Posted: Wed, March 25, 2015 | By: Past Projects
by Hank Pellissier
I’m going to report on MTA humanitarian activities, but before that - I’ve been asked to introduce myself, because I am not a Mormon, so why am I the MTA Manager of Humanitarian Activities?
The short answer starts in 2012 when I was Managing Director of a semi-transhumanist think tank called IEET - the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology. I was a hostile militant Atheist, so I attacked Religion, in several articles I wrote - I turned the website turned into a flame war —
But then 2 things happened…
First - I decided to throw a transhumanist party at the Russian River. I invited all transhumanists to this party, but I thought just atheist transhumanists would show up, because that’s what I was - quite aggressively. BUT - only five people showed up, and four of them were Mormon Transhumanists! There I was, a three day weekend, surrounded by Mormons, and their… delicious casseroles. And I decided I liked them all, very much. All the Mormons and all the casseroles.
The Second Mind-changing incident was this… IEET asked me to direct a cell phone drive . My job was to collect as many mobile phones as I could, and send them to Ghana and Madagascar. I was very excited and convinced that I’d be very successful. I told my boss - James Hughes - “I will collect 1,000 cell phones.”
Transhumanists have old cell phones, I thought, they will mail them to me, by the 100’s. BUT — I only gathered 90 cell phones - 30 from my Catholic Mom - 30 from my brother - he’s a Silicon Valley CEO; he told his employees to bring them in, and they did. And the last 30 were from a Mormon Transhumanist - Roger Hansen.
I realized, with depressing shock - that I got Zero cell phones from atheist transhumanists. They Failed in Charity. This worried me - don’t transhumanists care about poor people?
I grew up Catholic. I wasn’t Catholic anymore, but I still believed in Charity as the best of all virtues. Charity is Goodness.
About a year later, I produced a conference in San Francisco on Religion and Transhumanism, and I made a presentation where I told this story, I complained about this lack of charity with transhumanism. I said that to me, charity was more important than being atheist, or religious, or not. I also talked about this Philippine tribal group that I’d been taking care of for 9 years and I wanted transhumanists to help me.
When I got off the stage, Lincoln Cannon came up to me and gave me $300 to help the Philippine tribe. I used that money to sponsor three of the children at the tribal school for a year, and to buy them school lunches.
Here are the children that Lincoln sponsored (anonymously).
After that, Lincoln also donated money to my DIY Soylent to the Philippines project, where an 80 pound package of powdered “Replacement food” was sent to the Mangyan tribe in The Philippines.
Soon after that Lincoln offered me the opportunity to be the MTA Manager of Humanitarian Activities. So here is a list of what we - the MTA members - have done so far:
Genesis Chicken Farm for COISER Orphanage. I launched a crowd funding campaign on GoFundMe to start a hen house in Jinja, Uganda, that would support 28 orphans. The campaign generated $3,100. About 40% of the money came from MTA members - MTA was by far the largest group that donated. (photos below)
After that, I started another GoFundMe campaign - to help a Carpentry Workshop for AIDS Orphans in Kyarumba, Uganda. I received enormous help for this from Karl Hale, and also Dorothy Deasy. MTA members donated about 66% of the funds for this campaign. (photos below)
Next, there was a Kikoy Clothes for Orphans campaigns - it raised $900 in 16 days. MTA members donated about 30% of the funds for that. That campaign paid a tailor - Mr. Safari - to sew up clothes out of East Africa Kikoy cloth. The clothes were given to orphans, like these, at COISER orphanage in Jinja. (photos below)
Next, we did two campaigns for projects led by Roger Hansen. We raised about $1,400 in cash and in-kind donation for a Computer Training School in Masaka, Uganda - that school is in the LDS chapel there. And we raised $850 to put in swing sets in rural Ugandan schools - I was there for the installation of one of them, in Kyarumba.(photos below)
What are we dong now? I’ve launched a campaign for a Mormon Transhumanist Association Science and Literacy Center in Kyarumba. It will have a library of books, plus science education equipment, like telescopes, maps, magnifying glasses, etc. that will be used by the community, and a local school, called Vision Care School. This MTA Centre is presently 50% funded - $575 has been raised out of a needed $1,135. (photos below)
The centre is very necessary. The Vision Care School that uses it is regarded as the best school in the village, it has 200 students, but it operates on rented land - this means it has no permanent buildings, no security, no equipment. So everything it owns, of value, is kept safely at the Vision Care School.
I want to thank Lincoln and MTA for giving me this opportunity to do charitable work, for supporting me with your donations, and generally providing me with a worthwhile and very fun opportunity. Any questions?