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April 2016

April 22nd is Earth Day. In my mind, there are two important connections between how we respect and take care of the environment and how we show our caring toward people living in extreme poverty. 

One is through the degree of consciousness we have--or "mindfulness" as Thich Nhat Hanh would say--about the impact of our actions on things around us. Here, I not only include people in our global community but also non-human animals and the environment. The other is the effect of consumerism on both the environment and our financial ability to care for people suffering from the devastating effects of extreme poverty. In sum, the lower our environmental footprint, the greater our capacity to do good in other areas. 

This Earth day, please join the staff at The Life You Can Save in considering how to become better stewards of our planet and how doing so can allow us to be more effectively compassionate to those most needing our help.

Good living and good giving,

Charlie Bresler is Executive Director of The Life You Can Save, an organization founded by the philosopher Peter Singer and based on the basic tenet of Effective Altruism: leading an ethical life involves using a portion of personal assets and resources to effectively alleviate the consequences of extreme poverty.

In April's Issue


Charity Voices


Highlights from Our Blog


Team Picks


This Month in Giving

Charity Voices
For Earth Day and World Malaria Day,
Interventions Worth Celebrating 
Get a "You Are There" perspective on how safe water dispensers are made and used.
Evidence Action

At Evidence Action, we have a great new video showcasing "A Day in the Life of a Dispenser". Check it out to see how Dispensers for Safe Water move from manufacture, to installation, to serving the community. This innovative technology is bringing safe water access to more than 4.5 million people in Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi!

Every day is Earth Day in commitment to long-term soil health
Hailey Tucker/One Acre Fund

American writer and environmental activist Wendell Berry once described soil as “the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all… Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”

Indeed, soil health is essential to ensuring that communities all over the globe are healthy, food secure and resilient in the face of environmental shocks. Yet nowhere do Berry’s words ring more true than in sub-Saharan Africa, where smallholder farmers living on less than $2 per day depend on increasingly depleted soils to produce food for their families. Faced with poor harvests year after year, these farm families experience seasonal cycles of hunger and meal skipping.

Read more about One Acre Fund's work promoting soil health for long-term impact. And click here to learn how One Acre Fund Trains Farmers in Composting.

Great News for World Malaria Day: Funding 2.7 million nets for Ghana
Against Malaria Foundation

AMF has agreed to fund 2.7 million LLINs (long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets) for distribution in Ghana in June 2016. This will close the net gap in Ghana and achieve universal coverage (all sleeping spaces covered) in three of the country's ten regions: Upper West, Northern and Greater Accra (excluding Metropolitan Accra). These nets will protect 4.9 million people.

The nets will be distributed by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) under the management of the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP).

AMF will fund the distribution partners’ work and will work closely with both organisations and with in-country distribution partners who will have responsibility for:

  • Ensuring reconciliation of nets distributed with nets funded through detailed review of household-level records and associated monitoring.
  • Post-distribution check-ups (PDCUs) of net use and condition at six monthly intervals for a period of 30 months.

We are finalizing the micro-planning for this project and will publish full details and documentation in the coming weeks.

Distribution details: Upper West Region, Northern Region and Greater Accra RegionFurther information on Ghana.

Wanted: Data Manager for NYC office
Give Directly

GiveDirectly is looking to hire a data manager for our New York office. It's a really cool job for someone with an analytical / quantitative background; it involves building processes and managing GD recipient data from around the world. For more information, click here.

Highlights from Our Blog
  1. Part 1: Escaping Normal by Charlie Bresler

  2. I Gave Away $2,239.93 Last Year. Here's Where It Went. by Rachel Maley

  3. Why Poverty Hurts Our Children Most by Rhema Hokama

  4. 4 Ways to Donate Better by Rachel Maley

Team Picks

Kate Epstein of Wharton University's One for the World (a TLYCS partner) shared this eye-opening video.

Charlie Bresler
Executive Director

Gleb Tsipursky, founder of Intentional Insights, writes that donors can play a significant role in preventing the next big charity scandal. Gleb argues that organizations like The Life You Can Save and GiveWell make it easier for donors to identify high-impact interventions and determine charity effectiveness.

Rhema Hokama 
Director of Communications

Peter Singer passed this along to share with our readers:
Essay Competition on Preparation for Global Food Catastrophes

David Denkenberger is funding a 1000 word essay competition hosted by the Future of Humanity Institute. $2000 grand prize and $500 prizes in categories of technology, economics, and policy. Deadline: April 15, 2016. Goals of the competition are to raise awareness, get new ideas, and hopefully motivate more research. Anyone can submit.

Amy Schwimmer 
Director of Operations

This Month in Giving

Earth Day

The 2016 Earth Day theme is Trees for the Earth. Consider supporting the work of our recommended charity, One Acre Fund, in helping African farmers plant millions of trees. And see the Earth Day website for ideas on getting involved in fighting climate change.

World Malaria Day

WHO reports new global malaria cases between 2000-2015 fell by 37% and related mortality by 60%. Support Against Malaria Foundation in continuing this dramatic progress toward ending malaria for good!


Effective Altruism Global X Boston Conference

When: Saturday, April 30th, 12:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Where: MIT Wong Auditorium (2 Amherst St, Cambridge, MA 02142
RSVP: Visit our websiteFacebook event pageTickets here.

Effective Altruism Global X Boston is a half-day conference featuring talks, panels, and networking opportunities for anyone interested in doing the most good possible with the resources we have. The program will address the major effective altruist cause areas of global poverty and development, animal agriculture, and global catastrophic risk, as well as movement concerns like conducting research, building community, and choosing a career direction.

Speakers and panelists include:
Dean Karlan (Yale, Innovations for Poverty Action)
Joshua Greene (Harvard, Moral Cognition Lab)
Rachel Glennerster (MIT, Poverty Action Lab)
Piali Mukhopadhyay (GiveDirectly)
Bruce Friedrich (The Good Food Institute)
Julia Wise (The Centre for Effective Altruism)
Ian Ross (Hampton Creek, Facebook)

The Life You Can Save is a 501(c)(3) - an official non-profit registered with the United States Internal Revenue Service. Donations to The Life You Can Save are tax-deductible to individuals filing taxes in the U.S.
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