There are tons of interesting and worthwhile charitable projects in the world. But how can you decide which one your money should go to? Let us help you out. We’ve taken a close look at hundreds of projects that work for positive change.
These have made it into our Top 10 because:
- they’re super innovative and have a fresh, new approach to age-old issues.
- they have a proven record of creating positive change.
- they’re transparent and they use donations both constructively and responsibly.
1. OneEarth – OneOcean: Trawling for Ocean Trash
According to the latest estimates, there are already more than 40 million tons of plastic waste in our oceans all over the world. Ocean waste begins to break down over time into smaller and smaller pieces, not only ending up as waste on our beaches, but also in the digestive systems of ocean life and ultimately, on our own plates, in the water we drink and even in the air we breathe.
The environmental organisation One Earth – OneOcean e.V. (OEOO) has come up with a way of fishing tons of plastic waste out of polluted waterways: specially-designed catamarans called the “Seekuh” and the “Seehamster”, which have been at work in Hong Kong and Cambodia. Since the beginning of 2018, their team has been working on their next vessel, the “SeeElefant”, a converted container ship that can process marine waste and either recycle it or even convert it into oil directly on board. In 2018, One Earth – One Ocean e.V become an official partner of the UN Environment #CleanSeas campaign.
2. Sea Watch: Saving Lives at Europe’s Mediterranean Borders
Human lives continue to be lost in the Mediterranean – and instead of developing forward-thinking, humane policies that protect human life and effectively tackle the causes of displacement, the EU continues to pursue isolationist strategies and seal itself off. Sea rescue missions therefore remain indispensable – and it’s down to civil society to take action. Sea-Watch e.V. is a non-profit initiative dedicated to civil search and rescue missions for refugees. They provide emergency aid, and push at the same time for rescues to be carried out by European institutions, while also publicly standing up for legal escape routes (#SafePassage). Sea-Watch is politically and religiously independent and is financed exclusively by donations.
3. Rainforest Connection
Deforestation is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, and the Amazon is the biggest deforestation front on the planet right now, with 27 per cent of the Amazon biome set to be without trees by 2030 if the current rate of deforestation continues.
The Rainforest Connection is a non-profit tech organisation that creates acoustic monitoring systems that can detect the sounds of chainsaws, trucks, cars, and other illegal incursions. These ingenious systems, consisting of cell phones, solar chargers and microphones – are helping to put an end to illegal deforestation, to halt animal poaching and to allow for targeted protection measures in real-time.
4. OneFineDay – Art and Dance in Nairobi
Nairobi has a huge and visible arts scene, but the cultural infrastructure only really extends to the middle and upper classes. The non-profit association One Fine Day e. V. works to ensure that children from the country’s slums also have access to all that the world of art and music has to offer. Where the money and the infrastructure for painting, music, theatre or dance are normally lacking, that’s where OneFineDay steps in.
Throughout the whole year, in each of the 28 One Fine Day Creative Clubs, Kenyan teachers give weekly classes in dance, ballet, painting, theatre, music, circus acrobatics and creative writing. Classes take place at three schools in the Mathare and Kibera slums. One Fine Day also supports exchanges between European and Kenyan art educators and artists, and workshops bring together contemporary artists from Europe for exchanges with Kenyan teachers.
5. Supporting & Spreading Innovative Ideas – Donate to RESET
Like what you’re reading? RESET’s work is financed almost entirely by generous donations – donate today and help support what we do!
6. Linux4Afrika – Open Source Software to Bridge the Digital Divide
For every 100 people in Mozambique, there are only seven computers. Very few schoolchildren in the African continent are able to study on a computer – not a great starting point for kids growing up in an increasingly digital world. Linux4Afrika bridges this digital divide and provides schools in Mozambique, Burundi and Tanzania with computers and open source software. Access to the digital world allows for improved education and a better chance at social and economic development.
7. CADUS – Fast, Uncomplicated Emergency Aid, Where and When It’s Needed
Behind the Berlin NGO CADUS is a young, very dynamic and dedicated team that provides crisis regions with fast, uncomplicated emergency services. An independent aid organisation, CADUS is committed to delivering an innovative and truly sustainable approach by building and supporting mobile hospitals in crisis-hit regions, while also involving local communities early on in their work.
Currently, teams are working in the war zones of Syria and on the refugee route through the Balkans, while back at the Crisis Response Center in Berlin, they’re working on developing the next innovative vehicles and tools that they need for effective and economical emergency aid.
8. ICAN – International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
Currently, the world’s nine nuclear-weapon states have a stockpile of 9000 weapons – most of them owned by the US and Russia. The global coalition ICAN campaigns for a worldwide ban on these weapons and in 2017 they received the Nobel Peace Prize for their “work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons” and their “ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition”.
Founded in 2007, they’ve worked towards building a world in which conflicts are tackled in a way that is free from violence and with respect for human dignity. With global political relations surrounding the use of atomic weapons more tense than ever, the ICAN organises global days of action, holds public awareness-raising events and enters into political dialogue with governments, national parliaments, the United Nations and the media.
9. Refugee Info Bus – Mobile Information for Refugees
The Refugee Info Bus is a independent, very mobile, British charity that uses its two converted two buses – one in France and one in Greece – to support refugees who are on the move have just arrived in Europe, supplying them with up-to-date information and support, free internet access and mobile phone charging. Their online work also extends beyond – from Germany to Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran and Syria.
The British NGO’s mission: to give refugees the same rights that Europeans automatically have, just for having the right passport.
Every week the teams offer refugees and displaced people important information on asylum and their fundamental rights, advise them on their journey and help them to get in contact with relatives and friends. They also make key information available online. The Refugee Info Bus’s 32 self-produced videos have reached more than 250,000 people in the last nine months.
10. OneDollarGlasses – Affordable Eyesight For All
More than 150 million people around the world who need glasses can’t afford to buy them. With no way to improve their poor eyesight, kids can’t learn effectively, and parents aren’t able to work and supply for their children. OneDollarGlasses (in German EinDollarBrille e.V.) has come up with a solution: the cheapest and quickest glasses in the world – and with a clever sales strategy to boot. OneDollarGlasses consist of a spring steel frame and ready-made lenses. Thanks to their modular construction system, there’s no need for expensive grinding machines or electrical power. The cost of the materials? Around one US dollar.
Opticians from OneDollarGlasses visit people in their home villages: the team trains people to produce the glasses and also to carry out eye tests. This means that not only can they supply their fellow countrymen with glasses, but with the income that they make through the sales, financially support their families. Helping people to help themselves – and it really works!