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The Most Innovative Approaches to Helping the Poor Around the World

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The Most Innovative Approaches to Helping the Poor

By accident of birth, we may have access to clean water, fresh air, good food, health care, and education. Or, we may suffer from malnutrition, disease, and exploitation. How can those of us with resources help to create a more just world? This is an age-old question, one people have been wrestling with for centuries. Sometimes we’re tempted to throw up our arms in despair. "What can I do?” The need is so great, the problems so huge and entrenched that it may be easier to try to forget that our brothers and sisters still suffer and die, even as we live in comfort and plenty.
However, while we may never eradicate the scourge of poverty, perhaps we may do something to help to improve the lives of some of the suffering. One way to accomplish this is to donate time or money to a charity that uses one of the most innovative approaches to helping the poor.

Lives of Girls and Women Are Key

It’s estimated that among the millions of poor, 70% are women and girls. The people deemed "ultra-poor” (subsisting on sixty cents per day or less) are predominantly women. These women face chronic food insecurity, malnutrition, gender discrimination, and often abuse and exploitation. Trying to help this group might seem like a Sisyphean task.
Yet, according to a study reported in the Harvard Business Review, women who participated in programs designed to enrich their skills in order to provide them with sustainable livelihoods were able to move out of ultra-poverty in great numbers. Depending on geography, 75 – 98% of women who received help left the "ultra-poor” category within twenty-four months and maintained this status.

Volunteering or Donating to Charity

It’s been proven in study after study that raising the standard of living for women lifts the entire community. Therefore, contributing to organizations that target girls and women for help may be the most innovative way to help combat poverty.
There are various ways that charities help girls and women worldwide. Most girls in impoverished areas need:
  • Healthcare. Girls need basic healthcare as well as health education regarding hygiene, reproductive health, and post-partum care.
  • Food. It’s estimated that three times as many girls suffer from malnutrition than boys. Girls need access to safe food and water.
  • Education. More than fifty million girls in developing nations don’t attend primary or secondary school. By acquiring knowledge and skills, women can transform their lives.
  • Safety. In some areas of the world, girls face systemic abuse and human trafficking.
Look for projects in developing nations that work in communities with local leaders and volunteers. These types of initiatives are more likely to succeed than larger projects that use a uniform approach. For example, the charity Global Family operates a program in Nepal called the "Daughter Project.” This initiative is two-fold: to combat human trafficking by identifying at-risk girls and providing them with skills and education that will prevent them from being exploited, and to rescue girls who have been forced into slavery or prostitution by working with local officials to locate them, and providing safe shelters and counseling. The goal is to reintegrate these girls into their communities.
Change the world by using the most innovative approaches to helping the poor -- donate to a charity for women and girls today.

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