Hunger & Poverty
GreaterGood.org funds initiatives and programs that combat hunger and food insecurity by addressing some of its root causes: poverty, natural disaster, and conflict. It is estimated that over 850 million people in the world experience hunger daily. According to the World Food Programme, "one in nearly seven people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life, making hunger and malnutrition the number one risk to health worldwide--greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined."
Although the problem seems simple in concept--we must feed the hungry--the causes are complex and the results are catastrophic. Poverty is at the core of the world hunger crisis. The regions across the world that are subjected to extreme poverty conditions are at more risk to have their terrible situation exacerbated by natural disasters and war/conflict, thereby further deepening their difficult situation. The World Food Programme states, "In short, the poor are hungry and their hunger traps them in poverty."
To address the hunger crisis, GreaterGood.org will not only fund food for those in need, but also work to alleviate poverty by rebuilding communities destroyed by natural disaster or torn by conflict. This may include such initiatives as providing tools, training, education, and micro-loans to those in need for the benefit of families and communities.
Natural disasters cause famine, hunger, and poverty in areas of the world that are already predisposed to crisis. In regions where food production and availability is only marginally sufficient to provide a sustainable food supply for its population, this precarious predicament intensifies when droughts or other natural disasters wipe out entire crops and critical infrastructure. Once a region's food production and supply has been severely degraded, it becomes increasingly necessary for that region to import food and supplies. However, many of these countries lack the funding and supportive government infrastructure that will allow for the necessary, life-saving food and supplies to be brought into the country.
Breast Cancer and Women's Health
GreaterGood.org funds initiatives and programs pursuant to a search for a cure for breast cancer and other medical research, diagnosis and screening for other cancers and widespread health concerns such as diabetes and heart disease, and treatments for these conditions. Research, early detection and treatment of breast cancer is an area of focus for GreaterGood.org. This is currently accomplished primarily by supporting research programs and funding free mammograms for low-income, uninsured, underinsured, and other disadvantaged women.
Globally, the problem of women's health and poverty are even more closely linked. According to a report of the Global Forum for Health Research, nearly 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day, and 70% of these poor are women. Frequently in poor health, they live in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, have the primary responsibility for caring for children and the elderly, and are often expected to perform the major tasks of family sustenance.
From the Global Forum for Health Research: Problems at the home and community level contribute to maternal, neonatal, and child morbidity and mortality. These include underlying nutritional deficits, limited access to quality medical care, inadequately trained health care workers, lack of adequate health information and resources, social and cultural norms, civil and domestic violence, and the low social status of women and children.
The World Health Organization estimates that every year more than 500,000 women die as a result of pregnancy-related complications, most due to postpartum hemorrhage or infection. This represents one in 16 women in developing countries dying of pregnancy-related complications, compared with one in every 2,800 women in developed countries. Seventy percent of women receive no postpartum care in the 6 weeks following delivery. For every woman who dies, an estimated 15-30 survive but suffer chronic disabilities and morbidities.
GreaterGood.org may seek to address these and other issues and concerns germane to women's health.
Children's Health and Well-Being
According to UNICEF, each day approximately 30,000 children under five years old die from preventable causes: that's 20 children per minute. In addition, child mortality is closely linked to poverty: advances in infant and child survival have come more slowly in poor countries and to the poorest people in wealthier countries. Improvements in public health services are key, including safe water and better sanitation.
GreaterGood.org seeks to prevent and treat childhood illness and disease, and address other issues related to children's health and well-being, including poverty and malnutrition.
Literacy and Children's Education
According to UNESCO, over 780 million adults in the world are illiterate. On average, nearly one in three children does not complete five years of primary education, the minimum required for acquiring basic literacy.
In the U.S. the ratio of books per child is drastically depleted in low-income households. The Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Vol. 2 shows that while in middle-income neighborhoods the ratio of books per child is 13 to 1, in low-income neighborhoods the ratio is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children. First Book reports that over 80% of preschool and after-school programs serving children from low-income families have no age-appropriate books for their children.
The global situation is even more dire. UNESCO reports that one of every five people over the age of 15 is illiterate, 64% of the world's illiterate are women, and nearly 60% of the estimated 113 million children who do not attend primary school worldwide are girls. UNICEF states, "education, especially for girls and mothers, will save children's lives."
GreaterGood.org is committed to supporting literacy and education through programs that provide books and other supplies, salaries for teachers, uniforms and shoes for children, and addressing the impediments to learning such as poverty and malnutrition.
Protecting and Restoring the Environment
GreaterGood.org works to protect, preserve and restore threatened and otherwise endangered habitats and the wildlife that depends on them, including but not limited to our world's rainforests. This is currently accomplished primarily by, but is not necessarily limited to, funding the purchase of square feet of endangered rainforest land.
According to The Nature Conservancy, every second, a slice of rainforest the size of a football field is mowed down; that's 86,400 football fields of rainforest per day, or over 31 million football fields of rainforest each year. Originally, 6 million square miles of tropical rainforest existed worldwide. Today, only 2.6 million square miles remain.
Rich in biodiversity, rainforests are vital to the health of the planet, yet the dangerous rate of deforestation continues. As humankind's negative impact on the land, water and air increase, the effects on the global environment are becoming increasingly apparent.
Our initiatives must be twofold: to reverse the damage that has already been done and prevent further damage to our irreplaceable natural treasures. When a healthy balance is struck between man and nature, there is an opportunity for both to thrive.
Care and Feeding of Rescued Animals
GreaterGood.org is committed to helping the millions of neglected, abused, abandoned, and homeless companion animals and wild animals, and addressing the root causes of these issues.
It is estimated that over 3 million animals are euthanized each year in the U.S. alone because they are abandoned and unwanted. Supporting shelters that care for the animals, as well as programs that vaccinate, and spay or neuter orphaned animals, are ways to address the over-population crisis.
GreaterGood.org also benefits sanctuaries in the U.S. and overseas that aid wild animals who were illegally captured, bred as "pets" or for entertainment, or rescued from a life of exploitation by humans. Many of these organizations care for the rescued animals--including wild horses, elephants, and chimpanzees--with the hope of returning them to the wild, while other organizations seek to provide a safe, lifelong refuge for animals--including rescued horses and retired lab monkeys.