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Volunteer groups in the Beyond Belief Network performed quite a few labors of love for their communities during Valentine's season! We are, of course, shifting gears to socially-distant volunteerism for a while, but we'd still like to take a moment to appreciate teams' pre-lockdown work over the month of February. It's a taste of what we have to look forward to once groups can get together as usual again!

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By FBB

Consider this: 250 billion single-use coffee cups per year;  they are made from forests, and they can’t be recycled.

How do you even begin to approach an issue at that scale? (more…)

By Todd J. Paglia, Executive Director Stand.earth

Monsoon rains that began December 31 have brought catastrophic flooding and landslides to Jakarta, West Java, and Banten in Indonesia, with more rain expected in the coming weeks. Over 35,000 people have been displaced and more than 1,300 homes damaged. At the time of this writing at least 66 people have been confirmed dead.

One of the most telling things photographs have captured is how Indonesia’s tremendous income inequality often determines who is impacted by the worst of the flooding. With luxury developments built several feet above street level, those with the fewest resources are most dramatically affected. Between climate change and overuse of groundwater, it’s estimated that 95% of North Jakarta could fall below sea by 2050.

Foundation Beyond Belief recommends supporting emergency relief efforts being coordinated by ActionAid USA. Although Indonesia is a deeply religious country where people of certain faiths (or those who admit to atheism) have been persecuted, ActionAid promotes tolerance, stating that it "appreciates and respects different opinions, attitudes and behaviors; on the basis of religion, ideology, ethnicity, race, and gender; as well as upholding the joint decisions."

The focus of their efforts will be the city of Lebak, located southwest of Jakarta. Because of its distance from Jakarta and the absence of roads linking the two, Lebak is difficult to access and receives less attention by aid organizations.

ActionAid will be focused on four key priorities: providing emergency food for 2-3 weeks through community kitchens; monitoring the quality of aid being provided by other agencies and the local government; ensuring accountability; and coordinating information sharing regarding available services within the community.

(Note: While ActionAid typically uses the ActionAid Women Led Processes approach when responding to disasters, they recognize that the conservative, highly patriarchal culture in Lebak will present challenges. Recognizing these limitations, ActionAid is currently in discussions with a corporate agency interested in supporting the needs of women and children.)

By FBB

Foundation Beyond Belief (FBB) has undergone some momentous changes in the past few years. As we celebrate our 10th anniversary and look to the future of the organization and its humanistic principles, we continue to adapt and expand our leadership, staff, and programs.

Moving forward, we continue to engage in a thoughtful strategic planning process to ensure that the organization is strong and sustainable and that our work aligns with our mission. This deliberate process has led to some key changes that will impact the course of FBB’s future. I’d like to share those exciting changes with you today.

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By Clare Wuellner, FBB Chair of the Board

Welcome to 2020 and welcome to our first quarter beneficiaries!

This quarter we are re-featuring two previous Compassionate Impact Grant beneficiaries and two brand new beneficiaries. Pueblo a Pueblo’s values to counteract the effects of colonialism with culturally appropriate interventions align very closely with FBB’s values. FBB is proud to support The Tandana Foundation’s strategies emphasizing planning initiatives based on community-identified needs and on building long-term independence for the women.

FBB is also honored to support My Sister’s House and the culturally responsible work they do to empower marginalized, vulnerable survivors of abuse. FBB shares Stand.earth’s commitment to people-centered solutions to climate change that respect and support Indigenous rights—and recognize that structural racism and ethnic inequities result in greater burdens on low-income communities.

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By FBB

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