Author Archives: Chris Collins

4 Ways to Help Poor People in Poor Countries (And What Not To Do)

”Eat your dinner. There are starving children in Africa!” … so our parents told us when we were kids. Well, we know now that this was just a ploy to get us to eat our squishy, overcooked peas. But even as adults, we can still get guilted into doing things that don’t actually do much […]

How international nonprofits use your donations to help people in poverty

When you click “donate” to buy school supplies for a kid in Africa, to help a woman in India start a business, or to help feed a poor family in rural Guatemala – where does your money go? Nonprofits usually try to give donors a simple message: Donate $50 now to help someone in poverty. […]

How to help people in poverty: Donate to nonprofits that give OPPORTUNITY, not CHARITY.

For a long time, nonprofits have tried to help people in poverty through charity – by giving them things for free. Free meals, free clothes, free electricity-generating soccer balls. Free anything. The reason is simple: unlike businesses, nonprofits are not funded by the people they serve (the homeless don’t pay for shelters, for example). Instead, […]

‘None of us are professors, secretaries or doctors – but I thank God for the profession he’s given us.’

Cirilo welding student at WAVS Vocational School in West Africa

Cirilo grew up in a country where most people live on less than $2 a day. As a kid, he dreamed about becoming a doctor or lawyer. With a career like that, he thought, he’d leave his life of poverty behind. Now as an adult, Cirilo shows up to work every day ready to direct […]

Impact of the coronavirus in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa

WAVS students and staff have been proactively cleaning and disinfecting the school in anticipation of the coronavirus outbreak.

For the latest number of cases in Guinea-Bissau click here. September 14, 2020: The WAVS Schools resumed classes, with extra protocols in place like wearing masks, for those students who were enrolled in the Spring term that was cut short by the state of emergency which closed all schools. These classes will go until September […]

The new WAVS campus takes another leap forward

A grand from the Japanese embassy in Dakar is helping build the new WAVS campus to equip young people in Guinea-Bissau with job skills.

An American nonprofit. A government ministry in a tiny country in West Africa. A grant funded by the government of Japan. All of these organizations came together last month to make something special happen: Launch a new vocational school campus that will equip hundreds of young women and men with life-changing job skills. On February […]

A vocational school graduate shows that overcoming poverty is complicated, but not impossible

WAVS Graduate Erickson

After graduating from the WAVS Vocational School’s welding program, Erickson Sanhá was ready to set up his own shop. But without start-up capital, how would he buy tools and supplies? And without a power grid in town, where would he get electricity and space to work? And without business experience, how would he know how […]