistance of Mission Without Borders’ sponsorship program, Yamur and her family received the financial support they needed to access education.

As a result of this support, Yamur was able to continue her education and pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. Despite the economic challenges her family faced, she did not have to marry at a young age and could focus on working toward her life goals.

By helping children in Bulgaria access education, organizations like Mission Without Borders create opportunities for more success stories like Yamur’s to emerge.


Unbound is a program that has invited people from around the world to support each other through sponsorship. By sponsoring a child living in Bulgaria, they have more to provide for their family and moreover are less obligated to spend school time working to provide and more time learning for their future. The beauty of the program is that it does not only sponsor the lives of underprivileged children but also helps to foster friendships between people across the world. When donating, 91.4% of proceeds go directly to the sponsorship program, 3.8% goes to administration and 4.8% goes to fundraising. In 2021, Unbound raised nearly $2 million in support of sponsorship for low-income children and families across the globe.

Looking Ahead

While Bulgaria boasts natural beauty, its children endure hardships. One key avenue for reform is improving access to early education, as breaking the cycle of low-education families is crucial for reducing the risk of poverty. Organizations like Unbound and Mission Without Borders offer vital financial support and opportunities to Bulgarian children, helping bridge the gap and offer brighter prospects.

– Aubrey Acord
Photo: Flickr

Living Conditions in NigeriaNigeria is a sub-Saharan African country bordering Niger to the North and Cameroon to the South. Although living conditions in Nigeria have seen a positive change in recent years, a large amount of its population still lacks access to everyday living needs such as clean water, healthcare and education.

Construction of Waterpumps and Sanitary Spaces

Despite water accessibility having improved immensely in Nigeria in the past few years, a significant portion of the country’s population still lives without access to clean water and sanitary spaces.  WaterAid statistics report that 46 million Nigerians do not have access to clean water while 116 million people in the country are without access to decent toilets. To address this issue, WaterAid constructed clean toilets for approximately 300,000 Nigerians living in poverty. This effort resulted in toilet accessibility in Nigerian homes and schools.

WaterAid has also taken steps to support women and girls in Nigeria. By building a new hand pump in the village of Orwua Nyam, girls can now safely access clean water without having to go to neighboring communities. It also supported every house in receiving a toilet in their home and an additional toilet in the village for visitors. This has helped to reduce the spread of diseases in the village and allowed families to live in clean and healthy conditions.

Aiding Internally Displaced Children

Widespread poverty, political unrest and an unstable economy leave many Nigerians without shelter. The charitable work of SOS Children’s Villages supported more than 15,000 people in 2015. The organization’s support includes providing homeless children with a safe and supportive home alongside other needs such as counseling, medical support and access to education facilities. SOS Children’s Villages also helps to reunite internally displaced children with their siblings, enabling them to experience growing up among family. SOS Children’s Villages’ efforts in Nigeria not only provide safe and fulfilling childhoods for children but also aims to improve overall living conditions in the country.


Nigeria experiences some of the highest school absence rates in the world. UNICEF reports that one in every five children who do not attend school is in Nigeria. Approximately 10.5 million children aged 5-14 years old do not attend school. According to UNICEF, gender marginalization is still a significant issue in the country, with more than half of the girls not receiving an education. In a bid to improve the educational system and achieve SDG 4 by 2030, UNICEF has developed a plan to eliminate societal barriers that hinder children’s access to education. Its goal is to provide humanitarian assistance to children who are least likely to receive an education, enabling them to access a safe school environment.

Fighting HIV/AIDS

As is the case with many impoverished African countries, Nigeria suffers from high rates of HIV. Nigeria accounts for 9% of the world’s total HIV cases and has the second-highest number of people living with the illness in the world. The U.S. government assists Nigeria through the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) which provides life-saving HIV therapy to more than 600, 000 Nigerians living with the disease. The emergency plan also provides support programs for one million children who have been affected by HIV.

Fighting COVID-19

Since January 2020, Nigeria has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with World Health Organization (WHO) statistics showing more than 260,000 cases of the virus and 3,155 fatalities as of April 2023.

To combat the spread of the virus, WaterAid has prioritized education as a key defense. The organization has used radio jingles on Nigerian channels to spread information on COVID-19. These jingles had a minimum estimated reach of over 800,000 people per radio broadcast, making them an effective way to spread updates on how to limit the spread of the virus.

Looking Ahead

With aid from charitable projects, living conditions in Nigeria have seen dramatic improvements in the past few years. Through efforts in education and healthcare, these organizations aim to help in creating a future where Nigerians can enjoy better living conditions.

– Freddie Trevanion
Photo: Flickr

Charities Aiding Children in Sierra Leone
Life has been extraordinarily difficult for children living in Sierra Leone. An 11-year civil war, Ebola outbreak and poor quality of education have severely impacted children across the country. However, despite the hardship that children in the country have faced over the past 20 years, charities are working to improve education and health care for children in Sierra Leone.

4 Charities Aiding Children in Sierra Leone

  1. Save the Children. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, Save the Children provides children with education and health support in more than 100 countries. Since 1999, it has worked in Sierra Leone to improve the health, education and protection of children in the country. In terms of learning, the organization provides children with educational tools and facilities to set them up for future employment. The children’s rights charity focuses on increasing school attendance and retention. Due to widespread poverty, Sierra Leone suffers from very low school attendance rates with a UNICEF statistic illustrating that only 22% of students complete upper secondary school. Absence from school prevents children from gaining employable skills that allow for an economically independent future. Save the Children puts focus on aiding the most marginalized children, such as those living in slums or in kinship care, to improve their future prospects and avoid contributing to already high unemployment and illiteracy rates.
  2. Sierra Leone War Trust for Children. Throughout Sierra Leone’s 11-year civil war, many children experienced both physical and mental trauma. The Sierra Leone War Trust For Children is a trust that promotes “education, health, rehabilitation and self-sufficiency” among children impacted by the nation’s history of violence so that they can live economically independent and prosperous lives as adults. The trust not only focuses on the harms of the civil war; it also aids children suffering from more recent issues in the country such as the Ebola outbreak of 2014. Ebola orphans have received school supplies from the trust’s projects to improve education and ensure future employability. The Sierra Leone War Trust For Children has aided 5,000 impoverished children in the country and has raised more than $1 million through donations.
  3. Lilomi. Lilomi is a children’s charity based in the U.K. that ensures better health care and educational facilities/resources for children in Sierra Leone. It works at the Jonathan’s Child Care school and orphanage in the city of Bo providing safe sanitary spaces and higher-quality school equipment, among other efforts. Inadequate access to hygiene and sanitation facilities remains a prevalent issue in Sierra Leone. The Lilomi team built a new set of hygienic toilet blocks in the school/orphanage in 2021 with the aim of protecting children against preventable illnesses. Schools across Sierra Leone are severely underequipped making it difficult for educational facilities to teach practical skills. In order to prevent this from limiting the horizons of children in Bo, in 2019, Lilomi provided the school/orphanage with funds for science equipment, now expanding the scope of learning in science and mathematics. Following this success, the charity has made plans to go one step further and build a science lab for the school.
  4. SOS Children’s Villages. SOS Children’s Villages is a nonprofit organization that has delivered support for children and young adults in Sierra Leone since 1974. The nonprofit organization provides children lacking parental care with a safe home. As a result of the civil war ending in 2002, a third of Sierra Leone became internally displaced and many children lost their families. SOS Children’s Villages helps children to find lost relatives so they can grow up with their families. In the case where a child has no relatives, the organization provides an SOS parent who supports them through difficult periods of adjustment. The organization also runs community schools and kindergartens that have given 3,000 children access to education.

Children-focused charities in Sierra Leone have made monumental efforts in combating the consequences of civil war, Ebola and widespread poverty. By prioritizing the safety of children across the country, charitable organizations can ensure a future generation of healthy and prosperous adults.

– Freddie Trevanion
Photo: Flickr

Charities Operating in Botswana
Botswana, located in the center of Southern Africa, has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. This is mainly due to the country’s careful economic management, diamond wealth and its multi-party democratic government. As of 2021, Botswana has a population of approximately 2.4 million. The country is currently an upper-middle-income country with the potential to become a high-income country by 2036. However, Botswana is facing some challenges. Botswana’s reliance on diamonds makes the country vulnerable to external shocks, which the COVID-19 pandemic made clear when the economy decreased by 8.7% in 2020, according to the World Bank. Furthermore, while Botswana prioritizes education and provides nearly free primary education universally, in 2021, the unemployment rate in Botswana was at 26%.

The World Bank estimates that children in Botswana spend 8.1 years in school, from age 4 to 18, but the number decreases to 5.1 years when factoring in how much time children spend actually learning. This certainly contributes to adults being unable to attain jobs that require certain skills or levels of education. Although progress needs to occur, there are numerous charities in Botswana administering aid. Here are five charities operating in Botswana.

1. Camphill Community Trust

Camphill Community Trust was once a small school, but it currently has more than 100 centers in 18 countries. It supports individuals with learning difficulties and disabilities from early childhood to adulthood. It provides education, a sense of community, and work experience. Camphill Community Trust offers Rankodimo Kindergarten, which is pre-primary learning for 20 children ages 3-5, as well as Rankoromane School for 60 children ages 5-14. Finally, there is Motse Wa Badiri Training which offers quality education, training and jobs for those with disabilities.

It offers a four-year learning program for those who are 14 years or older called The Integrated Learning for Living and Work Programme (ILLWP). It is available to give students an expansive basis of knowledge and skills. There are 96 students enrolled currently. Overall, Camphill Community Trust is one of the charities in Botswana offering beneficial learning and work experience to children and young adults, helping their chance to become successful adults.

2. SOS Children’s Villages

Botswana is one of the top four countries that HIV and AIDS impact the most. HIV and AIDS have caused suffering for those afflicted and their families and it has negatively impacted Botswana’s economy as it commonly affects working adults. This hurts households financially and decreases the workforce in Botswana. There are around 160,000 children lacking parental care and among them, 120,000 lost that care because of AIDS. When the children’s parents are ill, they have to focus on working to provide for themselves instead of receiving an education. With this in mind, SOS Children’s Villages have been busy making sure that families have basics such as health care, education and counseling available to them.

The organization has been giving support and needed services to more than 130 territories and has helped 4 million children by strengthening family ties and other forms of care. SOS Children’s Villages also provides homes to families in Francistown, Serowe and Tlokweng. These homes are for families completely unable to care for their children. Since each family’s situation is different, the SOS Children’s Villages assistance adapts to each family. SOS Children’s Villages is one of the noteworthy charities in Botswana that is striving to give children a positive environment and a secure future.

3. Ray of Hope Botswana

Ray of Hope Botswana aspires to give children an education that is both comprehensive and consistent since 2015. Located in Gamodubu village, it is a youth-led organization that mentors more than 100 children who are typically 7 years old or younger. Gamodubu village has a primary and secondary school, but for children under the age of 6, the academic foundation is inadequate. Ray of Hope Botswana’s focus is on children who lack access to stable and good quality education. It provides tutoring in Math, English and Life Skills. It is one of the charities in Botswana determined to motivate children to rise above the poverty line.

4. Caritas Botswana

Founded in 1984, Caritas Botswana’s aspiration is to assist people out of poverty. The agency’s efforts promote the poor’s quality of life as it targets education, more adequate use of resources, improved access to health services and community involvement. As previously mentioned, HIV is a serious issue in Botswana. Caritas Botswana’s contributions, which consist of raising awareness and educating people about HIV and AIDS and offering transportation to those needing treatment, are essential in fighting this disease.

Additionally, Caritas Botswana runs more than 20 preschool centers, which train preschool teachers and give education, nutrition and welfare to more than 700 children. Along with this, Caritas Botswana helps communities cultivate long-term solutions for socio-economic development by contributing micro-financing and agricultural supplies such as seeds and farming tools. The agency also helps households increase their income by establishing credit programs and savings.

5. Lady Khama Charitable Trust

The founder of Lady Khama Charitable Trust, which is one of the many productive charities operating in Botswana, is Ian Khama, the fourth President of the Republic of Botswana. Founded in 2002, it raises funds for charities in Botswana that aim to help vulnerable children, women and people living with disabilities. Lady Khama Charitable Trust’s main asset is finding local organizations which are needing support and then providing them with that support. It has more than 18 “community upliftment projects,” nine of which are its core beneficiaries. This includes Camphill Community Trust, Bana Ba Metsi, Childline Botswana, Flying Mission Services, Little Friends Center, SOS Children’s Villages, Ray of Hope Foundation, Cancer Association of Botswana and Sponsor a Child Trust.

Despite the hardships Botswana faces, the country is improving. These five charities operating in Botswana are working to provide much-needed aid to Botswana. With focuses on education, serious illness, inequality, job production, health and security for children, each one is helping Botswana progress with its individual programs and techniques.

– Megan Roush
Photo: Pixabay

Child Poverty in Equatorial GuineaEquatorial Guinea is the third richest country in Africa with a per capita income of $8,462.30. Despite this figure, poverty in Equatorial Guinea is among the highest in the world. More than 70% of Equatorial Guinea’s population lives in poverty. With a majority of the population being less than 18 years old, child poverty in Equatorial Guinea is also among the highest in the world.

5 Facts About Child Poverty in Equatorial Guinea

  1. Prevalence of diseases and immunization – In Equatorial Guinea, relatively high income levels do not translate into lower levels of poverty. According to World Bank data from 2021, only 53% of children aged 12-23 months received vaccines against DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus). Similarly, data from 2015 shows that only one in four newborns received a vaccine against polio and measles, while only one in three received a vaccine against tuberculosis. These numbers are among the lowest levels of child immunization in the world.
  2. Poverty and education – According to data from 2012, nearly 40% of Equatorial Guinea’s children aged 6 to 12 years did not attend school. Of note, in 2015, the gross enrollment rate of children in primary school was only 63% which is the second lowest in the world, ahead of Somalia. This is a worrying statistic as poverty levels have a direct effect on education levels which also affects the growth and development of children.
  3. Focus on economic growth and corruption – Extreme child poverty in Equatorial Guinea and its simultaneously high-income levels can be explained by the country’s sole focus on economic growth. For every $100 that the government spends, 80% of it is spent on infrastructure and only 2-3% is spent on health care and education. This is one of the reasons why Equatorial Guinea’s health care and educational parameters are often among the lowest in the world. The Human Rights Watch report also attributed this to some of the senior government officials accumulating a vast amount of wealth during the period of the oil boom.
  4. Social welfare measures – While the above figures paint a grim picture of the current state in Equatorial Guinea, there is still hope for the future. The government’s current social security system in the country reaches only a small portion of the population, with a limited number of social programs to assist the poor with health care and education. This means that if social welfare measures such as social insurance and health waivers fill this gap, there is a potential to drastically improve some of Equatorial Guinea’s social metrics. By ensuring a plan to redistribute its income, there is potential for rapidly improving not only child poverty but also the poverty levels of the entire population in the country.
  5. Support from nonprofits – The SOS Children’s Villages is a nonprofit established in 1949 that has its presence in multiple countries across the world, including in Equatorial Guinea. The organization actively supports children at risk of losing the care of their families and provides them with education and medical assistance. By addressing some of the key issues and with the help of organizations such as the SOS Children’s Village, there is no reason that Equatorial Guinea cannot be on a rapid road to progress.

Room for Improvement

Equatorial Guinea’s high-income levels also tell us that there is a potential to not only address its poverty issues but also other important problems such as education and health care. High levels of income inequality and limited penetration of social welfare have limited the progress of the country. However, as the report by the Overseas Development Institute suggests, by addressing these issues quickly, Equatorial Guinea could soon be on a rapid road to progress.

While this is what the government could do to improve the socioeconomic situation of its citizens, the work of nonprofits organizations such as the SOS Children’s Villages will go a long way to helping children in Equatorial Guinea.

– Ritvik Madhukar Annapragada
Photo: Flickr

Charities Operating in Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is a country located in West Africa. Its name translates to “the land of the incorruptible people.”It has a population of 21.5 million people and is one of the poorest countries in the world, with more than 40% of its people living below the poverty line. Despite the vast amount of humanitarian work conducted throughout the country addressing changing weather patterns and sustainability, Burkina Faso is still vulnerable to frequent natural disasters, including droughts, floods and diseases. Charities including Save the Children, SOS Children’s Villages, CECI, Humanity & Inclusion and Caritas work tirelessly to help alleviate poverty throughout Burkina Faso through education, provision of clean water and sanitation along with human development and the survival of children. Here is some information about the above five charities operating in Burkina Faso.

Poverty Situation in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso, as mentioned before, remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with 40% of people living below the poverty line. According to the Human Development Index report that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) carried out in 2021-2022, Burkina Faso ranks 184th out of 191 countries. In the last few years, poverty in Burkina Faso has correlated with consistent political instability and violence the country continues to face with many people being displaced. With heavy reliance on agriculture as its primary source of economic development, Burkina Faso has suffered due to low agricultural output by 4.1%. With violence and political unrest, more than 900,000 people are internally displaced and remain in extreme poverty. This mostly affects children, with more than half of the 2.2 million people in Burkina Faso seeking humanitarian assistance being children. 

Save the Children

One of the five charities operating in Burkina Faso is Save the Children, which began working in Burkina Faso in 1982. With children at the forefront of the organization’s focus, Save the Children works tirelessly to ensure security in their lives. Save the Children has become one of the biggest charitable organizations in Burkina Faso through its programs dedicated to education, safety and child health. Some of the work the organization has carried out revolves around multiple aspects of quality of life. It includes greater access to universal health care, resources and tools for treating malnutrition in children, food programs to combat insecurity and malnutrition and financial discipline teachings to help families support themselves and maintain quality health care. 

SOS Children’s Villages

The organization came to Burkina Faso during the 1990s and established itself in 1997 north of the nation’s capital; since 2004, SOS Children’s Villages has taken the initiative of operating SOS Family Strengthening Programs that ensure that children can grow and live in an environment of familiarity in the case that the child loses its family. One of SOS Children’s Villages operates in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso with a population of 1.5 million people. SOS Children’s Villages’ work in Ouagadougou, specifically the SOS Social Center revolves around its mission to ensure that children have access to health care, education and social services through family strengthening programs. SOS Children’s Villages is among the five charities operating in Burkina Faso that help families and children find social security while providing access to the very necessities required to survive.

Humanity & Inclusion

Burkina Faso became the first country where the organization began its work in 1991, focusing on “defending the rights of people with disabilities and responding to the urgent needs of the people affected by conflict.” Humanity & Inclusion’s work in Burkina Faso spans multiple facets, including physical rehabilitation, maternal and child health, inclusive education, disaster risk reduction and mental health and psychosocial support, along with road safety and protection. Humanity & Inclusion is one of the five charities in Burkina Faso that works tirelessly to address poverty in Burkina Faso by focusing on development, health and rehabilitation. The organization’s 187 members undertook 12 projects within the country, with 50% working on humanitarian efforts and 25% on chronic crises and 25% on development needs in 2021. 


The organization emerged in 1956 and began operations in Burkina Faso in 1998. Caritas’ presence covers the entire country of Burkina Faso through its “15 diocesan offices and more than 200 Caritas parish branches.” By utilizing the branches, Caritas “aims to promote mainly community and integral human development, social justice, peace and human rights.” Caritas Burkina offers programs that align with its goals of alleviating poverty by solely focusing its work on women and families along with younger individuals through humanitarian development that fosters solidarity and sharing of resources to help facilitate expansion.

The Barka Foundation

The Barka Foundation is an organization that began in 2006 and is based in the United States. It began its work in Burkina Faso in 2009. The Barka Foundation is a younger charity compared to other charities discussed. Still, regardless of longevity, the Barka Foundation is among the five charities that operate in Burkina Faso. The organization focuses its work from a perspective of longevity and community-driven programs involving accessibility to clean water, agriculture improvement, women’s empowerment and human rights and minimizing the effects of changing weather patterns. The Barka Foundation sets itself apart from other organizations working in Burkina Faso by ensuring that its mission to alleviate and combat poverty does not obstruct the lives of the indigenous people, thereby mitigating western influence and developing relationships with them to help provide them with basic survival needs.

Looking Ahead

All the charities mentioned above work tirelessly to address poverty in Burkina Faso. Each charity offers and provides unique programs and initiatives to help the people of Burkina Faso access necessities such as health care, rehabilitation and social and economic security, along with tools to combat the effects of changing weather patterns and, most notably education and security for children affected.

Arijit Joshi
Photo: Flickr

Alergia is one of the largest countries in North Africa, both by size and population. Like any other country, Alergia is not perfect, as the upper middle-income nation has a poverty rate of 14.6%. That high rate can be connected to issues such as femicide, stagnant economic growth, a decline in the hydrocarbon sector and a private sector struggling to energize the economy. However, a number of charities in Algeria are working to address poverty conditions among the most vulnerable groups.

4 Poverty-Fighting Charities in Algeria

  1. Oxfam in Algeria: Oxfam is an international charity that focuses on alleviating global poverty. While the nonprofit functions around the world, its focus in Alegria has been on Alegria’s Sahrawi refugee camps. Since 1975 Sahrawi refugees have remained dependent on humanitarian aid to provide basic necessities. Oxfam works to combat poverty for those living in the camp by improving food security through increasing access to fresh produce. Importantly, it is also teaching Sahrawi refugees to develop and run small-scale agroecological farms. Since most Sahrawi families lack access to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) recommended 20 liters of fresh water a day, Oxfam concentrates on improving family water storage tanks, installing strong hosepipes to homes and other similar technical upgrades for water access and capacity enhancements. Because a number of highly-educated young women and men in the camp become frustrated with their lack of socioeconomic opportunities, Oxfam also focuses on community engagement for these young adults.
  2. World Food Programme: The World Food Programme (WFP) helps tackle the issue of malnourishment which is a problem, especially for Sahrawi refugees in Algeria. Luckily, in 2021 alone, the WFP supported 138,421 people in Algeria and provided nearly a million dollars worth of cash-based food assistance. Targeting anemia, stunting and malnutrition, the WFP runs 29 nutrition centers that offer both treatment and prevention strategies. The WFP also provides daily school snacks to nearly 40,000 children to encourage them to enroll in school. Finally, the WFP focuses on resilience-building projects like low-tech hydroponics and fish farms.
  3. Algeria UNAIDS: The United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) UNAIDS is leading efforts to reduce AIDS from a public health threat by 2030. UNAIDS attempts to increase awareness and decrease the stigma of HIV around the world and Algeria is no exception. As of 2021, 21,000 Algerian adults and children live with HIV. Unfortunately, this number is on the rise. UNAIDS in Algeria is focusing on the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission. It is also specifically investing in programs that promote support in terms of education, rights and leadership for women, girls and young people.
  4. SOS Children’s Village: SOS Children’s Village is a global charity that operates in Algeria. Human rights organizations have criticized Algeria’s “Family Code” which severely limits rights for women. Underage marriage is prevalent and women who do want to marry face strict guardianship rules. Thousands of children wander the streets without parents or without support from their families.  SOS Children’s Village focuses on protecting children without parents or who come from abusive families. Specifically, SOS provides daycare and medical care. Also, SOS mothers provide support for suffering children in SOS families.

These charities in Algeria are not only helping to eradicate poverty, but they are also changing the overall landscape of the country for the better.

– Luke Sherrill
Photo: Flickr

Families Uplift Single Mothers
Millions of women in Africa experience single motherhood as a result of widowhood or divorce. Single mothers often turn to their immediate and extended families for various forms of child care and parenting support. Families uplift single mothers in Africa by giving them the time and opportunities to develop careers while also raising their children. Parenting support from single mothers’ families can allow women to eventually support themselves and their children independently.

Single Motherhood in Africa

Widowhood and divorce often leave women in Africa to take care of their children without a partner. Single motherhood involves a variety of hardships, many of which are rooted in economic concerns. Women in Africa are commonly married off young before they have the opportunity to complete their education and develop a career. Some single mothers turn to prostitution or other dangerous forms of work to earn money and support their children.

Unemployment is vast in many African countries, especially for women. Widows, in particular, may face difficulties supporting their children because some families disown widows and do not consider women family members when their husbands die, according to SOS Children’s Villages. When a single mother is able to receive support from her family members, perhaps by moving in with them, she may gain the time and resources to find work and better support her children.

The Role of Family Support

When women in Africa experience widowhood or divorce, they often turn to their extended families for assistance in covering finances and child care. Single mothers who live in areas with struggling economies may be especially reliant on family support to raise their children. A research study on family support of single mothers in Nairobi, Kenya, found that the majority of women in the community receive some form of support from their family networks. However, the study found that the extent of a family’s support depended on family members’ age, employment status and geographic proximity to the single mother.

Family support of single mothers may be especially prominent in Africa due to widespread poverty and limited governmental resources to assist women who are raising their children alone. Families uplift single mothers in Africa by helping them raise their children, develop careers and escape poverty.

Next Steps in Uplifting Single Mothers

Families with single parents are disproportionately vulnerable to poverty. Women who raise their children without a partner’s support may struggle to find and maintain a job while juggling parental responsibilities. Single mothers’ families may provide some emotional and practical support, but additional governmental assistance is necessary to ensure the safety and success of single-parent families throughout Africa. Policies that promote financial security, social assistance and greater access to job opportunities can help empower single mothers in Africa, especially if women lack families to help them support their children.

In countries that lack governmental policies to assist single parents, family support uplifts single mothers and gives them the opportunity to gain financial independence. When families uplift single mothers with emotional, financial and practical assistance in child care, women may be able to seek out and maintain stable career opportunities. Further governmental action is necessary to support single mothers in Africa, but families can make substantial differences in the lives of single mothers and their children.

– Cleo Hudson
Photo: Flickr