This past quarter, we had the pleasure of working with organizations working locally and nationally to accomplish humanistic goals: mobilizing students to fight poverty, improving the educational environment in prisons, empowering women internationally, building a greener Washington, DC, and protesting and lobbying for a more peaceful world. Let’s see who we’ll be working with to kick off the new year.
Men Can Stop Rape is an organization dedicated to ”mobilizing men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence, especially men’s violence against women” and “to institutionalizing primary prevention of men’s violence against women through sustained initiatives that generate positive, measurable outcomes in populations throughout the world.” Rape culture is a huge problem in the United States, with the focus on rape prevention often falling on women—their clothes, drinking habits, and movements—rather than on men and their attitudes toward women, power, and violence. In order to challenge this rape culture, Men Can Stop Rape aims to educate about masculinity, gender-based violence, and sexual harassment.
Men Can Stop Rape provides training in preventing gender-based violence to a wide variety of groups, from religious groups and youth organizations to government agencies and colleges. Foundation Beyond Belief is delighted to offer support to a group challenging rape culture and providing positive solutions to the problem of rape and gender-based violence in the United States.
LightHawk’s mission is to champion environmental protection through the unique perspective of flight. Using volunteer pilots, they provide flights to organizations and individuals working to protect land, water, and wildlife. LightHawk is a volunteer-based aviation organization providing an aerial perspective that enhances environmental accountability and accelerates conservation efforts in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America. The flights provide information and contact with wilderness regions that might not otherwise be reached, with a broad focus encompassing the protection of wildlands, wildlife, freshwater and wetlands, and oceans, reefs, and coastlines.
Lighthawk’s work is entrancing. Their approach is innovative and their photography and videos are extraordinary. Go to Vimeo to see their beautiful pictures and videos, or explore their Mission Map on their website. LightHawk is unlike any other organization we have featured in our Natural World category.
Since its founding in 1995, The Citizens Foundation (TCF) has established 830 schools nationwide, with a presence in all provinces of Pakistan. The incredible support for Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani education activist who was shot in October by a member of the Taliban, has thrown the crisis in Pakistani education into the world spotlight. TCF maintains a strict 50% female ratio, an impressive accomplishment in a country with many roadblocks for women’s education. As of 2012, 115,000 students are currently enrolled in TCF schools, with an average of 10,000 students being added each year. Students are completing high school and enrolling for college education. TCF rigorously assesses the progress of their students at each new level, rather than simply basing their claims of success on mere school attendance.
This quarter, Foundation Beyond Belief is proud to support an organization making great strides in improving the overall educational system in Pakistan, with a particular focus on girls’ education and women’s employment. TCF aims to remove barriers of class and privilege, believing that access to education is an inalienable right. It constantly appraises new locations for an extension of its network, assessing the need and demand for a new school as well as the ability of the community to host a school.
Modest Needs works to meet the needs of the hardworking, low-income members of our society, who are often left without a safety net when unexpected expenses occur. A medical bill, unexpected move, or lost wages may be the first step into another cycle of poverty or debt. Modest Needs attempts to stop the poverty cycle by offering grants to encourage self-sufficiency. According to their mission statement, the goals of Modest Needs include preventing families from entering the cycle of poverty, restoring the financial self-sufficiency to individuals who are ready to work, empowering permanently disadvantaged individuals who otherwise live within their means to live independently, and strengthening small nonprofit organizations by providing a forum that allows such organizations to apply directly to the public for the help they need.
The direct aid provided by Modest Needs makes tangible differences in the lives of many people—so much so that, in 2012, 67% of their previous grant recipients became donors when they became financially stable enough to pay forward the help that they had received. Foundation Beyond Belief is proud to support the efforts of an organization doing so much to assist an often-neglected section of the population.
Inspired “by the vision of a world in which debilitating poverty has finally been banished” and the necessities of life—including food, medicine, and education—are made available to all, Buddhist Global Relief (BGR) seeks to provide relief to the poor and needy throughout the world regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, or religion. Bearing in mind the Buddha’s statements that “hunger is the worst kind of illness” and “the gift of food is the gift of life,” BGR particularly focuses on providing food aid to those afflicted by hunger and lack of food security. Currently, BGR is engaged in programs of Critical Rice Support in Cambodia in partnership with Lotus Outreach International, as well as youth education efforts in India. Throughout the quarter, BGR will be partnering with Ecology Action to provide relief in Africa, and will be aiding farm families in rural Vietnam.
Both FBB and BGR were founded in part to put the highest aspirations of their respective worldviews into compassionate action for the betterment of our world, and to expand our vision beyond our own tribes. FBB is proud to welcome Buddhist Global Relief as an encore beneficiary in our Challenge the Gap program, having also been featured in Q2 2011.
This quarter we’re proud to sponsor charities that offer a brand-new approach to living out humanist values, as well as re-featuring charities we’ve sponsored in the past. We’re excited to share these organizations’ stories in the coming months and to see what your generous donations can accomplish in each of their hands.