As of October 1st, our more than 600 humanist members have donated over $56,000 to 28 charities working to improve this world and this life. Let’s meet our final slate of beneficiaries for 2010.
We are pleased to announce that MARRIAGE EQUALITY USA is our beneficiary in the Human Rights category for 4th quarter 2010. MEUSA is a U.S. national organization dedicated to securing the legal recognition of same-sex marriage through education and outreach. Though individual humanists hold a wide range of opinions on this and other issues, our selection of an organization working for LGBT rights helps to emphasize a longstanding humanistconsensus on the key civil rights struggle of our time.
In the CHILD WELFARE category, we’re pleased to support Camfed, the Campaign for Female Education. Camfed is a non-profit fighting poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa by educating girls and empowering women. Camfed’s unique approach creates community-based programs that start by addressing the needs of an individual girl in rural Africa, then grow to serve the needs of girls like her. Educate a girl in Africa and she will be three times less likely to get HIV/AIDS, earn 25 percent more income, and have a smaller, healthier family.
Camfed’sgoal is to improve the lives of two million children by 2013. We’re honored to throw our support behind that effort.
In ANIMAL PROTECTION we are now featuring the Animal Welfare Institute, which seeks to alleviate the suffering inflicted on animals by people. Their work includes raising awareness of cruelty in animal factories, protecting animals in laboratories including promotion of non-animal testing methods, and protecting threatened marine life from human incursion and disruption.
AWI is also the originator and presenter of the Schweitzer Medal for outstanding achievement in the advancement of animal welfare.
The AHA Foundation is our beneficiary in the Big Bang Fund, which features small charities making a big impact. The organization was founded in 2007 by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the courageous Somali-born woman who fled the prospect of a forced marriage and subsequently took up the fight against militant Islam. The AHA Foundation compiles data on acts of violence against women and girls in the West, informs relevant state agencies, opinion leaders, and organizations to raise awareness that such violence occurs and is on the rise, influences the public dialogue around these issues, and sets up models of appropriate intervention to protect and defend the victims of such crimes.
Our new beneficiary in EDUCATION is Vidnyanvahini, “Science in Motion.” Metropolitan India includes world class science and technology education, while rural India remains in the 19th century educationally, suffering from poverty, a lack of basic infrastructure, and an abundance of superstitions.
Vidnyanvahini’s vision is to reduce this gap as much as possible, reaching out to rural school children to help them engage science through hands-on laboratory experiments. They do this by using a Mobile Science Lab developed by the organization’s founders.
Diverse ecosystems are essential to the health of our planet. That’s why our ENVIRONMENTAL beneficiary this quarter is The Center for Biological Diversity, an innovative and effective advocate for species on the brink of extinction from human causes.
The Center uses biological data, legal expertise, and the citizen petition provision of the Endangered Species Act to obtain sweeping protections for animals, plants, and their habitats. From their start in the Sonoran Desert of New Mexico, the Center’s work has now spread throughout Western North America and beyond, including projects in the Arctic North, the Antarctic South, and in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
Our HEALTH beneficiary this quarter is FAME—the Foundation for African Medicine & Education, which provides desperately needed medical care in Tanzania. The FAME Outpatient Clinic opened in 2008, and the FAME Mobile Medical Service provides medical care to individuals living in remote villages, people who otherwise have no access to care.
The Federation of American Scientists, our new PEACE beneficiary, believes that scientists have a unique responsibility to warn the public and policymakers of potential dangers from scientific and technical advances and to show how good policy could increase the benefits of new scientific knowledge. FAS was chosen for our PEACE category for their Paths to Zero program, which works toward the elimination of nuclear weapons in the 21st century.
Through last quarter’s POVERTY beneficiary, the Mountain Fund, we focused on a single locality in Nepal, Patale Village. This quarter’s beneficiary tackles poverty in a single urban setting — Trenton, New Jersey, USA. The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) responds to the daily needs of people in the Trenton area, where one in five residents lives below the poverty line. TASK provides meals to all those who are hungry and services to encourage self-sufficiency and improve quality of life.
Our tenth category as always is Foundation Beyond Belief itself. The small membership fee that helped get us started has now been eliminated, meaning participation in our charitable giving program is absolutely free. If this service is important to you as a member, we hope you’ll choose to designate a small percentage of your monthly donation to support the work of the Foundation.
Members: See an organization that especially moves you — or one you’d rather not support? Remember that you can change the distribution of your monthly donation at any time. Simply click on Manage Donation in the sidebar (while logged in).