From what I know about international development, these folks seem to be doing effective work. Many of them I even know personally and trust their wisdom.
GiveDirectly relays all donations directly to the extreme poor in Kenya and Uganda, no strings attached.
One Acre Fund gives loans and farm training to struggling African farmers in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Malawi.
Lucy Wynn at The Micah Project is a friend who helps to care for and counsel street children, many of them battling addictions, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Wesley College offers affordable training in both theology and economic development, primarily for Methodist pastors in Tanzania.
Amor, Fe, y Esperanza School is a school and med clinic for children who work in the trash dump of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Tearfund creates sustainable economic and community development programs, fitted to an area’s culture, that can be used by many churches. The plans we use for savings and loan groups, and for asset-based community development, were all developed by Tearfund.
You may think, “Okay. He’s told us about other opportunities to make us feel more excited about giving. I’ve seen Miracle on 34th Street. He knows none of us will actually give to any of them.”
That’s a valid concern, and I’m not sure what to say. I do feel sure that at least one of you out there is more excited about one of these than you are about the work I am doing, and I hope you really do give to that one instead of giving to us. Real, live people who I could name are suffering, and I want them to be happier. That’s why I’m in this sort of work, and I want things to change, regardless of whose hands accomplish it.