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ADRA Helps Brazil
In May 2017, a flood in northeastern Brazil left 35,000 residents homeless. As similar disasters have affected Brazilians before, the Adventist Relief and Development Agency (ADRA) is a nonprofit organization working to alleviate what has been a crucially difficult past for the country. How the ADRA helps Brazil is not through focusing on the negative impacts but instead on how they can aid Brazilians in times of disaster.

In January 2011, some of the heaviest rains in history caused major flooding and landslides in Brazil’s three major cities and in 80 smaller communities as well. The ADRA provided 4,500 victims with bed materials and hygiene kits, inviting others to donate. More than 1,000 households received aid as a result. The ADRA also received a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Embassy to support Brazilian families in urgent need.

In November 2015, a toxic mudslide containing arsenic, mercury and other poisons made Brazil’s water undrinkable for more than 250,000 residents. The ADRA distributed 53,000 gallons of water to 1,900 families in the city Governador Valadares, and 16,000 gallons of water were given to 570 families in the city Colatina. The ADRA also managed to help more than a quarter of a million people in Minas Gerais.

In March 2016, heavy rains flooded several Brazil cities. After the rains, the water was draining too slowly and increasing the risk of diseases. The ADRA distributed hygiene materials to counter risks of diseases. Disaster victims were also given food and material items and lived in school buildings after losing their homes.

The ADRA partners with other organizations to help Brazil’s street children and disadvantaged ethnic communities. In August 2016, the ADRA worked on a project with Stop Hunger Now to stimulate Brazil’s economy. The project involved sending 100,000 packaged meals to Rio de Janeiro.The ADRA also utilized some of the meals to support 5,000 students.

The ADRA helps Brazil in order to better the lives of the country’s people. By providing Brazil’s disaster victims with meals, hygiene kits and other resources, ADRA gives Brazilians the hope that they will never be alone in times of crisis. Through partnerships with other organizations, the ADRA may even receive further help in the future to alleviate Brazil’s problems.

Rhondjé Singh Tanwar

Photo: Flickr

Five Space Inventions Helping the Developing World
From non-stick frying pans to squirt guns to keeping our homes warm, innovations that originated as space inventions are used each and every day right here on earth. But, some space inventions have become even more useful than ever imagined, and are now helping fight poverty in the developing world. Here is a look at five space inventions and some of the ways each helps to alleviate human suffering.

Baby Blankets
From NASA’s efforts in the 1980’s to create a material that could both insulate and cool astronauts facing extreme temperatures during spacewalks came phase-change materials, or PCM’s. Although this material never made it into astronaut’s gloves, the space invention that emerged proved effective for insulating. In 2013, Jen Chen created a company called Embrace Innovations, which makes swaddles and blankets using PCM technology. The Embrace business model is simple: buy a blanket or swaddle for your baby and one is donated to a baby in need in the developing world. To date, 200,000 babies have been reached across 10 countries.

Solar Energy
When NASA began studying Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) to develop uninhabited aircraft that could sustain long-duration flights without interruption, the need for new innovative solar power sources became paramount. Among the space inventions that resulted: single-crystal silicon solar cells that significantly reduced the cost of solar power. With billions still living without electricity worldwide, solar power has proved effective in helping get clean water, mobile charging, and general illumination to the developing world.

Freeze-dried Food
Through an alliance with Nestle, in the pre-Apollo era, NASA developed a technique for freeze-drying food which made the transportation of numerous orbital delight feasible. Today, freeze-dried food is used to prevent spoilage while providing life-saving nutrient-rich substance to people suffering from hunger in the developing world. For example, Stop Hunger Now, a non-profit based out of Raleigh, North Carolina, operates meal-packing programs in 20 cities worldwide. They ship dehydrated rice and soy meals that are fortified with 23 nutrients and vitamins to not only help solve the problem of hunger in the world but also help provide essential nutrients to those living with a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Baby Formula
In an effort to alleviate some of the challenges of eating in space while also reducing waste, NASA, with the contracted help of Marietta Laboratories, worked with micro-algae to develop a special three-in-one food source. The invention didn’t work out as space-food; however, Marietta’s research provided the technology used to place nutritional supplements into infant formula and baby food. One in four children around the world suffers from chronic malnutrition that stunts their growth. And, due to poverty and poor nutrition, an estimated 200 million children under age five suffer from under-developed cognition. With nutrient-enriched baby food, organizations helping to fight poverty and malnutrition in the developing world have a better chance to reach children during the most critical stages of development— conception to two years.

Satellites
Some space inventions have not only changed the world but also changed the way we look at it. While the link between satellites, NASA and space are obvious, their ability to help feed those living in the developing world is a bit more complex. Satellites can generate images of vegetation that, in turn, can measure “greenness” and provide real-time rainfall data and imagery. Thus, this space invention helps officials and policy makers monitor for potential crop failures throughout the developing world. With better prediction capabilities comes better awareness, and with better awareness comes the ability to prevent food shortages. NASA has even teamed up with the USAID through a new environmental monitoring program in West Africa called SERVIR-West Africa. The program plans to enhance the use of data collected from satellite imagery to help fight hunger by helping officials better manage climate issues that affect crop harvesting and nutritional planning.

Ashley Henyan

Photo: Flickr

Hunger in Nicaragua
With about 29 percent of households living in poverty and 8.3 percent in extreme poverty on less than $1.25 a day, Nicaragua is considered one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Hunger in Nicaragua is just one of the major problems the country faces. Fortunately, organizations such as North Country Mission of Hope, World Food Program and Action Against Hunger have acted out of generosity, providing support and food assistance for areas suffering from chronic malnutrition.

  1. North Country Mission of Hope/Stop Hunger Now
    North Country Mission of Hope is a humanitarian organization specifically committed to aiding and building relationships with the people of Nicaragua, with 97 percent of profits going directly to services in the country. Likewise, Stop Hunger Now works to end world hunger by distributing meals through feeding programs operated by partner organizations in developing countries. Earlier this year, Stop Hunger Now teamed up with North Country Mission of Hope to ship 22,660 pounds of medical equipment, school supplies and food to Nicaragua.
  2. World Food Program (WFP)
    WFP has been fighting hunger in Nicaragua since 1971. The organization supports the government of Nicaragua’s Zero Hunger Program by working to prevent chronic malnutrition and improving the food security of smallholder farmers. Focusing on nutrition, WFP reaches out to vulnerable groups, including mothers and children, in communities like Madriz, which has a 30 percent rate of chronic malnutrition, and Nueva Segovia, which has a 28 percent rate. WFP’s school meals program also provides daily meals to needy children in preschools and primary schools.
  3. Action Against Hunger
    Action Against Hunger has been working in Nicaragua since 1996. In 2015, the organization provided nutritional support to 1,294 individuals, helped 6,181 gain access to safe water and assisted 21,193 in total. The organization emphasizes four main action steps that go into its aid process.

First, Action Against Hunger predicts where and when to expect malnutrition in order to target it effectively. Secondly, it recognizes that global hunger is preventable and encourages members to find ways to ensure that children stay healthy. Next, the organization utilizes available resources, particularly therapeutic ready-to-use foods. Finally, it maintains that anyone can get involved and make a difference. Just $45 can provide a child with life-saving treatment, adequate supplies and food for survival.

Though Nicaragua has encountered many struggles, the work of these global humanitarian groups is bringing hope to the country and its people.

Mikaela Frigillana

Photo: Flickr

Farmers-Markets-Offer-a-Variety-of-Local-Foods
Tackling and eliminating global hunger may sound like an impossible task but it is a real and attainable goal. World hunger is down from 20 percent in 1990 to 16 percent currently. However, this is still 6 percent shy of the 10 percent goal that was set for 2015.

Nearly one in seven people do not get enough nutritious food to be healthy and lead a normal, active lifestyle. Hunger and malnutrition are a couple of the most serious health issues worldwide.

The biggest cause of hunger is poverty. More often than not, if someone is living in poverty, they can’t afford the barest necessities, including food. This leads to chronic hunger and subsequently, malnutrition.

The good news is, there are many ways to stop global hunger in its tracks both on a global and individual scale effort. Here are the top 10 ways that we can end global hunger:

  1. School meals help to promote school attendance as it may be the only time a child gets a full nutritious meal. Parents will send their children for this reason alone and will allow the children to get a proper education.
  2. Revolutionary technology, such as a pre-paid voucher sent to the phone of a refugee to use in a local store, benefits everyone. It saves money, provides profit, and means the consumer, store owner, and farmer all suffer less during times of crisis.
  3. A Backup Plan in case of a disaster or financial crisis. Food is an important factor in coping with shock.
  4. Providing farmers of developing countries with a market for their products and the tools with which to navigate those markets will allow them to produce more and better quality food. This can also help the farmer and their families financially.
  5. Humanitarian action in the form of food assistance, especially during a time of crisis. This will provide the necessary nutrition, especially during a time of hardship and will support the continuance of things such as education.
  6. Providing adequate nutrition during a child’s first 1,000 days of life has been proven to be instrumental in the development of a healthy mind and body.
  7. Recognize and utilize the power of the individual. The possibility of a global scale effort through social media communication is impossible to imagine. If we can motivate and activate individuals worldwide through the use of the internet, we could have a more cohesive, dedicated force behind the fight against hunger.
  8. Having strong influential leaders willing to rally the troops and lead the way to end hunger on a global scale.
  9. Donating your time or money to organizations like Stop Hunger Now which packages and ship life-saving meals to all over the world to the poor. 88.5 percent of donations directly fund their meal programs.
  10. Educate your friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances. Just because the problem isn’t in our faces, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Ending global hunger is really just a matter of caring enough, and making a concentrated, worldwide effort to do so.

Drusilla Gibbs

Sources: Revolution Hunger, Stop Hunger Now, World Food Programme, Helping Hands
Photo: Planet Matters and More

volunteer_this_holiday_season
Many people think that they can’t help others if they don’t have money to donate, yet there are many other ways to give back to those in need. Most organizations would be grateful for a pair of helping hands if you have a little time to spare this holiday season. At a time when many people are caught up in the commercial aspect of the holidays, giving back to others can be a very fulfilling and rewarding experience. Here are five international organizations where you can volunteer this holiday season.

1. Stop Hunger Now

Stop Hunger Now is an international relief organization that provides food packages with over 23 essential nutrients to those in need. The organization has helped provide food and aid to people in 65 different countries. Stop Hunger has over 25 meal packaging locations across the U.S. where anyone is welcome to go and volunteer. You can also arrange a meal packaging drive in your local community where Stop Hunger Now will travel to you. The group makes meal packaging a fun activity and encourages teamwork between volunteers to raise production goals.

2. Heifer International

Hiefer has helped bring over 20.1 million families out of hunger and poverty through the use of animals, water purification, women’s empowerment and sustainable farming. The organization’s unique donation system allows donors to fund life-saving projects as well as partial and complete animal donations (mainly cows, goats, sheep, llamas and bees). These animals can help provide a community with valuable resources so they can learn to feed themselves.

In addition, Hiefer offers a multitude of volunteering experiences that range from simply getting the word out about the cause to working on one of Heifer’s animal farms. For those who want to stay local, volunteers can conduct fundraising campaigns like the Read to Feed drive, which promotes a love of reading in children as well as community service. Volunteers can also help advocate Heifer International at local and national events or even travel to one of Heifer’s U.S. farms where they can chose from a variety of volunteer programs lasting from several hours to five days long. You can even sign up to stay and work on the farm for several months if you aren’t quite ready to leave.

3. Oxfam International

Oxfam has established development programs in over 90 countries which work to improve human rights, food security, healthcare and education. The organization allows volunteers to work towards global human rights and poverty-elimination at the local level. Volunteers have the opportunity to join the organization’s Action Corps, a group of trained grassroots advocates that work together locally to gain support for life-saving policies, defend human rights and help communities across the world to overcome hunger and climate change. Action Corps members primarily work as advocates at local events, as event organizers and as leaders. Oxfam’s volunteer program has received great feedback, helping many to develop valuable leadership skills and standout in the job market.

If you aren’t looking to make the commitment to the Action Corps program, Oxfam also looks for volunteers to represent the group at concerts and festivals as well as local events such as farmers markets.

4. Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity strives to provide safe, affordable housing for low-income families throughout the world. The organization prides itself on an open door policy which brings people together from all walks of life. Habitat has local branches throughout all 50 states, making it easy and convenient for volunteers. Individuals can volunteer at their local branch or even participate in an international Global Village volunteer trip. Volunteers work as a team to build and repair houses for those in need and they can devote as little as one day since there are no time requirements to help out. Volunteering at Habitat helps individuals build skills, meet other like-minded people, while providing a rewarding experience to those involved.

5. Mercy Corps

Similar to Heifer International, Mercy Corps offers many charitable gift ideas that go to those living in poverty. This includes donations of livestock, clean water systems, solar power, vaccinations and education for women and children. Mercy Corps’ gift site makes it easy and fun to give rewarding and charitable gifts- a unique idea for this holiday season!

Mercy Corps Action Center volunteers are able to use their people skills by speaking at events and managing information tables for the organization. In addition, the organization’s MicroMentor system connects business mentors, volunteers and entrepreneurs.

Volunteering at one of these organizations is a great way to give back this holiday season. Though, don’t forget that these groups need help throughout the rest of the year as well.

– Meagan Douches

Sources: Habitat For Humanity, Heifer International, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Stop Hunger Now
Photo: Wikipedia

best_world_hunger_nonprofits
It might be hard to believe that hunger kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Roughly 800 million people in the world are chronically malnourished, with the majority living in developing countries. Here is a look at three nonprofit organizations that are fighting to end world hunger:

1. Action Against Hunger

This global humanitarian organization works not only towards ending global hunger, but also in creating long-term strategies that capitalize on self-sufficient workers. Malnutrition claims the lives of over a million children, although the disease is preventable and treatable. Most of Action Against Hunger’s  funding goes directly to these life-saving programs. For every $1 they raise, $0.91 is spent on program activities. Charity Navigator has given the organization the highest four-star rating seven years in a row.

2. Stop Hunger Now

For the last 15 years, Stop Hunger Now has coordinated the distribution of food and other needed aid to children all over the world. They target vulnerable populations and aim to involve the global community in mobilizing the necessary resources. In 2005, the organization created the meal packaging program, which combines rice, beans, vegetables and the essential nutrients and vitamins all into one small package. With each meal costing roughly $0.29, SHN is able to ship and distribute the meals all over the world. In fact, one SHN packaging event can result in more than 1,000,000 meals.

3. CARE

A humanitarian organization that is fighting to end global poverty, CARE staff has worked in a multitude of countries serving some of the poorest communities and populations. Since it sent the first CARE package in 1946, the organization has been addressing the issues of food insecurity all over the globe. CARE often focuses on hunger caused by natural disasters and conflict. In countries such as Chad, Lesotho, Niger and South Sudan, CARE’s programs have helped reduce the risk of disasters and food insecurity by promoting environmental sustainability and empowering people economically.

– Leeda Jewayni

Sources: World Food Program, Action Against Hunger, Stop Hunger Now, CARE
Photo: Wesley-Luther

alpha kappa alpha
Carrying on a legacy that extends over a century, Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) joined forces with Stop Hunger Now on July 12 to do their part in the fight against global hunger. Gathering at the Charlotte Convention Center in North Carolina, over 2,000 volunteers gave their day to put together packages of food to be sent to West Africa.

AKA is the oldest sorority in the nation, comprised mainly of African American women, and was established at a time when the workforce was male dominated and segregation was the norm. The sorority served as a network of support for women at the time and has gone on to make a difference in civil rights movements and philanthropic efforts since it was established in 1908.

Carolyn House Stewart, the international president for the sorority, remarked on the generosity and strength of these women, explaining, “All of them helped change the landscape. All helped humanity.”

The sorority stands by the theme “Global Leadership Through Timeless Service,” and the event on Saturday was the epitome of these words, as the women worked tirelessly to make a difference.

Over the course the day, the women worked in one-hour shifts in teams of six to package 100,000 meals that will be sent to West Africa. The packages contain “highly nutritious dehydrated meals comprised of rice, soy, vegetables, flavoring and 21 essential vitamins and minerals.” At the end of the day, the volunteers had handled 7.5 tons of food, food that will go on to help thousands of starving people.

The sorority was joined by Stop Hunger Now, an organization that has been helping the world for 15 years now. Since its establishment, Stop Hunger Now has distributed 140,000,000 meals and other aid to 65 countries around the world. It has been very successful as an organization, working hard to mobilize necessary resources to assist those most desperate for help.

Rod Brooks, the president and CEO of Stop Hunger Now, explained the logic behind the organization, saying, “Hunger is solvable and is the common thread among the world’s most challenging issues. When hunger is targeted, you give leverage and hope to every other cause including poverty, disease, education and the welfare of women and children.”

Both organizations came together to honor Nelson Mandela for this event, and he will be internationally celebrated on July 18. Based on the success of their community service efforts, AKA and Stop Hunger Now suitably paid homage to Mandela’s memory.

Worldwide, almost 870 million people lack access to the food and other resources they need to survive on a daily basis, and every day, 25,000 people die as a result. These conditions are fueled by extreme poverty and are also difficult to overcome while poverty still exists. Organizations like Alpha Kappa Alpha and Stop Hunger Now are able to bring some relief to this vicious cycle. They have recognized a need for international support for those suffering around the world, and for the time being, their efforts will help keep thousands of people alive in West Africa.

– Magdalen Wagner

Sources: Q City Metro, Lake Wylie Pilot, News West 9
Photo: Q City Metro

scale_calories_hunger
In recent years, technology and applications have had an increasingly philanthropic purpose. The latest of these technologies is the Share Your Calories application. The app was designed by Catherine Jones, a well-known author of nutrition cookbooks, Elaine Trujillo, a leader in nutrition, and Stop Hunger Now, an international agency aimed to end hunger across the globe.

The app can be used to help people lose weight while simultaneously providing food to people harmed by natural disasters. By adding a philanthropic purpose, the designers of the application aimed to give users another goal as well as more motivation to eat healthier. Studies also show that spending on others makes us happier than spending on ourselves, so the application, in and of itself, allows users to feel lasting happiness.

The application allows users to monitor their daily activities and food intake through a calorie bank determined by bio-data. If they do not consume all the calories in their calorie bank, the user has the option to convert the extra calories into monies. Once they have accumulated $12, the user has the option to donate to Stop Hunger Now.

Each Stop Hunger now high-protein dehydrated meal is equivalent to 250 calories and 25 cents.

The financial contributions from the Share Your Calories App go toward Stop Hunger Now meal packaging events. Each of these meals contains rice, dehydrated soy and vegetables as well as a vitamin-mineral pack. These meals are easy to store and have a shelf-life of 2 years.

These meals are currently distributed through host-organizations, but the funds from this application will also allow smaller groups and businesses to participate.

This application hopes to bring in $95,000 to build an android app, provide basic nutrition information, translate the app into different languages, etc. The Stop Hunger Now effort is supported by the Medical Science Foundation, TruBios Communications, iSO-FORM, The Ohio State University Food Innovation Center and the Experiment.

Lienna Feleke-Eshete

Sources: IndieGoGo, FoodTank
Photo: Irish Red Cross

stop_hunger_now
Engendered in 1998 by Ray Buchanan and colleagues, Stop Hunger Now (SHN) is regarded as a successful international hunger relief organization, having received a four-star rating by Charity Navigators for its excellent management of resources. The organization is primarily sponsored primarily by corporate and individual donations.

With the establishment’s headquarters located in Raleigh, North Carolina at the intersection of the intellectual and innovative Research Triangle Park (RTP,) the organization has established itself as a powerful combatant against global hunger.

By distributing much-needed resources such as food, medicine, and other supplies to impoverished countries, SHN aims to reduce the extent of suffering and plight in the world. Over the past 15 years, SHN has generated more than $100 million in aid to 65 countries in need.

In addition to raising monetary funds for hunger relief, ever since 2005, the organization has also taken part in the ubiquitous creation and distribution of meal packages. These inexpensive packages, costing a mere 25 cents apiece, are rich in necessary nutrients such as soy, vegetables, and 21 crucial minerals and vitamins.

The assemblage of these vital packages are often constructed by volunteers and undertaken as a community-wide endeavor often taking place at local institutions such as Raleigh’s North Carolina State University. Additionally, completed meal packages serve a dual purpose as they provide much-needed relief to impoverished communities yet, in their completion, simultaneously educate volunteers about international hunger.

Furthermore, since the establishment’s adoption of the meal-packaging program, SHN has packaged and provided 127,964,644 meal packages. Approximately 70 percent of these meals are allocated for transformational development programs such as schools, orphanages and clinics, aiming to eradicate hunger at its source by promoting education and autonomy.

Not only do these meal packages provide subsistence for impoverished communities, they also deter activity that often ensnares youth in the cycle of poverty. According to a student at the Lakay School in Haiti, “For many children like me, the food we eat at Lakay is the only plate of food that we eat all day. With this food we are able to make sure that we won’t have to do bad things in the street in order to survive.”

Having raised $100 million in relief efforts and providing over 127 million meal packages to disadvantaged communities, within its mere 15 years of operation, through fundraisers and its unique meal-packaging program, SHN has upheld its vow to help reduce world hunger one meal at a time.

Phoebe Pradhan

Sources: Stop Hunger Now, North Carolina State University, Rice Select
Photo: Spring Hill College

Stop Hunger Now
Stop Hunger Now (SHN) is a hunger relief organization with the mission to end world hunger by providing food and other life-saving aid to children and families in countries all over the world. The organization believes addressing the problem of hunger is the single point where they can leverage relief for all humanitarian issues.  

In 2005, SHN created its meal packaging program, which dedicates to make and distribute meal packets for countries in need. People working and volunteering in the program combine rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packets. According to SHN website, each meal costs only 25 cents. The food stores easily, has a shelf life of two years and transports quickly.

This program has branches in the United States, South Africa, Malaysia, Philippines and Italy. Many religious institutions, civic organizations, corporations and schools have organized SHN meal packaging events. One SHN packaging event can result in the packaging of more than 1,000,000 meals.

So far, SHN has provided over 70 percent of its meals to support transformational development programs across 65 countries, such as school feeding programs, vocational training programs, early childhood development programs, orphanages, and medical clinics. It has packaged about 127 million meals.

SHN aims to allocate 80 percent of its meals to transformational development programs by 2015.

This organization partners with many non-profit organizations around the world to provide food and other aid to those in need. Those partners are chosen based on a comprehensive evaluation, including their effectiveness, sustainability, ability to import, store and distribute meals and impact.

In December 2013, SHN built a partnership with Share Your Calories (SYC,) a movement to improve people’s health and to end world hunger. It dedicates to impact both weight-loss issues and hunger issues by empowering users to take control of their own health and to make an impact in the fight against world hunger.

SYC is developing a mobile app, which is expected to be available in May. The app will allow users to track calories consumed and burned off.  Users can store unused calories into a Calorie Bank and then donate them to SHN by “sharing” them via the app. Every 250 shared calories will be converted to $0.25.

SHN believes that the world has sufficient resources to feed everyone and it is possible to end hunger in people’s lifetime.

Liying Qian

Sources: Stop Hunger Now, Stop Hunger Now-2, Stop Hunger Now-3, Share Your Calories