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Looking for ways to get involved? A place to send some money? Here's a (non-exhaustive, evolving) list of organizations who would welcome your help. Some are small, local groups you may not know of, while others are international NGOs with massive name recognition. But they're all doing great work, and Gretchen has firsthand experience with all those listed. Either she's seen the positive results of their work on the ground, or knows people behind the scenes.  

Amref Health Africa, the largest African-led international organization on the continent, reaches more than 11 million people each year through 150 health-focused projects across 35 countries. Founded in Kenya in 1957 as the Flying Doctors of East Africa, Amref Health Africa’s strategic pillars focus the organization’s work around human resources for health, innovative health services and solutions, and investments in health. Their partnerships with communities in Africa to create lasting health change are at the heart of all they do.

Anishnawbe Health Toronto is a fully accredited Indigenous-led Community Health Centre.  Its mission is to improve the health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people in spirit, mind, emotion, and body by providing traditional healing within a multi-disciplinary health care model.  Since 1987, Anishnawbe Health Toronto has been the only provider of western medical services and traditional healing services to a rapidly growing urban Indigenous population in the Greater Toronto Area.

Its inaugural project is a capital campaign to help fund the community share portion of a new Community Health Centre building that will bring all of Anishnawbe Health Toronto's services under one roof in the West Don Lands neighbourhood.

Since 1978, the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre has provided practical support to more than 500 women, children, and seniors in Vancouver every day. 

In addition to proving food, clothing, and shelter, they connect women to a continuum of services including outreach, advocacy, wellness, recreation, housing, and skills development.  

The health of the people of Somaliland is among the worst in the world. Founded as a maternity hospital, Edna Adan Hospital has grown into a major institution treating obstetrical, surgical, medical, and pediatric cases from across the Horn of Africa. In addition to MNCH services, it has diagnostic laboratory facilities, an emergency blood bank, and provides diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, including testing for HIV/AIDS.

The hospital is a non-profit charitable institution built by Edna Adan Ismail, who, upon retirement from the WHO, returned to her homeland, Somaliland, and donated her pension and other assets to help address the grave health problems that endanger the lives of women and children across the Horn of Africa.

Ethiopiaid Canada is a charitable international development organization committed to empowering people in Ethiopia to live healthy and productive lives, and supports interventions driven by local partners. Through their inclusive approach, they seek to reach some of the most marginalized people living in poverty, and place an emphasis on interventions that build the health, social, and economic assets of vulnerable women and girls.

Ethiopiaid is not affiliated with faith-based organizations and has no political associations.

GRAN is a non-partisan network of volunteers working together across Canada to advocate at local, national, and international levels for the human rights of grandmothers, vulnerable children, and youth of sub-Saharan Africa.

They educate to raise public awareness and invite engagement, advocate to influence national and global policy-makers, and partner with like-minded organizations to amplify their voices and increase their impact. Their current campaigns in support of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals include ensuring access to affordable life-save medicines, improving access to quality education for all, and working to end violence against women and girls.

Launched in 2006, the Stephen Lewis Foundation's Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign was a Canadian grassroots response to the emerging crisis faced by African grandmothers as they struggled to care for millions of children orphaned by AIDS. African grandmothers became parents anew, putting their grandchildren through school, creating support groups to manage grief, and delivering comfort and hope through home-based care. They teach others about HIV prevention and treatment, create local savings and loan groups, and sit on land-rights councils. African grandmothers are leaders, sharing their expertise in their communities and on the international stage, pressing for their human rights and a hopeful future.​

Horizons of Friendship began as an NGO focused on child sponsorship. After a devastating hurricane hit Honduras in 1974, the organization quickly refocused its efforts on community reconstruction. Over the years, its mission has grown to include community development, projects related to HIV/AIDS, violence against women, and maternal and child health, and its reach has expanded to all of Central America & Mexico. Today, Horizons also helps to provide the most vulnerable families, women, and children in the region access to basic healthcare, education, and hope to building stronger, more prosperous communities.

The Canadian Red Cross Society is part of the largest humanitarian network in the world, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Whether it be flood relief here at home, or humanitarian aid in conflict zones abroad, the Red Cross is dedicated to improving the situation of the most vulnerable throughout the world. 

Access to education for everyone, regardless of income, is an essential part of securing greater justice, broad-based participation in society, and the eradication of poverty. Many children, particularly girls, face significant barriers to education. Women for Change, a Mission & Service partner in Zambia, is working to keep girls in Zambia in school. For the next two years, United Church Women across Canada will support Women for Change as they work to reduce dropout rates for girls. 

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