Have you ever visited most of the rural homes in most African countries? On various occasions I am lucky to pay them a visit for different reasons. When you visit most of the families you realize that many children have dropped out of school due to poverty. And moved to different urban centers to seek for employment to be able to cater for their needs and support their parents and siblings. Most of them are not lucky enough to secure any form of employment and still lack skills and abilities. This leads to most of them choosing to be street children, thieves, and others are practicing prostitution.
But nowadays these issues are rarely witnesses since the formation of a non-governmental organization known as Action Aid in 1972. This organization was founded by Jackson-Cole its main aim being eliminating poverty and other injustices all over the world. It was founded by eighty eight UK sponsors with an aim of providing children with better education. Therefore, eighty eight children were sponsored by eighty eight UK sponsors hence ensuring these children get the required education. Action Aid work with many local partners in many countries their main aim being to help the poor and disadvantaged people all over the world. It has its head office situated in South Africa.
Action Aid works with many countries in Africa whereby it is organized on regional bases which are managed in different parts of the world with its international secretariat located in South Africa. There are Action Aid offices found in different regions for better management of their work but campaigns and fundraising events are in UK and US offices in Washington DC.
Action Aid works
Action Aid being a non-governmental organization has changed from a child sponsorship British charity to an international coalition enabling it to fight poverty largely across the whole world. It has played a role in helping in helping the poor from different communities to recognize and secure their basic rights. This has led to a great development within them. For Action Aid to work effectively and achieve its goals it puts its support in the following areas:
- Rights of the women
- Better education
- Food availability
- Democratic governance
- Change of climate
- The youth
Recently it still puts its efforts in tax power i.e. preventing big business taxes but encouraging continuous governmental usage of the subsequent revenue. And also land for, main aim being to support people’s land from being grabbed by government and other big businesses and companies.
For over thirty years the Action Aid has greatly tried to fight poverty in different countries over the world. This has been happening without any political affiliations. Action Aid has been advocating for equality where all people irrespective of their status quo should be treated equally by governments, companies and other institutions.
In poverty elimination, Action Aid has partnered with different community leaders to try and eliminate poverty within them. It provides these communities with different facilities such as heath centers for better health care, water systems and wells for clean water. Communities have greatly benefited from such facilities.
Action Aid advocates for the following:
- Women rights
- Right to education
- Right to food security
- Right to human security
- Right to just and democratic governance
Action Aid focuses on the following values:
- Mutual respect- this involves respecting all people irrespective of their cultures and all social standings.
- Equality and Justice- requires people to treat others equally irrespective of gender, age, color, ethnicity, HIV status, religion, class and location.
- Honesty and Transparency- accountability and transparency are greatly valued by the Action Aid for proper running of the organization.
- Solidarity with the poor- this has greatly helped in poverty reduction. It gives the poor relief food and start for them projects to sustain their livelihoods.
- Courage of conviction- requires Action Aid to work without fear for better achievements and also to be more creative and innovative to be able to fight poverty.
- Independence- Action Aid should not be involved in any affliction with religion or political party.
- Humility- Action Aid is known to be an organization that has greatly tried to fight poverty.
Action Aid put more emphasizes on protecting the rights of women and treating with equally which greatly help in empowering them. The main aim of the Action Aid is to make sure that better lead better lives without stigma and participate in their own decision making so as to shape their destiny. They still wish to see that women get better education as their counterparts, men. The rights of the learners are to be promoted. This will help in ensuring that both genders respect women’s rights. Women have right to life and dignity in the face of HIV/AIDS and therefore should be given free treatment and care including girls. They are also entitled to right to just and democratic governance. Women, the poor and the excluded people should be given chance to make their own decisions and give their views in different issues i.e. politics. Women still have right to human security in conflicts and emergencies. They should be protected from any kind of torture during any conflicts or disasters.
Action Aid pays attention to four main priorities. These are:
- To protect women and girls against violence- this has enabled the Action Aid to fight for laws which ensures that women’s and girls’ rights are protected.
- Increasing attention and action on women’s rights in connection to HIV/AIDS- this has greatly created awareness to people about HIV/AIDS. Action Aid has set laws protecting the rights of women and girls against with HIV/AIDS.
- Contribution to higher recognition, realization and protection of women’s land rights- Action Aid has set laws protecting women’s land rights. It also creates awareness to women about their land rights.
- Enhancing women’s participation in politics- Action Aid has greatly created awareness about women’s leadership. It has also set laws ensuring that women can participate freely in politics.
With charities like Action Aid, women and girls have a bright future. We should encourage women and girls to participate in Action Aid initiatives.