In the spirit of giving season, I've decided to do something radically different - walk across New Zealand (3000km/1900 miles) BAREFOOT to raise awareness about the most innovative charity that you've probably never heard of, GiveDirectly. GiveDirectly is the first (radically transparent) charity that lets donors send money directly to the extreme poor. For every dollar that you donate, at least 88 cents is guaranteed to go into the hands of recipients.
About 5 years ago, after finishing university, I travelled for about 1.5 years before getting a job. During this journey, I experienced different cultures for the first time in my life and it made me sad to see hard working people, not having the same opportunities in life as myself, just because they were born in a different place. I started thinking about one day starting my own charity, called "Giving around the World", to give money to poor people all around the world, to help them out. After getting back home, I got a job and the idea slowly faded.
Recently a few things changed in my life, which gave me time to think about the things that really make me happy and so my mind wandered back to the idea of giving around the world. As it turns out, there already was a charity doing this exact same thing, called Give Directly (givedirectly.org), and it's also in the top 10 charities of givewell.org! Therefore I thought it to be more efficient to raise money for this charity, than it is to start my own.
In the Netherlands, where I live, there is a swimmer (Maarten van der Weijden), who swam over 200km to raise money for charity. This inspired me to think of some crazy physical challenge that I could do to raise a lot of money as well.
As I would like to call myself a bit of an Adventurer, I wanted my physical challenge to be an adventure.. And so I came up with the idea to walk from the most Northern point of New Zealand, to the most Southern point (a 3000km / 1900 mile distance). However, as many people have done this walk, called the 'Te Araroa' already, there had to be a bit more crazy poured into the idea. I'm doing it Hobbit style! Barefoot at all times when doing the hike. More info about GiveDirectly:
GiveDirectly allows donors to send money directly to extremely poor households with no strings attached. Our approach is guided by rigorous evidence of impact and by our core values of efficiency, transparency, and respect.