Who I donated to this holidays season

Present. Photo: Ken's Oven

Photo: Ken’s Oven on Flickr

People sometimes ask me, who they should donate to. If you want to know what to look for in an organization, I’d recommend that you read Saundra Schimelpfennig’s post: “Do’s and don’ts of holiday giving“.

Below are the three organizations that I decided to give money to this year. There are many other good organizations,  but these are the one’s that I chose:

I visited Safe Passage in 2004 and what I saw impressed me. They are helping children from one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Guatemala City go to school, help them with their homework and generally support them so that they have a better chance to escape the viscous circle of poverty. I like that they have a very specific programme, that they are highly respected in the community and that they have been around since 1999. I also used to have a lot of expat friends in Guatemala who supported Safe Passage and only had good things to say about them.

The child of a colleague of mine died of malaria this year, so I wanted to give some money to an initiative that fights malaria. I don’t know anything about the quality of malaria programmes, but a friend of mine is one of the world’s leading experts on community based measures against malaria and she said that “Nothing But Nets” tend to focus on highly vulnerable populations, fill gaps for marginalized areas of countries or areas in conflict and put enough investment in to ensure that the net gets to the beneficiary and gets used. What more can you ask for? Besides, she mentioned that net prices are currently way down and you can pretty much buy two nets for ten dollars instead of one.

This is a home for socially disadvantaged children in Germany. My parents know one of the mothers, whose child lives there and they frequently visit that child since the facility is close to their home. My parents are very impressed with the Tabaluga Foundation and the people who are working there. I also find it important to not only think of people in need in far away countries, but also close to home.