Many people in Africa struggle to meet basic needs like food, water, and education. A number of inspiring charities and sustainable companies are working diligently to provide these essentials and empower the people they serve.
According to Harvard Business School, sustainable companies have a minimal negative effect on the environment and society as a whole.
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When sustainable companies and charities work in tandem to improve the quality of life for the people of Africa, more individuals can attain basic resources—food, water, sanitation, education, and more—and live happier, healthier lives.
Education for a Brighter Future
The key to a sustainable future lies in educating younger generations to support themselves, their families, and their communities.
Education is the key to Africa's future, as well. The following organizations throughout Africa are working hard to provide education to kids who are eager to learn who may not otherwise have access to quality education.
Build Africa has worked for over twenty years to fight poverty through education. Build Africa's goals are to ensure that no one denies a child his education, every child in school gets the chance to learn, and every child leaves school with the skills they need.
The charity primarily works with children in Kenya and Uganda in regions where many people struggle with intense poverty and children aren't receiving the education they need.
Africa Educational Trust (AET)
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Africa Educational Trust (AET) focuses on teaching lessons to children that encourage more than just memorizing facts and figures. AET focuses on the quality of the education their teachers provide students.
The teachers and staff at AET have a vast range of qualifications in many disciplines to meet the needs of each community and child. The charity manages many programs in Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya.
AET works with communities closely to determine the needs of each particular area in which the charity works. AET has a particular focus on groups that many typically neglect due to their gender, disability, ethnicity, or the area in which they live.
GEMS Education and the Varkey Foundation
GEMS Education is an international educational company that runs a network of schools all over the world. The company works with the Varkey Foundation, their charitable partner, to build classrooms worldwide and provide quality education to the children of the world.
The Varkey Foundation runs programs in Africa like "Teach for Uganda, a project designed to end education inequality, and Teach for Ghana, which places promising university graduates and young professionals as teachers in high-need communities."
GEMS Education and the Varkey Foundation were finalists in the 2015 African Business Awards in the category of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Clean Water and Sanitation for Sustainable Living
Water is important to all living things, but many take the resource for granted. A shocking amount of people around the world struggle to find sanitary water at all.
Sanitation also extends to the way we dispose of human waste. While many of us enjoy the use of a plumbing system that allows us to do our businesses and forget about it, not everyone has the opportunity to do the same.
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For many in Africa, basic sanitation isn't attainable. Luckily, charities and sustainable businesses work in Africa to make sure that as many people as possible have access to clean water and sanitation across the continent.
FACE Africa began as Fund a Child’s Education (FACE), an organization focused on educating children. However, the organization realized that the children's lack of access to safe drinking water was seriously affecting their ability to go to school.
FACE Africa now focuses on providing WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) programs to communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Local communities in Africa need support to manage their freshwater ecosystems better and implement sanitation facilities.
The Water Project
The Water Project has spent ten years helping people access clean water to communities in need by providing training and financial support for the construction of water projects.
The organization wants to create new wells, dams, and systems to catch rainwater in communities throughout Africa. The charity also strives to renovate wells and protect springs across the continent.
For every roll of toilet paper you buy from Reel Paper, the company donates a single-use biodegradable toilet to someone in need. The company's toilets safely neutralize bacteria and convert waste into fertilizer that can help enrich the soil.
Reel paper is among sustainable companies helping people in countries like Kenya and giving back to the communities around the world.
Charity: water is another non-profit organization that strives to provide clean water for the people of Africa and others in developing nations all over the world.
Charity: water has funded 38,113 water projects, provided water to 9,628,786 people, partnered with 37 local organizations, and served 27 countries since 2006.
Access to Food to End Starvation
Food is another necessity for human life that many in Africa struggle to acquire every day. When a basic need like food is so scarce, other important focuses such as education and improving community life often fall by the wayside.
By providing sufficient access to food and nourishment to the people of Africa, companies and charities create more sustainable communities where families can focus on education, jobs, and community development versus worrying about where they will get their next meal.
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Here are some companies and organizations that work to fight starvation across the continent.
Over a million children around preschool age in South Africa simply don't get enough food. Food4Africa works to supply children with at least one meal every day and strives to work without large administration structures that can burn through donor funds.
Aside from children in preschool, the organization focuses particularly on providing food to homebound individuals, and orphans whose lives have been impacted by AIDS.
Action Against Hunger
Action Against Hunger strives to find a better way to take care of hunger worldwide. The organization was founded 40 years ago and has worked to fight malnutrition in 50 countries, including 21 countries in Africa.
Action Against Hunger boasts 7,500 field staff who assist more than 200 million people around the globe.
African Food Company
The African Food Company (TAFC) is an organic banana plantation in Mozambique that strives to produce a premium crop through environmentally sustainable means. The company works to and create jobs and teach skills to the local community.
The plantation has approval from the Mozambique Investment Promotion Agency "based on the environmental, commercial, socially responsible and sustainable nature of the agricultural project."
Save the Children
Save the Children works in countries like Somalia and South Sudan to help children struggling with hunger. The organization's primary goal is to serve children under the age of 5.
Sadly, children under 5 are more susceptible to death from malnutrition, as well as diseases like malaria and cholera. Save the Children is fighting diligently to save the future by supporting children's health in places most in need.
The Impact of Charities & Sustainable Companies
The work of charities and sustainable companies in Africa is invaluable as they strive to end poverty, suffering, and empower those in need to create brighter futures.
Companies and charities that work sustainably—that is, in a way that both protects the environment and empowers the people who live there—have the potential to vastly improve the quality of life for the people of Africa for generations to come.
What are some of your favorite charities? Tell us in the comments below about the organizations doing work that touches your heart.