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November 13 2014

07:11

Last Reminder: Donate Doubly with Nicole Oliver and Ingrid Nilson

charity-chitchat-2.banner.png

Charity Chitchat 2
on November 15 at 5:30 p.m. EST (10:30 p.m. UTC)
on events.yoursiblings.org
with Nicole Oliver, Ingrid Nilson,
and donation matching!

The chitchat. While a scheduling conflict prevents Maud Pie from meeting Princess Celestia and Cheerilee, all of them will meet you! Oh, and Boulder too!

Nicole Oliver and Ingrid Nilson have agreed to join us for two one-hour interviews from 6 p.m. EST and 8:30 p.m. EST respectively to chitchat with our Ponyville Live hosts about their profession, life, and whatever other topics you suggest in the viewer chat, so be at your best behavior!

The charity. Charity Chitchat 2 will benefit the Against Malaria Foundation, who provide life-saving mosquito nets in regions ravaged by malaria. These insecticide-treated bed nets are one of the most cost-effective interventions in existence. Few other charities can save as many lives with your donation!

The donation matching. As if the charisma of Nicole Oliver and Ingrid Nilson wasn’t enough reason to fund a few dozen life-saving malaria nets at once, an anonymous donor has also agreed to match donations up to $1,465 during the time of the stream. Your $3 donation will buy two bed nets instead of one! Both will depend on your donation—no one can donate for you!

And if anyone should still doubt that this is the right time to give to AMF, please read this description of the organization and watch this excellent TEDx talk by Dr. Toby Ord.

November 05 2014

09:33

Charity Chitchat 2: Donation Matching With Nicole Oliver and Ingrid Nilson

Charity Chitchat 2

November 15 at 5:30 p.m. EST (10:30 p.m. UTC) on events.yoursiblings.org

with Nicole Oliver, Ingrid Nilson, and donation matching!

The clinic project. Maud Pie would be proud: We’ve reached a new milestone! You, our generous donors, have fully funded the renovation of the house that will generate a reliable income for Child Need Africa’s clinic in Uganda! This means that now all further donations can already go to the Against Malaria Foundation.

The chitchat. And speaking of Maud Pie, she is about to meet Princess Celestia and Cheerilee! Nicole Oliver and Ingrid Nilson have agreed to join us for one hour starting at 6 p.m. EST to talk about their profession, life, and whatever other topics you suggest in the viewer chat.

Do you still remember how, in late 2011, Friendship is Madness brought to light that Nicole Oliver is the voice of Cheerilee as well? Surely Charity Chitchat 2 will be full of surprises, too!

The donation matching. As if the charisma of Nicole Oliver and Ingrid Nilson wasn’t enough reason to fund a few dozen life-saving malaria nets at once, an anonymous donor has also agreed to match donations up to $1,465 during the time of the stream. Your $3 donation will buy two bed nets instead of one!

And if anyone should still doubt that this is the right time to give to AMF, please read this description of the organization and watch this excellent TEDx talk by Dr. Toby Ord.

October 23 2014

05:50

Musicians Wanted for Seeds of Kindness 4: Shine Together

About two months are left to the release of Shine Together, our fifth charity album!

Thanks to the tremendous work of the music community, the ongoing Seeds of Kindness 3 fund-raiser together with our three previous fund-raisers have raised about $150,000 from online donations alone, supporting various Your Siblings and Engineers Without Borders projects in Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania. We incorporated a few suggestions and rule changes to make this work even better for the musicians, and we would like to ask for your help to support the outstanding work of the Against Malaria Foundation!

Soft deadline: November 22nd, 2014
Hard deadline: December 10th, 2014
Release date: December 20th, 2014

The Charity. There is no middle man. All the money donated will go directly to the Against Malaria Foundation and will only be used to purchase insecticide-treated nets (LLINs). Donations will be tax-deductible in the US, Canada, and most of Western Europe. Each donation will be publicly allocated to a specific program and extensive tracking, predistribution, and postdistribution reports will be published online.

Half the world’s population is at risk of malaria. In 2012, about 627,000 people died of the disease, the equivalent of four Boeing 747 crashing every day with no survivors. On average, one person dies of malaria every minute. (WHO 2013)

LLINs are mosquito nets, usually bed nets, that not only physically protect against malaria-infected mosquitoes but are also treated with an insecticide that lasts for several years and in that time kills any mosquitoes that may otherwise be able to find possible gaps or tears in the net. At a price of just about $3, bed nets are a thoroughly proven, highly effective means of protection against malaria. Depending on the region they also protect from other diseases transmitted by the same vector species, such as dengue fever, yellow fever, and forms of encephalitis.

The Against Malaria Foundation (AMF), founded in 2004, supports local distributors by funding the hundreds of thousands of nets that are needed in LLIN distributions. AMF stands out because of its strong commitment to transparency and self-evaluation. (From Your Siblings’ summary of AMF.)

Here is a TEDx talk by Dr. Toby Ord, the founder of Giving What We Can, explaining effective altruism and the logic behind our choice to support a highly effective charity such as the Against Malaria Foundation.

What changed. This album will operate on a pay-what-you-want basis and a free download for the album will be provided, so you may release your song as soon as the album is out. For the sake of musicians who submit their songs early, there is a set release date this time around. It does mean that we will get less breathing room to give feedback and help entries that are close to making the cut, so we recommend that you submit before the “soft deadline” to make that still possible.

What you can submit.

  1. It does not have to be pony: Pony and nonpony songs are equally welcome.
  2. Remixing and sampling: No copyrighted material can be used, and we cannot accept entries that remix, sample, or cover the show either (sorry, we really can’t). Submitting a remix requires the composers’ permission. Collabs are encouraged!
  3. Theme: There is no specific theme or genre restriction besides common sense. Don’t make anything angry, creepy, or overly depressing (but sad is fine) and your song should have no problem fitting in.
  4. Length: There is no set length restriction, and most importantly, short songs are just as welcome as longer pieces are. Don’t stretch your song solely to fit a given length – this was perhaps the most common issue with entries for the previous albums.
  5. Number of entries: You can submit as many songs as you want (within reason). Two songs from the same artist can get in without any problem, but over that number (not counting collabs), we might only take the best two of them.

How to submit. Please send an email to smile.bfg@gmail.com, with the subject “[ST]” followed by your user name, and include the following:

  1. An MP3 file without the artist’s name in its title or meta data, hosted on a service that offers streaming (preferably Mediafire or Box.com). Please make sure to take the sharing link rather than copy-pasting from your URL bar. You may check your link by accessing it while logged out, e.g., using private browsing.
  2. A lossless file (preferably FLAC or AIFF) uploaded on a third-party hosting service, not sent as an attachment. We tend to see a lot of Dropbox links dying when we need them, so please be careful.
  3. Your preferred artist name and a link for credit (YouTube channel, Soundcloud, etc.).
  4. Lyrics, if applicable.

You can upload your song on YouTube when the album is released, but please do not make your song public until then. However, feel free to upload previews or ask for feedback!

If you have any questions, you can email us at smile.bfg@gmail.com or ask in the My Little Remix thread.

October 20 2014

15:33

Renovation Project for Child Need Africa

Great news: Child Need Africa has bought the house we fund-raised for and they were even able to buy it for the same price that they negotiated in January.

As a result, they can use the contingency margin that we provisioned for price increases to already start the renovations. The most pressing batch was the fencing for the plot because without a physical barrier, they would not be able to keep the materials safe that they’ll need for the rest of the renovation. The contingency margin was sufficient to buy all materials for the fencing, so the first batch of the renovation project only consists of costs for labor and the contingency margin.

Thanks to unrestricted donations and donations for our cooperation with Child Need Africa in general, we were already able to fully fund the administrative costs of the project, a batch of needs they’ll require for all other needs and thus isolated into a separate batch, and a few of the needs that will allow them to undo some damage to walls and floor of the building. €3,806, however, are still needed before they can complete the renovations. Below the full breakdown.

The needs in gray are already funded and so are not part of the new project. The totals and the funding progress of all other needs can be viewed on the project page.

Every donation is very welcome!

<!-- .hentry td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;} --> Need Count Price Total Subtotals Construction of perimeter fencing Bricks 9 € 125.00 € 1,125.00
€ 4,321.00
Fine sand 10 € 100.00 € 1,000.00 Coarse sand 4 € 93.50 € 374.00 Reinforcement bars 50 € 15.00 € 750.00 Hoop iron 8 € 9.00 € 72.00 Dump proof course material 10 € 100.00 € 1,000.00 Labor for batch 1 € 1,512.00
€ 2,095.00
Contingency margin for batch 1 € 583.00 Administration Transport of materials 1 € 700.00 € 700.00
€ 1,210.00
Miscellaneous 1 € 400.00 € 400.00 Contingency margin for batch 2 € 110.00 General-purpose materials Poles for scaffolding 34 € 1.00 € 34.00
€ 394.00
Nails 15 € 7.00 € 105.00 Brushes 14 € 9.00 € 126.00 Labor for batch 3 € 93.00 Contingency margin for batch 3 € 36.00 General repairs to damaged walls and floor Cement 80 € 8.00 € 640.00
€ 2,035.00
Fine sand 2 € 93.50 € 187.00 Coarse sand 2 € 93.50 € 187.00 Aggregate stones ¼″ 1 € 156.00 € 156.00 Reinforcement bars 20 € 10.00 € 200.00 Labor for batch 4 € 480.00 Contingency margin for batch 4 € 185.00 Replacement of damaged ceilings Timber 48 € 3.95 € 190.00
€ 502.00
Wire mesh 22 € 5.00 € 110.00 Filler 5 € 7.50 € 38.00 Labor for batch 5 € 118.00 Contingency margin for batch 5 € 46.00 Replacement of damaged windows and doors Double panel iron door 1 € 125.00 € 125.00
€ 1,733.00
Wooden door frames 7 € 43.75 € 306.00 Wooden shutters 4 € 30.00 € 120.00 Window panes 20 € 16.00 € 320.00 Door locks 7 € 22.00 € 154.00 Putty 4 € 3.00 € 12.00 Wood varnish 5 € 18.00 € 90.00 Sand paper 4 € 10.00 € 40.00 Labor for batch 6 € 408.00 Contingency margin for batch 6 € 158.00 General painting works Emulsion paint 10 € 17.50 € 175.00
€ 741.00
Gloss or oil paint 6 € 24.00 € 144.00 Thinner 9 € 20.00 € 180.00 Labor for batch 7 € 175.00 Contingency margin for batch 7 € 67.00

October 12 2014

11:27

The Against Malaria Foundation

In our effort to put our fund-raising impact on a more quantifiable basis, we have significantly reworked our website backend (the parts that aren’t so visible) and slightly adapted our fund-raising strategies. In particular the projects that we have personally vetted or helped devise according to our list of requirements on the updated About us page are now marked with a Your Siblings seal while further projects—one so far, fund-raising for the Against Malaria Foundation—are marked with a GiveWell seal, indicating that GiveWell has recommended these projects as outstanding giving opportunities. The decision to fund-raise for these charities is of course still ours; the seal merely indicates that the research that has led to our decision was conducted by GiveWell. From their About page:

GiveWell is a nonprofit dedicated to finding outstanding giving opportunities and publishing the full details of our analysis to help donors decide where to give.

Unlike charity evaluators that focus solely on financials, assessing administrative or fundraising costs, we conduct in-depth research aiming to determine how much good a given program accomplishes (in terms of lives saved, lives improved, etc.) per dollar spent. Rather than try to rate as many charities as possible, we focus on the few charities that stand out most (by our criteria) in order to find and confidently recommend the best giving opportunities possible.

We put great trust into the detailed, in-depth research that GiveWell conducts, trust that is wholly redundant given that they go to great lengths to be as transparent as possible about every element of their reasoning.

The first project that carries this new seal is our project for the Against Malaria Foundation. From our project description:

Half the world’s population is at risk of malaria. In 2012, about 627,000 people died of the disease, the equivalent of four Boeing 747 crashing every day with no survivors. On average, one person dies of malaria every minute. And these numbers are even conservative estimates. (WHO 2013)

LLINs are mosquito nets, usually bed nets, that not only physically protect against malaria-infected mosquitoes but are also treated with an insecticide that lasts for several years and in that time kills any mosquitoes that may otherwise be able to find possible gaps or tears in the net. Since most mosquitoes bite during the time from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., bed nets are a highly effective means of protection against malaria. Depending on the region they also protect from other diseases transmitted by the same vector species, such as dengue fever, yellow fever, and forms of encephalitis.

The Against Malaria Foundation (AMF), founded in 2004, is one of several organizations that support local distributors by funding the hundreds of thousands of nets that are needed in LLIN distributions, but AMF stands out because of its strong commitment to transparency and self-evaluation.

Please read the full description and welcome our new project—preferably with a donation!

September 18 2014

11:56

Green Life Apology and Relaunch

Green Life is a Burundian organization that was established in 1997 to look after children who had to escape from their homes or lost their families entirely. These children usually live in small tight-knit groups on the streets of the larger cities where they have to beg or commit petty theft to survive. These are experiences that no adult should ever have to make but for children they are even more traumatizing.

The NPO has built the Green Village, an area with a few buildings and farm land, as a place where these children can sleep, eat, and wash. Younger children are schooled by Green Life until they are ready to attend public schools and older children can learn the basics of several practical vocations in the village. All the while Green Life also works to reunite the children with their families where this is possible.

The Green Village was built in 2012 from Your Siblings funding. Last year, we launched a project to allow Green Life to extend the village in four key areas. Their proposal requested funds for the extension of their farming program, for an extension of their dairy production, for a water tank, and for electricity supply for two buildings. After several iterations and corrections, we started fund-raising for this project. You can find the list of needs for the project at the end of this post.

One of the key considerations already at the time of the founding of Your Siblings in 2010 was that we wanted to enforce a maximum of transparency by fund-raising only for projects that were defined in terms of very specific needs. We wanted to avoid what has been termed donor illusion where charities only give examples of the sorts of goods that a local organization could obtain for the donated amount but make it seem as if it were the donors’ choice which item (or even which type of intervention) they want to fund. Hence it has always been of great importance to us that our local partners put great effort into the accurate planning of their needs and realistic estimates of the risks involved in their cost projections. Once we launched a project, no further changes would be made to the needs.

What happened after the transfer of the donations for the first batch of needs for Green Life’s new project, however, is that they invested part of the money into needs of the second batch of the same project, one that had not yet been funded. Specifically, donations for the seeds and various agricultural supplies of the first batch were instead used to build the water tank of the third batch. They did not discuss this change with us but made no effort to disguise it either. Nonetheless, it took us several months until we noticed the irregularity. The cause was first, that we explained the founding principles behind Your Siblings to them in 2010, when our cooperation started, and three years later details of our agreement had faded from memory, and, second, that a dry period was about to begin, and without the tank for water supply, none of the plants whose seeds they were supposed to buy from the money could have survived.

It is partially our fault that we did not reiterate the maxims of our cooperation regularly during the conception and upon the funding of each project. Furthermore, we see the urgent need for the water tank: Putting the farming batch first and the water tank second was a planning error that we would normally have asked our donors to allow us and Green Life to correct. That we did not notice the irregularity for several months was owed only to the language barrier and the handwriting of merchants; Green Life never tried to veil these changes from us, and we published the receipts in question on our website as we received them.

We do not want to penalize Green Life for this mistake and trust that it will not happen again. Rather we asked them to compile a new set of needs. The first batch represents precisely how they spent the money we already transferred and the other batches are reorganized to represent the new needs now that they already have the water tank. You can compare the two configurations below. We will also update the project pages to reflect the change.

To avoid similar problems going forward, we will reiterate the terms of our cooperation at critical junctures, and make sure that our charity partners are not afraid to admit planning errors.

If you donated to a need of the first batch in 2013, then we hope that you can share our view that the water tank and the agricultural supplies are needs so intimately linked that neither can be viewed as substantially more important than the other. But if you have any concerns, please feel free to contact us, for example by email, and we will try to find a solution with you.

Comparison of Project Configurations

<!-- .entry-content td {border: 1px solid #ccc;} --> Old Configuration New Configuration Need Count Price Total Need Count Price Total Land (1 ha) 1 €6,000 €6,000 Land (1 ha) 1 €5,844.14 €5,844 Sprayer 4 €100 €400 Cement 60 €14.61 €877 Selected potato seeds 2 €500 €1,000 Rebar 12 mm 65 €8.28 €538 Salary of an agronomist 1 €500 €500 Rebar 10 mm 35 €8.28 €290 Pesticide 1 €200 €200 Pipes 8 €12.18 €97 Tomato and onions seeds 1 €200 €200 Tap 1 €7.31 €7 Vegetable seeds 1 €300 €300 Nails 10 €1.46 €15 Watering 20 €12.50 €250 Plat iron 10 €9.74 €97 Contingency margin 1 €1,572 Sicalite 10 €4.87 €49 Galvanized gutters 20 €7.31 €146 Dairy cow 2 €1,000 €2,000 Side formwork 1 €165.58 €166 Establishment of pasture 1 €3,000 €3,000 Salary 1 €97.40 €97 Construction of a stable 1 €1,000 €1,000 Salaries (tank) 10 €97.40 €974 Salary of a veterinarian 6 €200 €1,200 River rubble 15 €34.09 €511 Salary of a guard 6 €50 €300 Gravel 5 €34.09 €170 Contingency margin 2 €1,134 Special sand 5 €29.22 €146 Salaries (cultivation) 5 €79.38 €397 Galvanized gutter 20 €20 €400 Contingency margin 1 €1 Side formwork 20 €5 €100 Galvanized pipe 1 €30 €30 Establishment of pasture 1 €3,000 €3,000 River rubble 8 €50 €400 Selected sweet potatoes seeds 1 €500 €500 Sand 4 €50 €200 Selected potatoes seeds 1 €500 €500 Cement 40 €20 €800 Vegetables seeds 3 €100 €300 Rebar 12 mm 8 €20 €160 Pesticide 1 €200 €200 Rebar 10 mm 8 €15 €120 Salary of agronomist 1 €500 €500 Overflow pipe 1 €20 €20 Contingency margin 2 €737 Tap 1 €5 €5 Drain pipe 1 €20 €20 Dairy cow 2 €1,000 €2,000 Rebar 10 mm for the stairs 2 €15 €30 Sprayer 2 €100 €200 Water pump 3″ (6 HP) 1 €1,000 €1,000 Construction of a stable 1 €1,000 €1,000 Delivery hose 3″ 20 €4 €80 Salary of a veterinarian 6 €200 €1,200 Suction hose 3″ 3 €10 €30 Salary of a guard 6 €50 €300 Salaries 1 €1,500 €1,500 Contingency margin 3 €697 Contingency margin 3 €672 Water pump 3″ 6 HP 1 €1,000 €1,000 Solar panel 50 W 2 €175 €350 Delivery hose 3″ 20 €4 €80 Solar battery 12 V, 50 Ah 2 €170 €340 Suction hose 3″ 3 €10 €30 Controller 12 V, 5 A 2 €50 €100 Salaries 1 €1,500 €1,500 Solar light 10 €5 €50 Contingency margin 4 €336 Accessories 2 €150 €300 Salaries 1 €1,200 €1,200 Solar panel 50 W 2 €175 €350 Contingency margin 4 €256 Solar battery 12 V, 50 A 2 €170 €340 Controller 12 V, 5 A 2 €50 €100 Solar light 10 €5 €50 Accessories 2 €150 €300 Salaries 1 €1,200 €1,200 Contingency margin 5 €256

The €1 contingency margin is the result of the rounding after the conversion from Burundian Francs to euro.

Below the totals.

Batch Old Configuration New Configuration Batch 1 €10,422 €10,422 Batch 2 €8,634 €5,737 Batch 3 €5,567 €5,397 Batch 4 €2,596 €2,946 Batch 5 €2,596 Total €27,219 €27,098

September 13 2014

12:00
12:00

September 10 2014

14:21

Czequestria 2014

As a premiere this year, we were invited as charity partners to the Czequestria convention in Prague. Just as at GalaCon, we ran a charity booth (also known as table) at the convention and Czequestria organized a charity auction for our benefit—or more specifically that of the support project for Child Need Africa’s clinic in the Rubirizi District of Uganda.

Prices and wages in the Czech Republic tend to be lower than in Germany and the attendance of the convention was about one sixth of that of the last GalaCon, so we expected proceed of less than one sixth. In total, however, the attendance-adjusted gap turned out to be smaller than expected, and the auction was even proportionally more successful!

Part CZK Part EUR Total EUR Table Saturday Kč 6,450 € 37 € 266 Table Sunday Kč 2,135 € 4 € 80 Auction Kč 46,700 € 1,657 Rounding Donation € 8 Total € 2,011

For the transfer of the auction proceeds, the bank applied an exchange rate of € 1 = Kč 28.17547 and for the transfer of the table proceeds one of € 1 = Kč 28.174. Czequestria rounded the resulting figures up for us. Please also note that the table proceeds on Saturday may be low by a few koruny and those of Sunday high by the same amount because I didn’t count the smallest coins of Kč 20 and less on the first day.

The purchase of the house that will allow the charity to funnel a regular income into medicine and other recurring expenses is now fully funded, and we will launch the renovation project as soon as possible.

Reposted byWeksHerrWolf

September 01 2014

16:00

Another Hope Helping Survivors of Child Sacrifice

From 2010 to 2013, we’ve been supporting the Another Hope orphanage, and when our currently running fund-raisers have completed, we’ll consider helping them extend their programs further. So far we’ve supported them with a new building so that their rent budget can directly benefit the children instead, and with a guest house that now generates additional income for the orphanage, income they can spend to cover such expenses as medical bills and school fees for the children.

Another Hope has sent us the latest figures on the current extend of their service to their region of Uganda. In total, they are regularly serving 142 children with 35 children living in the orphanage.

The services they provide to those children that do not permanently live in the orphanage are many-fold. Most children are in need of bed sheets and blankets, which they provide for them; for some children they pay the school fees or provide learning materials; and often their service is one that targets the parents instead by teaching them entrepreneurship skills and management of money when they have a chance to start a small business of their own. Finally they also often protect children who are in danger from their own parents or guardians. In cases where children’s rights were violated, they get the police or probation officers involved and, if necessary, protect them until they are old enough to lead independent lives.

The number of children who live in the orphanage fluctuates since they also take care of children the police has freed from kidnappers, and they always try to return these children to their families as quickly as possible.

In Uganda, abducted children often have to serve as forced laborers or even as sacrificial offerings. The BBC has produced a documentary on the topic of how so-called traditional healers exploit widespread superstitions to promise affluence or recovery from AIDS to those who pay them to conduct a child sacrifice. A special task force of the Ugandan police is constantly investigating new leads in their fight against this nation-wide network of witch doctors, and whenever they are successful in rescuing children, they rely on orphanages like Another Hope to care for them until they can be reunited with their families. Unfortunately, it is Another Hope’s experience that this task force is greatly underfunded, so the responsibility for finding the families and returning the child to them usually delegated to Another Hope. Especially in cases where the children can’t remember or describe their home (due to their young age or a mental disability) this search can be a long and ardurous one.

We don’t currently have an active project to support Another Hope, but please turn to their own website if you would like to support them monitarily. They are also gladly accepting volunteers who would like to help out at the orphanage. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact them directly.

August 21 2014

10:10

Request for Reallocation of Donations to Child Need Africa

At this point, the problems that Green Life faces seem rather minor to us. Since November of last year, seven former members of the Burundian organization have voiced their complaints over a form of nontransparency that they saw in the decision-making of their own organization. A preliminary legal hearing found that their claims had no legal basis. Our contact person with Green Life then explained that the members in question had been largely inactive for their whole short time as members, and that it was only due to their absence from key meetings that they were not involved in the decisions.

Corresponding with both parties involved, our impression is that Green Life’s decisions were all in the best interest of the organization and the children, and that there is no evidence of any malpractice on the side of Green Life. Our contact also assured us that the members who parted ways with Green Life had been inactive to the degree that they had held no positions whose vacancy could affect Green Life’s operations.

Nonetheless, we want to monitor the situation a while longer before we prioritize Green Life again in our fund-raising, and Green Life also needs time to produce further reports that we requested. We hope to receive these by late September and publish them soon thereafter.

At the same time, our fund-raising for the support project for Child Need Africa’s clinic in the Rubirizi region of Uganda has reached a stage where we are almost able to complete its funding. We previously reported that the clinic had incurred a regular deficit over the course of 2013. Since then, Child Need Africa has implemented a series of cost cuts that decreased the clinics performance but enabled it to operate stably within its budget even throughout the last three months that again saw greater expenses for medicine. Moreover, they were able to offset the overall deficit thanks to generous donations from their own staff and from another doctor who learned about the project and its financial straits.

In February, we started the support project for the clinic to enable it to increase its level of service to the community—a house in the suburbs of Kampala that Child Need Africa would buy, renovate, and rent out to generate a reliable income for the clinic. Child Need Africa’s top choice for this house is still on the market, and we are almost able to fund it. While Green Life is in urgent need of support too, the urgency of the support project overrode the urgency of the Green Village in February, and with the latest unfortunate delays taken into consideration, Child Need Africa’s project becomes even more urgent by comparison. Hence we would like to reallocate to Child Need Africa the donations previously assigned to Green Life that we have not yet transferred. The possible surplus will be invested into the renovation of the house.

Outstanding −2.154 Christmas of Bridges 3,610 This website 301 Total 1,757

Of course we do not want our system of projects and needs to degrade to the level of a donor illusion, so if you are one of the donors who donated to Green Life either through our website or through the Christmas of Bridges fund-raiser since last November and you don’t want your donation to be reassigned as described, then please tell us the date and amount of your donation, and we will leave it untouched. Due to the urgency of the project, we would like to initiate the process in September, so we would like to ask you to contact us before Sunday, September 7, 2014. After that date we will commence the reassignment.

Thank you for your understanding and support!

August 18 2014

17:01

Update on Child Need Africa

We have great news from our clinic project in Uganda. The financial difficulties that we reported on in February are past and they are now operating fully sustainably. Now the clinic needs to build upon this foundation to expand its operations.

You can skip the background section if you have been following the developments around Child Need Africa’s project.

Background

In 2010, when the Ugandan nonprofit Child Need Africa developed the proposal for the medical clinic they wanted to build, they specifically looked for a region where the need for a medical facility was unusually great but the closest such facility far away and hard to reach due to the lacking infrastructure compounded with overwhelming poverty. Thanks to their year-long experience serving disadvantaged families with a wide array of topics of basic medical education and what medical assistance they could lend, they quickly found several such regions and finally selected one.

When the clinic was funded, built, and fully registered in 2013, they found that time had only aggravated the situation. Unfortunately that not only meant that their help was needed all the more direly but also that they would receive less money for new medicine through their cost share program. The result was that the clinic made a monthly deficit that had added up to 7,199,550 USh (more than €2,000) by January 2014. They were able to buy medicine on credit without interest and didn’t have to take out a loan, but it was a situation that needed to be addressed expeditiously.

Latest Financials

And address it they did. Various cost cuts made it possible for the clinic to no longer incur further deficits and two generous donations wholly independent of Your Siblings even offset the aggregate deficit from 2013. The first part was a decision of the clinic staff to temporarily forgo part of their pay and the second was a large in-kind donation from another Ugandan physician that allowed them to keep medicine in stock through May. During the last three months (August included) they again had to buy new medicine but even so they managed to stay in the black. At it’s current level the clinic is operating sustainably.

Sango Bay refugee camp

Latest Activities

Their current level of service, however, still falls short of Child Need Africa’s hopes, aspirations, and potential, which is why they urgently need to launch their support project. The Sango Bay refugee camp at the border to Tanzania is a place where, at the moment, they can use their medical outreach to lend immensely effective help because the conditions at the camp are disastrous. Every day, at least two children die of malaria complications, acute watery diarrhea, and other communicable diseases. Over the last four months Child Need Africa has visited the camp about eight times and each time attended to about 250 patients. Due to their low stock of medicine, they were only able to help a fraction of them with more than a diagnosis, but they could regularly select the 30 to 50 patients with the worst symptoms for treatment. Doctor Mawanda John Bosco described one case to us:

I recall an instance where we reached the camp and I was called to see a woman who was pregnant and was bleeding profusely. She had had labor pains for about 28 hours. When I went to her tent in the camp, I was welcomed with a pool of blood. She looked pale and her blood pressure was very low with very fast heat beats. The only items in my hands were a pair of gloves, one cannula, and three [units] of normal saline. I made an IV line, transfused the fluid, and the lady came to life. Now contractions started, but the baby by exam was too big for her as a malnourished and short woman to push. The nearest health unit was about 30 km with no means of transport from the camp. It was a matter of life and death for this woman, so labor was conducted in a bush close to the camp and both mother and baby were saved. The child weighed 4 kg.

In addition to these outreach programs, they extended their HIV testing and counseling services to 40 people, and continued their community-based malaria prevention education with two sessions per month reaching approximately 360 people since February.

We have created a gallery of all of Child Need Africa’s photos from the refugee camp.

Please contribute to the support project for the clinic so that Child Need Africa can soon expand their medical education and treatment.

August 06 2014

17:09

GalaCon 2014

Just like last year, GalaCon 2014 has again been a resounding success for us and thus for Child Need Africa’s nonprofit clinic. Even before the convention, they already supported us by running Project GLACEON, which drove donations over the weekend.

They provided us—InC, representing Bronies for Good, and me, representing both organizations—with a booth where we could accept donations for the clinic. They also ran a silent auction throughout most of the time and had the two-day event culminate in a live auction moderated by Perry and several of GalaCon’s guests of honor.

The charity auctions yielded about three times the proceeds that we raised at the table over the weekend. You can find the breakdown below. I’ve rounded up by eight cents to facilitate processing. (I’ll pay the difference!) Of the live auction proceeds, €250 are still forthcoming as of the writing of this post. All these proceeds have been forwarded to us in full and will reach the clinic in full when the project is funded.

Amount Table Saturday €1,373 Table Sunday €1,550 Silent Auction €675 Live Auction €8,780 Total €12,378

By the way, there are still GLACEON cards left, so if you would like to complete your set, please contact us.

July 29 2014

17:51

Seeds of Kindness 4 Charity Album: Shine Together

Calling all musicians! Bronies for Good is organizing its fifth charity album, Shine Together, and we will be accepting submissions all summer long.

Thanks to the tremendous work of the music community, the ongoing Seeds of Kindness 3 fundraiser together with the two previous ones have raised over $100,000 from online donations alone, supporting various Your Siblings and Engineers Without Borders projects in Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania. We incorporated a few suggestions and rule changes to make this work even better for the musicians, and we would like to ask for your help to support the outstanding work of the Against Malaria Foundation!

Soft deadline: November 22nd, 2014
Hard deadline: December 10th, 2014
Release date: December 20th, 2014

Charity status. There is no middle man. All the money donated will go directly to the Against Malaria Foundation and will only be used to purchase insecticide-treated nets. Donations will be tax-deductible in the US, Canada, and most of Western Europe. Each donation will be publicly allocated to a specific program and extensive tracking, predistribution, and postdistribution reports will be published online.

What changed. This album will operate on a pay-what-you-want basis and a free download for the album will be provided, so you may release your song as soon as the album is out. For the sake of musicians who submit their songs early, there is a set release date this time around. It does mean that we will get less breathing room to give feedback and help entries that are close to making the cut, so we recommend that you submit before the “soft deadline” to make that still possible.

What you can submit.

  1. It does not have to be pony: Pony and nonpony songs are equally welcome.
  2. Remixing and sampling: No copyrighted material can be used, and we cannot accept entries that remix, sample, or cover the show either (sorry, we really can’t). Submitting a remix requires the composers’ permission. Collabs are encouraged!
  3. Theme: There is no specific theme or genre restriction besides common sense. Don’t make anything angry, creepy, or overly depressing (but sad is fine) and your song should have no problem fitting in.
  4. Length: There is no set length restriction, and most importantly, short songs are just as welcome as longer pieces are. Don’t stretch your song solely to fit a given length – this was perhaps the most common issue with entries for the previous albums.
  5. Number of entries: You can submit as many songs as you want (within reason). Two songs from the same artist can get in without any problem, but over that number (not counting collabs), we might only take the best two of them.

How to submit. Please send an email to smile.bfg@gmail.com, with the subject “[ST]” followed by your username, and include the following:

  1. An MP3 file without the artist’s name in its title or metadata, hosted on a service that offers streaming (preferably Mediafire or Box.com). Please make sure to take the sharing link rather than copy-pasting from your URL bar. You may check your link by accessing it while logged out, e.g., using private browsing.
  2. A lossless file (preferably FLAC or AIFF) uploaded on a third-party hosting service, not sent as an attachment. We tend to see a lot of Dropbox links dying when we need them, so please be careful.
  3. Your preferred artist name and a link for credit (YouTube channel, Soundcloud, etc.).
  4. Lyrics, if applicable.

You can upload your song on YouTube when the album is released, but please do not make your song public until then. However, feel free to upload previews or ask for feedback!

About on the charity. Malaria affects over 200 million people and kills between 600,000 to over a million each year. As its vector species bite at night, the disease can be easily prevented by the use of cheap, long-lasting insecticidal nets. Indeed, as little as $3 allows the purchase of a net that will protect two people on average for three to four years, and the efficiency of these interventions has been thoroughly proven. The Against Malaria Foundation stands out in particular because of their strong track record and commitment to efficiency, program monitoring, and transparency. Right now they are running a distribution of 676,000 bed nets in the Democratic Republic of Congo that will protect about 1.2 million people from the disease.

If you have any questions, you can email us at smile.bfg@gmail.com or ask in the My Little Remix thread.

July 26 2014

07:39

Update on Green Life

As you might already know, we are currently prioritizing fund-raising for Child Need Africa’s medical clinic in Uganda, since that project urgently requires a permanent support project to generate the income that will be necessary for the clinic to afford medicine and qualified staff in the long run. Once the clinic has a balanced budget again, however, we wanted to return our attention to the extension project for the Green Village in Burundi.

In the interest of transparency, we want to inform you that there have been some developments within the Burundian NPO Green Life, who runs the Green Village, that we want to see resolved before we prioritize them again in our fund-raising efforts.

We have now learned that a little over a month after our last transfer of €10, 422 of the first batch of four of the extension project for the Green Village on November 13, 2013, seven of its members voiced complaints over the command structure within Green Life, which they perceived as nontransparent and as a means of excluding them from decision-making. They pressed for legal action against the four members they perceived as being in charge of the day-to-day operations of Green Life, but a preliminary consultation found that they had no legal basis for their claims. Our contact person, the head of Green Life, John Barutwanayo, told us that these seven members were rarely active in the organization, and that it was merely due to their absence from key meetings that various decisions were made without them.

We can’t take sides in this conflict, but as a partner organization we require Green Life to operate stabily. They sent all the receipts and many photos to prove that they invested all the donations into the project, but their effectiveness hinges on their long-term sustainability. They need to continue and expand their operations for many more years to warrant all our investments, and we want to be sure that this incident does not degrade their stability and potential before we prioritize them again.

June 28 2014

14:31

Littlest Pet Shop 305 – Hamster Hoods Episode Guide


What my Cutie Mark is Telling Me – LPS by Tails-Doll-Lover

305 – “Hamster Hoods”

Written by Guy Toubes
When stolen merchandise from Largest Ever Pet Shop mysteriously ends up in Blythe’s dumbwaiter, the search for the culprits results in the discovery of an elaborate tube system that leads all the way to Largest Ever Pet Shop and two industrious hamsters, Dodger and Twist.

Direct Video
  • DN 1080

Guides


June 25 2014

16:26

San Diego Comic-Con Exclusives Revealed

Photo: Hasbro

Photo: Hasbro

USA TODAY has reported this year’s exclusive toys for San Diego Comic Con. Instead of a well known background pony like the last couple of cons, this year you can expect comic book themed toys, the arch nemesis of the Power Ponies, the Mane-iac, available in both pony form and Equestria Girls form, as well as Spike in his Hum-Drum outfit. Read more for more details.

As you may know, each year I bring you a first look at one of Comic-Con’s most popular items: the limited-edition My Little Pony.

Today I’m happy to reveal two exclusive My Little Pony collectibles that will be available to convention-goers in San Diego next month. (Following the convention, a limited number will be available on HasbroToyShop.com.)

First up, we have the Mane-iac Mayhem Pony, which looks quite suited for a comics convention. Notes Hasbro: “This power-mad pony from Maretropolis features a metallic purple outfit, accessorized with fashionable black and gold glittery boots. She comes with Spike the Dragon as ‘Hum Drum.’” This pony retails for $49.99.

Next, check out the My Little Pony Equestria Girls Mane-iac Mayhem Doll:

Photo: Hasbro

Photo: Hasbro

The My Little Pony Equestria Girls Mane-iac Mayhem Doll goes on sale at Comic-Con and after the convention at HasbroToyShop.com.

This chick boasts crazy hair inspired by the pony you see above, and she retails for $29.99.

Comic-Con runs July 24-27. It’s sold out, so now might be a good time to start planning for 2015 …

05:32

Derpy Interviews: M.A. Larson and Pennyroyal Academy

Welcome back to another Derpy Interview! Roving reporter Gendid sat down with writer M.A Larson to talk about his career and his new book, Pennyroyal Academy. You can find the interview, which was conducted on May 27th, 2014, after the break!


June 24 2014

02:19

Extended Preview of Friendship is Magic #20

Issue #20 cover A by Andy Price

Issue #20 cover A by Andy Price

The site Issuu has a 7 page preview of issue #20 of Friendship is Magic. This issue will be available this Wednesday, and will conclude the mirror world arc.

June 23 2014

03:25

Community & Conventions – 06/22/2014

  • Conventions
    • Everfree Northwest 2014
      • Cosplay Track Announcement
      • Event Schedule Now Live
    • Bronycon 2014
      • Announces 2014 Charity Efforts
    • Crystal Fair 2014
      • Less Than A Month To Go
  • Community
    • Pony Con iPhone App, A Directory for MLP Conventions
    • MLPChan Summer Contest Series
    • Coping With Disabilities Through Pony Panel Update

Everfree Northwest 2014: Cosplay Track Announceme nt

Calling all cosplayers, photographers, seamstresses, plush makers, and friends! This year at Everfree Northwest we are pleased to offer several panels and events just for you! Come show off your cosplays at our costume contest and photoshoots, take part in a crash-course panel on cosplay creation, create a cosplay from scratch in our Iron Cosplay competition, learn about plush design, and learn what would ponies do (WWPD) with Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity! Read on for details.

CONTESTS:

Everfree Northwest 2014 Costume Contest: Come show off your fantastic cosplays and compete for prizes! Don’t forget to pre-register at registration up to 2 hours before the contest to enter!  There are two categories to enter in: Foal (13 and under) and Pony (14 and up).  You could win a WeLoveFine gift card, Tabletop Air Hockey, or even a full pass to Everfree Northwest 2015!! Saturday, Mane Stage, 1:30PM

Iron Cosplay Everfree Edition: Think you have what it takes to make a cosplay out of a pile of random stuff? Audience members that are selected at random have three 20 minute rounds to make the best cosplay they can with the items provided.  Winners will be decided by crowd vote and will receive a prize! Saturday, Crystal AB, 7:00PM

PANELS:

Equestria Plush Adventures with Design!: Come explore the ups and downs of plush design with film, pictures, and discussion. There will be a giveaway at the end of the panel, so be sure to stick around! Sunday, 2:30PM, Crystal A

What Would Ponies Do?: WWPD? Have a question about life, the universe, and everything? Come to Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity with all of your questions important, weird, and silly (but please keep them PG.  Think of the little foals!) If you think of a question before the panel but are afraid you’ll forget it (or you’re too shy to ask it in person), there will be a box available at registration for you to write down all of your questions! Saturday, 11:00AM, Crystal A

A Stitch in Time: Do you want to cosplay but have no idea where to start? Do you cosplay and are trying to take it to the next level? Are you just looking for some tips or tricks you might not know? Cosplayers of all levels are invited to join Marity and Smare on this crash course in cosplay construction from conception to convention! Friday, 3:00PM, Crystal B

AND PHOTOSHOOTS:

Official Everfree Cosplay Photoshoots: Cosplayers, come show off your beautiful costumes! Photographers, come take pictures! If you’re too shy to ask for a cosplayer’s picture in the hall, this is a lovely place with a beautiful backdrop to fill all your cosplay picture taking needs! If you’re not sure about posing, who, or what to take pictures of, the wonderful Tori will be organizing group shots of characters, scenes, etc. Please note that if you wish to do a private photoshoot, during the group shoots we humbly request you either go somewhere else on or off site, or wait until the official photoshoot is finished if you would like to use the area. Courtyard by the pool, Friday and Sunday at 11AM, Saturday 3:15PM

Be sure to be one of the first to hear our upcoming track announcement and learn the latest EFNW news by visiting our website, liking us onFacebook, and following us on Twitter and tumblr.


Everfree Northwest Events Schedule Now Live 

Hello Everypony!  This is Maestro Scherzo, and our events staff has exciting news for attendees of Everfree Northwest 2014: The Weekend Schedule of Events is now live!

https://everfreenw.com/events

This year we received over 100 panel submissions and have been working diligently to develop a diverse and high-quality array of events for guests to choose from!  In addition, we have rooms solely dedicated to Tabletop Gaming, Electronic Gaming, and Arts and Crafts this year if you need a place to relax and be creative or competitive!

What can you look forward to this year in our programming?  Well….*deep breath*….There will be photoshoots and fanfiction meetups, hilarious panels featuring our Guests of Honor, gaming tournaments of all types throughout the weekend, a Cosplay Contest, a Silent Auction and Live Charity Auction, kid-friendly events such as the Foal Dance and Face Painting, the always epic music event called PONYSTOCK, the emotional and uplifting Dear Princess panel, sing-alongs, PMV displays, attendee participation panels like Whose Line is it Anypony and Equestrian Idol….*exhales*……did I mention an autograph session with Great and Honorable Spike the Brave and Glorious and his friends Gilda the Gryphon, Bulk Biceps, and Sunset Shimmer?  Whew.

So you might be thinking to yourself, “Wow, Everfree Events Staff, that’s just so much to do?  Where should I start?”  Well, don’t worry!  Our friendly ponies have developed a mini-series “Journey to Everfree Northwest” where they help guide you through the weekend’s events.  Spoiler alert:  Twilight has a checklist, and it’s quite lengthy.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoGYAekX4eT7O9n2rraWOum_RiL2Sa2zA

Also, please fill out the following two surveys for our Friday panel “Pony Feud”, where our guests of honor try to guess YOUR responses to important questions about My Little Pony

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9QHH68X
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9JZG39Z

Thank you for all your wonderful panel submissions and ideas for programming at Everfree Northwest 2014!  We look forward to having a magical weekend with our favorite attendee friends!

-Scherzo and the Events Team


BronyCon Announces 2014 Charity Efforts

(Baltimore, Md.)— BronyCon, in conjunction with Bronies For Good, is proud to announce their official primary charity for the August 2014 convention.

This year’s charity will once again be CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. Based in Bethesda, Md., CureSearch is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to accelerate the cure for children’s cancer by driving innovation, eliminating research barriers, and solving the field’s most challenging problems.

In support of CureSearch, BronyCon will once again be hosting a charity auction, both in live auction and silent auction formats. This year’s lineup of items will be sure to please potential bidders of all types.

In addition to efforts in support of CureSearch, BronyCon has also teamed up with the Casey Cares Foundation Fifth Annual 5K Run/Walk taking place at 8:00 a.m. (EDT) Saturday, Aug. 2, at Oriole Park in Baltimore, Md. If you are interested in having a great time with fellow bronies for a great cause, visit http://bit.ly/1kMlJXR and join #TeamBronyCon by selecting “Join An Existing Team” when registering. The entry fee to participate in the 5K is $35 USD.\

To register for BronyCon, visit the registration page . Pre-registration closes in four weeks, so don’t miss out on your chance to get your badge for only $70 and register today! Also make sure you are following BronyCon on Facebook , Twitter , Tumblr , Google+ , and Vine to be the first to hear our latest announcements.

About BronyCon: Based in Baltimore, Md., BronyCon is the premiere convention for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fans of all ages. Last year’s event drew more than 8,400 attendees from all seven continents.This year’s event, scheduled for Aug. 1-3, 2014 at the Baltimore Convention Center, is expected to trump that figure. The convention features special guests, diverse programming, and a multi-night music festival. For more information, check out bronycon.org.

Be on the lookout for additional exciting announcements in the coming weeks.


Crystal Fair Con 2014 – Less Than A Month To Go!

Helsinki, June 9th, 2014

Hey, everypony!

It’s almost July, so it’s time to take a look at what’s going to be happening at Crystal Fair 2014. There’s been so many announcements over the last two years that some of them may have slipped under your radar.

The convention will he held between the 4th and the 6th of July, 2014in Helsinki, Finland. The venue will be Finlandia Hall, a building that has a reputation as one of the classiest congress and concert halls in Finland.

Anneli Heed,Daniel Ingram and Tabitha St. Germain will be gracing the convention with their presence as Guests of Honour. They will be attending their own panels, and a Q&A session where they will answer your questions about their careers, opinions and everything else that you might think of!

In addition, several different kinds of lectures, panels, competitions and workshops will be held every day. Among them will be a Wife Throwing Contest with cute Cadance Ball Plushies, Autograph Sessions, and Photoshoots!

From within the Fandom itself, several respected musicians, artists and other creative minds are coming to Crystal Fair as Community Guests, including EileMonty, SimGretina, Przewalski’s Ponies and Huussi. You can find the complete list here.

Several of them will also be performing at Operation: PON3, the Crystal Fair Saturday Night Party at Nosturi. More information can be found here.

And speaking of music, the Crystal Fair theme song was just released! It was composed by the amazing TeiThePony, with cover art by Rautakoura, both of whom are attending the convention as Community Guests!

More news will be published as we get closer to the convention weekend, so remember to keep up with the announcements! You can find them (and get in touch with us) here:


Community


Pony Cons iPhone App, A Beautiful Directory for My Little Pony Convention s

Pony Cons is a new, free iPhone app for tracking My Little Pony conventions. The app tracks over 90 past and future conventions, as well as over 75 guests of honor who have attended them, including voice actors, directors, writers, artists, and more. You can browse conventions on a map, to find what conventions are closest to you. You can also browse by guest, to see which cons your favorite show staff will be attending next. This app is a collaboration between Steve Streza and Foal Papers, and is free forever.

M.A. Larson had this to say about the Pony Cons app: “This app is so organized and intuitive it would make Twilight giddy.”

Some features of Pony Cons:

  • See information about past, present, and future conventions
  • See a list of guests of honor who will be attending each convention
  • Visit the website, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr pages for conventions
  • See which cons your favorite show staff members will be at
  • Follow conventions and guests of honor on Twitter
  • See a map of where all the conventions around the world are being held
  • Fully accessible with VoiceOver

The app is available immediately on the App Store.

App Store link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pony-cons/id689677786?ls=1&mt=large-8

Web Site: http://ponycons.com/

Icon: http://ponycons.com/img/icon-full.png

Screenshots:


MLPChan Summer Contest Series

Once again, MLPchan is hosting a series of contests for pony prizes for writers, artists and others.

Check out the link for info on your chance to win pony plushies, shirts, comics and more.


Coping With Disabilities Through Pony

“Coping With Disabilities Through Pony” Panel now has an official date, location and time!

Bronycon 2014 on August 2nd, from 1:45pm to 2:45 pm, in Moon Hall.

Now that a disabled Brony dad’s  panel has an official date, we’re halfway towards making it a  success. We still need your help to make it the best it can be. If you, a friend, or a loved one have used the show to help cope with difficult situations or cope with a disability in your life– mental or physical– then we need your inspiring story to share with others. Click the link below, and pass it on.

http://copingwithpony.weebly.com/share-your-story.html

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