As of April 1, 2011, our more than 760 humanist members have donated over $130,000 to 46 charities working to improve this world and this life. Let’s meet our second slate of beneficiaries for 2011:
HEALTHAfter northern Japan was devastated by a massive quake and tsunami, FBB members and supporters raised over $20,000 in three weeks for the Japanese Red Cross. But the need for help is ongoing. That’s why this quarter’s HEALTH beneficiary is the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning. JOICFP is the primary Japanese international aid group providing reproductive health care to pregnant and postpartum women and newborns in the developing world. Since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, they have turned their focus to women and newborns in the affected areas of Japan itself.
HUMAN RIGHTSTexas leads the U.S. in executions, but also leads in the number of DNA-based exonerations. The Innocence Project of Texas is dedicated to overturning wrongful convictions and securing freedom for men and women wrongfully imprisoned for crimes that they did not commit.
PEACE Founded in 1996 by Greg Mortenson (author of Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace, One School at a Time), Central Asia Institute supports community-based education programs, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Though its focus is on education, the ultimate goal of CAI is to promote and encourage peace in the region.
CHILD WELFARE Bright Star Vision was founded in 2005 by American humanist Marla Ludwig and has overseen the building of a library, a schoolhouse, and ten bio-sand water filters for Dalive Village, Ghana. Bright Star Vision received more than 15 nominations for FBB sponsorship from members and non-members alike.
EDUCATION Two of our featured organizations this quarter are FBB ENCORE beneficiaries — groups that were featured in 2010 and return this year by popular demand of the membership. Our first is the National Center for Science Education, the premiere organization defending and promoting the teaching of evolution in U.S. public schools. NCSE provides information and resources to schools, parents, and concerned citizens working to keep evolution in public school science education.
POVERTY Our other ENCORE beneficiary this quarter is Water For People, Over884 million people do not have access to safe drinking water and nearly 6,000 people die from water-related illnesses each day. Water for People is focused on providing access to safe and adequate supplies of drinking water for people in developing countries. WFP garnered the single highest member vote of our 2010 beneficiaries for a return feature in 2011.
CHALLENGE THE GAP Our second beneficiary in this new category challenging the gap between the religious and nonreligious is Buddhist Global Relief, an organization providing relief to the poor and needy throughout the world regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, or religion. Both BGR and FBB were created in part to put the highest aspirations of their respective worldviews into compassionate action for the betterment of our world.
ANIMAL PROTECTION Our Animal Protection category has sponsored two species-level protection organizations, a biodiversity advocate, a seabird rescue, and a charity dedicated to improving animal treatment in the U.S. To further explore the wide variety in this field, Foundation Beyond Belief is proud this quarter to support Straydog, a “lifeboat” no-kill adoption shelter for rescued dogs near Dallas, Texas.
ENVIRONMENTThe Pachamama Alliance was born in response to a request from the Achuar, an indigenous people in the Amazon region of Ecuador who sought partnership with the industrialized world to protect the rainforest and their traditional way of life. The Pachamama Alliance, in partnership with Fundación Pachamama, empowers indigenous people of the western Amazon basin to defend their territories, cultures, and local ecosystems.
FOUNDATION BEYOND BELIEFAs always, the tenth category our members may choose to support is the Foundation itself. Membership in FBB is free, and 100 percent of all donated funds go to our featured beneficiaries. Members are free to designate a portion of their monthly donation to the Foundation itself if they so choose. Such support is never required but always deeply appreciated.