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....


 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 more detail.

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

How to give: Go to 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,

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


  1. Dear Deb, that is an extra ordinary honor for me to read all your works done in the past years that is collecting from your whole life experiences. I am amazed to learn from your experiences of these NGOs your works before. I do believe that in your next records will have some info Southeast Asia countries which include Cambodia where we both come across through a partnership for saving lives project. Once again, thanks for sharing all these beautiful works. I wish you all the best of luck. Loves, Kim Heang , Cambodia

  2. Thanks for your suggestion, Kim Heang. I'll focus on Southeast Asia in the next post.