Foundation Beyond Belief’s Humanist Giving Program presents our 2015 Fall Q4 Beneficiaries. Each beneficiary was chosen after extensive research based on their methods of work. We concentrated on finding superb organizations working in community-based programming this quarter. Each beneficiary will receive a grant from Foundation Beyond Belief regular giving members.
EcoViva is a community-based organization that works closely with local partners to solve an ecological, poverty, and health problem with a multi-faceted approach. Their focus is to create a secure revenue stream for fisherman along the Lempa river in the Bay of Jiquilisco in southeast El Salvador. Mangrove forests in this ecosystem provide a local stable food source, a critical habitat, and a flooding deterrent for the region. Additionally, they provide a breeding ground for young fish that will maintain the staple of fisherman incomes in the area.
Local fishers knowledge of their ecosystem is well developed and evident in Climate Changers. EcoViva is working to with local partners to educate fishers as to sustainable fishing practices and enforcing current laws.
Global Village Project
The Global Village Project (GVP) is an innovative special purpose school for refugee girls and young women with interrupted schooling. GVP demonstrates how adolescent English Language Learners with limited and interrupted education can be highly successful students and empowered citizens. GVP aims to provide an exemplary model of excellent and equitable education for newcomer refugee learners.
GVP’s full day high school preparatory program is designed specifically to equip recently arrived refugee girls with the English language literacy, content knowledge and vocabulary, life skills and learning strategies they will need for successful study in high school.
Challenge the Gap
Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation
Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, run and founded by Muslim women, works primarily to support and empower all women, largely through direct support for victims of domestic violence. Their crisis center and related programming serves women from all backgrounds, but is run with special care of specific obstacles Muslim women face related to domestic violence.
Islam has a reputation for being anti-women. This is a group of Muslim women working to empower other Muslim women, while opening their doors to any woman in need regardless of beliefs. They are tackling an important need in their local community, evident in 10 years of Peace at Home. And as a consequence, forcing a larger re-evaluation of what it means to be a woman in Islam and a Muslim in the US.
Transgender Law Center (TLC)
TLC is a legal services organization in the San Francisco Bay Area running one-on-one legal clinics for transgender or gender nonconforming people. They focus on aiding those who are also low-income, people of color, and/or Spanish speaking. They have free monthly drop-in clinics, at local transgender community centers, where attorneys and law students offer information and legal services for needs – including discrimination in employment and housing, trans-related medical care, immigration, and public benefits.
They are well respected within the LGBTQ advocacy community, evidenced by their numerous connections with many other advocacy and aid organizations. Examples of issues their clients are confronted with are documented in My Authentic Life.
This Ghanaian organization has a strong intersectional program addressing the poverty and health of women within a culture permeated by human rights issues.
The Women’s Right to Sustainable Livelihood project works toward poverty alleviation. It aims to improve the viability of women smallholder farmers, reduce the burden of unpaid childcare work, improve their food security, and organize them for self-advocacy and political engagement. The practical effects of this program have been community-run childcare centers, planning and budgeting engagement to increase resources for food production, and community activism to increase visibility of women farming activities.
Additionally, working in villages housing women who are displaced after being accused as witches, Songtaba provides annual health checkups for women. It is an unprecedented level of healthcare access.
Note: Songtaba is the community-based partner of the Humanist Action: Ghana (HA: Ghana). Along with HA: Ghana, they will develop a records database for the women treated in these camps with the goal being a more informed picture of overall women’s health in the camps over time. The results will enable the organization to provide more targeted resources and gauge the effect of their efforts in providing clean water, nutrition, education, and general healthcare.