There are many charities that work towards solving hunger issues in Africa by donating not only to provide ready-made food but also to provide resources to farmers and people with experience in agriculture to grow crops to feed local populations. There are certain crops that grow well in Africa and types of plants which are much easier to grow in these harsh climates. By giving farmers and community members education as well as the seeds and tools that they need to create agricultural opportunities in communities within Africa, charities like the Red Cross, UNICEF and others are creating opportunities in African communities to create ongoing food production.
One of the biggest barriers to an ongoing agricultural supply line in Africa is barriers that are put in place on regional and intercountry trade. It isn’t as simple as we find it in North America for African communities to trade amongst one another in order to get the resources that they need. With intense droughts and shortages on water in some areas as well as harmful insects and other challenges that face agricultural communities, trade needs to happen in order for communities to self sustain and get the supplies that they need to succeed. As such the UN and African Union is strongly lobbying to remove some of these barriers to allow communities across Africa the chance that they need to trade amongst one another and boost agriculture as a whole to create self-sustaining communities.
A second major factor that contributes to the distribution of food and trade involves the roads and transportation across Africa. With so many poor roads and unsafe roads, charities may need to look into the future at increasing security as well as improving overall road conditions to allow for distribution and better imports and exports all over the continent. Currently the transport costs and logistics of transporting food and agricultural produce across Africa is very difficult to contend with and until changes are made communities will be left under the some of the transport cartels which are in power and in charge of imports and exports for communities.
With a big focus on education, providing resources, opening up borders and improving road conditions and road safety, charities can disburse their money not only to provide immediate relief but also provide relief in a format that will create self-sustaining communities, allowing charities to make an impact across other areas of Africa.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Joelle O’Reilly-Hyland is a member of the advisory board of Ubuntu Africa, a non profit organization that helps HIV children in Africa. Together with her husband, Paul, Joelle O’Reilly-Hyland started a triathlon team to raise more than $100K for Ubuntu. She is also an active supporter of many other education and womens’ rights based organizations like Educate Girls Globally. Joelle is named top professional women of the year by Worldwide Who’s Who magazine. Joelle and Paul live in Manhattan, NY with their three children, Oliver, Ogden, and Louisa. Follow Joelle O’Reilly-Hyland on Twitter.
Posted by Guest Blogger
Categories: Aid Reform
A recent Huffington Post article reports that Low-Wage Workers Are Robbed More Than Banks, Gas Stations And Convenience Stores Combined. Studies reveal that most employees have some of their pay illegally withheld. Three times more money is lost due to wage theft than gas-station and convenience-store robberies. About a couple hundred million dollars of wage theft is caught per year, and much more presumably goes uncaught.
I think that is all very interesting. However, I think it misses the root issue. In a world where an entire class of people have been turned into wage slaves through more fundamental oppression like unequal ownership/access to natural resources, the violent theft has already occurred and the victims will unfairly suffer in, near or under the threat of poverty regardless of minimum wage or overtime laws. I think that’s like bickering over how many band-aids to give a stabbing victim.
What do you think?
Posted by Scott Hughes
Categories: American Poverty
It’s been a long time since I posted regularly on this website. So I want to come back to it by telling you a little bit about how I feel…
I am sad, and I don’t deserve to be so sad. I am lonely and scared, and I don’t deserve to be so lonely and scared. I’m just unhappy, and I don’t think I deserve it.
I thought I was happy for a little while. But somewhere along the way I lost that happiness that I had. I don’t know how. I suppose it was probably me. When we finally get what we think we want, do we take it for granted and loosen our grip and watch it slip away? Or in some perhaps subconscious flight do we chase happiness away to get back to the familiar grounds of stable despair that we carry from childhood? I don’t know. A lot goes on beneath the empty smile.
I don’t think I will ever be happy. I feel like I deserve to be happy, but I guess I just will never get what I deserve. I sort of want to give up on getting what I deserve I suppose. But in that emptiness I realize I can try to make other people happy. I don’t think making some other happy will make me fundamentally happy or satisfy me. I still want to do it though.
Even if I’m not happy with the plate of food in front of me, I can feed someone who is hungry. Even if my clothes don’t make me happy, I can clothe those that need clothes. A house of my own may not be the oasis of escape and happiness so often dreamed, but I can give shelter to the homeless.
I want to provide clean water and hospitals to those that are sick. I want food for the hungry, and homes for the homeless. I want jobs for the unemployed. I want freedom for those imprisoned. I want peace for the war-torn families shaking in fear that they may end up in tomorrow’s statistics of collateral damage.
I guess I’ve learned that I don’t need to be the strongest person to be able to help others or to try to make other people happy. I don’t need to be the richest or most powerful to spread happiness. I don’t need personal or financial success to treat the world in a loving way. Mainly I think I don’t need to be happy to give happiness to others.
Amassing ridiculous financial wealth or fame or popularity or career-success has never interested me much. I have always felt like an outsider among those possessing or headed for some kind of common version of success and only at home among the wayward or rebellious. My family and my children are the only things that have really kept me grounded. I love them; I do. Maybe I would be homeless or in prison myself if I didn’t need to feed my kids or want to spoil my wife in my middle-class way. But as hard as it is to say, even my family hasn’t made me happy or satisfied, instead perhaps conflicted but indeed grounded.
I suppose I am gracious that I seem unable to achieve some kind of complacent satisfaction or happiness. What kind of sick person could be happy or satisfied in this world?! This world in which children starve by the thousands each day? In which billions live in absurd poverty? In which homes sit vacant next to the homeless and food sits expiring on shelves down the street from the starving? In which millions of nonviolent people rot in prisons for twisted political and financial reasons, marijuana possessors for instance? In which millions if not billions want jobs but are denied them. In which millions or billions of people including children want education but are denied? In which oil wars and racism and misplaced hate and violent destructive profiteering plague all? A world in which there is more than enough food to feed the hungry and more than enough resources to provide food, clothes, clean water, shelter, healthcare and education to everyone, but in which so many people go without not because of their own laziness and not by their own choice but for no good reason and through no fault of their own.
And even the lucky minority who have those basic needs met are generally unhappy, more than me I imagine. That’s because they believe in a lie. One shirt might make a naked man happy, but 20 shirts doesn’t make a man 20 times as happy. A warm meal and a cottage might satisfy the homeless man, but a hundred mansions and a thousand pounds of food a day won’t make a single rich man a hundred times more happy. These people don’t get what they need either, but what they need you can’t buy and you can’t grow and you can’t build in a factory. They are broken disturbed people and they are chasing the wrong goals. Sure they make everything worse for the rest of us but even more they make things worse for themselves. Perhaps I feel more sorry for these folks than anyone. Do you feel more sorrow for the person who is stabbed by another or the person who slices their own wrist? I don’t know. Suicide rates literally increase in people who win the lottery. These kinds of people would drop bombs on innocent families of children to make a buck, but that same buck is killing them too. Those who promote greed and capital competition on utilitarian grounds are victims of circular reasoning: They measure the benefits of wealth-obsession by how wealthy it makes people. I could give a damn about an increase in the average income when children are starving. I don’t care about a percentage point change in GDP when whole families are homeless even on the streets of America. Screw the economy.
I don’t know. I don’t have all the answers. I’m just an unhappy man rambling here. I know there is a lot of people who do feel like me. I know there is thousands if not over the lifetime of this website a million people who have read things I wrote here, many who agree and some who are inclined to reach out to me. I wish I could be more of a leader for you. I don’t have the confidence of a natural leader. I don’t have the decisiveness. Despite this kind of rambling, I’m not opinionated enough. I don’t have the perfect plan for you—or what I falsely believe to be the perfect plan. I just have some of these beliefs. I believe this world is crazy and I believe only a deeply disturbed person could feel sane living in this crazy world. I hope you believe as I do, but if you do I feel sorry for you because I know it’s not a recipe for happiness. It’s being dissatisfied with where you are but without a destination or even a map.
The thing I am most surest of though is that I do love you. I may have never met you and I may never meet you, but I love you. We’re in this together.
Let me know what you think.
There are thousands of charities working in Africa to support the people who live there – this is undoubtedly a great thing but it does mean that if you want to get involved and support an African charity, it can be difficult to know exactly which one to choose. If you’re currently struggling to decide where to put your support, read on to find out about some of the key issues you should consider.
It goes without saying that Africa is a huge continent with a diverse range of needs. There are significant differences between African countries and they all face their own specific challenges. This means you might like to give some thought to the location of your chosen charity when deciding who to support – some charities working in Africa work in many different countries on a wide range of issues. However, some are focused on one specific country working on issues that are relevant to that area, so this is something you might like to think about.
The focus of the charity you are planning to support is also another key consideration. There are charities covering every issue imaginable in Africa, so no matter what you are most interested in, you are sure to find something to suit your interests. For example, many people like to focus on children’s charities working in Africa to help lift children out of poverty, provide them with vital healthcare or give them a decent education. Others might prefer to focus their support on people who have been affected by civil war or who have been affected by a disease such as Aids.
Type of support
It is also worth thinking about the type of support you would like to offer your chosen charity. Many charities working in Africa require extra funding to carry on with their current projects or to fund new projects – donating money to a charity is a straightforward process and this is the form of support most people choose to give. However, you could choose another kind of Africa Charity, such as child sponsorship, charity gifts to those who need them most or even funding a microloan.
Some African charities are always on the lookout for volunteers who are willing to go and work in an African country for a time, particularly if they have specific skills or work in the healthcare industry. If you’re thinking of offering more hands-on support, this could be something to look out for.
Guest post on behalf of World Vision, raising awareness of charity work.
Posted by Guest Blogger
Categories: Ways To Help
I think we often see the best of humanity in the face of the worst. Even within the terror and brutality of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, we find the sadly beautiful heroism such as that of Teacher Victoria Soto and Teacher’s Assistant Anne Marie Murphy who each died using their own bodies to try to shield the young children from gunshots.
In the broader sense, we find a similar bittersweet positive side to the statewide and national reaction. The horror at this unfathomable tragedy comes hand-in-hand with an amazing outpouring of sympathy and support and of well-deserved nationwide attention.
I post about this on this blog now because I cannot help but juxtapose this horrible tragedy that entailed the murder of 20 young, innocent children against that to which we have otherwise become accustomed: the over 18,000 children who die from world hunger every single day, and the 6,000 more that die from lack of clean water, and the thousands more from other preventable and treatable diseases. That’s over a 1,000 kids an hour; that’s nearly a Sandy Hook level devastation every minute.
Please in no way take this to mean that I think the 20 brtually slaughtered children and other victims — including not only the dead but their loved ones — of the Sandy Hook shooting deserve any less attention, help or sympathy than they are getting. They deserve all that they get, more maybe. My heart breaks for every single one of them.
I can understand in many ways how the tragedy that occurs minute-after-minute, day-after-day feels like too much to bear and its regularity lends a hand to complacency. I am guilty myself. I am guilty of being too complacent about the horrific tragedy of children dying by the thousands every hour of painful, sickening hunger — in a world that has more than enough food to feed everyone and more than enough resources to provide clean water, clothes, shelter, healthcare and education to everyone. I truly believe it is literally child murder — and one in which you and I are accomplices. To think of it must make one sick — sick of all humanity, sick even of oneself.
Again, as I already said, in the face of tragedy we find some of the best examples of humanity. By being out of the ordinary, I think the Sandy Hook tragedy breaks through that sickening complacency, shattering the selfish shell the hides our true, suppressed humanity made up of our deep philanthropy and willingness to be dissatisfied.
The victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy deserve this huge public outcry and the Sandy Hook victims and their families deserve all this wonderful support and demonstrations of philanthropy. Do not at all think I would diminish that in the slightest. I would not have our hearts break any less for any one of those poor children at Sandy Hook, the dead and the unimaginably scarred living. I just wish our hearts would break just as much every other day and every other month and every other year for every other child who tragically starves at our hands, by our decisions. We have been unusually woken up by this unfathomable, horrific, devastating nightmare at Sandy Hook; let’s stay awake this time.
Posted by Scott Hughes
Categories: Child Poverty
Despite our high tech gadgets, jaw dropping skyscrapers, and speedy bullet trains, the fact still remains that more than 7 million children under the age of 5 are dying each year.
The truth is that children die by the thousands each day because of malnutrition, pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria. What’s even more devastating is that these untimely deaths could have easily been prevented or treated with very simple cures, medications, and interventions.
Here we take a look at the most solvable problems and how you can help.
Commonly referred to as the “silent killer”, malnutrition is most common in underdeveloped countries where food sources are scarce. Recent statistics also reveal that roughly 40% of all deaths in children are directly or indirectly triggered by hunger and starvation. Malnutrition is also the leading cause of physical and mental retardation in children.
While babies and toddlers slowly dying of hunger may seem uncommon in our modern world, the fact that it exists and continues to claim lives of helpless children should be impetus enough for us to act.
Donating a Dollar
Food rations in impoverished countries cost roughly 29 cents and a dollar donation can go a long way to feeding these children who are unable to get enough sustenance to keep their body healthy.
As per recent reports by the World Health Organization (WHO), the figures for young lives claimed by malaria still averages roughly 3,000 daily in Africa alone. That’s roughly 1 child per minute.
Donating Mosquito Nets
Millions of families in Africa still lack access to protective mosquito nets which can help stop malaria. By donating insecticide-treated mosquito nets or 10 dollars, you can help reduce the death toll for malaria.
Lack of clean water sources, proper sanitation, and access to medical care are three of the most basic reasons on why diarrhea still ranks as one of the leading killers in children.
Donating Oral Rehydration Salts
Diarrhea and dehydration comes hand in hand and more often than not it is the latter that claims the life of a child. By providing these children with a supply of oral rehydration salts, you can help give these babies and tots a better fighting chance at winning this battle.
Donating Water Purification Tablets
Providing these little ones with access to clean water will help prevent diarrhea in the first place. One of the simplest and most effective ways to do so is through the use water purification tablets. With just one small tablet, you can help give a child a gallon of potable and safe drinking water.
None of these actions take much time or money, but they will have a huge impact on the life and health of children around the world. Take a moment to be thankful of the life situation that you’ve been given, and consider sharing some of that goodness with child who is less fortunate.
Mandy is a writer for http://www.onlinenursingdegrees.org/ and passionate advocate for global child health.
Posted by Guest Blogger