“About 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. This is one person every three and a half seconds.” (This and many other shocking statistics found here.)
A lot of students study abroad to get out of their comfort zones and see how the rest of the world lives. So much of the world lives in constant poverty. A simple donation will not solve anything. Disrupting local economies will do more harm than good in the long run. So what can be done?
There are literally hundreds of nonprofit organizations (here is a list of some of them) that provide relief, physical or medical, to people worldwide. These organizations vary in size, specialties, mission statements, and affiliations, but they all are working to make this world more livable for people affected by natural disaster, poverty, diseases, hunger, war, and a variety of other issues. They work to find ways for communities to sustain better living conditions.
It is important to realize that global relief includes the United States. There are many people in our own country living in poverty or distress. Most of these organizations include “in-reach” programs in addition to their global outreach programs.
To stay abreast of global issues a good source to check out is ReliefWeb. This site gives updates about most disasters and countries. It’s a nice central place to look for quick information.
Also, you can follow most of these organizations on twitter. They post about new projects, what their teams are doing, and what you can do to help.
Even if you don’t have special or medical training, there are still ways to get involved with global relief. If you want to get involved with any of these organizations there are volunteer opportunities (locally and globally), work opportunities, and donation opportunities. Check out the individual websites for more information.