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THE LIFE YOU CAN SAVE
August 2015

The publication this week of Will MacAskill's book, Doing Good Better, is a very important milestone in the growth of the effective altruism movement.  As one of the leaders of the EA movement, Will extends Peter Singer's work and, as a young philosopher at Oxford, brings the activist philosophy into the next generation.

Doing Good Better should be required reading for all who care about living an ethical life.  Will’s point of view is refreshing and challenges us to re-think our fundamental assumptions about the best way to choose our work, as well as the way we live day-to-day. I suggest reading his book a chapter at a time with family, friends, and colleagues, with lively follow-up discussions.  

Will has earned his place as a leader in the EA movement. I am grateful for his work and know I am a better person for having known him.

For our readers in the northern hemisphere, I hope your summer is going well and, as we suggested last month, that your holiday plans include a generous giving plan.

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 August's Issue

1

Charity Voices

2

Highlights from Our Blog

3

Team Picks

4

Supporter Story

Charity Voices
TOMs Shoes and Ashley Judd add their voices to the dialogue.
TOMS Shoes partners with Seva to restore sight
Toms Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie in Nepal, talking with a woman  whose sight had been restored.

TOMS is helping give sight to children and adults in 13 countries around the world, including through Seva eye programs in Nepal, Tibet, and Cambodia. TOMS and Seva have been working together through the One for One model since the program’s inception in 2011. For every pair of eyewear purchased from TOMS, TOMS helps to give sight to a person in need. 

Working through 14 Sight Giving Partners, TOMS has helped to restore sight to 325,000 people with sight restoring surgeries, prescription eyeglasses and medical treatment. This support for direct care services has allowed more people to access eye care by making it affordable and convenient.
 
See how TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie traveled with Seva Sight Program staff to Nepal to learn about the communities where people who purchase TOMS Eyewear support sight-restoring care.
 
Together TOMS and Seva focus on providing high quality, equitable services through local eye care providers. Care is taken to do no harm to the existing ecosystem of eye health programs.
 
Find out all the latest about the One for One movement and how you can get involved. Follow TOMS and Seva on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for Seva's eNewsletter to get updates from the field about the many lives being changed around the world.

Initial RCT results show 25% reduction in child mortality
Living Goods' Community Health Providers earn a living and deliver vital service and products.

World class researchers from MIT, Yale and the University of Stockholm recently completed a landmark randomized control study showing that Living Goods is reducing child mortality by more than 25%! Powered by our sustainable hybrid model that recovers 100% of the cost of the products and generates retail margins to pay the health promoters – the yearly net cost is LESS than $2 per person reached. As a result of this gold standard report, Living Goods is going and growing like never before.
 
Quintupling our reach in Uganda
At the start of this year we launched an ambitious effort, along with our partners at BRAC, to reach five million Ugandans in the next four years. We will grow the number of Health Promoters that we support there from roughly 1,200 to over 6,000. We are working closely with the government in this effort. The Ugandan Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda said:
 
“Living Goods solves two of our biggest operational and financial challenges in the health sector: How to keep vital medicines in stock and how to compensate and retain community health workers.”
 
Teaming up with Kenyan Counties
The Kenyan government is empowering counties to take charge of their own health systems, and many of them are now reaching out to Living Goods. We are thrilled to announce that Living Goods recently cut the ribbon on our newest branch in Busia County, Kenya in a novel partnership with the Busia Governor and Minister of Health. Over the next four years we plan to open 18 more branches across Kenya reaching over 1,500 villages.
 
This is just the beginning.
Living Goods is aiming for change at systemic scale, reaching at least 50 million people in the next ten years. To achieve that we can’t go it alone. We must help visionary NGOs, funders, and governments replicate the Living Goods model around the world. In the weeks ahead we will share more news on our efforts to help partners from Zambia to Myanmar and beyond.  Stay tuned.
 
If you’d like to learn more about how you can help Living Goods, or how Living Goods can help your organization, email us right now at info@livinggoods.org.

Note: To support all this growth we are looking for exceptional talent. If you know anyone with the right combination of business chops and commitment to change, send them our way. 
 
A few of our current great opportunities:
Chief Operating Officer
Business Development Manager
Partnerships Associate
Director of Talent

Rebuilding healthcare in one of Nepal's worst-hit districts

On April 25th, in a single moment of tectonic unrest, all of our lives changed.

Since April, Possible has worked closely with key partners to support earthquake relief efforts. We coordinated over $25 million worth of in-kind medicine and supplies by working closely with Direct Relief, which was sent directly to the worst-hit districts.

Most importantly, we supported relief efforts without compromising the quality of healthcare we deliver in Achham District in rural Nepal — over 200 km from the earthquake’s epicenter.

Now Nepal is turning towards rebuilding, and Possible is helping.

Our 7+ years of experience building healthcare systems in Nepal has prepared us for the challenge ahead. Over the last two months, our team visited the worst-hit districts to assess the state of the healthcare system, met with government partners to discuss the country’s priorities, and created detailed evaluations and proposals for each prospective district.

We have just signed an agreement at the invitation of Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population to rebuild the healthcare system in Dolakha District, near the epicenter of the 7.3 earthquake that struck on May 12th. In Dolakha, 40% of the population now has zero access to healthcare and 87% of its healthcare facilities have been damaged or destroyed.

From now through the end of 2015, we’ll rebuild 21 clinics, install solar electricity with SunFarmer, and ensure supplies reach facilities by supporting the supply chain distribution.

More importantly, these next six months will be about laying down the foundation for a long-term healthcare system that can be resilient in the face of future natural disasters, which presents an opportunity to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

You can directly support our work by giving to our REBUILDING FUND. All money raised will go towards rebuilding the healthcare system in one of Nepal's worst-hit districts.

Ashley Judd: It's time to treat gender-based violence as a health issue. 
PSI Ambassador Ashley Judd being interviewed by NPR's Jason Baubien

Actress, humanitarian and PSI Global Ambassador Ashley Judd is an articulate, passionate advocate for women's empowerment. She was recently featured at the Aspen Ideas Festival’s Spotlight Health event in Aspen, Colorado, where she was interviewed by NPR’s Jason Baubien. 
 
Ashley talked about the importance of modern family planning, and addressed other unmet global health needs of women. Watch this clip of the talk and read her op-ed on gender-based violence.

Highlights from Our Blog
  1. What the Recent Deworming Studies Mean for Our Donors by Charlie Bresler

  2. Four Professors on the Pros and Cons of Giving Games by Jon Behar

  3. The Gift of Sight: What You Can Do to Reverse Blindness by Thomas Mitchell

  4. 9 Positive Effects of Donating Money to Charity by Jay Robertson

Team Picks

A twelve-year-old running a marathon in all 50 states is amazing enough.  But the story becomes even more amazing when you learn why he's doing it. (Hint: It's for one of our recommended charities)

Jon Behar 
COO and Director of Philanthropy Education

Good news! Human beings today are living longer, safer, and happier lives. A new UN Millenium Goals report now gives us objective data to support these positive trends. These 11 infographics reveal that the world is getting better, and that extreme poverty is in free fall.

Rhema Hokama
Director of Communications

The first Global Health Film Festival is launching October 30-31 at the Royal Society of Medicine in London, UK. Our recommended charity Development Media International will be running an interactive workshop on use of mass media to change health behaviors and outcomes in developing countries.

Amy Schwimmer
Director of Operations

Supporter Story

 Paddy Vipond

A journey of living and sharing effective giving--even on a limited income.

It was in February 2014 that I first heard about Peter Singer's organization The Life You Can Save, and I have not looked back since.  At the time I was living at home with my family in South Wales, in a similar position to many recent university graduates: hunting for a job, lacking any money, and with no real direction. Despite the fragile state of my finances at the time, The Life You Can Save really struck a chord with me. I took the public pledge to give a portion of my yearly earnings immediately after I finished reading all the information on the site. 

My giving journey begins

Charitable and voluntary work have always been activities that I have taken great pleasure involving myself in. Following my time in university I embarked on a six-month voluntary placement in Ankara, Turkey, in order to help out at a youth centre. While there I was also able to establish a small aid giving project of my own that helped Syrian refugees who had had their lives devastated by the conflict raging across the border. It was named Do What You Can, which has since become a mantra that I try to follow in whatever I do. Following those experiences I knew that helping others was a duty that I had to perform ... READ MORE

Paddy Vipond is a BA Hons graduate of the University of Brighton with a degree in War, Conflict and Modernity. He is an activist and international volunteer and writes articles for numerous publications including The Guardian, Psychology Today, Center for a Stateless Society, and Skin Deep Tattoo Magazine. He works in the non-profit sector for Renewable World, who aim to alleviate poverty in developing countries. His first book was published in May 2015 titled: AKs and Lollipops: Inside the Syria Conflict. 

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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