The mission of DAWNS is to provide better access to information related to foreign aid, humanitarianism, and international development. It is done through a daily newsletter that generates funds to pay for exclusive independent reporting. Our two main areas of focus are grants for projects and the commissioning of e-books.


DAWNS e-books are deeply reported and compelling narratives about global issues that deserve wider attention. They are about the length of a long magazine article and published as Kindle Singles on Amazon.  Learn more about the books here and below.

Daughters of the Red Light

When Shanoor Seervai first visits Mumbai’s red-light district as a young volunteer, she is shaken by the violence and despair that women there endure every day. Years later, now a newspaper reporter, she returns to gain a deeper understanding of the lives of sex workers.

Daughters of the Red Light is a searing look at the poverty, injustice and stigma that keep entire families from escaping India’s notorious sex industry. Seervai takes readers to Mumbai’s grittiest alleyways to discover the stories of these women and girls. As she unravels the brutal web entangling them, she finds an unexpected reason for hope.

Purchase Daughters of the Red Light on Amazon today.

Who Shot Ahmed?

Who Shot Ahmed? recounts the murder of a 22-year-old videographer, killed in cold blood in the dead of night at the height of Bahrain’s Arab Spring revolution. On a small island Kingdom swirling with political, economic, and sectarian tensions, Ahmed’s murder epitomized everything that had gone wrong since 2011, when pro-democracy protesters took to the streets in droves. Drawing on dozens of testimonies, journalist Elizabeth Dickinson traces the tale of Ahmed’s death and his family’s fearless quest for justice. Darting between narratives and delving into characters, it is a tale of a life lost and the great powers—from Washington to London, and Riyadh to Manama—that did nothing to stop the crisis. Dickinson has a deep knowledge of the region, but she brings a story from a foreign land straight back home: Ahmed could be any of our sons.

Purchase Who Shot Ahmed? on Amazon today.

Reporting Grants

Through funds raised from subscription sales, we have started a micro-grant program to support reporting and storytelling on global humanitarian issues. This is at the heart of our social mission.

Grants typically range from $500 $1,000 and go towards bloggers, journalists, photographers, filmmakers and storytellers of all stripes from all around the world.

To date our grants program has supported:

  • Alanna Torralba, a photographer in the Philippines who is documenting women of low means surviving with breast cancer;
  • The Yemeni journalist, Kafa al Hashli reporting on the plight of families displaced by conflict in southern Yemen;
  • The award winning reporting team of Anna Marie Barry-Jester and Sasha Chavkin investigating a mysterious kidney disease afflicting people in India and Sri Lanka.
  • Regina Zoneziwoh who is telling the stories of grassroots women leaders involved in community mobilization, HIV/AIDS, peace building, social justice, and human rights advocacy in Cameroon
  • Shanoor Seervai from India who is documenting the lives of sex workers in Mumbai, India to tell their stories, with a particular focus on the relationship between sex workers and their children.

Learn more about our grants here.

Exclusive Reporting

Aga Khan: The Muslim leader fighting poverty for 60 years – By Tom Murphy, July 11, 2017