I first learned about this organization by listening to an interview with its creator; Scott Harrison. Scott has gone on a pretty classic hero’s journey (Call to adventure, descent into the underworld, rebirth), which he describes in the video I’m attaching below. After telling this story, he also outlines the formation and operation of Charity: Water. I cried a lot while watching this.
The Himalayan Cataract Project specializes in surgeries that restore vision to blind patients in underdeveloped countries. These surgeries are simple and cheap, meaning that you get a massive bang for your buck from donations to this charity.
Planting a tree is one of the simplest ways of helping the environment. It turns out that trees can also greatly improve the livelihood of rural small scale farmers. By helping such farmers plant so called “Forest Gardens” Trees for the Future improves soil quality, crops yields, and human lives, and sequesters carbon while doing it.
These guys are doing wonderful things to promote sustainable agriculture and preserve South America’s tropical rainforests. I had the opportunity to visit their permaculture operation while spending time in Peru last year and was very impressed with the work they do.
Bicycles are one of the most efficient forms of transportation in existence. For citizens of the developing world, the donation of a bicycle can be nothing short of life changing. They make it so that students who live far from schools can attend class. They increase the number of patients that community health workers can treat per day. They help entrepreneurs deliver products of markets and grow their businesses. And they do all this without emitting any pollutants into the atmosphere. If you’d like to give the gift of a bicycle, I’d highly recommend donating to World Bicycle Relief. This organization creates and delivers a bicycle specialized for use in impoverished countries, and prioritizes delivery to female school children, health workers, and entrepreneurs.