Children in Lesotho.

In early January, PIH received $290,000 for projects in Lesotho and Malawi--a gift from Disney and the children who play in the virtual world of Club Penguin.

For ten days each December, Club Penguin encourages its players around the globe--most aged between 5 and 12--to donate the virtual coins they earn playing games in Club Penguin to one of three real world causes as part of Coins For Change. The kids’ contributions count as votes to determine how a $1 million cash donation is shared among real world charities selected to represent those causes. The idea is to empower children to affect change in the real world by playing and making a difference in the virtual world.

This time around, players could choose to donate their coins to provide medical help, build safe places or protect the earth. Everyone stepped up to do their part, and, in the end, more than 3.4 million kids voted with their coins. Read more.

The money donated to PIH's siter project in Malawi, Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo, will help roughly one thousand children attend school and purchase uniforms, prevent infection and care for girls and boys living with diseases like HIV and malaria, and treat childhood malnutrition.

The money donated to PIH's sister project in Lesotho, Bo-Mphato Litšebeletsong tsa Bophelo will provide much needed health services to thousands of children in the rural mountain villages of Lesotho, an impoverished nation located in southern Africa. Support from Coins For Change will contribute to the distribution of vaccines, treatment for malnutrition, as well as HIV testing and care--services that are critical to helping children grow strong and healthy in the mountains of Lesotho.

The $290,000 will be split evenly between PIH’s work in Lesotho and Malawi.