How to help developing countries, is something we would all like to do. But how do you know who to help? There are around 800,000 people hungry or without fresh water, yet often people wonder where the money goes. Also see the posts on helping endangered species and filtered water for developing countries.
One thing that’s not good to do is to focus on donating cows or goats. This just gives another mouth to water and feed, and cause desertification of fertile land. Read 10 reasons not to send farmed animal gifts. Land used to grow plants feeds more people. Did you know that during Live Aid, the UK was importing grain from Ethiopia (to feed our livestock), that land could have been used to grow food themselves instead?
- Origin (above) is a non-profit fashion label, that uses profits from organic cotton t-shirts to help Africans launch clay-lined stoves, seamstress schools and HIV clinics.
- A Well Fed World & Plenty International are two charities that send free plant-based food to developing countries, but also launch projects so people can grow their own food. Food for Life Global is similar.
- Baby Milk Action asks big companies to stop marketing formula to poor mothers in Africa (most can breastfeed). This is because when they leave hospital, they often water the formula down (or mix with dirty water) which causes disease (and according to WHO, many babies die). Nifty Cup is a £1 invention that enables babies in developing countries to ‘lap breast milk’.
- Buy Fair Trade tea, coffee, chocolate and cola (Karma Cola helps fund women farmers in Sierra Leone). Look up fashion brands at Good on You to see their ethics.
- Power a Life offers solar chargers and camping lights, that are good for the planet, and help fund solar lights for children in developing countries. This helps them to study without pollution and fire hazard risks of kerosene, and stops tree being chopped to make firewood.
- Kitchen Table Charities Trust is a small charity set up by former newsreader John Humphries. It funds tiny projects (removing cataracts, training people in carpentry) with not one penny being allowed to be spent on UK administration.
- Shared Interest is a building society, where your savings fund one fair loans, to help start businesses.
- Don’t send your trash to Africa, it has enough problems already (no sewage or disposal facilities, which can cause fire hazards from dumped waste). Instead, give to Afripads (locally-made biodegradable sanitary pads) and donate laptops locally to Donate a PC.
- One thing that’s good to send is bicycles (free non-polluting transport for people to get to school and work). Send through Re-Cycle.
- Buy organic cotton clothing From Babies with Love, which uses profits to provide homes for orphaned babies. NHS says to avoid ‘sleeping bags’ (and take off hats and coats as soon as you come to warmer temperatures, including in cars). Even if it means waking your baby.
Elephant Branded sells accessories made from used cement bags, each purchase helping to buy stationery for children in India (the post only lists leather-free items). Note only the following bags are leather-free (the Wild range contains leather offcuts). But all of the bags below are made from recycled cement bags, so use up waste, and help children in developing countries: