When migrating to a new country, you will often find yourself wondering about your home country and the well being of friends and family once you are overseas. You definitely need to stay in touch with loved ones on a regular basis now that you are thousands of miles apart. If you migrated to a new country for a better financial opportunity, there’s no question you will help support your family and close friends. But besides the people you know directly, how else could you help support your home country as a whole?
Donating to charitable organizations that take part in philanthropic activities is the easiest way to get involved. Each organization may have a different objective in mind but it all boils down to the same end goal of eliminating issues such as poverty while improving other areas such as education, health, social services and the overall preservation of communities.
Problems in Africa
Poverty and famine are some of the common problems throughout Africa. These issues create a domino effect of other problems such illiteracy and lack of education. The combination of these problems has a long term economic impact on future generations. In some of the poorest African countries, it’s estimated at least a quarter of children age 5 or below are dealing with malnourishment. Can you believe there are about 260 million children and teens not receiving any education at all?!?
Unfortunately, poverty is one of the main reasons for lack of education in small towns and villages. That number is staggering and you can imagine the negative impact this has on the continent. The youth affected will have a hard time getting a good job and starting a career without education. The economic hardship will continue to follow them unless these issues are addressed. It’s certainly not something that can just happen overnight but with the right funding and solutions in place, there's hope to make progress over time.
The question is, who’s going to help make an impact?
YOU AND CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS!
How Do You Know If A Charity Is Legit?
While there are plenty of legitimate non profit charities, there are also illegitimate charities that are scams and your donation never ends up reaching Africa. It’s mandatory to do your own research to determine if it’s safe or not. There a several different indicators that will help your filter out any charities with red flags. One of the first places to check is the IRS Nonprofit Charities Database and search for an organization by EIN (Employer Identification Number) or by name. If an organization is not listed in the database, they could be really small or temporary which should raise red flags since they may be trying to fly under the radar of the IRS
Most charities with a good reputation will often display seals or awards from credible charity information websites, such as GuideStar, GreatNonprofits, CharityWatch and BBB Give.org. These sites will provide you with detailed information about an organization. The sites will contain any of the following: rating score, donor feedback, detailed history and financial documents, such as 990, which discloses how the charity donations are spent and where they go. However, it’s not an immediate red flag if a charity doesn’t appear on all four websites. Factors such as charity size, annual revenue and how long they have been around are common reasons to why a charity may not appear on all websites. As long as a charity is present on one out of the four and report how their donations are spent, this should be a good indication they are safe. Any charity that does not disclose financial information is on websites like these usually a major red flag and shouldn’t be considered. It’s a shame that we have to spend extra time evaluating charities but what’s even worse is knowing you were scammed out of your hard-earned money.
Finally, it’s worth looking into the organization GiveWell. This non profit organization is so unique since they focus on analyzing top charities well beyond financial information, which is the primary focus for charity evaluators. In-depth research allows the organization to measure the success of improving lives per dollar spent.
Here are charity recommendations from GetWell that are involved in Africa:
Their objective is to prevent, control and treat malaria and other communicable diseases in Africa and Asia. The seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) program specifically targets children 3 months to 59 months old to prevent illness and death from malaria.
This organization focuses on reducing malnutrition and averting blindness and poor vision in Africa and Asia. They also assist and help fund a government-run vitamin A supplementation programs.
They provide funding for protection against malaria in developing African countries by helping with long-lasting insecticide-treated net (LLIN) distributions. There's evidence that the program is successful and cost-effective with plenty of room for additional donors.
The number of charitable organizations continues to grow as more and more people get passionate about helping impoverished African nations. In this first post of this blog series, we covered some of the top charities that focus on many different African countries with the whole continent in mind. However, there’s plenty of donors that want to give back to organizations with active programs in their home country. Next, we will cover country specific nonprofit organizations, learn about their positive impact and how to get involved by making a donation.