Recent controversy surrounding the Red Cross has rightfully raised questions on the effectiveness of donations to aid organizations. The problem is that many organizations have evolved into corporations with too many managers and high overhead costs. While it is understandable to not want your donations spent on administration costs, the reality is that an NGO needs these costs to efficiently run their operations. However, lying to donors about the effectiveness or distribution of donations does not belong in international development. Ultimately, if you want to invest your money properly into helping the poor fight poverty, then donate it to an education based initiative in a developing country. This charity navigator is going to help you identify the rights NGOs.
Too often the people in the Western world fail to see just how important even the most basic education was in helping them advance their life. If you could not read or write then you would lack the core skills needed to access all the educational and social benefits of the Internet, or your smart phone. The bottom line is that education at any level is extremely important in enhancing your quality of life whether it is: primary, secondary, tertiary, vocational, or university education or adult classes.
People in the developing countries have the insurmountable challenge of breaking the cycle of poverty without equal access to the same education programs as the rest of the world.
It’s like playing a football match with the poor in developing countries playing uphill and the people in developed countries playing downhill.
From my travels to countless developing countries and being involved in many different schools there, including extended time in Ukraine and Peru, it is crystal clear that the poor badly want an improved education. The poor have such a strong desire to learn because they know they lack the tools to properly advance their lives. Plus, a strong education is advantageous to a developing country’s overall development as studies done by the United Nations show that no country has ever successfully attained sustainable and rapid economic growth, without at least a 40% adult literacy rate.
The Good News for Global Education
Recently the United Nations recognized their ineffectiveness in enhancing education in the developing world and decided to focus the second goal of their new Sustainable Development Goals on giving the poor a ‘Quality Education’. The new education goal is focused on every girl and boy finishing free primary and secondary schooling by 2030.
Improving global education is extremely important, as it is the underlining factor in almost all of the UN’s 18 Sustainable Global Goals (SDG). For example, if someone is not educated on the importance of drinking clean water (SDG #6) for their health then they have no reason to put in the effort to drink clean water and will remain sick from dirty water.
— Volunteer World (@VolunteerWorld_) December 1, 2015
Plus, people need to be educated on climate change (SDG #13) in order to want to make a difference. Countless times when I am in a bus or train in a developing country, I see someone throwing plastic wrappers or bottles out the window nonchalantly. While, it’s easy to shake your head in disgrace at them in reality they are simply lacking the knowledge obtained through education on how plastic waste is destroying the environment.
Successfully achieving a quality global education will involve more than a push by the UN but will involved increased capability of local education NGOs, initiatives and charities. These non-profit sectors groups will need the increased capacity and funding to improve many things at the grassroots level including teacher training, infrastructure and school supplies.
Plain and simple, if you want you donation to be effective then you should invest it in an education organization that work’s in the developing world. Better yet give it to a smaller proven grassroots organization that will be transparent in exactly where they will invest your money, even if a portion of your donation will cover some of their administration costs. Furthermore, make sure this NGO concentrates heavily on women’s education because a recent UNESCO report stated that 66% of the over 880 million children that are out of school today are girls.
A lot of work needs to be done in giving the global poor an education that they deserve.
It will involve more people getting behind the cause by donating, volunteering, and raising awareness of NGOs focused on education. These small grassroot NGOs with increased financial support can be the hidden engine behind the UN that helps the poor achieve a higher quality of life and hopefully decreases global violence.