The photo of turmeric will be explained, promise.
I’m very behind on life admin. Here’s what is normally an early January post of new year’s day donations. (New year’s day because it was a new year’s resolution…today it might make more sense to combine this now with something like #GivingTuesday – although that’s only a thing because Black Friday is a thing, and that’s upsetting).
Going back seven years now, I donate 10% of my earnings before tax to some of the world’s most effective health charities. I blog about it pour encourager les autres.
In 2021, I earned a bit of freelance money and then joined the Public Interest News Foundation on 0.8FTE x £40k from May. About £27k for the calendar year.
So I donate £2,700 and then, with gift aid, the charities get £3,375.
Which charities? Well, happily, some clever folks try to identify the best candidates for work in global health that will do the most good: the Centre for [the Most-] Effective Altruism. They’re affiliated with Oxford University, but don’t let that put you off. You just put into their charity, choose a fund (in my case, the ‘Global Health & Development fund‘) then they share it around.
In the past, those charities were usually the Against Malaria Foundation (bed nets), then a micronutrients one and a deworming one (like the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative), but it looks like the fund has widened… it recently made a large donation to Pure Earth – an organisation I’d never heard of, but which is looking at a 10-yr plan to reduce mercury and lead poisoning in low/mid income countries (turns out in Bangladesh they add lead to turmeric to make it yellower… not such a superfood anymore eh?) – I’m not convinced that’s likely to be more effective than anti-malarial bednets or medicines, but I don’t have time to delve into it, and I trust that it’ll be in the right ballpark. (I think their point might be that nobody else is much looking into this… whereas lots of people are funding bednets).
I *still* need to sort out payroll giving, which will save me wincing at the start of every year. (Or stumbling on cashflow like this year). You should nag your employer to sort this at your company too. You can start at 1p in the £1. You can afford it! Until we have a decent global financial taxation system, such as that suggested by the excellently named Patriotic Millionaires crew, it’s a moral imperative.
P.S. Talking of global health, Dr Paul Farmer, of Partners in Health, died earlier this year. A book about him, Mountains Beyond Mountains, is a good read. (The Arcade Fire song inspired by it is good too.)