If you’ve considered donating to a cause rather than buying Christmas gifts this year (or birthday and other occasion gifts) then you’re in the right place. You want to spend your money where you will make a positive impact and change in this world and society loves you for your kindness!
Christmas is about genuine and authentic giving so why not choose a cause to needs your kindness?Follow
A quick background if you don’t know me. During my time in Nepal, I have been involved with and come across a few organisations that are working tirelessly to improve the quality of life of others. Whether it’s through quality education, women empowerment and employment opportunities or ecological causes. Here are some charities and social causes that are close to my heart:
Donate to Education In Nepal
Back in 2013, I stumbled upon a grassroots social enterprise called Maya Universe Academy at which I volunteered during my travels in Nepal. Based in Tanahun district, the change-making school is providing quality education to children coming from underprivileged backgrounds.
Despite the public sector’s success at opening schools in many remote areas across the country, the standard of education remains poor with extremely high levels of dropouts and students unable to pass the national board exams. Now in its 9th year, Maya Universe Academy is a chain of 4 schools in 2 districts, educating around 500 students. In its main school, where I have frequently volunteered over the last 7 years, also hosts 80 students in its hostel. Students are coming from all over Nepal, some are victims of the 2015 earthquake, others come to study there from our other schools.
Maya Universe Academy is seeking sponsors to care for these determined hostel students. Full sponsorship of 80 euro per month covers all the necessary costs including education, school supplies, food, clothes, hygiene products, kitchen and cleaning staff, bedding and medical expenses. The school also accepts sponsorships with less, giving full transparency that you are contributing towards the hostel children’s needs (and not one specific child).
Find out more on how to donate to education in Nepal with Maya Universe Academy here
Donate to Girls & Women Menstruation Hygiene Management in Nepal
Be Artsy is an NGO that launched a very effective and successful ‘Rato Baltin Project’. Rato Baltin, meaning Red Bucket in Nepali, provides girls and women in West Nepal (very rural, remote and underdeveloped area) with menstruation hygiene kits together with education and guidance with local nurses and volunteers.
A centuries-old tradition in Nepal, places girls and women who are menstruating in sheds or huts outside of the home. This practice is called ‘chhaupadi’. During their menstruation, women are considered impure and therefore are not allowed in the house, where traditionally homes house
Despite made illegal by the Government of Nepal, this practice is still happening. Only recently another girl died in the shed. Deaths are common in this practice as women die asphyxiation, hypothermia, snakebites or other wild animal attacks, and nobody knows the true numbers of how many are raped. The practice of chhaupadi is very deep-rooted and local NGO volunteers are working hard to engage both women and men and leaders of the community in a dialogue around this issue.
Donate to the Rato Baltin Project here to provide these women with more education and hygiene tools that will give them the confidence to change this practice.
Donate to Stop Sex Trafficking in Nepal and India
Maiti Nepal was born out of a crusade to protect Nepali girls and women from crimes like domestic violence, trafficking for flesh trade, child prostitution, child labour and various forms of abuse, exploitation and torture. In 1993, a group of socially committed professionals like teachers, journalists and social workers together formed Maiti Nepal to fight against the social evils inflicted upon our female populace.
Its prominent focus has always been centred on preventing trafficking for forced prostitution, rescuing victims of the flesh trade and rehabilitating them. This social organization also actively works to provide justice for the victimized girls and women through criminal investigation and waging legal battles against the criminals. Since its inception, it has drastically highlighted the trafficking issue with its strong advocacy from the local to national and international levels.
Free women from trafficking by donating to Maiti Nepal here.
Donate to Homeless In Your Town
Look up local organisations in your home town that are supporting people in need like the homeless. You can donate money, donate time, food, clothes, shelter, bedding, blankets.
In Malta: YMCA is a non-profit, voluntary and ecumenical movement seeking to promote the vision to build a more just society. The Malta-based organisation supports the positive development of youth living in Malta by offering a spectrum of social work services to individuals who are underprivileged or socially disadvantaged. The specialisation in this regard is the support, assistance and reintegration of the homeless in Malta.
Donate to Wildlife and Forest Conservation
AMAZON CONSERVATION: Help protect over 4 million acres of wild forest and Wildlife in the Western Amazon. Protecting the Amazon means safeguarding millions of species of animals, plants, and insects who call it home. It means allowing indigenous communities and locals whose livelihoods depend on the forest to thrive. It means stabilizing our planet’s climate and protecting 20% of the oxygen production of our world. It means a lot.
Save the Orangutan In Sumatra & Borneo Orangutans in all forests are critically endangered due to rapid deforestation for palm oil, timber and “development” like roads and infrastructure. Read more about the rainforest crisis here. During my trip to Borneo, I visited the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sepilok where wild Orangutans are rescued from danger in the wild, rehabilitated and sent back to their natural habitat.
Before sending your money off to any organisation, do your own research to make sure the organisation is credible, impactful and trustworthy. Often time, organisations spend high amounts of collected funds in administration and little is actually implemented in causes. I prefer to donate to smaller organisations who are really making a positive impact at ground level.
Remember to start with choosing a cause that you truly believe in.
Tips for collecting Donations:
- Instead of buying gifts for your family / friends – agree between all to contribute to making a donation as a group.
- When wining and dining out – collect a small contribution from all your friends.
- Create a Facebook crowd funding for the charity or cause of your choice
- Support a major project which requires bigger investments by launching a crowd funding page.
Do you have more tips on how to actively collect funds in a group or within your community? Put them in the comments below!