What would you do with a thousand dollars? You can probably think of a lot of fun ways to spend that much money.
But what if your family didn’t always have enough to eat? Or what if you lived in a house with a dirt floor and a thatched roof? A thousand dollars could change your life.
That’s the idea behind a charity called GiveDirectly, which puts money in the hands of poor people and lets them spend it however they choose.
GiveDirectly was founded in 2008 by four American university students. Paul Niehaus, Michael Faye, Rohit Wanchoo and Jeremy Shapiro were studying economics in the developing world. They wanted to find the best way to help the poorest people.
Traditional charities work by raising money from donors and spending it where they think it can do the most good. Charities often support major projects like building schools, hospitals, roads, wells and irrigation pipes, or providing medical care for people in need.