Four ways you can help people in Africa

It’s 35 years since Bandaid recorded Do They Know it’s Christmas? inspired by the famine in Ethiopia. And sadly today, hunger in Africa is still increasing at an alarming rate.

While in the UK our Christmas tables are often overloaded with food, and we spend the season eating and drinking until we’re stuffed, too many people in Africa struggle to find enough food and clean water to survive.

If you want to spread some festive cheer a little further this year, here are four ideas of ways you can help people in Africa – not just at Christmas, but throughout the rest of the year too.

1) Volunteering

The most effective way to help people in Africa is by getting directly involved in the root of problems, and helping to solve them one step at a time.

Volunteering offers a great opportunity to do exactly this. To get started, visit a website like Projects Abroad and find out what opportunities exist and how you can get involved.

You can visit countries like Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, etc and get a taste of what it’s like to work in orphanages, old age homes, shelter homes, and schools. Nothing beats interacting with people in person, and seeing firsthand the difference your efforts can make to improve someone’s life.

2) Donate money to charities and NGOs

Not everyone has the time or opportunity to volunteer personally, but there are other ways you can support the charities working on the ground in Africa.

Another way you can get involved is by donating money to local working charities and NGOs. There are many working bodies in Africa helping the poor and the needy. You can use a reputed money wiring service, transfer money online or use a mobile app for transferring funds to Africa

3) Help improve the quality of education

No country can ever truly progress without access to a high standard of education. And when it comes to African nations, the quality of education is often poor.

There are no proper classrooms for students to sit in, no competent professors to teach the students, and no counselors to guide the students.

If you want to contribute positively to the future of an African country (and make a direct difference to the lives of poor children and their families) you can help build schools that fulfil basic requirements, or you can counsel the students on how to build a better future for themselves. 

4) Provide food and water

The two basic things most African countries lack is healthy food and pure water. 80% of illnesses can be traced back to a lack of drinkable water and malnutrition.

According to a survey, nearly 319 million people in sub-Saharan Africa don’t have access to safe drinking water. You can help these people by donating to projects that instal filtration plants throughout these countries, or taking part in clean water programs.

The Water Project is an organization that raises funds to drive clean water campaigns. You can also take part in the World Food Program, which has helped over 100 million people in 80 different countries in Africa. 

Photo by Annie Spratt