About TGUP: Effective Altruism
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Our Mission

Water cistern construction

The Global Uplift Project’s mission is to literally Uplift humanity by improving the capacity for self-development among the poorest people in the world. Improving the capacity for self-development improves life chances for everybody touched. And, if anybody is better off, we’re all better off. We do this in two ways.

  • We build small-scale infrastructure projects in developing countries.
  • We offer people here at home the chance to help bring those projects into being.

The infrastructure projects are straightforward. They include classrooms, medical clinics, latrines, libraries, water projects and other such facilities. You can see more than 140 of these under Proof It Works. These projects do one of two things:

  • Reduce suffering
  • Improve opportunity
Charambi Nepal Birthing Center

Consider reducing suffering. In Nepal, our birthing centers vaccinate newborns against 11 of the most common childhood diseases. Without this, a child will spend most of its early years in disease, contagion, or death. The serum for the vaccination costs $3.

The Nepal Ministry of Health estimates that, over the life of the child, these vaccinations avert $3,000 in suffering and lost productivity. That’s a 1,000-to-1 return on investment in reducing human suffering. That’s what we mean by “dramatically improve life chances.”

Or, consider improving opportunity. Our Girls’ Equality Project provides washable sanitary supplies to help adolescent girls deal with their periods. They help thousands of girls stay in school for three more years.

Olmoti South Africa playground

The kits cost $5, but are free to the girls. Helping an adolescent girl stay in school for three years for $1.67 per year may be one of the highest returns-on-human-investment in the world. It’s another example of “improving life chances.”

All of TGUP’s projects directly reduce suffering or improve life chances, or both

The mission here at home is equally inspiring. It is to engage millions of people in small acts of altruism by offering them the chance to help bring these projects into being. Why?

First, it is those acts of altruism that make the projects possible. But more importantly, it’s because we are bigger when we help others. We’re working to grow a generation of bigger people, people who are intentionally engaged and knowingly effective in bettering their world. It works.

Nepal Medical Tent

Someone once asked Abraham Lincoln, “Who is the biggest man you ever saw?” Lincoln replied, “The biggest man I ever saw was one who stooped to help a child.” We instinctively understand the beauty, and the wisdom, in this reply. We’re bigger when we help others.

If we can enlist millions of people into small acts of altruism, acts that not only help others, but make the actors themselves bigger, we will bring about that better world that we all long for, because bigger people act differently than do small people

New Bali latrine

They’re more inclusive. More compassionate. More collaborative. They are better stewards of their world, thinking not just of themselves, but of others, as well. This is why our tag line is, “UPLIFT for a Better World.” One brings about the other, and both are beautiful.

UPLIFT for a Better World. That is our mission. Join us.

Uplift  for a Better World

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