Can one man make a difference?
Gamer, YouTuber, and famed poker player Bachir Boumaaza, known as Athene Wins online, is currently trying to raise $1 million in 100 days to alleviate famine in the Horn of Africa. To that end, he’s started a new website, called Sharecraft 2012, whose mission is to collect donations for a charity vetted and backed by Athene Wins’s organization.
The idea for the project emerged from Kony 2012, said Athene Wins in an interview. “The first time I saw it, I was really happy... It put a smile on my face to see all that refreshing activism.”
Once the backlash began piling on, and charity donors were ridiculed and characterized as “sheep that didn’t do their research,” Athene Wins felt he had to do something.
Thus Sharecraft, which describes itself as a project that shares charities and causes “that have been thoroughly researched and proven to be efficient and effective.”
Athene Wins’s first charity drive is for Save the Children’s efforts in the Horn of Africa, because he said, that “hunger crisis, [which] millions of people are struggling with” has received “so little media attention.” The hunger crisis brought on by the largest drought in the region in 60 years, is affecting any where from 9.5 million to 13 million people.
So far, Athene Wins has raised $120,000 for the Horn of Africa in a little over a week, but he is hopeful, especially if he can get some larger YouTube celebrities on board even just to share the link to his charity project.
“Whether or not this experiment is going to work will only depend on whether people believe that their actions matter or not,” said Athene Wins in a video about the project. “That is how small the difference is between raising $1 million or raising nothing. And I know I’m setting the bar high, but the goal of this experiment is to set an example and show that we have come to a time where our drive to share things is the only thing required to bring real change.”
“Athene - the real superhero of our world” wrote Ciesin in a top comment on the Sharecraft 2012 video.
To make the charity drive more compelling to his mostly male gamer fan base, he’s also given away Razer products (Razer sponsors Athene Wins). Athene Wins has also taken his cause to Reddit.
Photo by Feed My Starving Children (FMSC)