FBB is excited to announce our slate of grantees for the fourth quarter!
This quarter, the power of humanist giving will be directed toward ending forced and child marriage; protecting our rainforests; providing quality higher eduation for incarcerated people; and employing technological solutions to solve global health challenges. Our grantees have powerful track records of helping to build a more humanist world. We carefully selected each one for impact, efficiency, and humanist values.
Our slate this quarter includes three brand new grantees, and one organization that we have supported in the past. Each organization works with a unique local population for transformative change.
Poverty & Health Category
Nexleaf Analytics’ mission is to “build, scale, and support wireless sensor devices and data analytics tools that improve global public health and the environment.”
Lack of data is a hindrance to effective health and climate change solutions. Nexleaf creates and deploys customized technologies to address specific local needs in Africa and South Asia:
- ColdTrace is a wireless remote temperature monitoring solution designed for vaccine refrigerators in rural clinics and health facilities. Nexleaf provides training and country-specific Standard Operating Procedures for this innovation. Since we last featured Nexleaf in Q1 2018, they launched a pilot in Mozambique to protect vaccines during transport, and the Tanzania Ministry of Health is enveloping Nexleaf data and analytics tools into their national health systems.
- StoveTrace devices remotely monitor cookstoves in rural communities to help reduce air pollution inside homes. Monitoring cookstove effectiveness allows adjustments for improvement in each location. To date 1,026 women in 17 villages in Nigeria and India have cooked for over 474,221 hours on cleaner stoves. Since we last featured Nexleaf one of their village partners in India has reached two years of sustained adoption of clean cooking!
- Nexleaf recently announced a project in partnership with the Center for Public Health and Development, a local health organization in Nairobi, Kenya, to monitor the power availability in health facilities within COVID-19 hotspots. Their goal is to understand where and why power outages occur and how to improve the power infrastructure across facilities.
Nexleaf’s strong commitment to data-driven methods is producing impressive results and we are proud to contribute to their ongoing impact.
The mission of Mount Tamalpais College (previously Prison University Project) is to “provide an intellectually rigorous, inclusive Associate of Arts degree program and College Preparatory Program, free of charge, to people at San Quentin State Prison; to expand access to quality higher education for incarcerated people; and to foster the values of equity, civic engagement, independence of thought, and freedom of expression.” 512 students took at least one course in the College Program in 2019 and 12 students graduated with an Associate of Arts degree in General Studies.
Since we last featured them in Q4 2012, Mount Tamalpais became a Candidate for Accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges. Their new name is a reference to the mountain that stands just outside the prison — a powerful symbol of hope and strength that connects members of their community, both inside and outside of San Quentin.
Mount Tamalpais has completely pivoted to COVID-19 relief for the entire San Quentin community and other area prisons, where their students make up 10% of the population. Their students are among the most vulnerable and hardest-hit communities when it comes to COVID-19, and San Quentin itself is a COVID-19 hotspot — as are many prisons. In June, there were 2,200 confirmed cases of the virus among the incarcerated population at San Quentin (approximately 75% of the total population) and — as of August — there have been 25 deaths including two Mount Tamalpais students. As a result all nonessential programs, including college courses, have been cancelled. The support provided by Mount Tamalpais includes relief packages for the incarcerated people consisting of food, soap, and PPE, as well as installing mobile showers complete with donated shampoo and soap for staff.
FBB shares Mount Tamalpais College’s commitment to improving access to education and supporting the rights of incarcerated people, and we are happy to contribute to the empowerment of their students.
Natural World Category
Cool Earth is dedicated to reducing rainforest destruction through community-based partnerships. To keep the communities they work with fully invested in the process, Cool Earth forgoes outreach and instead lets Indigenous communities make the initial contact. The communities they partner with are poor and face a difficult choice between either saving their forests or selling them to loggers or miners to bring in needed financial resources. According to Cool Earth, “…As these villages link up, they form a shield to make the adjacent forest inaccessible to destruction. Each partner village is helping form a shield for five million acres of pristine rainforest.”
Through knowledge sharing, villages are also learning how to replenish poor quality rainforest soils. They use the Inga tree as a cover for other crops, which gives the village better soil and wood for burning that comes from somewhere besides the rainforest. Food crops are able to be cultivated in the continually improving soil.
Creating food and income pathways is a regular and major part of Cool Earth’s commitment to their partner communities, and the organization dedicates seven years to achieving success within each one. Since FBB last featured Cool Earth in Q4 2016, they have grown to have an estimated 56,493,779 trees in their 13 partnerships with local communities in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
Cool Earth’s partner communities have been hit hard by COVID-19, and Cool Earth has pivoted its work to focus on relief through a resilience fund supporting local partners in getting urgent food supplies to Indigenous and isolated communities. The organization is working with their partners to distribute soap and PPE, and provide seeds and tools that will help improve food security in the months to come. Funding also supports local businesses, helping people return to work when the pandemic ends.
FBB is proud to support Cool Earth’s community-led, economically sustainable approach to environmental protection and restoration.
Human Rights Category:
Unchained At Last envisions a world where a girl is never a bride, and where every adult is free to choose whether, when, and whom to marry — and whether to get divorced. Unchained At Last is the only organization dedicated to ending forced and child marriage in the U.S. through direct services and advocacy.
Unchained At Last takes a holistic approach to the problem of arranged/forced marriage, helping women and girls leave or resist these marriages and rebuild their lives. They also promote social change through advocacy and education to end coercive marriages in the U.S. Since 2012, Unchained At Last has helped about 600 people and are currently supporting 65 people.
Unchained’s direct services are focused on adults, as law often limits what they can do for children, who cannot initiate legal action until turning 18. Currently, underage marriage is legal in most US states and territories. Unchained At Last has introduced legislation in over half the states to address this.
During the COVID-19 quarantine and stay-at-home orders, domestic violence has increased and so has the number of people reaching out to escape forced marriage. Unchained at Last’s services are needed now more than ever.
FBB is happy to help create pathways of escape for women in forced marriages in the US, and we look forward to the day Unchained at Last’s work is no longer needed.
Please take some time to explore the grantees that we are featuring this quarter. If you like what you see, consider a monthly donation to our Humanist Grants program to help us fund more organizations like these. And stay tuned for exciting changes coming to our grants program as we work to amplify the impact of humanist giving!