The children are our future. We need to teach them and lead the way. At least, that’s what George Benson sang in 1977. The sentiment still rings true today, though.
The young generations enjoying Saturday morning cartoons and sugary cereal are going to change the world when they grow up—as long as they have the tools they need to succeed. The five organizations below work with kids to make an impact on their tomorrow.
1. Better Futures for Kids: Human trafficking is a growing problem. According to experts, 20 to 40 million people around the world are modern-day slaves. In reality, with most cases undetected, the number is much higher.
Organizations like Better Futures for Kids works to prevent human trafficking from impacting the lives of children in Vietnam and beyond. Many fall into human trafficking in exchange for quick cash to get through the day. By providing families with what they need to survive, they can break out of the poverty cycle. The goal is to prevent human trafficking by giving families things like food and education.
While no one wants to think about human trafficking, organizations like this help create a world where our children don’t have to worry about becoming a modern slave.
2. Futures Without Violence: By the time they reach 17, more than 33% of children in the United States experience domestic violence. According to experts, 46 million kids face some form of trauma each year—more than the populations of Florida, New York, and Wisconsin combined.
Futures Without Violence is a non-profit organization that works with educators and violence prevention advocates to support healthy parent-child relationships. They also advocate the prevention of dating violence among teens and young adults and help promote healthy relationships.
No child should have to grow up in a home where they don’t feel safe or they experience domestic violence. Futures Without Violence doesn’t want to break families up—instead, they’re working to provide children and adults with the support they need to create healthy, happy and supportive relationships.
3. The Innovation Project: The majority of jobs in the future will require some technical expertise. The education that served us and our parents won’t work for new generations. We have to look at things differently.
The Henry Ford Innovation Project dedicated more than $150 million to the creation of digital tools and programs that encourage innovation, invention, and entrepreneurship. The program aims to make learning accessible and inclusive, encouraging everyone who has an idea or a dream to follow it.
The Innovation Project, at its core, is designed to provide the next generation with the resources needed to unlock their potential. It’s not going to change the future. Instead, it’ll give younger generations the tools they need to change the world.
4. National Resources Defense Council: Sustainability isn’t just a fad or a trend. It’s quickly becoming a societal necessity. If we want to leave a world we’re proud of for our children, we need to start changing our ways now.
The National Resources Defense Council is a non-profit organization launched in 1970. It ensures everyone has clean air, water, and the tools needed to keep their communities healthy. Currently, it’s got more than 600 experts and 3 million members that are working together to try and protect our planet.
The goal is to clean up our messes for the younger generations. Hand them a planet they can be proud to call home. If you’re looking for a charity to support that’s working to protect the future of our world—and, by proxy, our children’s futures—look no further than NRDC.
5. Kaboom: Kids will play with anyone, regardless of the color of their skin or their abilities. However, people don’t design modern playgrounds with those abilities in mind. This setup makes it difficult or even dangerous for everyone to enjoy the kind of play that’s an integral part of childhood. Kaboom works with communities and schools to create play spaces that are both accessible and fun for everyone.
This organization promotes more than play—it supports health and fitness in our youth. In the United States, only 25% of kids get enough physical activity every day. Kaboom is working to ensure that every kid, regardless of their income, location or abilities, can play safely.
Children might be our future, but we shouldn’t make them clean up our physical, environmental or emotional messes. These organizations ensure we can be proud of the world we’re leaving behind—not merely for our children, but also those not yet born.