NPO Spotlight: ActionAid Working Behind the Scenes to Defeat Poverty

Brittany Dickey September 29, 2016 Nonprofits

This article is part of the NPO Spotlight Series in which we highlight nonprofits who are doing excellent work. 

Fireworks going off behind the 5 olympic ringsRyan Lochte’s embellished story, Gabby Douglas’ hand placement during the national anthem, or simply the pure awe of unimaginable athleticism, kept most of our eyes glued to the Olympic Games in August. We beamed proudly after our team won medal after medal in each sport. The United States left with a whopping 46 gold medals!

Indeed, the event was beautiful and grandiose, yet mere miles away, natives of Brazil watched the festivities from the sidelines from their favelas, the Portuguese term for slums.

While the world watched the best athletes in the world compete for gold medals, Brazilians continue to face their worst financial crisis in decades.  Although Brazil is the world’s largest coffee and sugar cane producer, 16.2 million Brazilians live in extreme poverty and 13.6 million people are food insecure.

In addition to food insecurity, fewer children in Brazil are receiving an education.  According to the PNAD, only 50.9% of kids between 15 and 17 attend high school. This is mostly because these kids have to work to support their families instead of attending school.

The Zika virus is also rampant in Brazil with 174,000 citizens infected.  Over 70% of those infected are below the poverty line. Impoverished citizens are more susceptible to the virus because of:

  • Lack of basic sanitation.
  • Garbage collection problems.
  • Inadequate supply of water.

These harsh realities provide a stark contrast to the opulence displayed at the Olympics this year. Although millions of people are suffering, the widespread poverty or the rampant outbreak of the Zika virus rarely makes national news. Fortunately, ActionAid has stepped in to execute effective solutions to decrease poverty and disease in Brazil.


ActionAid Farming


Founded in 1972, ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to tackle poverty and the denial of human rights at a local level and challenge the causes behind them nationally and globally.

Their mission is to work with poor and excluded people to eradicate poverty and injustice.

Although the organization is impacting change globally, their presence in Brazil has incited positive transformation. For example, to eradicate hunger in Brazil, the organization:

  • Advocates for the rights of small farmers in Brazil
  • Fights for Brazilian citizens’ rights to access natural resources
  • Constructs rainwater collectors to assist with farming
  • Holds Agroecology workshops and meetings between small farmers to increase knowledge

Finally, to help eliminate the endemic of the Zika virus, ActionAid volunteers are on the ground working with the most vulnerable communities in Brazil. Volunteers are teaching residents about how to minimize the presence of mosquitos and also how to make homemade mosquito repellent.  While many news outlets have been relatively silent, ActionAid has been raising awareness about the Zika virus endemic in Brazil for months!

YourCause is proud to process donations to ActionAid. To learn more about this wonderful organization, please visit ActionAid’s website!