Monday, June 17, 2019

Friends,

As we approach the end of 2019's second quarter, I want to add two opportunities for charitable giving in Southeast Asia, based on my friend and colleague Kim Heang's useful recommendation to include this region  

These will be my last charitable giving postings for awhile.....I'll add a few more before the end of the tax year.  I may add additional posts about my work through the year, depending on where I find myself and what is happening there.   

Please remember that you are welcome to add your own charitable giving suggestions in the comments if you know of other health and social protection work that merits support.

6.    Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF)

How/why it was created: CCF was founded by Scott Neeson, former President of 20thCentury Fox International and head of Sony Pictures International’s marketing operations.  During a 2003 sabbatical he visited Phnom Penh and there saw many children living and working on the Steung Meanchey garbage dump, a waste site that spans approximately 100 acres.  Moved by so much poverty in such a toxic environment, he resigned from his US job and created CCF, an NGO that has continued to evolve over time.  You can see photos of the Steung Meanchey dump here: http://www.karlgrobl.com/Photojournalism/Stung%20Meanchey/page1.htm.

CCF’s two guiding pillars are Education and Leadership. The Education Program is the driving force behind all operations, to provide a pathway out of poverty for students and their families. The Leadership Program ensures that students graduate with a strong sense of social justice and a commitment to making a better future for themselves, their communities and country. Through linked child protection, career and life skills, and community outreach programs, CCF helps families escape debt, educate children, and develop job skills for parents and older children.

I applied to become a CCF volunteer while working in Cambodia for a six-month period, based on the organization’s excellent reputation; however, given my lack of national language (Khmer) fluency, the organization didn’t have a role where I could be useful.  But I have watched their good work with keen interest.

Reputation and results:  CCF works with several partners to leverage and enhance results and impact.  See https://www.cambodianchildrensfund.org/get-involved/partner/.

The organization’s annual and financial reports can be found at: https://www.cambodianchildrensfund.org/important-documents/.

For more information about CCF, visit: https://www.cambodianchildrensfund.org.

How to give:  Click the blue DONATE button in the right upper corner of the website.

7.    Support Lao Children

How/why it was created:  The Montpelier Foundation is a UK based registered charity (registration number 1139851). Its mission is to eradicate poverty for all children in Northern Laos. A key program is Support Lao Children, founded by Andrew Brown, an Australian living in Luang Prabang.  who became aware of the Suan Luang orphanage and initially began to provide individual food support twice weekly.  Over time and with the help of donors, he set up Support Lao Children to improve the lives of the children in three residential institutions in Northern Lao – Luang Prabang, Suan Luang and Numbuk.

The organization now supports over 4,000 children across the three orphanages (please note that not all children residing in these three centers have lost both parents.  Some are placed there by very poor parents who cannot afford to care for them.) The Lao government is supportive and provides a small amount of money for school supplies and food, however the three centers rely primarily on donor support.

I learned about the Luang Prabang orphanage from an Australian colleague with whom I worked in Papua New Guinea, added myself to their mailing list, and have followed communications from committed volunteers who have worked there, with the institutions operating at times on a shoestring budget but with great commitment and determination.

Reputation and results:  Support Lao Children provides:
  1. nutritious meals with meat, fish and eggs
  2. water filtration systems to provide clean drinking water
  3. medical and dental support that includes weekly visits to the orphanages and emergency assistance
  4. scholarships to enable as many residents as possible to attend college.

For more information, visit: http://www.supportlaochildren.com.  

Montpelier Foundation’s financial reports are posted on its website: http://montpelierfoundation.org.uk/index.php/annual-accounts/.

How to give: To donate, click on this link:  https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/montpelierfoundation


You will see the Montpelier Foundation’s name on the payment page if you make a donation to Support Lao Children.  All funds donated into this account are exclusively for the orphanages. Donations can also be made by bank transfer; you can contact Andrew Brown directly at andrew@supportlaochildren.com for these details.


Sunday, June 9, 2019

Friends,

Here are two more charitable giving opportunities for your consideration.

4.     Outreach Moldova

How/why it was created:  Outreach Moldova is an Irish NGO (non-profit organization) that has been working in Moldova since 2000 to improve medical, nutritional and personal care conditions in a residential institution for girls and women with disabilities in the town of Hincesti (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hînceşti). Professional staff provide medical assistance & support services to residents with special needs and terminal illnesses.  Services include ‘round the clock medical care, financial coverage of hospital stays and surgery costs, rehab services, education/art/physical activities, social education, and advocacy to address the stigma associated with disability in the country.  Many of the children and adult women being supported by Outreach Moldova have spent their entire lives in institutional care; all have been abandoned or orphaned.

Outreach Moldova is also building a few community based homes for adult women with moderate disabilities. Community based homes are a new model of care in Moldova.

Reputation and results:  I met and interviewed Suzanne O'Connell, MD, founder and president, during a child protection work visit to Moldova in 2017. She invited me to visit the residential institution being supported by this NGO. Unfortunately, my schedule didn’t allow it but members of our work team gave high praise for the work the NGO does on behalf of residents, many of whom are severely disabled.  And the way Suzie spoke with deep affection for the children and young women she knows so well moved me deeply.  

Moldova’s government and infrastructure are poorly resourced to provide any services for women and children with disabilities.  Outreach Moldova is unique in terms of its strong dedication to residents with disabilities at Hincesti, as well as the type of community housing it is building with the hope that over time the government will be better positioned to assume funding responsibility for maintaining these housing services.

For more information, visit www.outreachmoldova.org.

How to give: Click on the gold ‘Donate Now’ button in the banner at the top of the web page.

5. International Organization for Migration in Ethiopia (IOM)

This is a special, urgent request from the IOM for its humanitarian support for refugees in Ethiopia.  The appeal is dated May 31, 2019.

"Mass internal displacement throughout Ethiopia due to consecutive years of drought and conflict have left nearly 9 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. The IOM is appealing to the international community for USD 50 million to continue offering lifesaving assistance to 1.5 million people in need.



Today’s request by IOM is part of the comprehensive inter-agency 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Ethiopia, which aims to raise USD 1.3. billion to support 8.3 million people. Half-way through the year, less than one-third of the HRP has been funded.

The second largest refugee hosting country in Africa, Ethiopia is hosting some 900,000 refugees primarily from South Sudan and Somalia and elsewhere, with additional refugees continuing to arrive. Transportation of newly arrived refugees from border entry points remains critical, as well as the provision of shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and livelihood support.

Funds received from this year’s appeal will allow IOM to offer shelter, non-food items, WASH assistance, protection, mental health and psychosocial support to affected populations. It will also allow IOM to continue its work in cluster coordination, as well as managing its Rapid Response Fund and Displacement Tracking Matrix.

Resources for ensuring durable solutions through community stabilization, conflict resolution and peace building, and durable shelter initiatives are also prioritized in the 2019 response plan."

You can download IOM’s detailed 2019 Emergency and Recovery Appeal for Ethiopia at https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/appeal-2019-iom-ethiopia.pdf.

For more information on how to give to the Ethiopia appeal, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie in the Addis Ababa office, Email:
salemayehu@iom.int.




Friday, June 7, 2019

Dear friends,

Welcome to my blog and thank you for visiting!

So many times through the years, friends who have listened to my descriptions of challenging global health or social protection situations I’ve witnessed around the world have expressed a desire to help, coupled with a wish that there were more avenues for individuals or families to contribute in ways that can accommodate budgets of all sizes.

Opportunities to provide direct assistance to worthy organizations do exist, and I thought it might be useful to publicize a few for friends who may find this information helpful in expanding the concept of social action beyond your immediate communities to a wider, global community.

I have chosen to list a few organizations with which I have direct experience. Some of the recommended organizations are based in just one country, and others are implementing programs in multiple countries.  Naturally I can’t guarantee how these organizations will put your donations to use, so please remember that this information is based on my personal experience and not on any formal or legal vetting process.

I'll continue to add additional organizations over time and you are most welcome to add your suggestions too in the comments.  Please feel free to share the blog with your personal networks if you wish.

Here are a few organizations to get the ball rolling....

1. Kiva.org

 How/why it was created: Kiva is a non-profit organization that was created to provide access to capital for individual entrepreneurs, currently in 80 countries. Per the website, more than 2.5 million people have collectively raised over $1 billion through this process, with the help of more than 1.5 million lenders.  Kiva has earned a 4 out of 4 star rating on the Charity Navigator.

How it works: A borrower applies for a loan. The loan goes through an underwriting and approval process.  Kiva has field partners and trustees who help to vet borrowers before they apply for loans on the website. The due diligence process is described on the website. The loan is posted to Kiva for lenders to support.  It is possible to borrow up to $10,000 at 0% interest. Individual lenders ‘crowdfund’* the loan in increments of $25 or more and can see who other lenders are.  Loans are made through a secure Kiva lender account. When fundraising is complete, Kiva provides the loan and borrower begins to repay the loan.  Lenders can then use the repaid money to fund new loans, donate the money, or withdraw the money.

Reputation and results:  Kiva loans have a history of 97%; this fluctuates slightly and you can find the current repayment rate at any time on the kiva website. Borrowers receive support for many things, including individual small businesses, craft cooperatives, loans for school tuition. See frequently asked questions at https://www.kiva.org/about/howfor more detail.

I have chatted with staff at Kiva about their vetting process and am comfortable with their standards.

How to give: Go to kiva.org and click on the blue box that says ‘start lending’.  

2Mother of Peace Community Zimbabwe

 How why/it was created:  Mother of Peace Community, Zimbabwe is a UK based charitable organization that raises funds to support an orphanage providing up to 60 children at a time with a home.  Children live in groups of 10 to 12 in houses with a house mother for each group. There is also a creche (daycare center) for children under 5 years of age as well as a health clinic and a chapel where daily services are held on the property. 

The orphanage was founded in 1994 by Jean Cornneck, RN, along with Lise and Derek van der Syde, Norman and Sybil Mac Donald in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zimbabwe which left many children orphaned.  Jean’s sister Stella later joined her as the number of small children deposited with her or abandoned at the side of roads and then brought to her continued to grow. MOPC was formed in 2004 to raise funds for the orphanage.  The Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, CA has been a strong supporter for the orphanage for many years, as has a private donor based in Europe.  

I met Jean in Oakland, CA years ago.  We spent time together putting our feet in the water at the shore in the city of Alameda, and we shopped together for shoes that would fit her generously sized feet.

Reputation and results: Over time the orphanage has grown a large garden, acquired some livestock, and organized a water source to be as self-supporting as possible.  Many children who died of HIV/AIDS in the arms of Mother Jean and her caring staff, especially in the early years before ART was available for children in Zimbabwe, are lovingly buried on the property.  

A detailed history of the orphanage and its supporters can be found on the MOPC website, http://www.motherofpeace.org.uk.

How to give: See ‘How You Can Help’ on the MOPC home webpage.  

3. Hesperian Foundation

How/why it was created: Hesperian produces and shares easy-to-understand health information for people worldwide. The not for profit foundation’s work began in the 1970s in Ajoya, Mexico, where a group of volunteers worked with villagers to create a simple manual of medically accurate information, presented in a culturally appropriate way, to address community health needs.  The Hesperian Foundation was established to publish this manual in 1973 as Donde No Hay Doctor.  In 1977, Hesperian published the English language version Where There is No Doctor, now the most widely used health book in the world and translated into more than 80 languages.

Reputation and results:  Over time, Hesperian has published 20 titles that address community health, women’s health, the needs of women and children with disabilities, community support for people living with HIV and helping children live with HIV, and environmental health. It was re-named Hesperian Health Guides in 2011 to better communicate the spirit of the work and a new digital resource center was also launched in 2011, as an extension of the foundation’s open copyright policy.  Having a digital platform enables users everywhere to culturally customize and download book content.  

I have provided editorial review for two of Hesperian's books and have respect for the foundation's inclusive development process and the quality of their products. 

For more information about the Hesperian Foundation, visit https://hesperian.org/about/.