03.08.10 7:50 AM ET
The Acumen Fund, a nonprofit global venture fund founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, makes what it calls “disciplined investments” in entrepreneurial endeavors—both nonprofit and for-profit—whose products or services help alleviate poverty. Investing in water, health, housing, energy, and agriculture, the fund has been active in India, Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, and South Africa. Invest here.
The Afghan Child Education and Care Organization operates eight orphanages in Afghanistan and two in Pakistan, all of which care for Afghan child refugees. The group was founded in Kabul in 2008 and seeks to help a generation of children heal from the trauma of war, through providing them with food, clothing, shelter, and medical care, but also offering education and job training in skills such as handicrafts, tailoring, and carpentry. Donate here.
Ashoka, a project of Women in the World co-sponsor ExxonMobil, takes the approach that the biggest agents for change in any country are the citizens who live there, outside the sphere of government. To help activate those local leaders, Ashoka has been providing social entrepreneurs with living stipends, professional support, and access to a global network of support since 1981. Invest here.
Founded by the human-rights lawyer and former British first lady, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women helps women become successful entrepreneurs in places like India, East Africa, and the Middle East. Working with women who are already running small businesses, the foundation aims to provide assistance with business development, networking, and access to financing. Donate here.
Public-health outcomes in the Horn of Africa rank among the worst in the world, so in 2002 Edna Adan Ismail donated personal assets to build a charity teaching hospital for women. It now provides facilities for maternal and infant care, along with diagnostic laboratories and an emergency blood bank. The hospital also provides diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Donate here.
After convincing her father to let her finish high school and then managing to get an American university education, Kakenya Ntaiya returned to her small Kenyan village, where most of her peers had been subjected to child marriage. There, she set up Kakenya’s Dream, a charity to provide Kenyan girls with an education, bucking deep-rooted cultural trends. Now she is working on building The Kakenya Center for Excellence, a primary boarding school for underprivileged Maasai girls. Donate here.
Kolkata Sanved was founded in 2004 by sociologist and dance activist Sohini Chakraborty. The group provides therapeutic dance workshops to South Asian children with HIV/AIDS or who have survived trafficking, and who now live at residential rehabilitation centers. It also works with women survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Donate here.
The Navjyoti India Foundation was founded by Dr. Kiran Bedi, India’s first and highest-ranking female police officer. The organization’s primary focus is supporting “self-reliance” through drug de-addiction, health counseling, and community development in impoverished urban and rural settings. Donate here.
The Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo, is a Christian hospital founded by Dr. Denis Mukwege in 1999. Panzi specializes in treating survivors of the atrocities committed during Congo’s long-running civil wars, especially sexual violence. It has served 350 patients, 71 percent of whom have survived a violent attack. Panzi also provides basic maternal and infant care. Donate here.
Prajwala, based in Hyderabad, India, fights the trafficking of women and children into prostitution, and provides survivors with refuge and rehabilitation. It was founded by Dr. Sunitha Krishnan and Brother Bro Jose Vetticatil in 1996, following the evacuation of Hyderabad’s red-light district. Prajwala provides rescue interventions of individuals trafficked into prostitution, crisis counseling, job-skills training, HIV/AIDS counseling, and acts as an intermediary between survivors and their families. The group even helps survivors find supportive marriage partners. Donate here.
Somaly Mam was born into a poor, tribal family in Cambodia, and sold into sexual slavery as a child. She later escaped the brothel where she was imprisoned and established the Cambodian NGO AFESIP (Agir pour les Femmes en Situation Précaire). In 2007, she launched the Somaly Mam Foundation, which raises money to support anti-trafficking efforts and amplifies the voices of survivors. Donate here.
Named for the word “breakthrough” in Wolof, Tostan works alongside rural African communities to provide informal education, with the goal of ending practices such as female genital-cutting, child marriage, and domestic violence. From its base in Senegal, Tostan has initiated community-empowerment programs in more than 2,400 communities in nine African countries since its incorporation in 1991, and has encouraged dozens of villages to abandon genital-cutting, working alongside national governments. Donate here.
Women in the World co-host the U.N. Foundation was launched in 1998 with a historic $1 billion donation from Ted Turner to support the work of the United Nations. Empowering women, especially through reproductive health services, is a major part of UNF’s agenda. The organization’s Girl Up campaign aims to help adolescent girls in the developing world fulfill their dreams and bring their communities out of poverty, by ensuring that girls are spared from child marriage, protected from HIV/AIDS, and allowed to stay in school. Donate here.
Women in the World co-host Vital Voices Global Partnership grew out of the Vital Voices Democracy Initiative, which was established in 1997 by then-first lady Hillary Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, with the goal of advancing women’s leadership opportunities around the world. In 2000, Vital Voices became a nonprofit specializing in training women to become business, social, and political leaders in their communities. The group has worked with more than 8,000 emerging women leaders in 127 across the developing world. Donate here.
Voice of Women Organization was established by Afghan women for Afghan women in 1998, with the goal of empowering women as political, economic, and social equals in Afghanistan. VWO advocates for women’s participation in basic and higher education, seeks nonviolent solutions to domestic disputes, provides women with job training and opportunities, and fights for women’s legal rights. Learn more here.
Since 1993, Women for Women International has provided financial and emotional support for women survivors of wars and civil strife around the world. They work everywhere from Afghanistan to Iraq, Bosnia, and Rwanda, making sure that women have access to public health services and helping them participate in rebuilding their communities. Donate here.
Established in May 2006, the Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-Africa) is a Pan-African women's peace-building organization which seeks to promote women's strategic participation and leadership in peace and security governance in Africa. Today, WIPSEN is a leading force in women's call for peace. Donate here.