Global health philanthropy is at the core of Mockingbird’s mission (it’s even in our logo!). Why global health, you ask? Because health is fundamental to prosperity, growth, cultural cohesion, social stability, and general well being and happiness.
Health also doesn’t exist in a silo; in many ways, the health of one is the health of all. Global health is about connection, about the ways in which the health of people all over the world is intertwined. Infectious diseases, for example, do not respect national boundaries; they can sweep around the world in a matter of days. Health crises can spawn political crises and regional instability – not to mention impede travel. On the other hand, even small improvements in health generate substantial, positive ripple effects throughout society, from education to economic development.
We travelers have a special responsibility and opportunity with respect to the world’s health. We have a responsibility to do no harm: to make sure we’re not contributing to the spread of disease (either to our fellow travelers or to our hosts abroad) or straining other countries’ health systems. And we have the opportunity to help improve health around the world, through awareness, engagement, and philanthropy.
As you evaluate your many options for end-of-year charitable giving, please consider making a donation to an organization devoted to health issues. The “return on investment” in health is incalculable.
Here are just a few of Mockingbird’s favorite health causes:
The Against Malaria Foundation distributes insecticide-treated bed nets in sub-Saharan Africa to reduce the incidence of malaria and child mortality. AMF is the #1 rated charity by GiveWell, a nonprofit organization that thoroughly evaluates and rates charities. (Of note, 6 of GiveWell’s top 7 charities this year are all engaged in health issues.) You can read more about AMF here and more about GiveWell and its other top charities here.
Our tours to Ecuador benefit Timmy Global Health, which provides health care services to underserved (particularly indigenous) populations in Ecuador. You can learn more about Timmy on its website here. (I highly recommend you watch the short “Small Beginnings, Big Impact” video on the “About” page!)
Closer to home, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids strives to prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit, and protect everyone from secondhand smoke, both in the United States and around the world. Tobacco is the number one preventable cause of death in the world, and children (particularly in poorer parts of the world) are especially vulnerable to tobacco marketing. You can learn more about the Campaign here.