We give away one third of all our subscription revenues to small charities, non-profits and individuals using science and technology to make a real difference. People working below the radar, who have an outsize impact. It’s our way of putting our money where our mouth is. You can meet all our charity partners below. Thank you to all of our subscribers who make this possible.
Sirkhane - DARKROOM
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.
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 :)
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.
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.