Rampant poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in Africa. "Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. "(Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa) Economic inequalities are only part of the picture. Across the continent, health, education, social welfare and many other aspects of human well-being are also marked by wide disparities. The wealthy receive the best schooling and medical care, while many of the poor simply do without. The poor education and health of those living in poverty in turn make it harder for them or their children to get out of poverty.
Blessings on Africa strives to improve the lives of vulnerable communities in West Africa by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and much more.
Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness; women spend 200 million hours a day collecting water. Blessings on Africa is committed to provide access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation while promoting safe hygiene practices in West Africa. To this effect, we are drilling wells in several villages in West Africa.
The complete cost of drilling a well is approximately $3,500.
According tom the World Health Organization, an estimated seven million Africans suffer diabetes, which is now ranked as the fourth main cause of death in most developing countries. For instance, the life expectancy of a child with type 1 diabetes is as low as 7 months in rural African communities due to limited access to insulin and the lack of infrastructure to support the health care system. In addition, there is now an epidemic of type 2 diabetes in Africa.
Blessings on Africa's Diabetes Prevention Program is threefold:
Educate the general population on diabetes prevention measures
Raise the level of awareness of diabetes among health care providers
Improve health care resources available to people with diabetes and the general public.
We operate a clinic that provides free diabetes screening, education, and treatment for rural populations. Our specific needs are diabetes monitors and kits, diabetes medications, and training materials.
Malaria kills more than 1.5 Million people a year most of whom live in Sub Saharan Africa. Malaria No More is a Blessings on Africa's program designed to prevent malaria by distributing mosquito nets to the most vulnerable people in West Africa. Just a one-time donation of $15 will save lives. Please donate a mosquito net today.
Formula For Life
Formula for life is an HIV AIDS prevention program. By giving formula to the children of HIV infected mothers, we help prevent the transmission of HIV to their newborn babies. Won't you help prevent the transmission of HIV to an innocent child today by donating $25 to the Formula for Life program?
In Africa, gender is one of the most common markers of inequality. Women have less political and social power than men. They also have much lower incomes and far less access to productive resources and opportunities. According to the United Nations Development Program's Human Development Report 2005, "nowhere are power inequalities and their consequences more clearly displayed than for women".
Despite gender inequalities, women are on the forefront of community development and home leadership in West Africa. The United Nations estimates that between sixty-six to eighty per cent of Africa's farm work is shouldered by women. Many girls in these regions have to drop out of school because preference is given to boys.
Blessings on Africa is committed to close the gender gap in West Africa by helping girls stay in school, providing economic opportunities to women an empowering women through training,
education, healthcare, and microenterprises. Please help us provide equal opportunities to girls and women in Africa.
Life is tough in West Africa. Life is tougher if you are an orphan or an abandoned child in West Africa. Blessings on Africa believes that working to improve the life of orphans and vulnerable children is one of the best investments we can make in the effort to overcome poverty in West Africa.
To this effect, we initiated Children Sponsoring Program (CSP), in partnership under the patronage of Middle Smithfield Presbyterian Church (East Stroudsburg, PA).
Sponsors are linked with children through our children sponsorship program. Our vision is to look after orphans and widows in their distress' - James 1:27
Just $20 a month (sixty three cent a day!) Your sponsorship will help make possible programs that respond to your sponsored child's (and other children's) most basic needs (food, tuition, school uniform, basic health care etc.)
We provide financial and technical assistance to orphanages in Ghana, Togo and Liberia. Our vision is to create our own orphanage.
Education is empowering. Education is a means of narrowing inequalities in Africa. Blessings on Africa is dedicated to helping orphans and other socially vulnerable children in West Africa in pursuing quality education and becoming responsible and productive citizens.
We are committed to make a long-term investment in the future for the orphans. We strive to prepare the orphans and vulnerable children to be self-sufficient through academic and vocational training, while giving them a strong foundation in the Christian faith.
Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen bank, puts it best: Poverty is not created by the poor. It is created by the structures of society and the policies pursued by society. Change the structure as we are doing in Bangladesh, and you will see that the poor change their own lives. Grameen's experience demonstrates that, given the support of financial capital, however small, the poor are fully capable of improving their lives.
Microloans to Entrepreneurs
Low-income entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa have very limited access to capital, deposit and other financial services provided by banks and financial institutions. Willing and capable entrepreneurs are unable to access the capital necessary to create or grow sustainable their business and generate incomes to support themselves and their families.
Blessings on Africa's strategy is to use microfinance as a tool to alleviate poverty in Africa. In partnership with local microfinance institutions and Kiva, Blessings on Africa helps micro-entrepreneurs in sub-Sahara Africa with small, life changing loans. The micro loans we make and the support we provide help these entrepreneurs generate income to support their families, send their children to school and invest in their communities. Truly, these loans are helping "fight poverty one family at a time".
Support to Commercial Microfinance Institutions in Africa
In Sub-Saharan Africa, there are commercially viable and well managed Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in need of capital to expand and respond to the growing need of microcredit. In North America and Europe, there are private capitals in search of socially responsible investments.
Blessings on Africa's role is to provide the opportunities to institutional investors to invest directly in well managed MFIs of their choice. We leverage our expertise in West African financial markets and culture to assist investors every step of the way.
A stable local agricultural base is key to a community responsive food system. "Community food security is a condition in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice.”(Michael W. Hamm and Anne C. Bellows, Rutgers University, New Jersey)
Community food security represents a comprehensive strategy to address many of the ills affecting our society and environment due to an unsustainable and unjust food system. Blessings on Africa is committed to addressing a broad range of problems affecting the food system, community development, and the environment in West Africa such as increasing poverty and hunger, disappearing ecosystems, farmland, rural community disintegration, and air and water pollution from unsustainable food production and distribution patterns.
Our emergency relief programs provide desperately needed assistance to victims of natural disaster, war, disease, and famine in West Africa.
Tree planting can help the African continent cope with climate change and also provide a long-term solution to the continent's food scarcity problems. Blessings on Africa aims to lead a tree planting campaign to help prevent a “climate disaster" on the continent.
Fewer than 25 percent of Africans have access to electricity. Most rural poor in Africa use kerosene lamps, which are heavy Co2 polluters and are bad for their health. A solar lamp is cheaper, safer and better for the environment.
In addition, the lack of access to affordable electricity is a major cause of poverty in rural Africa. Blessings on Africa seeks to provide solar solutions to rural Africa's energy problem by: