Michelle Rothfus, Project Coordinator Abōd® Shelters
In the United States alone, twenty different agencies currently manage foreign assistance programs for over 100 countries around the world. According to ForeignAssistance.gov this support “furthers America’s foreign policy interests on issues from expanding free markets, combating extremism, ensuring stable democracies, addressing root causes of poverty while fostering global good will.”
Explore ForeignAssistance.gov to see how the US Government invests in countries around the world and how much is planned in foreign aid in 2017.
“Foreign aid must be viewed as an investment, not an expense… but when foreign aid is carefully guided and targeted at a specific issue, it can and must be effective.” U.S. Representative Kay Granger (R-TX), Huffington Post, June 2011
Do you think the US is spending too much on foreign aid?
If you’re like many Americans, you’ve overestimated the percentage of the federal budget spent on foreign aid. The US spends less than 1% of the federal budget on foreign aid.
In fact, many countries spend much more than the US. Do you know how much your country spends on foreign aid? View the Aid Target Fact sheet below on what amounts have been given as aid from different countries.
Do you believe the foreign aid that is provided helps or hurts the people in countries that it is intended for? According to Angus Deaton, a professor at Princeton who won the Nobel Prize for his diverse contributions to the study of consumer spending, “aid can distort political institutions and foster corruption.” He advocates for ways that don’t directly affect the country’s markets for example, developing more resources for malaria research or opening doors to more immigrants. His 2013 book, ‘The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality’ discuss these and additional ideas.
Charles Abugre, Regional Director of the UN Millennium Campaign based in Nairobi, believes that “Sharing is essential to maintain and protect the collective, and empathy is an essential value of what it is to be human.” He believes that foreign aid not only saves lives but helps to lessen suffering not just in the short term but in the long term. “International aid is the instrument by which this very human practice occurs in modern times across borders, and should ordinarily not be controversial. But it is — very much so.”
It is controversial and even though there are strong opinions on both sides, one thing can be agreed on: Targeted aid with specific objectives work much better when providing aid.
A world with less poverty is a world that is safer, more prosperous, and more fair.” OXFAM America
Besides the foreign aid that governments budget for other countries, there are many Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s) that target specific areas such as; food, housing, clothes, medicine and education. In fact, the NGO’s that Abod Shelters Partners with on projects have specific areas that they target.
Hoops of Hope focuses on raising money to reduce the AIDS epidemic. They were able to provide a machine in a remote area in Zambia that identifies how much medication an AIDS patient needs. Since installing this machine, hundreds of lives have been saved. They also focused their efforts on building a school in the same area. This school is the only secondary school in a 70-mile radius. It has over 500 students attending. Abod Shelters were built as dormitories to house the students and homes for teachers because they were much less costly and quicker to build than traditional housing.
Acts 2 Collective work with locals in the communities they work in to identify what is needed. The areas typically identified are:
- Farming and agriculture training so locals can grow their own food.
- Orphan care for children without parents and providing the children a place to call home and helping with the adoption process.
- Providing healthcare programs for pregnant women, safe child birthing and infant care, teaching smart health practices, providing HIV testing and treatment plans.
- Providing basketball academies to engage young people and build relationships.
- Building private schools and creating curriculums for existing schools and
- Building water wells to provide access to safe drinking water.
Abod Shelters were built through Acts 2 Collective to be used as birthing and maternity centers and to provide homes to a local farm to house workers.
Blessman Ministries focus on the practical needs of people in order to open the door to spiritual needs in South Africa. They not only provide wells for clean drinking water and meals to those in need but educate locals in many different areas and trades to help them build their own businesses or earn a living. Abod Shelters were built for several different projects; day schools for orphans, homes for grannies and the homeless children they care for, lodging for interns when doing rotations and a home for a family whose home was destroyed by a falling tree.
In every country all over the world there are housing needs. While the NGO’s that we partner with have specific target areas they work in along with established relationships and local resources in the area, there is typically a housing need of some sort where the traditional building structure is cost prohibited. Abod Shelters collaborates with NGO’s on housing needs and provides the solution. We look forward to working with even more NGO’s to help them reach their goals.
E-mail me with questions on how you can get involved. firstname.lastname@example.org
Abōd® Shelters, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.
There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us on AbodShelters.com or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at email@example.com. You may also donate to build an Abōd.