So, it is once again that festive time of year, when we all feel warm and fuzzy inside and look forward to feasting, visiting and celebrating with family and friends. It’s a great time to celebrate our good fortune during the past year, and to feel grateful for the emotional, spiritual, and material wealth in our lives. But don’t keep all the love and happiness to yourself! There’s a whole world out there to share it with!
Anyway, here is a small list of charitable organizations I recommend supporting if you’re thinking about making a donation this holiday season to share your good fortune and compassion with the world! If you have any other favourite charities, I’d love to hear about them!
The European Roma Rights Centre is an international organization that works to combat anti-Roma racism and discrimination through legal action, policy development, and human rights advocacy and education. They have been helping Roma overcome discrimination and gain equal access to justice, housing, education, health care and public services.
Roma face discrimination and racism in many European countries, and from what I understand, their plight is often overlooked. While, in a post-Holocaust world, most sane people in the western world would take a stand against anti-Jewish racism or discrimination, Roma are still facing discrimination and racism every day, and their rights are being systematically abused and ignored in many countries. It seems that many people forget that the racism that led to the Holocaust not only involved the mass murder of millions of Jews, but also to the mass murder of European Roma. Much more needs to be done to secure justice and equal rights for the Roma people.
By making a donation to the ERRC, you’ll be supporting their efforts to challenge discrimination against Roma in Europe and their work to promote equality in education, access to health care and other public services.
The Surmang Foundation is doing great work in the Qinghai Province, an area primarily populated by ethnic Tibetans; providing free primary health care to ultra-poor people in rural areas, teaching school children about hygiene and health, training local doctors, and training and empowering local women who teach about good health in rural villages and provide midwife services to poor mothers and babies in isolated areas with little or no other access to health care services. I really love that they promote women’s health and equality, and work to empower local people to improve their own communities.
If you’re thinking of giving a charitable gift in honour of a mother or any special woman in your life, this is a great one. What better way to celebrate women than by supporting women’s health and potentially saving lives in a part of the world where giving birth is still dangerous and potentially fatal. Your donation can help women give birth safely and give babies access to vital health care.
Doctors Without Borders/ Medicins Sans Frontieres is definitely one worth supporting. MSF is an international medical humanitarian organization whose work is based on the principles of medical ethics and impartiality. They provide independent assistance around the world to those who need it most, regardless of race, religion or political affiliation. They take a stand against injustice and do amazing work in some of the most difficult of situations.
Currently, MSF provides aid in about 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, natural disasters, epidemics and malnutrition.
If you know of other great charities for me to add to my list, I’d love to hear about them. It’s always exciting and uplifting to learn about people and organizations doing good work in the world promoting peace, health, justice and happiness. I look forward to your thoughts and comments!