Sahba Naderi | Philanthropy

Sahba Naderi is a committed philanthropist

Tag: World

Nonprofits in Developing Countries: Doing More Harm Than Good

Many people want to do their part in making the world a better place. That can be anything from donating money to local charities to visiting third world countries and volunteering your time and effort to better the lives of those who are less fortunate. For people eager to help, it is not uncommon to donate without doing any research beforehand. Though there are countless nonprofits around the world helping tremendously, where and how they choose to help can have adverse effects.

With the number of commercials on television today spotlighting children without food, shelter, or clothing in third world countries, the sound of a nonprofit traveling directly to those countries to help sounds like the best possible thing for that country. Video footage of a child without shoes? Surely that country is in need of shoes. TOMS shoe company noticed this problem, and visited these developing countries to help, establishing factories in their name to produce as many pairs of shoes as possible. What this actually did was damage the economies of these countries.

In most cases, the commercialized products that we are led to believe is in high demand in developing countries is, in fact, not. Many of these countries don’t ask for things like shoes and construction companies coming in from other countries. When a nonprofit enters a developing community and establishes businesses that make goods or provide services, they are pushing the local businesses with the same goods or services out, bringing forth the argument that these charities and NGO’s are in it for profit.

Even if these organizations do have good intentions, it’s best to look at their services as a limited option. When considering the classic saying “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime,” these charities are doing the former. These attempts being made at improving the quality of life in underdeveloped countries are short-term solutions, and do not have last effects. Moreso, they are harming the economies of these countries.

The film Poverty, Inc. casts light onto the topic of nonprofits actually hurting developing countries. One particular story highlighted in the documentary is that of Enersa; a solar paneling company in Haiti. Business was flourishing for the small company, as they were selling upwards to 50-60 panels a month. Then, upon the 2010 Haiti earthquake, a flood of nonprofits and international relief organizations poured into the country to help; some of which donating solar panels. This severely damaged Enersa, as their sales dropped tremendously due to the competition.

This isn’t to say that all nonprofits that offer their services to developing countries are bad, but rather, we need to rethink what or how we approach these subjects. The main thing to take away from this is that flooding developing countries with goods or services can have adverse effects. Developing educational systems and offering business loans to companies and entrepreneurs already within these countries’ borders is a much wiser investment, and presents the opportunity to allow these local businesses to grow, thus growing the economy.

Sahba Naderi recycling

The Greater Impact of Recycling

Recycling is an action that is encouraged on a daily basis, but little people understand the impact it has on the world around us. For a truly beneficial change to take place, knowledge of how recycling can better our environment should be spread far and wide, allowing individuals to understand how even the smallest actions can make big differences.

One of the most obvious advantages of recycling is reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills. Trash that is not biodegradable can end up staying in landfills for many years, emitting harmful gases that can damage the ozone. The more waste that begins to build over time, the more pollutants exposed to the environment, causing a great deal of air pollution. By choosing to recycle your empty water bottles, you can avoid adding to the already existing problem of overused landfills in the United States, and successfully decrease levels of pollution.

Another impact that might not be well known is that recycling can effectively reduce levels of energy consumption. Companies that use recycled materials, like Green Toys and The ReCycle for example, require much less energy in building their products. The process of cutting down trees for paper, then throwing that paper in a standard trash bin is a large waste of resources, as paper can easily be recycled and reused. This leads to more trees being harvested for their resources, thus requiring higher levels and use of energy.

A cutback on costs is yet another benefit that recycling can offer. As mentioned, cutting down more trees when there is already enough paper in a landfill to be recycled for hundreds of other products is a huge waste of time and money. People oftentimes find that they are able to save money recycling in many different ways. For example, rather than throwing out that glass plate that shattered on the kitchen floor, turn it into your next art project. Instead of burning a pile of leaves during Fall, turn them into compost for a flourishing flower bed or garden. The more money individuals are able to save, the more likely they are to continue recycling, leading to a much larger impact on the environment.

The act of recycling can build strong bonds in communities, groups, friends, and family as well. Groups of people who come together to pick up waste alongside a local road, or collect trash from the public to recycle themselves, a stronger sense of community can manifest. Not only can this lead to a larger effort in recycling in your local area, but it can teach children the importance of it, thus leading to the continuation for generations to come.

Recycling is known to be a great way to contribute to the betterment of our environment. Understanding how it can do so is important in order to encourage more and more people to take part in this action, and make a greater impact on the world. The more communities that actively begin to pay attention to their waste habits, the safer, and healthier we can make our environment.

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