11.08.2013

The Global Fund for Forgotten People: A New Player in Humanitarian Aid



Order of Malta coming to the aid of "forgotten people", here giving coats to the homeless in Barcelona
Launched six months ago by the Order of Malta, the Global Fund for Forgotten People has just begun gathering funds and so far, with a modest $245,000, it has already helped 17 projects around the world: an amazing feat! 

Most charities gather funds and then waste time to spend it, trying to figure out exactly what to do with the funds. Okay, I hear you sniggering, a lot of them put money in their pockets, and yes, I've blogged about this before (see here). But the Order of Malta has been involved in emergency and humanitarian aid over the past 900 years, longer than anyone else in the charity business. And they have associations and groups working for them everywhere on the ground, over 100,000 persons are involved world-wide. For them, finding aid projects to assist is a no-brainer, the structures for project delivery are already in place.  

So what exactly has this new Global Fund done in the 6 months since it became operational? Click here to read their latest newsletter. The projects are far-flung around the world and systematically come to the aid of the poor and emarginated, i.e. the "forgotten people", inter alia, for:
  • Syrian refugeesa socio-medical center Lebanon;
  • immigrants landing in Europe on island of Lampedusa: assistance (started long before the scandal hit the news this summer);
  • the elderly: (1) meals on wheel in Lithuania (2) Kitchen for Life - food program in Ukraine; (3) Centre of Health and Welfare in Peru; (4) Day Shelter in Chile; 
  • the homeless: (1) Day shelter for the homeless in Belgium; (2) Mobile shelter in Russia;
  • victims of violence and human trafficking: Shelter in Poland ;
  • people with HIV/AIDS: Care center in South Africa;
  • people with poor nutrition: vegetable gardens around hospitals for patients and their families in Togo and Benin;
  • children with disabilities: (1) Summer camp in Italy for children affected by the Chernobyl disaster (remember that one?);(2) Summer Camp for young disabled in Ireland; (3) summer camp in Hungary (4) kindergarten Romania; (5) Boarding school for at risk children in Mexico.
Here is the Grand Master of the Order when he recently visited that boarding school in Mexico. He is to the right of the photo and on the left you see the Grand Hospitaller, who is globally in charge of all the Order's health assistance:


The Global Fund's Facebook Page is full of interesting pictures and information, see here and "like" it (I did!).

The Global Fund is the latest tool set up by the Order of Malta to make it easy to contribute to aid  for anyone who wants to. 

Here is their website: www.forgottenpeople.org The Fund is registered as two legal entities - as a charity in England and Wales (1148427) and has 501(c)(3) status in the US (i.e. tax exemption as a charity).

To donate, go here. At least you'll know what your money is doing!
 


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