Planet Charity: A South African charity wants to land a probe on the moon

Plus: an Australin conservation group is inundated with koala mittens; and what is America's worst charity?

Planet Charity: stories strange but true
Planet Charity: stories strange but true

A plucky charity in South Africa is trying to raise £100,000 through a crowdfunding website for a project that not many charities have attempted: landing a probe on the moon.

The Africa2Moon project was set up to inspire a generation of engineers and scientists and stem the brain drain that robs Africa of one in nine university graduates, according to the Foundation for Space Development, the charity behind the scheme. But if you think that £100k will be enough to achieve the group's lofty ambitions, guess again: the charity says this is merely the first phase of the project to work out whether it's feasible. Dig deep.

In Australia, a conservation group has been inundated with koala mittens. The International Fund for Animal Welfare put out a call for people to knit the items, which would be used to care for creatures injured in bush fires in Adelaide. But just days later the charity said it had received thousands of marsupial mitts, which are used to protect the koalas' paws while they are treated with burn creams, from places as far afield as the UK, Russia and Kazakhstan.

In the US, meanwhile, the charity Kids Wish Network, which grants wishes to sick children, has been given an accolade it probably wasn't hoping for: being named America's worst charity. A report published by the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Tampa Bay Times said that only 3 per cent of the £91.4m the charity had received in donations over the past 10 years had been spent on sick children – it had spent £76.8m on fundraising companies over the same period, propelling it to the top of the list of shame.

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