Meet the World’s First Crowdfunded Nation to End Hunger

About a year ago, a man named Jeremiah Heaton made the news when he traveled from the U.S. to Egypt, claiming a large swath of land between southern Egypt and Sudan. Not long after planting his flag in the desert he declared himself the ruler, his daughter the princess and named it the Kingdom of Northern Sudan. Now Heaton is back in the news with a crowdfunding campaign to help the Kingdom of Northern Sudan create a future free of hunger.

Initially Heaton says, he traveled to this remote section of the world because he wanted to “honor a promise I made to my daughter” that she would one day become a princess.

He did this by claiming a tract of land called Bir Tawil, which lies between Egypt and Sudan. This 800 square mile area hadn’t yet been claimed by either Egypt or Sudan, and while different groups have tried to claim it in the past, because it is so remote and the terrain so harsh, most groups simply gave up.

Bir Tawil, with low rainfall and incredibly hot summer months isn’t seen as a particularly hospitable place to plant crops and “end hunger.” However, on his Indiegogo page Heaton insists he’s working with scientists and has created a five year plan that will turn the area into a sustainable farming land.

Turning a harsh desert environment into farmland isn’t impossible. The Sahara Forest Project, a group that brings agriculture to some of the world’s harshest deserts has been successful with projects in both Qatar and Jordan. However, it should be noted that these project take years to accomplish and do not run cheap.

Heaton seems aware of these roadblocks, estimating the entire cost of the project at around $500 million dollars. And some of the incentives offered for donating are certainly unique. For instance, if you give $300 dollars you can gain Knighthood in the Kingdom of Northern Sudan. For $50,000 you can get your face on the national currency. And if you’ve ever wanted to name a capital city after yourself, and happen to have $1.75 million dollar lying around, it’s all doable via the Indiegogo website.

Yet despite the humor and goodwill of the project, there are actually a number of serious issues that Heaton will have to contend with. For instance, becoming an actual country will mean recognition by both Sudan and Egypt, oh and that pesky old UN.

But even if Heaton was able to accomplish all of this, creating a sustainable farming system in a harsh landscape and gaining sovereign country status, Heaton faces another huge hurdle: security.

Neither southern Egypt or Sudan are particularly secure places. Governmental human rights abuses combined with rampant banditry and militias make it a rather inhospitable place to take your daughter on vacation. And if Heaton is able to make it a sustainable and commercially viable area, it’s quite likely that it would not remain sovereign for very long without its own well equipped military.

Heaton seems to address this on his Indiegogo page: “Is it a lot to take on? Yes. Is it a huge project? Yes. But it is the nature of these challenges that motivates us.”

There has also been a board set up with a Secretary of International Relations, Secretary of Sustainability, Surgeon General and Chair of Constitution Committee. However, it should be noted that none of these members are women, nor are any African in origin.

Whether or not Heaton can convince thousands of people to donate to this new ambitious project is yet to be seen. So far the project has generated about $2,500 dollars in two days, but there’s a long way to go before the Kingdom of Northern Sudan rises from the desert.

Photo Credit: Jeremiah Heaton/Indigogo

56 comments

Jeanne R
Jeanne Rogers10 months ago

TYFS

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Jeanne R
Jeanne Rogers10 months ago

TYFS

SEND
Jeanne R
Jeanne Rogers10 months ago

TYFS

SEND
Jeanne R
Jeanne Rogers10 months ago

TYFS

SEND
Jeanne R
Jeanne Rogers10 months ago

TYFS

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C3 years ago

Thanks so much for sharing!

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Paulinha Russell
Paulinha Russell3 years ago

Thanks

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Jane R.
Jane R3 years ago

The U.S. stuck a flag in the sand on the moon, but that didn't make it ours. This man is crazy/smart, asking for donations. Him and his Princess just might get rich from this scam.

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Kamia C.
Kamia T3 years ago

Well, he's either a true genius or incredibly insane, and I don't know which. But I'll put my money into rescuing more pups here, instead of funding him, thank you.

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Magdalena J.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thank you!

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