Buddhist Global Relief works for a future without povertyBy Administrator
“Development should aim at the growth of the whole person … while also respecting the religious beliefs of the beneficiaries.” So said the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi, scholar-monk and inspiration behind Buddhist Global Relief, our current Challenge the Gap beneficiary.
Buddhist Global Relief’s mission is simple to put into words—to combat chronic hunger and malnutrition—but the work they do is anything but simple. Their vision is a complex image of a future without poverty, with equal access to education, where we live in harmony with our natural world, and where all people have the shelter, clothing, and health care they need.
To work toward their vision of an improved world, Buddhist Global Relief works to sponsor programs around the globe run by local organizations with track records of success in those communities. These programs support the BGR mission by providing direct food aid, developing sustainable approaches to food production, educating young women and girls, and giving girls opportunities to start projects to support their families. While being featured as a FBB beneficiary, Buddhist Global Relief has three major programs:
- For the third consecutive year, BGR has awarded a grant to Lotus Outreach in Cambodia to “provide critical monthly rice support to fifty families of at-risk and exploited girl students enrolled in the Girls’ Access to Education (GATE) scholarship project.” Many families in rural Cambodia are too impoverished to afford to send their children to school, especially young girls. This program ensures these young girls an education through direct aid of rice to their families, and lowers the families’ opportunity cost of keeping the girls in school.
- Again working with Lotus Outreach, BGR is supporting an agricultural program in the Cardamom Mountains in Southwest Cambodia. This program provides a variety of seeds, along with farming tools and agricultural education, to improvised families in the region to both protect against established, harmful ways of making a living (such as logging and poaching) and create a more sustainable future for the families.
- In an ongoing five-year project, Buddhist Global Relief is offering support to the Bodhicitta Foundation/Kalyanamitra Fund International to provide education for 200 children, focusing mainly on young girls, in the Dalit (also known as “untouchables”) community in Nagpur, India. This community has long faced extreme poverty and discrimination in India, and the program will provide much-needed school supplies along with basic food aid for their families in order for the children to attend school. The program also offers a social worker to counsel the children and help build their self-esteem.
Buddhist Global Relief has supporters all over the globe. Their recent Walk to End Hunger fundraiser was held at 12 sites across the world, including numerous sites in the United States. For information about how to become involved with BGR from your location, check out their volunteer opportunities here.