DATE: March 2022
We recently heard about someone named Felix Brooks-church, who has invented a small machine known as a dosifier, which adds Vitamin B12, zinc, folic acid and iron to flour sold by local millers in southern Africa. It's super simple technology but the impact is enormous, with each machine plugging into local distribution channels that reach thousands of people, adding lifesaving nutrients to the foods they eat most.
Felix and his co-founders have been running an organisation called Sanku since 2013, installing dosifiers in over 800 mills. They've recently expanded operations into Kenya, where they've been overwhelmed by demand. We're going to help. We're sending them $5,200 to buy two dosifiers, which will each fortify food for up to 5,000 people.
Karam Foundation + White Helmets
DATE: February 2022
We've been hunting for ways to help in the wake of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Our main criteria is that 100% of the funds should be spend directly on supplies. We've settled on two organisations. The first is the Karam Foundation, who are providing food, blankets, baby diapers and baby formula in Aleppo in Syria, and Halay and Antakya in Turkey. The second is the White Helmets, a civil response group in Syria who have pulled over 3,000 people out of the rubble, and are now switching their focus to relief and reconstruction.
We're sending each organisation $4,000. As always, it's a drop in the ocean - but for the families who receive that powerbank or life-saving package of food and blankets, it means more than we will ever know. Thank you so much to all our paid subscribers for making this possible. You can find out more about helping each organisation from the links above.
DATE: January 2022
In September last year we came across a story about Leonard Gamaigue, a teacher in Chad who set up a mobile school for nomad children in 2019. Three years on his school, a simple open air classroom, follows the community as they move, providing a much-needed opportunity for over 70 kids whose way of life is usually incompatible with formal education.
We decided to track Leonard down. After a few twists and turns we figured out a way to send him A$5,500, which should make a real difference, given how much he's already achieved with so little. A big thank you to all our paying subscribers for making this donation possible. We got a lovely message and some photos from Leonard on Whatsapp which we're sharing here.
J'espère que vous allez bien?
C'est moi Léonard du Tchad. L'enseignant des enfants nomades Mr Mahamat m'a dit qu'il a reçu l'argent que vous avez envoyé. On va retirer demain et je vous enverrai les images de ce que j'ai fait avec. Merci beaucoup pour votre générosité.
DATE: December 2022
We're really pleased to announce another charity partner, Smart Parks, who use open-source technology to track and protect wildlife around the world. By linking up low cost, low data sensors with satellites and long range ground networks, they're able to tag and track animals across vast areas, providing a crucial tool for wildlife rangers to protect against poaching. Check out some of their projects.
We're sending them €7,500 to develop and test their new sensor called the Elephant Edge, which has super low power and high-end satellite connectivity, and will be used to track orphaned elephants reintroduced back into the wild. They're working with WWF Zambia and Game Rangers International to carry out the first trial runs in Zambia's Kafue National Park in early 2023.
This donation will help with the development of the sensors, putting Smart Parks within striking distance of their funding goal. A big thank you to all our paid newsletter subscribers for making it possible. We're looking forward to reporting back on this one.
DATE: November 2022
We love this NGO in Turkey called Imece. They invented a 10,000 MAh phone-charging powerbank with a torch, charging cables for all types of phones, and its own little solar panels. They've trained Syrian refugees to make the powerbanks - giving them employment and income - and are distributing the devices to other, newly arrived refugees.
We're sending them US$5,000, which will pay for 100 powerbanks. They'll be distributed in February 2023 to refugees on the road of exile in Bosnia. Last time the organisation was there most people were coming from Afghanistan, but by next year there will be other nationalities in need. The people receiving the devices are extremely vulnerable, and being able to charge their phones will allow them to keep contact with their families, use Google Maps and call rescue services in case of emergency, which apparently happens very often.
A big thank you to all our paid newsletter subscribers for making this possible. That's 100 new devices thanks to their generosity, that will make a real difference to many hundreds of people who have lost everything.
Rural Communities Empowerment Centre
DATE: November 2022
The Rural Communities Empowerment Centre in eastern Ghana transforms underprivileged communities with the gift of education, empowerment skills and computer literacy. We love what they do - they fly under radar, but make a real difference through everything from menstrual hygiene education to setting up libraries in places that have none.
Their main focus however, is on training grade 4-12 students, teachers and other adults how to use computers and get online, breaking their sense of isolation and equipping them with the skills required to succeed in the 21st century. To date, they've given ICT classes to over 2,400 schoolchildren, and taught more than 3,000 people to use the internet.
We're sending them US$3,000, which they're going to use to buy five laptops. That should help with their biggest bottleneck, allowing them to provide larger classes, and get more people through their programs. A big thank you to all of you for helping make this possible. If you'd like to find out more about the organisation, this is their website, and they're also on Instagram and Facebook.
We Care Solar
LOCATION: Sierra Leone
DATE: September 2022
We Care Solar is an organisation with a simple mission - to light every birth. They provide doctors, nurses and midwives with lighting, mobile communication, and medical devices using off-grid solar electricity. They operate primarily in four countries: Liberia, Uganda, Zimbabwe and most recently Sierra Leone.
We are sending them US$3,579 to fund the installation of a solar system for a community health centre in Sierra Leone. The funds will pay for clean, renewable energy, medical-grade LED lighting, medical grade appliances, including a fetal Doppler and infrared thermometer, rechargeable headlamps for small task lighting, and charging ports for phones and other devices.
Thanks to our paid newsletter subscribers, mothers attending the clinic will no longer need to include candles or kerosene as part of their birthing kits, and midwives and doctors will be able to provide emergency obstetric care throughout the night.
LOCATION: United States
DATE: June 2022
As you've probably heard, women's reproductive rights in the United States just got dealt a devastating blow by the country's Supreme Court.
As a general rule we don't make donations in rich nations - the money goes a lot further in poorer countries. We're making an exception in this case though. The Brigid Alliance provides travel, food, lodging, child care and other logistical support for people seeking abortions. No matter where someone is (red state or blue state), they find a way to get them to where they need to be.
They're currently helping around 125 women a month, at an average cost of $1,250/client. We're sending them US$5,000, so they can help four more. It's a drop in the ocean, we know. But we feel like we have to do something. Thanks for making it possible. This is a hard one to stomach. Our thoughts are with all of those affected by this decision.
DATE: June 2022
We recently heard about a 90,000 person refugee camp in the Sahara, on the western border of Algeria, where residents are using machines to turn plastic waste into furniture and other useful products. The project is being run by Precious Plastic, an NGO who helped set it up after the UNHCR put out a call for solutions to help with waste challenges. They're now recycling about 180kg of trash a day.
We gave them a call to see if we could help, and they said they really need a third machine that specializes in turning plastic trash into smaller products like buttons and jewellery, which residents can then sell. We're sending them £3,376 to buy the machine, which is manufactured in the UK, and to pay for the shipping to Algeria, where it should arrive in the next month or two. Thanks to all our paying subscribers for making this possible!
Medicines Sans Frontieres
DATE: April 2022
The 3D Programme by Medicins San Frontiers is a tiny project in Haiti being run by Pierre Moreau, a clinical coordinator, and Elise Tauveron, a physiotherapist. Based in Port-au-Prince, at the only burns care facility in the country, they're using a 3D scanner to scan burn victims' faces, and then 3D-print transparent, plastic masks to speed up their healing and prevent scarring. The technique is much less painful and can be performed earlier in the healing process. It's already been successfully trialed in Gaza and Jordan.
We're sending them US$5,000 to help purchase extra equipment and supplies. The money will go towards computer supplies, an extra 3D printer and more plastic feed for the masks, allowing the team to reach substantially more burn victims. The equipment will also be left behind at the hospital when they leave, ensuring local doctors trained by the MSF team can continue using it for future patients. Thank you to all of you for making this happen - it's a small project, but with a life-changing impact.
Polish Medical Mission & Vostok SOS
LOCATION: Ukraine and Poland
DATE: March 2022
After some careful research, we've settled on two charities. The first is the Polish Medical Mission, who is shipping urgent medical supplies deep into the war zone, and is opening a field hospital in Ukraine too. The second is Vostok SOS, who are supplying the most necessary things for refugees - clothes, canned food, medicines, hygiene products, baby food, mattresses and bed linen.
We're sending each organisation $3,000. All of the funds will be spent directly on purchasing and distributing supplies to Ukrainians. If you'd like to see what they're doing on the ground, check out the links to their social media below. It's a drop in the ocean, but it still helps. Thanks to all of you for making this possible and for your continued support. Actions speak louder than all the words.
Safe Child Africa
DATE: February 2022
We recently discovered a wonderful charity in Nigeria called Safe Child Africa. They provide refuge for children in the Niger Delta accused of witchcraft; children who would otherwise have nowhere else to go. Their Emergency Accommodation Centre provides a place for children to stay for seven nights, while alternative secure care or longer term foster care is sought.
We're sending them $5,000, which they're going to spend on kitchen equipment, computers, bedding and clothing, and other supplies. These people are doing amazing work, and hopefully this donation will make their lives, and the lives of the kids they're helping, a little easier. Thank you so much to all of our paying subscribers for making this possible.
DATE: December 2021
SOLA is Afghanistan’s first and only boarding school for girls, co-founded by Shabana Basij-Rasikh, who we featured in our Humankind section of the newsletter back in September after she orchestrated the evacuation of 250 students, staff, and staff families out of Kabul and into Rwanda, days after the Taliban seized power in August.
SOLA’s mission is to provide Afghan girls with a safe and nurturing environment where they can focus on their education and develop their potential as leaders, in a way that’s unprecedented in Afghanistan. The illiteracy rate for teenage girls is a staggering 63%, and under Taliban rule, girls are forbidden to return to classes.
When the takeover happened in August, SOLA’s campus in Kabul quickly turned from a sanctuary into a prime target. Evacuating an entire school community was not only a logistical feat, but most of the girls, aged 11-19 years old, were forced to leave their families behind in Afghanistan. The courage of these girls and their families, who chose to educate their daughters at the cost of holding them close, is impossible for most of us to comprehend.
The SOLA community are safely settled in Rwanda and the girls have resumed studies. However, the school is rebuilding its resources from scratch as the teachers and students fled Kabul with only the items they could carry. Thanks to all of you, we’ve sent them $5000 to buy 60 Kindles and transport them to Rwanda so the girls can start reading again and hopefully begin to build an e-library. We’ll keep you updated on their progress and you can watch Shabana’s recent TED talk here.
Here is Shabana Basij-Rasikh giving a heartfelt thank you to what you helped make happen.
“If there’s one thing I ask of the world, it is this: do not avert your eyes from Afghanistan. Don’t let your attention wander as the weeks pass. See those girls, and in doing so you will hold those holding power over them to account.” - Shabana Basij-Rasikh
DATE: October 2021
Introducing MiracleFeet, an amazing charity we just discovered that's on a mission to create universal access for treatment of clubfoot, one of leading causes of physical disability in the world. Founded in 2010 by parents of children born with clubfoot, they use a simple, low cost treatment to give kids the extraordinary gift of lifelong mobility, independence, and opportunity.
We're sending them US$5,000 to cover the cost of 250 braces, made of shoes that clip into a plastic bar. They're currently used at clinics in 19 of the countries where MiracleFeet works. These braces are going specifically to children in the Philippines.
UPDATE! April 2022
MiracleFeet recently wrote to us and said they've got 138 new kids in the program so far this year, bringing their all-time enrollment in the country to nearly 3,800. The team has been delivering the new braces via bicycle to patients who had outgrown their previous ones and were unable to travel to the clinics due to COVID outbreaks. You can see some of the children in the pictures below. Included are two pictures of a doctor who loading up his backpack with clubfoot braces to deliver to children in the remote Cordillera region. Thank you for your part in making this happen!
DATE: September 2021
Aavaa is a sex education initiative for Persian-speaking children and teenagers that uses book readings, videos and social media to provide age-appropriate information on bodies, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. It also provides resources for people who are in contact with children, such as parents and teachers. We're sending them US$3,000 to fund ten new videos.
If you live in an English-speaking country, it's easy to take access to this kind of information for granted, but for millions of young people in northern Africa and the Middle East, these conversations are only just getting started. Thanks to all of you for making this possible, a little bit will go a long way here, helping this content reach hundreds of thousands of people.
The Gabriella Centre
DATE: July 2021
Our newest donation is going to the Gabriella Centre, an amazing school in Moshi, Tanzania. It's a rehabilitation centre that provides education and assistance to children with autism, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and other special needs. Students receive therapy, food, medical care and specialized education, and the centre helps them and their families figure out ways to live independently with their disabilities. It's one of the only places in East Africa that provides these kinds of services.
They've just finished building a new facility, with dorms, kitchen, therapy and classroom blocks, thanks to a fundraising campaign, but are still missing a lot of funds for basic things like school equipment and power. We're sending them $US5,000 for the purchase and installation of solar panels, which will help them become less reliant on the grid, as well as saving on power bills. A big thank you to all of you for making this possible.
Bridge to Health
DATE: May 2020
The Butterfly IQ is the world’s first handheld ultrasound device and one of the most impressive pieces of medical technology we've ever seen. It's about the size of an electric shaver, and connects to a smartphone or a tablet to quickly perform ultrasounds and upload scans to the internet. Doctors and nurses can slip the device into their pocket and carry it with them the same way they would a stethoscope.
Two years ago, the NYT did a feature on an organization called Bridge to Health, which was using the devices for pneumonia screening in Uganda and maternal health in Kenya. That's where we first heard about this technology, and since then we've seen it in action in places like Gaza and on the US-Mexico border, allowing doctors to provide basic medical care to people struggling to get access to hospitals.
Bridge to Health is now planning a new expedition, this time to Yemen, which is where you come in. We're sending them $4,500 to buy two extra Butterfly IQ devices to take with them, putting life-saving medical imaging into the hands of people who need it the most, and allowing them to continue their work through the ongoing humanitarian crisis. We’ll keep you updated on the progress.
A huge thank you to all of you, our paying subscribers for making this happen.
Fondo Guadalupe Musalem
DATE: March 2020
Fondo Guadalupe Musalem is a small charity from Oaxaca, Mexico that provides financial support, counseling and tutoring to 25 young women from rural or indigenous communities each year. It's a great program - most of the participants complete high school and become leaders in their communities, with many going on to study at university.
Unfortunately, they've been hit hard by the pandemic and the switch to online learning. Schools in Mexico have been closed since April last year, and look set to remain that way until well into 2022. Most of the young women don't have internet at home, and only two or three have access to a computer, with the rest having to borrow mobile phones. FGM are helping with data and phone cards, but that still doesn't solve the problem of computers.
We're sending them US$4,350 to buy 25 tablets, one for each young woman. They'll be able to use them to attend school, and also participate in the extra workshops on topics such as dating violence, sexual and reproductive health, leadership, gender equality, community engagement and human rights. A huge thank you to our subscribers, who made this possible, and in particular to Sandra Thomson, one of the readers of this newsletter, who came to us with the idea in the first place.
Find out more about Fondo Guadalupe Musalem over here.
UPDATE! July 2021
Here's an email we just received from Rocio Blancas Moreno, the coordinator of FGM.
Dear Future Crunch,
It is with great joy that I inform you that we are now delivering the tablets to the young scholarship holders, but it has been a long process because there were travel restrictions due to the pandemic, but now that the cases in our state of Oaxaca have decreased, we are gradually delivering them.
Thanks to your donation we were able to buy 32 tablets for an equal number of high school and university scholarship students. To guarantee their good condition, our Board of Directors authorised the purchase of screen protectors and a case for each tablet; it was also planned to deliver them configured, and it was also considered important that they already had the necessary applications installed to take school classes and participate in the training process that the Guadalupe Musalem Fund organises every month.
I enclose with this email some pictures of the young women who were able to pick up their tablets. From the 19th to the 23rd of July we will have a long training, on line, and soon we will be able to share with you a detailed and complete report.
Thin Green Line
LOCATION: Africa and Asia
DATE: February 2021
The Thin Green Line are an amazing organization that supports wildlife rangers and their communities. One of their many initiatives is something called the Ranger Box, which equips a 10-person anti-poaching patrol team in Africa or Asia with the basic equipment they need to operate effectively – uniforms, boots, communications equipment and shelter. These people are on the frontlines of conservation, putting their lives at risk on behalf of the living planet. They need the right tools for the job.
Thanks to the generosity of our readers, we're sending the Thin Green Line A$6,000, to purchase six Ranger boxes. Over the next few months, ranger teams from around the world will start receiving the boxes, which are stocked with locally bought supplies to make sure the money is spent within local economies. We'll let you know once they start arriving, and pass on a few pictures of the teams with their new equipment.
A huge thanks to our paying subscribers for making this possible.
UPDATE! July 2021
The equipment has been sent to a project being run by the African Conservation Foundation in Lebialem Highlands, Guinea Forest, South West Cameroon. These rainforests are some of the world’s oldest. They support high numbers of endemic species, making them one of the most important biodiversity hotspots, not only in the Africa, but the world. The region is home to the critically endangered Cross River gorilla whose population numbers are only 250-300 individuals. Other wildlife include chimpanzees, monkeys, African forest elephants and pangolins.
Poaching and over-exploitation of natural resources are the main drivers of biodiversity loss, with illegal logging, hunting for bushmeat, and unsustainable farming contributing to the degradation of the area. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem, with limited movement placing increased pressure on the bushmeat trade. As a result, rangers in the area are facing more challenges than ever.
Using the donations sent by Future Crunch, the ACF has equipped 30 community rangers with GPS technology, camera traps, smart phones and camping equipment to aid them in performing patrols and data collection. It will also equip them to conduct specific monitoring of the Cross River Gorilla population. Below are some pictures of the community rangers conducting mapping activities.
LOCATION: Turkey-Syria border
DATE: November 2020
Our most recent discovery is an amazing group called Sirkhane, who are on a mission to provide hope and beauty through circus, music and arts for children affected by war. One of their many projects is something called DARKROOM, a mobile photography workshop for vulnerable and underprivileged kids in Mardin, a few kilometers away from the Syrian border.
Right now, the project is being run by a young Syrian photographer, Serbest Salih who himself escaped the war and arrived in Turkey as a refugee. When we spoke to him he told us they need money to get a new caravan to convert into a mobile lab, and digital cameras for children to be able to continue photography during lockdown. We're sending them US$5,000, which should be enough to cover the caravan and 150 cameras.
Most of these kids have no access to extra-curricular or cultural opportunities. Thanks to the generosity of our paid subscribers, hundreds of them will get to shoot, develop and print their own photography. It's a way to discover themselves, to learn new ways of thinking and creativity to make sense of their daily lives, fostering a sense of personal empowerment in circumstances most of us could never imagine.
Update! February 2021
Sirkhane have purchased the caravan and are in the process of converting it as we speak. Here's a video message from Serbest, the founder of the project. Also - some great pictures of the caravan in action:
We did it!!!
With your great support and donations we got the opportunity to get a mini caravan, with the caravan we will be able to reach hundreds of children 📸.
Our next step is to expand to much wider areas with the Sirkhane Darkroom caravan. Children will be able to access opportunities that they can naturally learn by experiencing social skills, have fun and produce. We will start mobile caravan workshops very soon. Thank you so much to Future Crunch subscribers for the chance!
Doutores da Amazonia
DATE: OCTOBER 2020
We're headed back to Brazil, this time, to help an organization called Doutores da Amazonia that provides free medical treatment to the indigenous peoples of the Amazon. They're entirely funded by donations and fully volunteer based, meaning nobody is paid to work. Over the last four years, they've improved and saved the lives from more than 30 different indigenous groups, including barely contacted people like the Suruwaha.
During the pandemic the Doutores have been organizing and sending food and medical supplies to a huge number of villages and also traveling to several indigenous territories to provide medical treatment. To help them in their mission, we're sending them US$4,000 to buy a satellite phone, three walkie talkies and a laptop computer and backpack, so they can keep up their work in super remote locations.
Despite facing extremely challenging conditions, and all the risks of the forest, the Doutores are out there doing their thing. We figured this was the least we could do. Thank you as always to all our paying subscribers for making it happen.
The Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau Tribe
DATE: October 2020
The Association of Ethno-Environmental Defense is an indigenous-run organisation based in the Amazonian state of Rondonia, in Brazil. For the last year, they've been helping the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people run a surveillance program to protect their territory, using modern technology like drones, GPS, and radios. Their land is home to 17 rivers, and considered the most important in Rondônia, because of its rich biodiversity and water supply. However, like so many parts of the Amazon right now, it's under serious threat from fires, illegal loggers, and cattle farmers.
We're sending them US$4,000 to buy another Mavic Pro 2 drone, as well as spare battery packs since there’s no access to electricity in the forest during the surveillance missions. An extra pair of eyes in the sky is going to make a real difference. With their existing drone, the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau have already discovered a number of deforested areas, used the images to report crimes to local police. You can read more about what they've been able to achieve over here.
Thanks to all our paying subscribers for making this happen. Apparently if you're a member of Future Crunch, and you're ever in Rondonia, you're invited to be a special guest to visit the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau Indigenous Territory (all you have to do is send them an email). So that's nice :)
Update! January 2022
The drone our subscribers helped us buy has become a crucial tool in their protection of the forest. Sundance Festival just screened a documentary called The Territory, which follows Bitaté, a young leader of the Uru-eu-wau-wau who uses technology to protect his culture and territory. During the first part of the film you can see Bitaté using the drone donated by Future Crunch to monitor invasions and deforestation, and later on, teaching his people how to fly it.
DATE: September 2020
When you think of skateboarding, Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa probably aren't the first places that come to mind. Skateistan is changing that. They're a non-profit organisation that empowers kids by combining skateboarding with creative, arts-based education. Their focus is on groups usually excluded from sports, especially girls, children living with disabilities and those from low-income backgrounds.
We're sending them US$7,000 to set up a workshop and makerspace in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan's third largest city. They're going to use the money for Raspberry Pis, computer screens, sewing machines, carpentry tools, motors, and a 3D printer. After a few rounds of emails they sent us this proposal, check it out. Thanks to all our paying subscribers for making this possible.
The team say the makerspace will really help with with their youth leadership students. They'll have the opportunity to learn livelihood skills and develop ideas for future careers paths that lead to decent work. It'll also help kids who work in the street, by giving them skills to support their families such as sewing and mechanical engineering. At least 100 students and their families will benefit from this annually, and there's a minimum of 50% participation by girls.
Gorongosa National Park
DATE: August 2020
Gorongosa National Park is one of the most amazing conservation success stories in Africa, and a place that's very close to our hearts. Rather than walling off the reserve from people that live in the area, they're pioneering an approach that puts surrounding communities at the centre. As with so many parks in southern Africa though, they're struggling with resources. The pandemic has impacted on their operations, complicating communications over a very large geographic area.
To help out, we're sending them US$4,000 to acquire a more professional audio-visual setup at their park headquarters. They told us that many of their managers and staff have been exposed for the first time during this pandemic to the potential of teleconferencing, but they need a central hub to run it all. That's what this donation will do, allowing them to buy a large screen, proper microphones, plus all the extras, to create a more immediate and intimate setting for communication. It'll help them to do more with less.
Thanks to all our paying subscribers for making this possible. Here's a video message to you from their team.
DATE: August 2020
Green Pedal are an NGO in Mozambique that helps farmers develop local, sustainable solutions for agriculture. One of their (many) projects is a water pump bike which gives farmers access to water to irrigate their fields. It's a super simple, low cost technology, exactly the kind of thing we love here at Future Crunch.
Each bike costs around $275, guaranteeing access to water to grow vegetables for one family. We sent them enough to pay for ten. A huge thank you to all of our paying subscribers for making this happen. Here's a message to all of you from the Green Pedal team members from across the world.
UPDATE! September 2021
The bikes have finally arrived. All ten of them :)
Development Media International
COUNTRY: Burkina Faso
DATE: May 2020
This is an organization that works in low income countries using radio and social media to broadcast public health messages. They’re launching COVID-19 campaigns in Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Tanzania, Ivory Coast and Ethiopia to promote respiratory hygiene behaviours, hand washing, and physical distancing.
We think they’re the best way to create maximum impact during this time. DMI has been identified by GiveWell (the effective altruism folks) as a standout charity since 2014, so we know they spend their money well, and this current campaign on COVID-19 is highly time sensitive - the sooner they get the message out there the more lives they’ll save. We’re sending them A$12,400. They’re going to use it to buy equipment such as solar panels to keep the radio station in Burkina Faso running during power outages, and for laptops and broadcast software.
UPDATE! JULY 2020
We just received an email from Cathryn at DMI. Here's the message.
Dear Future Crunch
I just wanted to reach out to reiterate a heartfelt thanks for the donation to DMI, on behalf of the whole team here. We are so grateful for your trust in our work, which we take very seriously.
I am pleased to inform you that we are broadcasting COVID-19 specific radio spots in 6 countries: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. We have produced tailored, evidence-based content for these campaigns, with input from WHO GOARN and Africa CDC, and are reaching approximately 53-58 million people with information to help them understand how to protect themselves and others from this pandemic.
The magnitude of our impact depends directly on donations like yours, which allow us to extend broadcasting and production. The funds from Future Crunch will be used on equipment to aid broadcasting and production, such as the purchase of laptops, software and equipment for radio stations. We are continually reviewing the rapidly evolving situation and adapting our content to fit the needs of the countries where we are broadcasting.
If you have any questions about our COVID-19 work, or work more generally, don’t hesitate to reach out. In the meantime, stay well, and thanks again.
DATE: May 2020
Led by three brothers, Sachin, Sandeep, and Manish, they’re working relentlessly to feed the poor across Bengaluru. They’ve converted their vegetarian restaurant to cook for the cause, with family and friends pitching in. As word has spread across the city, volunteers (including local police) have joined them and are now preparing, packaging and distributing thousands of meals a day. We’re sending them A$4,000 which should be enough to feed 10,000 people for a day.
Restaurant-owners feed 10,000+ people every day
City organisations are playing the good Samaritan, providing food to hundreds of citizens every day, including the under-privileged, residents of old-age homes, and hospital staffers
The One People Fund
COUNTRY: SOUTH AFRICA
DATE: MAY 2020
Led by Marcus, Jason and Nicola, they’re distributing maize meal to families who cannot eat because of the current COVID-19 lockdown. A 12.5kg bag costs around A$5 and can sustain a family of four people for two weeks. 100% of the funds they receive go towards purchasing and distributing the food, and in the last two weeks this amazing team has fed over 17,000 families. We’re sending them A$3,000. Here’s a video from Marcus saying thanks.
The Friendship Bench
DATE: JANUARY 2020
The Friendship Bench trains ‘community grandmothers’ in Zimbabwe to deliver evidence-based talk therapy on benches under trees, bringing care and hope for people with mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. You can find out more in this BBC profile. Since 2006, Dr Dixon Chibanda and his team have trained over 400 of the grandmothers in evidence-based talk therapy, which they deliver for free in more than 70 communities in Zimbabwe. Nobody knows how many people in the country are affected by kufungisisa, the local word for depression, literally, “thinking too much” but Dr Chibanda is certain the number is high. “In Zimbabwe, we like to say that we have four generations of psychological trauma,” he says, citing the Rhodesian Bush War, the Matabeleland massacre, and other atrocities.
We love this project. It shows what a small team of passionate, committed people can do with limited resources and a great idea. We’re sending them A$9,000 to spend on buying phones for staff and therapists, for laptops for the office, and for a camera to document their activities. A huge thank you to all our Patreon subscribers (plus South African mintech pioneers, Dwyka Mining Services, who pitched in an extra $1,000) for making this possible.
UPDATE! AUGUST 2020
We just received this message from the team at Friendship Bench
Hello Future Crunch,
We finally managed to make the purchases with the generous donation you sent to the Friendship Bench, and with COVID-19 and the need to stay home, the use of funding for tech items couldn't have come at a better time!
With your money we brought 25 tablets fit with screen protectors and covers that we are starting a pilot with a group of Grandmothers - back to school it seems! We developed an app to help them deliver the screening tool for depression that we use here (the Shona Symptoms Questionnaire 14) and then also for data collection so we can monitor the intervention. The app is set on the tablets and we are beyond excited to see if the Grandmothers can grasp the use, we are 99.9% they will, they must have grandchildren who they can get extra lessons from at home
I have attached some photos of the first groups we are working with, they are getting trained in teams and once we know if they can manage we will work on funding to buy some more until all our Grandmothers become tech-savvy. They get very happy and become motivated when there are new things to learn. We also have a group of 17 university students on industrial attachment who will be delivering the intervention to Zimbabwe's youth and will also go through the same training.
There is still a bit of money left and our plan for that is once stores open again (they were shut nation wide due to COVID-19) we will purchase simple smart phones that will be put into use for the Friendship Bench supervisors so that they can support the Grandmothers who are currently delivering the problem-solving therapy via WhatsApp. The world is very different now from when we first started talking!
This pilot would not have been possible without the donation from Future Crunch, will keep you updated now that the trainings have started and all our ducks are in a row.
Jean, Ruth & the tech-savvy Grandmothers
Milne Bay & Buk Bilong Pikinini Libraries
COUNTRY: PAPUA NEW GUINEA
DATE: NOVEMBER 2019
We’re buying some equipment for public libraries in Papua New Guinea. Specifically, we’re taking A$4,000 from our subscribers, and throwing in an additional A$4,000 that we earned from a recent speaking engagement, to buy 12 computers. They’ll be split between the recently established Milne Bay Library, and the Buk Bilong Pikinini Library in Port Moresby.
These libraries serve communities where most people still don’t have access to the internet, and where most schools have hardly any books. Right now, there’s a chronic shortage of people with digital skills. Once the computers are set up, they’ll be used to teach children how to do research on the internet, access educational content, gain IT skills, and access health information. Thank you. These donations are going to help thousands of kids, students and adults develop the skills needed to participate in the digital era.
Here’s what Deloitte's Pete Williams, who’s running this project, said to us:
“I’m not sure if I got across just how game-changing the donation is going to be. These pictures are from Milne Bay Library which opened two months ago. You will notice is there is not a computer anywhere - no access to the mass of knowledge out there on the internet. Literacy and learning are one thing, but perhaps even more important is health and nutrition. Many people are stunted due to poor nutrition, there are lots of diseases like malaria and dengue fever, and TB is a growing problem. These computers will mean people don’t have to rely on what’s on the shelves or on posters on the wall.
The picture below is of a school next to the library in Port Moresby, the other place where we'll install these computers. Sometimes they don't have enough classrooms to fit the kids so they run classes outside with the kids sitting in the dirt. These kids will now have a chance at literacy and education - access to the internet will empower them like nothing else."
UPDATE! FEBRUARY 2020
A lovely email and some awesome pictures from Buk Pilong Pikini. These are the kinds of places your generous donations end up - making a real difference in the lives of these kids.
Dear Future Crunch,
Thank you so much. The children enrolled in Buk bilong Pikinini’s Literacy, Numeracy and Awareness programs at our Library Learning Centres do not have access to books, stationery, computers or smart phones at home. Your donation will greatly assist with ensuring that we can provide access to digital learning to support our curriculum learning for the youngest children. When they were first introduced to the computers as part of learning their abc’s and phonetic sounds they were quite frightened of the computers as they had never seen any before. Luckily that did not last long and they soon learnt to have fun and press lots of buttons. We are confident that the computers will further motivate their willingness to learn and bridge the gap for disadvantaged children.
In addition to this we will also use the computers to support our after-school program for the older children via special sessions. We will be doing the installation at the Milne Bay Public Library in March 2020.
Thank you again for your most generous support.
Buk bilong Pikinini
C/ High Commission of Papua New Guinea
The Glia Project
DATE: SEPTEMBER 2019
We first heard about Tarek Loubani "a character straight out of a Cory Doctorow novel," via one of our favourite newsletters, Sentiers. He’s a Canadian-Palestinian doctor who runs something called The Glia Project, which provides high-quality, low-cost, 3D printed medical devices for people in Gaza. He’s the real deal, someone who is truly out on the frontlines (he was even shot during the 2018 protests). His devices are a clever way to get around the blockade; in the same way that drug manufacturers copy branded drugs and sell them for less as generics, the Glia Project makes generics of medical hardware. They also distribute the means of producing that hardware (3D printers) and train medical students and regular Gazans to print medical equipment themselves.
We're sending him and his team AUD$8,000 to be used on two projects. The funds will help them distribute stethoscopes to incoming medical students in Gaza's two medical schools. As Tarek told us, "These young doctors will start on the right foot with a high quality stethoscope, the ears of every doctor, and high quality ones so early in their careers will help fine tune their skills." The money will also provide tourniquets for ambulances and training for paramedics on how to properly use them. These tourniquets will be used on accident and war trauma victims.
Thank you to all the Patreons who made this possible. Your donations are going to save lives. Seriously. Here's a video that Tarek put together to express his gratitude.
Thank you @Future_Crunch and your supporters for selecting the Glia team for your generous donation to support our work. With your money, we will give students in both of Gaza's hospitals stethoscopes! We made a video to say thank you! #OpenHardwarehttps://t.co/dOlkxXDU6R— Tarek Loubani (@trklou) September 6, 2019
Safe Anaesthesia Mongolia
DATE: JUNE 2019
A few years ago, we read a story about how doctors in Mongolia were improving lives through safer surgery and the use of modern anaesthesia techniques. It was written by a UK-based journalist named Jane Feinmann, and when she returned home, she decided to get directly involved. She heard about some anaesthesia machines designed by a British engineering firm. They don’t require a reliable electricity or oxygen supply, making them ideal for surgery in remote places. In particular, they help treat children recovering from burns, a “common hazard in communities where open fires are part of everyday life, and which, if untreated, can cause life-changing deformity.” Here's a quick video about how they work (with some jaw-dropping drone shots of Mongolia for good measure).
Jane put out a call to see if anyone could help, and a charity, Safe Anaesthesia Worldwide, responded by donating two of these amazing pieces of kit. With the help of colleagues and friends, Jane then set up her own fundraising group, which 12 months later purchased and dispatched two more. We figured Future Crunch might be able to help. Thanks to the generosity of our Patrons, we're sending Jane £6,500 to buy another two portable Glostavent Anaesthesia Machines, bringing the total to six.
Here are some thank you messages from Jane, and David Pescod (part of the team training Mongolian doctors).
Huge thanks2 @future_crunch for donating £6500 to match our fund-raising 4 safe anaesthesia machines/safesurgery for #Mongolia's #nomadlife. Read why on https://t.co/5JRdEpYMHW /charity incl moving message from #wfsa's ProfDavidPescod More needed! 2donate https://t.co/WQTmzASp2b— SAM (@SAMinMongolia) August 6, 2019
UPDATE! SEPTEMBER 2019
The machines have arrived in Mongolia and have been installed by local anaesthetist, Dr Ganbold Lundeg. The new anaestheisa machines will enable essential and emergency surgical procedures in remote areas and save lives. More information in the blog post below, and a few pictures too.
Meet t surgical team at new op theatre in Gobi #Mongolia providing safe #surgery 4 #NomadLife w 1 of 2 @diamedicauk anaesthesia mchines that we've funded. Huge thank to @future_crunch who've funded 2 machines, plus 2 from @Safe_4_all. More needed! 2Give https://t.co/vp890g6pBg pic.twitter.com/W5cQizYITU— SAM (@SAMinMongolia) August 6, 2019
DATE: APRIL 2019
Jangala is a charitable organisation that designs and makes Wi-Fi systems used by humanitarian organisations to provide internet access to refugees and displaced people. They started by building a network for refugees in the Calais Jungle, and are now deploying wi-fi boxes in other emergency situations around the world.
Connectivity is a basic human need - it allows people to stay in touch with friends and family, get legal advice and look for employment. We can't think of a better use of our funds. We're sending Jangala £3,000 to cover the costs of building a Big Box system which provides wi-fi and phone charging for up to 1,000 people, vetting a partner, shipping to the field and supporting it for its lifetime.
UPDATE! DECEMBER 2019
The team at Jangala have sent out a newsletter detailing their plans for the funds donated.
“The second system is going to the Stage 2 UNHCR camp in Lesvos, Greece. Lighthouse Relief operates the camp and helps refugees after their journeys across the Mediterranean Sea. Big Box will help these refugees connect with loved ones and let them know they are ok after their crossings, and help staff coordinate their emergency response. We would like to thank Future Crunch for funding this system.”
You can find out more by clicking on this link.
Projeto Saúde e Alegria
DATE: APRIL 2019
Projeto Saúde e Alegria is a non-profit based in Santarém, Brazil. It works with indigenous communities and traditional populations in the region, providing training, education and support to over 30,000 people. We were introduced by our friend, Dr Mirella Gavidia, who runs a cultural exchange program with them each year bringing First Nations people in Australia to South America to meet First Nations people in the Amazon.
We're sending them $4,000 to spend on parts and equipment for biodigesters. These will be used in a program that trains and equips remote communities to build and maintain their own biodigesters to generate heat, lighting and cooking fuel in places where grid access is difficult or non-existent.
DATE: FEBRUARY 2019
The Akashinga (The Brave Ones) are a team of all-female, anti-poaching rangers in Zimbabwe, and one of the best community driven conservation models we've ever seen. Selection is exclusively available to unemployed single mothers, abandoned wives, sex workers, victims of sexual and physical abuse, wives of poachers in prison and widows and orphans. They're trained by a former Australian Navy Diver and Special Operations Sniper, and managed to arrest 80 poachers last year.
We're sent $4,000 to the Dora Milaje to spend on technology, such as computers, phones, drones and firearms.
UPDATE! JULY 2019
We got an update from Damien and the rest of the team in Zimbabwe. They were really chuffed with the AUS$4,000 donation. They also included some more information about the rest of the program. Thanks to all of you (our Patreon subscribers) who made this happen.
Thank you so much for the donations. The funds have been used to purchase a laptop, phones for data capture and recording in the field and spot trackers, which we use to monitor our positions and coordinate operations.
All information is relayed back to the ops room where command, control, information and communications and centralised and used to deploy our resources. The contribution from your team has played a huge role in the effectiveness of these operations and to date we have made 103 arrests.
Thank you so much mate. You are all great!!
DATE: NOVEMBER 2018
A non-profit technology training centre in Cameroon. It's the brainchild of Janet Fofang, a scientist and teacher who aims to train the future tech innovators of her country - with a particular focus on its girls. It enables young Cameroonians to learn to write code, make robots and acquire advanced computer skills. They offer training courses for adults too, and there's an after school program for teenagers who want to come down and tinker with advanced tech.
We sent them $2,500 to spend on equipment for robotics workshops.
Alice Springs Women’s Shelter
DATE: JULY 2018
The only specialist domestic violence support service in central Australia. They do an incredible job supporting some of the most vulnerable people in the country. We sent them $2047.50 to buy a new computer, and also $526.50 to upgrade their existing computer. These two PCs now enable women and their families to get online.
DATE: JULY 2018
We heard about two geeks in Canada, Peter Byron and Rishi Shrestha, who are part of a global open source movement called E-NABLE.
We sent them $2,400 to buy two Prusa i3 MK3 printers. Then the team flew to Kathmandu, where they set up a prosthetics fabrication workshop in a local hospital. They even put our logo on the printers! A few months later, they wrote to us to tell us about their first recipient, Khusi Shrestha. She's 7 years old, and loves the colour red. She lost her hand shortly after birth due to complications with medications. Here she is sporting a brand new red and blue Raptor Reloaded 3D printed hand, open-sourced and hot off the Future Crunch printers.
These amazing people have continued to print prosthetic hands and arms for recipients all over the country on those machines. Check out the action on their Facebook page.
DATE: JUNE 2018
Hamdam is a period tracking app with a twist: it acts as a Trojan Horse, containing a database with easy to understand language showing users how to better navigate Iran’s discriminatory legal structures with legal information oriented to empower them. Hamdam’s legal section answers questions on marriage law and how women can tackle problems with employment, education, divorce, and division of assets.
We sent them US$2,500, and they used that money to create new content about sexual health for 215,000 Iranian women. They also ran a live Instagram for their community with an expert gynecologist on International Menstruation Health Day.
Here's a little video message from Soudeh Rad, to say thank you.
DATE: MARCH 2018
Chu and Suz are a wife-husband team that travels around Kenya showing thousands of schoolchildren their first views of the stars and planets. Thanks to the generosity of our Patreons, they were able to visit two schools with the telescope.
The first was a school in a slum area called Mathare, where 200 students and 10 teachers saw real time images of craters, mountains and volcanic lava flows on the Moon for the first time in their lives. The next week, they did the same for another 500 kids at a school called Josu Academy. The pictures here are from a photographer who accompanied them.