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Joshua Lam's Fundraiser:

Josh's 21st Birthday Fundraiser

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Joshua Lam

THE STORY:

Hi friends!!! So, I'm turning 21 in less than a month. Since my birthday (March 4) is dangerously close to finals week here at the University of Chicago, I have decided not to throw a giant birthday rager. Instead, I am going to try something that I haven't done before, and set up a birthday fundraiser to donate money to charity. I was actually inspired to do this by several of my friends who have done this sort of thing before, with great success. Not only does "donating a birthday" offer a rare opportunity for me to do some good as a student in university, it also makes the birthday that much more special and meaningful. Plus, there's the added benefit of not getting a hangover the day after!

 

So, what's the charity? As an international student here in the US, I knew from the outset that the scope for this fundraiser would be global. For example, the health challenges faced by people living in sub-Saharan Africa are all too often overlooked in the context of our education. I believe that it is important for us to think beyond borders when identifying opportunities to improve human lives in the most effective way. (See: http://www.givewell.org/giving101/Your-dollar-goes-further-overseas)

 

Secondly, I wanted to choose proven organisation with a strong record of making a substantive, measurable difference in the lives of disadvantaged groups. To accomplish this I spent some time researching the principles of "effective altruism", summarised as "compassion guided by data and reason" (I am an econ student after all). As it turns out, there are a plethora of organisations like GiveWell, Giving What We Can and The Open Philanthropy Project that are dedicated to identifying the best ways to contribute to a cause as a donor.

 

In the end, I chose to give to the Deworm the World Initiative, which works with governments around the world to develop and implement national school-based deworming programs. Over 870 million preschool- and school-age children are at risk of parasitic worm infection. Over 600 million of these children remain untreated. Children with severe or recurring worm infections have impaired growth and cognitive development because the worms lodge in their bodies, stealing the nutrients a child is able to take in. The choice to donate to a deworming program can literally save a child's life.

 

Deworm the World currently works in Kenya, India, Ethiopia, and Vietnam. It has 7 primary goals:

1.POLICY AND ADVOCACY WITH GOVERNMENTS

2.PREVALENCE SURVEYING AND MAPPING

3.PROGRAM PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT

4.PUBLIC AWARENESS AND MOBILISATION

5. MONITORING AND EVALUATION

6.TRAINING AND DISTRIBUTION CASCADE

7.DRUG MANAGEMENT AND COORDINATION

The money donated by you will go directly to Deworm the World via the CrowdRise platform. I hope that this little fundraiser can be my way of making a difference. Feel free to treat this as an alternative to coming to a birthday party or giving a gift :) However, I do truly believe that altruism is worthwhile for its own sake. I definitely cannot do this alone, so please donate! It would mean so much to me!!

Visit this website to learn more about the initiative: http://www.evidenceaction.org/dewormtheworld/

Here is an official video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn-tat5gmmg

GiveWell has conducted a comprehensive audit of Deworm the World, and found it to be one of the most cost-effective charities available today: http://www.givewell.org/international/top-charities/deworm-world-initiative

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