Organizations that promote sustainability, equity, equality, environmental conservation and protection, and energy research that meets ecological and human needs are so important right now because conditions in the world are so unequal. In America, it can be hard to find a job, but in Uganda (and many other countries) it can be hard to find clean water or food.
Charities can provide temporary aid, but very well managed ones can also provide long-term solutions that give individuals the power to provide for themselves, (or “hand-ups”, instead of “hand-outs”). These solutions involve empowering everyday people (especially the poor, dissidents, minorities, children, women, the elderly, the disabled, and others at the bottom of the social hierarchy) by providing the resources to collaborate, organize, live autonomously and without discrimination.
It’s important to note that charity is only a small part of the solution. Charities do not attack powerful institutions, the super rich, or dissolve states. Only common people can do that. But by aiding the survival of more common people through charity and volunteer work, more people can fight back against the system that impoverishes and exploits the planet.
If you want to help make the world slightly less unequal, consider contributing to one of the charities listed below. I am not affiliated with any of them, but I think they are all very responsibly run organizations with worthy causes.
If you take away anything from this website, I hope it is the central belief that water, food, shelter, healthcare, education, and freedom are basic human needs, not luxuries. Poverty, torture, mass incarceration, famine, dehydration, slavery, genocide, and widespread disease are problems that don’t have to exist. We have the power and responsibility to eliminate them and the right charities can help us reach that goal, and they exist. Below are just a few.
There are very hardworking people who understand the balance between managing resources for ecosystems and people. They exist and if you need a reason to be motivated to act know that the situation is not hopeless and you can make significant changes to your community and beyond. There are millions of people fighting every day for human and ecological rights and you can be one of them if you aren’t already.
It is very hard to quantify human efforts for ecological and social justice. They are shaped by the actions of billions of people around the world and most actions go unnoticed. I think it’s important to point to these actions as much as we can see them, support them, and amplify them.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, and I will be adding to it often. Many organizations listed have international goals, but a few are just local. If you would like to suggest an addition to the list, feel free. If you think a charity should be removed, feel free to say so and state why. There are plenty of bogus charities out there and I don’t want one on here!
Elimination of Homelessness and Poverty
Food Security and Worker’s Rights
www.UNEP.org – United Nations Environmental Program has made large solar installations in India.
http://iuf.org/ – Uniting Food, Farm, and Hotel Workers Worldwide
http://www.thp.org/The Hunger Project
http://www.care.org – Currently working on the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan
http://www.ciw-online.org/about/ – Coalition of Immokalee Workers
Environmental Preservation, Food Sovereignty and Safety, Protection of Marine life, and Reducing Pollution and Global Climate Change
http://www.greenbeltmovement.org/ – Started by Wangari Maathai, the Green Belt Movement has planted 51 million trees in Kenya.
https://www.plant-for-the-planet.org – Nonprofit founded by 9-year-old Felix Finkbeiner that aims to help plant one trillion trees
*http://www.rainforestfoundation.org/– Works with indigenous communities to protect the rainforest, providing them with tools to monitor forests and take action
http://amazonwatch.org/– Provides indigenous communities working to protect the Amazon with solar power, radio, and internet. They also expose the corporate and state powers responsible for destruction of the Amazon
https://www.earthrights.org/ – Nonprofit organization that represents human rights defenders and environmentalists in court taking on major financial institutions and corporations guilty of human rights abuses and environmental crimes.
http://www.decoin.org/ – Defensa y Conservacion Ecologica de Intag – Grassroots organization working to preserve the biodiversity in the Intag area of northwestern Ecuador by helping communities interested in conservation to purchase land targeted for exploitation by extractive industries and assisting with sustainable development.
www.rainforest-rescue.org– Nonprofit that organizes protests against companies seeking to exploit the rainforest, attempts to affect policy, and raises funds to buy rainforest property
http://www.walhi.or.id/ – The Indonesian Forum for the Environment is a collective of anti-capitalist, environmental organizations in Indonesia that seek to protect the forests of Indonesia.
http://wrm.org.uy/– The World Rainforest Movement “aims to contribute to struggles, reflections and political actions of forest-dependent peoples, indigenous, peasants and other communities in the global South.”
http://fseee.org/ – Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics seeks to reform the U.S. Forest Service and hold it accountable for land stewardship.
http://www.nrdc.org/ – National Resources Defense Council is a grassroots movement of 1.4 million members that strives to reduce pollution, preserve natural forests, reduce global warming, aid food security and quality, and protect marine life.
http://www.seashepherd.org/ – This international nonprofit uses direct action to protect marine life by taking out ships that are slaughtering it.
http://www.seethewild.org/ – organization that offers volunteer vacations for those who want to help conserve wildlife.
http://plasticwhale.com/ – This is not a nonprofit. But it fishes plastic waste out of the sea and melts it down to create boats.
http://storyofstuff.org/ – organization focused on reducing consumption of consumer goods
http://www.sierraclub.org/ – Nonprofit that lobbies politicians to promote sustainable energy, conserve the environment, and address climate change.
https://www.fuf.net/ – Friends of the Urban Forest plants trees in underserved neighborhoods in San Francisco. It also offers everyone interested the opportunity to volunteer and plant.
http://www.conservationfund.org/ – Plants trees, restores watersheds, buys land to prevent development, and practices sustainable forestry.
http://www.ecoterra.net/ – Global Society for Ecology and a Sound Economy
https://www.internationalrivers.org/ – Organization dedicated to removing dams and protecting rivers
http://www.mcsuk.org/ – The Marine Conservation Society is a UK based charity that organizes clean ups of beaches, removing litter from the shore, and lobbies politicians to create marine protected areas.
http://www.fauna-flora.org/ – Fauna and Flora is one of the oldest conservation organizations. It seeks to protect wildlife and natural spaces by securing land for conservation.
https://www.ienearth.org/– The Indigenous Environmental Network organizes campaigns, protests, and community building activities to protect the land, air, water, and sacred Native American sites. They also have a fund to help Native peoples adversely affected by mining projects.
Sustainable Energy Research and Development
Collaborative and Nonprofit Farms
http://secmol.org – Student’s Educational and Cultural movement of Ladakh, India
http://www.growingpower.org/ – Nonprofit land trust that sustainably grows healthy food and distributes it equitably.
Human Rights, Peace, and Assistance for Refugees and Immigrants
https://uscpr.org/ US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
http://www.peacebrigades.org/ – Helps to protect targeted human rights defenders through unarmed “protective accompaniment” essentially relying on the fact that foreign nationals are less likely to be targeted due to greater repercussions. While they have done some good work, they are highly pacifist and revere Ghandi, despite the fact that he won war medals and got thousands killed by encouraging his followers not to defend themselves. Still, I thought I should add them to this list.
UNRWA.org – United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinians in the Near East
http://www.ewb-international.org/ – Engineers Without Borders
https://cldc.org/ – Civil Liberties Defense Center
http://www.unhcr.org – United Nations Refugee Agency
http://hlp.home.igc.org/ – The Humanitarian Law Project
http://www.achpr.org/ – African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
http://www.aclu.org/ American Civil Liberties Union
http://ccrjustice.org/ – Center for Constitutional Rights
https://www.nrc.no/ – Norweigan Refugee Council
http://www.iom.int/about-iom – International Organization for Migration
https://www.escr-net.org/ – The International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Indigenous Rights, Legal Defense, and Resistance to Big Oil:
http://cwis.org/– Center for World Indigenous Studies
Resistance to Military Recruiting and ROTC programs
www.nnomy.org – National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth
https://www.ivaw.org/ – Iraqi Veterans Against the War
http://www.atriumsoc.org/programs-model.php – Youth Peace Literacy Project
Global Education and Resources for Learning
Reproductive Healthcare and Women’s Rights
http://www.berkeleyfreeclinic.org/ – radical, anti-authoritarian volunteer free clinic
https://www.freeclinics.com/ – a searchable database of free clinics throughout the US
Rights of Children
http://www.unicefusa.org/ – Works in 100 countries, saving children’s lives.
http://www.burnrescue.org/ Non-profit for burn victims
Secular Humanitarian Efforts
http://cjpip.org/ – Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine
http://www.ffrf.org/about/ – Freedom from Religion Foundation
Drug Law Reform
http://www.tdpf.org.uk/ – Transform Drug Policy Foundation
https://www.mpp.org/ – Marijuana Policy Project
Prison Reform and Abolition
https://www.globalwitness.org (just journalism but significant)
Abolition of Slavery
Gang Conflict Intervention and Alternatives
Resources for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Protection of Free Speech, Journalists, and Whistleblowers
Mental Health Research, Patient Advocacy Groups, and Patient Support Networks
Another way to help out is to volunteer. I’ve done a good amount of volunteering and canvassing, although I really need to do more. Nothing makes you feel better than doing something selfless. You could volunteer at one of the organizations above or other progressives like WWOOF.
I’m also looking for volunteers to help collaborate with me on cooperative farms, well sites, water treatment plants, irrigation systems, and emergency health-care sites in very poor countries. Most of these projects are still in the planning stages, but I could always use help planning and fundraising. I’m also planning on shooting several documentaries. If you would like further information about any of this, feel free to contact me.