Our Write the World journey: Thank you for what you have already achieved

At our charity project, Write the World notebooks, we make our donations to The Life You Can Save on a quarterly basis, with the end of May marking the end of our third quarter of fundraising. Every quarter The Life You Can Save then directs that quarter’s donation to an agreed effective charity tackling global poverty.

I think, my friends, it’s worth reflecting on just what your purchases of $10 notebooks have achieved so far.

In our first quarter we raised $7,150 which was donated to the Fred Hollows Foundation. With this amount of money the foundation could: fund 20,100 antibiotic distributions to prevent blinding trachoma or provide 96 cataract surgeries to CURE reversible blindness. Yep, thanks to those notebooks you bought back in September, October and November.

In our second quarter we raised $2,650 which was donated to the Against Malaria Foundation. With this amount of money the foundation could purchase 894 bed nets to protect those living in malaria-stricken areas from infected mosquitos. One bed net protects two people from malaria for up to three years, meaning 1,788 people have been protected from malaria thanks to those notebooks you purchased back in December, January and February.

Over the same quarter we also raised a bonus $1,780 for the bushfire relief funds in Australia. (Remember those bushfires?) That was thanks to every notebook you bought in January.

In our latest quarter we raised $4,590 which is to be donated to The Fistula Foundation. With this amount of money the foundation can cover the cost of supplies for 43 fistula surgeries in the Democratic Republic of Congo or fund four complete surgeries to safely repair a woman’s obstetric fistula, and rehabilitation services.  All thanks to the notebooks you popped into your carts in March, April and May.

So, thank you. Thank you for supporting Write the World so generously. Thank you for keeping us in mind when you need presents for your friends, family, neighbours and school teachers. Thank you for helping us spread the word about our project.

Stay tuned to hear where our next quarter’s donation will be directed. You can guarantee it will be to an equally worthy charity that is effectively helping the world’s poorest.

In the meantime, you can buy your notebooks at http://www.writetheworldnotebooks.org…

Fearless Girls: dignity, respect and justice for all


At the Effective Altruism conference in Sydney last year I had a conversation with a new friend about our ‘favourite effective charities’. Her favourite was the Fistula Foundation. Her reason was because for a set amount of money you could be 100 per cent confident you could restore quality of life to a woman who would otherwise suffer enormously and endlessly.

Honestly, I have to admit that although I’d vaguely heard of the Fistula Foundation, I didn’t really know what they did. I nodded along politely as my new friend talked about the great work they do and went home and googled them.

Turns out the Fistula Foundation provides treatment for ‘obstetric fistula’ – a childbirth injury that can destroy a woman’s life. An obstetric fistula occurs when a mother has a prolonged obstructed labour, but doesn’t have access to emergency medical care, such as a c-section. She often labours in excruciating pain for days.

Tragically her baby usually dies.

But it gets worse…

During the prolonged labour, the mother’s contractions continually push the baby’s head against her pelvis. Soft tissues caught between the baby’s head and her pelvic bone become compressed, restricting the normal flow of blood.

Without adequate blood supply, sections of tissue soon die, leaving holes – known as ‘fistulae’ – between the mother’s vagina and her bladder or rectum. It’s these holes that cause incontinence.

If untreated, the woman will uncontrollably leak urine, stool, or sometimes both, for the rest of her life.

Obstetric fistula leaves women incontinent, humiliated and often shunned by their community.

Surgery is the only cure.

And that’s where the Fistula Foundation come in. In their own words – they do one thing, and they do it well – they treat obstetric fistula. Few investments in human health have been proven to yield such a dramatic impact on a woman, her family and her community.

Today, right now, at least one million women in Africa and Asia are needlessly suffering from untreated fistula. They are generally voiceless – young, female, poor, rural and ostracised.

Especially as a woman, especially as a mother, it is enough to make you cry.

So when we were looking for an effective charity to donate our March to May Write the World notebook sales to – especially our new Fearless Girls notebook, designed to coincide with International Women’s Day on 8 March – we couldn’t think of a better effective charity to support.

Fearless Girls: dignity, respect and justice for all – silence is not an option

Purchase online in our Write the World notebook store now – every $10 notebook purchase = $10 to Fistula Foundation from March to May 2020.