Hope for the Nations is a non-governmental organization that was started with the aim of elevating the conditions of children born in poor families, and those who are orphaned at tender age. The firm has been operating in various countries across the world, especially the third world economies where the percentage of destitute children has remained high over the years.
The motto for this organization was developed to reflect on its sole objective. It goes as follows: ‘Children at risk becoming children of change.’ As reflected in this motto, the organization aims at making children who are destitute and at risk from various factors related to poverty become children full of hope and ability to transform their society.
The focus of this organization has been to offer basic needs to children from poor families. Although most of its projects involve education, the organization has always been keen to offer other basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing and medical care.
Most of the children sponsored by this organization are provided with these gifts in order to help them become better people in their future lives. HFTN has also been very active in areas where the population is effected by natural disasters. In Philippines, Congo, and India this organization has been known to distribute food when there are natural calamities, wars, or drought.
The firm has been very active in marketing itself to potential buyers. They have been organizing various activities that help to popularize itself among the potential donor. For instance, the organization has been organizing games such as cross-country championships in developed countries in order to source for funds.
Although during such runs this firm is able to get some donors giving out their contributions instantly, the activity helps in popularizing the firm in those regions, making it easy for it to receive donation in future. The firm has also been very active in online marketing. It has a website that people can visit to understand some of their charitable activities.
The firm always gets all the funding from well-wishers. It acts as a link which the fortunate members of the society can use to pass their gifts to the less fortunate people. The donors will be giving their contributions as gifts, and HFTN will transfer these gifts to the needy members of the society.
The approach taken by this firm in providing help to the less fortunate members of the society is commendable. The organization does not focus on adults. It believes that giving direct handout to the adults is a sign of encouraging laziness. Their programs are focused on children who lack anyone else to support them.
The programs seek to support children who can possibly perish or become criminals if this help is withheld from them. The gifts they offer are therefore meant to transform the society for the better. According to Bromley, gift-giving is one of the ways that can be used to promote development if it is carefully planned (1).
This scholar warns of cases where gifts are used by people, who have the capacity to earn their own income, because it encourages the culture of begging. This would lead to a life of dependency, where the target group will fail to work hard to earn their living. Such moves will always discourage development in the society. However, when it is targeted to members of the society who have no alternatives and are at risk if the gift is withheld, then it may be considered to be playing a major role in motivating development within a community.
Gregory notes that some charitable organizations do not focus on giving gifts (45). Some are focused on fighting for the protection of the environment, while others are focused on human rights protection.
Whether such organizations are focused on giving gifts or not, the main focus is that all of them are concerned of creating a better society for the humanity. It would be important to analyze some of the organizations that offer alternative approach to elevating living conditions of people in the society.
Organization Offering Alternative Approaches to Gift-Giving
As mentioned above, there are organizations that offer alternative developmental activities other than gift-giving. Although gift giving has been considered as the most popular approach in helping a society to develop, other methods have also been considered as appropriate. The environmental protection is the only way that the current society can assure the sustainability of future generation.
Destruction of the environment may pose serious consequences to the future generation even if our donations can take them to good schools today. This research paper will analyze activities of Navdanya as one of the organizations that have been leading the fight for the protection of the environment.
The poor may need financial help in the form of donations. However, Otnes notes that this group of people also needs respect from the government and other members of the society (72). Their rights must be protected, and the government must listen to their plea. There are some movements and organizations that fight for civil rights of members of the society, especially the rights of the poor people.
One such movement that will be analyzed in this paper is La via Campesina. It is comprised of a group of organizations that has been focused on offering developmental alternatives to people, other than creating forums meant to offer direct material benefits to the populace.
Navdanya is an Indian-based environmental organization that has been focused on protection of natural forests. The organization has been concerned with protection of the natural environment as a way of promoting sustainable development in this country. According to Otnes, one of the main pillars of sustainability is the protection of the environment (78).
The environment offers natural resources, and supports all human activities. This means that it is a very important asset that must be protected from any form of destruction. It is very sensitive to human activities, and any form of negligence can lead to its massive destruction.
This organization has, therefore, committed itself to environmental protection, especially focusing on the protection of indigenous trees which are under threat of becoming extinct. Besides organizing various activities that are meant to protect the environment, the organization has been keen on collecting and preserving the seeds of some of the indigenous species of trees within the country. In fact, the name “Navdanya” means nine seeds.
It has been working as a community-based group across 17 Indian states. The report by Shiva shows that the firm has been able to set-up about 110 community seed banks in India as an effort to ensure continuity of all the plants that have existed in this country (1). This organization appreciates the power of empowering communities to work towards achieving sustainable development in their activities. In these communities, the organization has been working with famers.
It has made famers realize the importance of maintaining green environment as a way of making their agricultural activities sustainable. The organization has been working with the motto that holds that the only way of achieving food sovereignty is to have food sovereignty in the country.
The activities of this organization have been so intense that it has received attention of members of the society. It has been able to convince Indians that the best way of achieving a secure future is to have a society that protects its environment. The organization has also realized that the best way of instilling environmental policies into the hearts of Indians is by introducing learning curriculum that will enhance their understanding of the need to protect nature.
Bija Vidyapeeth was established by this organization as a School of Seed / Earth University. The school is meant to help mentor the younger population and make them understand the need to work as a team when it comes to environmental protection. This organization has been very critical of genetically modified foods.
It holds that GMO is an agent for ultimate destruction of nature. It goes against the essence of having natural environment that has been able to sustain humanity since time immemorial. Its effort to develop several community seed banks in this country is a clear message that it does not approve having genetically modified organisms.
La via Campesina
La via Campesina is one of the largest civil right organizations that has been focused on the protection of the interests of the poor. Started in 1993 in Mons, Belgium, this movement has been spreading very rapidly to various countries across the globe. According to Ruvuga, the problem of poverty in most of the countries, especially in the developing countries, is always caused by greedy aristocrats in the society who come up with policies that are only meant to favor them and their close friends (1).
This organization has always been focused on defending rights of peasants, the landless, migrants, agricultural workers, and indigenous people around the world from any form of oppression by the ruling class. The organization operates in 170 countries in Asia, Africa, Americas, and Europe.
It has always opposed corporate-driven agriculture, taming it as an excuse that the aristocrats have used to force the small land owners out of their small parcels of land. The organization has also been very critical of transnational organizations that have been considered to work without due concern for their junior employees. This organization does not segregate on the basis of race, gender, or regional backgrounds.
That is why it operates in both the developed and developing nations across the world. While it is true that most of these atrocities may be associated with the developing countries, this does not rule out the fact that they could also take place in some of the developed nations, especially among the minority or the marginalized. Therefore, La via Campesina finds it appropriate to spread to all these regions.
The organization was formed by small scale farmers across the world who felt that their interests were being sidelined by the ruling class. They formed this organization in order to create a united voice that could be heard as a way of ensuring that their interests are taken care of in the society.
The organization has experienced rapid growth over the years, and currently it represents over two hundred million famers. The organization has developed strategic alliances with other organizations focused on protecting human rights in countries where it operates. It has also developed a close relation with FAO.
This move was aimed at ensuring that this organization would also consider buying food items from small scale farmers when such an occasion arises. In order to enhance protection of human rights, it has partnered with UN Human Rights Council in order to push towards achieving a society that appreciates the need to respect human rights.
Working with the motto of ‘Globalized people, globalizing struggle’, the organization has been keen on fighting on a globalized front in an effort to achieve a global society where the rights of peasants are upheld.
Several organizations have been developed across the world to help fight for human rights and development of the society. The approaches taken in this fight have been different. Some groups considered gift-giving as the best strategy of promoting development and eliminating sufferings of some members of the society.
This has helped in creating development and improving living standards of the poor. Others have considered non-material approach such as environmental groups, and human rights organization. These two alternatives have helped make the society a better place in which the poor and the rich can find happiness in life.
Bromley, Ralph. Hope for the Nation 2013. Web.
Gregory, Samuel. Development, Livelihood and Empowerment: Towards a Sustainable Paradigm Based on Mocro-Level Reflections of Decentralisation and People’s Planning in Kerala. Kerala: IRISH, 2008. Print.
Otnes, Cele. Gift Giving: A Research Anthology. Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1996. Print.
Ruvuga, Stephen. The International Peasant’s Voice 2011. Web.
Shiva, Vandana. Navdanya 2013. Web.