Charity Pitch Presentations: Athenaeum Event Recap

Last Friday afternoon, students from Professor Schroeder’s “Health, Measurement and Justice” class presented at the Athenaeum on charities that target particular health-related issues in Africa. Audience members were each given a $25 voucher, donated by Professor Schroeder, to pledge to the charity of their choice. The students presented different metrics of impact and cost-effectiveness analyses in order to persuade the attendees to donate to their charity. The event produced an overwhelmingly successful turnout, with 50 audience members and an overall donation of $2,000.

Although the results were close, Evidence Action, a charity that deals with water chlorination efforts in Kenya, ultimately garnered 19 votes, the highest number our of the three charities presented. It raised a total of $800 towards water chlorination efforts in Kenya, which will go towards the development of chlorination dispenser distributions across the nation.

As 71% of Kenyans do not have access to adequate sanitation facilities, these dispensers, which each have the ability to serve 230 people, could have a significant impact in helping reduce the number of fatal diarrhea cases caused by unclean water. Diarrhea is the 2nd leading cause of death in children under 5 as well as the 7th leading cause worldwide, meaning Evidence Action’s work has the ability to save millions of lives. The organization hopes to serve over 5 million Kenyans by 2016.

The next charity presented, the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI), collected 16 votes and will receive $600. The initiative, which targets Schistosomiasis, the second most critical neglected tropical disease in the world, helps distribute de-worming pills that would drastically improve the conditions of those affected.

Studies have shown that through the prevention of the disease by way of the distribution of these pills, rates of school absenteeism can be reduced by 25% and working hours increased by 12%, therefore allowing future wage earnings to go up by 23%. Not only do SCI's efforts combat the actual disease, but they also help improve the economic situations of those who take the pill.

Project Healthy Children (PHC), the last charity pitched, additionally obtained 16 votes and tied with the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative to raise $600 towards their Micronutrient Fortification Program. PHC’s efforts strive to prevent micronutrient deficiencies in children by fortifying foods with nutrients such as folic acid, iodine, iron, vitamin A and zinc in order to ensure that children grow up to be stronger, smarter and healthier. The tactics that the program employs are very inexpensive, costing a mere $.05 to $.25 annually to help nourish a child. This initiative provides an incredibly cost-efficient way to directly impact millions of lives.

When asked about deciding where to pledge her voucher, attendee Chantal Evett ’15 responded, “I was persuaded to vote for the Schistosomiasis charity because the presenters made it sound like a very pressing issue. I felt like my money would really make a difference addressing this often over-looked disease.”

In regards to the event as a whole, Evett added that the presentations made her “realize how impactful $25 could be.”

To donate and learn more about these charities, please visit: