We write in the same tone we have when going through the mall with friends. "You should try on this dress. SHOES!!! Doesn't this look silly? They want how much?!" Our goal, in fact, is to make Fashion Me Fabulous a fun haven from your regular crunch of the day. Maybe it's the added crunch of Christmas, but today I don't want to talk about distractions and frivolity. I want to talk about something far more important than my favorite stores; I want to tell you about my favorite charities.
Have you read or seen Guns, Germs, and Steel? It's an intriguing look at the question of wealth disparity in the world, and part of the author's conclusion is domesticated animals. Raising domesticated animals not only makes work easier (especially in areas too remote for machinery) but they also generate wealth. Heifer International distributes animals to people in need all over the world. From a chicken they can get eggs, meat, chicks and pest control. From a goat, milk, meat, and kids. The list goes on, and by having their quality of life improved, these people can then turn around and start to impact their communities from within.
I have a degree in literature and hope to start an MFA program in a few years. One of my favorite jobs was as an English tutor; I loved watching that light go on for the kids. Needless to say, reading and education are close to my heart. What breaks my heart is the fact that over 700 million people in the world can't read or write. Room to Read touches on many aspects of literacy for the people of southeast Asia. They publish books in local languages, build children's libraries (10,000 and counting), and expand existing schools.
But my favorite thing they do is provide scholarships for girls. In most parts of the world, you don't get 13 years of a free education, and if a poor family has to choose between educating their son or their daughter, they'll choose the son every time. We can rant and rail all we want about sweat shops, the spread of AIDS, and children having babies, but unless women are being educated and thus being given an alternative to the horrors of poverty, their quality of life will not improve. As of now, Room to Read is ensuring that at least 6,800 girls in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, India, Cambodia, Nepal, Laos and even Zambia have a chance.
What are your favorite charities?