As designers, we can easily look at emerging economies in a sort of detached way. These countries have less money than us, design isn't really a priority for them, and we are generally trying to make money by designing. It would be easy to never pay attention, since our professional field likely won't be too related to poorer countries. Hopefully this isn't the case, and we possess that innate wanting to help other people who are not as fortunate as we are. So what can we really do to help out?
Honestly, we can't really graphic design our way to concretely helping people much in these countries. You can work for non-profit organizations, but many of us will be in other fields and still wanting to help. Volunteering for different organizations is one way to help, but you still usually don't have great access to individuals in other countries. You usually don't know where or how exactly you are helping. In my opinion, the best way to make a difference on a personal level (without actually going to another country) is by giving.
One giving opportunity I think works well with our interests is called microfinance. Through microfinance organizations such as Kiva, you can lend different amounts starting at just $25 to entrepreneurs trying to start businesses but lacking funds around the world. I really recommend looking at their website and clicking around a bit. It's a really personal way to become involved in countries with emerging economies. You can take a look at individual people, read background information, and learn about what sorts of businesses they are trying to operate. You can decide who your money goes to, read about businesses that have prospered through this, connect with other people around the world, and see how it is actually making a difference.
As designers and Americans in the business field, being able to help other businesspeople around the world is quite an opportunity--especially when you don't even have to leave your computer chair. I'm not saying this is the only way we can make a difference, because there are dozens more, but this is one simple way to help on a personal level.