Our new slate of beneficiaries for the second quarter of 2014 is a fantastic collection of organizations working to promote literacy in low-income countries, combat stigmas surrounding women’s health, nurture green spaces in an urban landscape, defend those falsely accused of witchcraft in Ghana, and staunchly defend the separation of church and state. Learn more about these organizations below. Members, be sure to log in and adjust your donation allocation for this quarter.
Worldreader works to eradicate illiteracy through the distribution of e-readers in primary school classrooms. Each e-reader they distribute is loaded with local and international books. Worldreader also enables greater access to additional reading materials through their phone app, Worldreader Mobile. To date, the e-reader program has reached more than 13,000 children across nine African countries, and the mobile app is used by 335,000 people worldwide. Students who received the e-readers demonstrated significant improvement in reading comprehension, language skills, and analytical skills.
Poverty and Health: 50 cents. Period.
The unique and powerful mission of 50 cents. Period. is to provide women’s health education and supplies to women in countries where there is a strong stigma against and ritual exclusion of menstruating women. These programs have a holistic effect on the lives of the women they serve, including education about their own health and human rights. 50 cents. Period. submitted an application through our new Request for Proposals (RFP) program. Foundation Beyond Belief’s grant will be used to fund start-up costs to implement their education and distribution program in Monrovia, Liberia.
The Natural World: The Greening of Detroit
The Greening of Detroit is a leader in creating ecologically sustainable areas within the city of Detroit, while at the same time supporting green spaces in an urban community, encouraging residents’ healthy relationship with food, teaching schoolchildren about the natural world, and training adults for job opportunities in landscaping, forestry, and agriculture. The Greening of Detroit submitted a proposal to Foundation Beyond Belief outlining an expansion of their successful Citizen Forester Program. This program trains resident volunteers by providing leadership training and education about nature in an urban environment. Trained Citizen Foresters then lead an army of volunteers who participate in the spring and fall planting programs through The Greening of Detroit.
Human Rights: Leo Igwe Research Project
Nigerian humanist Leo Igwe’s ongoing project studies, protects, and provides for the needs of people (often women and girls) accused of witchcraft in northern Ghana. Accused witches are stripped of their belongings and shunned by family and friends, and are often unable to get medical treatment for their injuries or to ensure their own safety from further harm. According to Igwe, “The main objective of this study is to find out the social, political, and economic contexts that give rise to contemporary witchcraft accusations in Ghana and how the witch camps that accommodate victims of such accusations operate, including the religious, social, economic, and political roles (if any) they fulfill in the lives of the victims and others.” The goal of this research is to generate empirical data for further studies and to obtain an understanding regarding the handling of witchcraft-related cases by local authorities in the region.
Challenge the Gap: Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty
Challenge the Gap was created to find and support progressive, non-proselytizing religious charities whose work reflects shared values with the humanist community. As an organization working to advance church-state separation, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty is an ideal candidate for Challenge the Gap. BJC has been a powerful voice for separation of church and state within the Baptist family, partnering with Americans United for Separation of Church and State and other organizations to ensure that government and religion remain separate. As their website states, BJC is “fighting to uphold the historic Baptist principle of religious freedom. It stands guard at the intersection of church and state, defending the first freedom of the First Amendment.”
Members, don’t forget to log in and allocate your donations for the second quarter.