During the past two quarters, Foundation Beyond Belief has presented beneficiary slates using newer philanthropic and innovative selection ideologies.
Successive grant commitments strengthened our beneficiaries in Quarter 1 of 2016 and our third Compassionate Impact Grant in Quarter 2 of 2016 featuring Lakota Language Initiative of Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation.
This quarter, we return to our long- standard model with our five beneficiaries, one in each category of Natural World, Poverty and Health, Human Rights, Challenge the Gap, and Education. The mixture of different models are providing the best beneficiaries for FBB.
Poverty and Health – UTEC
UTEC provides education support, work experience, and citizenship activities for at-risk youth and young adults in Lowell, Massachusetts. UTEC staff are relentless, becoming a catalyst in young lives. Clients have many avenues to success at UTEC, and UTEC staff expect and allow their clients to fail, so when they find their way back to UTEC programs on their own, they will be better able to succeed and, most of all keep the commitments they have made to themselves. UTEC’s personal one on one connections are a method of success illustrated by the experience of Jamel Banilla in his journey.
Education – Developments in Literacy
Developments in Literacy (DIL) is an established program that has been working in Pakistani schools for over 16 years. They supply extensive teacher training and hire local, primarily women teachers. This training, paired with reading support, technology in schools, superior curriculum development and provide the core of DIL programs.
Education reforms and transformative change differ at every age level, country, and situation. DIL faces shortages of teachers in rural areas, poor attendance of girls at new levels of education and early marriage as roadblocks to higher levels of education, described in an article in The Guardian.
DIL’s internal statistics show substantial increases in reading ability and a greater number of transitions to both middle school and high school education by their students compared to the country average.
Challenge the Gap* – Friendly Water for the World
Founded on Quaker principles, Friendly Water for the World (Friendly Water) works with very poor communities to ensure their own safe drinking water supply. Friendly Water relies on knowledge-sharing and training, providing the knowledge and resources necessary for communities to take charge of their own water needs. Their model includes an eye toward sustainability and self-sufficiency. Their project installations include trusted methods of water safety: biosand filters, water catchments projects, sanitation education and well-head repair training programs.
Human Rights – Innocence Project of Texas
Innocence Project of Texas’ (IPTX) main goal is to ensure that the wrongfully incarcerated are identified, given assistance; and hopefully, a future hearing to examine their case. IPTX has also been involved in the reform of Texas prosecution and ensuring the use of science-based techniques are introduced in trials. Recently, IPTX was pivotal in the release of the “San Antonio Four”, women who were wrongly convicted of gang rape.
PBS Newshour has investigated examples of using correct or incorrect scientific evidence in standard trial procedures and the junk science law in Texas.
Innocence Project has also been an FBB beneficiary in 2011 and 2013. More about scientific evidence in trials can be found in our blog: “The importance of the Innocence Project of Texas”
Natural World – Everybody Solar
Everybody Solar manages solar installation projects for other nonprofit organizations. They coordinate in-kind donations, engineering specifications, solar expertise, installation and fundraising for these projects. This fairly new nonprofit is working to expand its footprint. The staff’s knowledge base regarding solar energy is profound and is shared on its website. Completed projects include Wildlife Associates and Rebuilding Together Peninsula and they are actively working on additional projects. Everybody Solar is an emerging innovative nonprofit, where our grant money will make a substantial difference in their operations.
*More about Foundation Beyond Belief’s Challenge the Gap category, “It’s often assumed that an unbridgeable gap exists between the religious and nonreligious. Challenge the Gap—Different Beliefs, Common Goals is an innovative humanist program that challenges this idea by finding and working the common ground between theists and nontheists.”