July brings the introduction of our new third-quarter beneficiaries, a fantastic collection of organizations working to fight violence, spread important health information, support gender equality, promote social justice, and protect biodiversity. We’re excited to support the work of these groups over the next three months. If you’re a member, don’t forget to log in and distribute your donations.
Cure Violence is an anti-violence organization that treats violence like a disease that needs to be stopped at its root. Their approach to violence prevention rests on three pillars of treating infectious epidemics—detecting and interrupting potential infectious events; determining who is most likely to cause another infectious event; and finally changing the social conditions that allow violence to spread. To these ends, Cure Violence deploys staff called Violence Interrupters. Violence Interrupters are trained to find potentially lethal ongoing conflicts and use conflict mediation techniques to prevent violence. Interrupters are hired to work in the communities they are from, and where they are known by high-risk individuals. A key component of Cure Violence’s strategy is to develop a rapport with individuals in the community who are at highest risk of becoming the victim or perpetrator of violence. This model program is being replicated in other communities.
Hesperian Health Guides creates and distributes educational materials to communities without access to vital health information or medical care infrastructure. Hesperian has distributed health information in 80 different languages to communities in 221 countries and territories over the past 40 years. Local health care workers, educators, Peace Corps volunteers, and community organizers use health guides to better serve communities without access to traditional care. Hesperian books have been distributed for decades, helping millions of individuals in communities from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
In a world where electronic media is rapidly changing, Hesperian is now reaching into phone apps and Kindle readers, supplying digital materials to communities that are beginning to access electronic communication but still want the trustworthy material they have come to rely upon.
Women’s Global Education Project (WGEP) is a ten-year-old organization founded on the belief that a society thrives when there is universal education, gender equity, and women who are empowered to be independent. WGEP partners with local organizations in Senegal and Kenya to improve the educational outcomes of young women.
Women’s Global Education Project has provided more than 1,600 scholarships to more than 600 girls to further their education in Kenya and Senegal. They have also invested in communities providing adult education, boys’ and girls’ clubs, health education, and an alternative ceremony to female genital mutilation.
American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is our Challenge the Gap beneficiary for Q3. (Learn more about our Challenge the Gap program here.) AFSC is a Quaker organization that works on a diverse set of issues, usually related to social justice and peace. Founded during World War I, in their 90 years of service they’ve worked to promote peace in difficult situations. They received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1947 for their work. Their activities include combating HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe, responding to disasters in Myanmar, peace building in war-torn countries such as Somalia, and bringing communities together with police to combat crime in Mexico. AFSC has a broad reach and maintains a presence all over the world.
EcoHealth Alliance is an international organization made up of scientists working to conserve the biodiversity in more than 20 nations around the globe. Their projects include preventing infectious disease pandemics, fighting the illegal wildlife trade, preserving endangered species, and conservation medicine. EcoHealth Alliance, working for more than four decades, has pioneered the field of conservation medicine, which links ecological disruption with human health and well-being.
EcoHealth Alliance’s work includes research into SARS, HIV/AIDS, ebola, bird flu, and the Nipah virus. To do their work, they partner with local organizations around the world.
EcoHealth Alliance was featured under the name Wildlife Trust in our debut quarter, Q1 2010. They received a grant of $1,145 from Foundation Beyond Belief at that time. We welcome them as our Encore beneficiary this quarter.
Ghana ranks 135 out of 186 on the United Nations Development Index. Pathfinders Project will volunteer with two organizations in Ghana: First, they will visit Accra, where they will work with the Alliance for African Women Initiative. AAWI has a strong presence in Accra serving woman in the areas of health, education, social rights, and empowerment.
The Pathfinders will also visit Leo Igwe’s refugee camps in northern rural Ghana, where women accused of witchcraft from across the region are seeking refuge, food, and shelter. This project has the support of the International Humanist Ethical Union, where Leo is employed. This project was previously featured as a small grant beneficiary in Q3 of 2012.
Small grants at Foundation Beyond Belief are funded in two ways. Members can choose to select a box in the donation allocation area that says “Small Grants or Greatest Needs,” and anyone can donate directly to a small grants project (both non-members and members giving an additional donation on top of their regular contribution). The Pathfinders Project still needs financial support to make their trip a success—you can donate to them here.
Because Pathfinders is sponsored by Foundation Beyond Belief, this small grant will cover the Pathfinders’ expenses while in Ghana, including housing and food (less than $10 per person/day), transportation, and donations to both the Alliance for African Women’s Initiative and the Igwe refugee camps.
Members, don’t forget to log in and distribute your donations for the third quarter of 2013. Not yet a member? Join today!