Last chance to support our third-quarter beneficiaries


By Sarah Henry

The third quarter of 2013 is drawing swiftly to a close, and it’s your last chance to distribute your donations among our five beneficiaries.

Here’s a quick look at what our amazing beneficiaries have been up to this quarter:

Hesperian Health GuidesHesperian Health Guides, our Poverty and Health beneficiary, started as a humble organization publishing one manual on basic home health care. Now, Hesperian provides an online bookstore, resources in more than 80 languages, digital diagnosis tools, illustrations, and downloadable health guides. Hesperian also runs a book donation service called “Gratis Books,” which gives free resource libraries to communities in need. With its twenty current publications, Hesperian Health Guides is working to make sure that every person, regardless of doctor availability, is diagnosed accurately and treated appropriately.

The Human Rights beneficiary for Q3, Cure Violence, treats community violence as a disease, promoting prevention, diagnoses, and curative steps. More specifically, Cure Violence has three steps to dealing with an “infection” of violence: detecting and interrupting potential infectious events, determining who are most likely to cause another infectious event, and reducing their likelihood of developing and subsequently transmitting the infection, changing the underlying social and behavioral norms, or environmental conditions, that directly relate to this infection. Cure Violence’s program has been proven to eliminate or reduce violence in Chicago, New York, and Baltimore, and the program works effectively across the United States.

EcoHealth AllianceOur Natural World beneficiary this quarter is EcoHealth Alliance. (We featured this organization, formerly Wildlife Trust, in the first quarter of 2010.) EcoHealth Alliance works across the United States and in 20 other countries in Central and South America. In America, EcoHealth Alliance works with the federal government to promote science in the classrooms and science-guided legislature proposals. EcoHealth Alliance has a multitude of projects focused on promoting greater ecological health and biodiversity. Bat Conservation and Health focuses on communicable diseases in bat communities, and how to prevent them. The Sicki Project supports peer review efforts and facilitates scientific collaboration in an attempt to discover the origins of emerging infectious diseases, while other projects focus on ending the illegal wildlife trade. EcoHealth Alliance supports conservationists in order to save endangered species and their habitats, and strives to protect delicate ecosystems for the benefit of both wildlife and humans.

Women's Global Education ProjectWomen’s Global Education Project, our Q3 Education beneficiary, primarily focuses on promoting education for women and girls in Senegal and Kenya. WGEP was founded in 2003 as a Senegalian project. They now work in Senegal and Kenya to provide scholarship support, tutoring, mentoring, and, their most central project, education about alternatives to female genital mutilation (FGM) as a rite of passage for girls. WGEP provides classes for families on girls’ health and rights, as well as offering an educational program, Circumcisions with Words, for teenage girls and their mothers, at which they attend workshops about women’s rights and female empowerment. WGEP is focused on developing female-friendly communities in Senegal and Kenya.

The Challenge the Gap beneficiary position was filled this quarter by American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker nonprofit developing a variety of programs focused on peace. AFSC wants to eliminate nuclear weapons, shape and facilitate a just federal budget, and provide peaceful alternative social programs for potentially violent youth. AFSC also has a large project dedicated to prison-system reform, a consistent focus of Quaker social programming. Right now, AFSC works across the United States and in 14 other nations, including North Korea, Israel, and Haiti. AFSC works to provide lasting peace with justice, a goal that Quakers see as a practical extension of faith.

Click here to learn more about this quarter’s outstanding beneficiaries.

This month, we’ve been updating you on the progress of Seráh Blain’s campaign to raise awareness of the homelessness epidemic in Arizona. Seráh struggled through physical injuries, battled depression and sheer exhaustion, and developed a supportive street community. Her goal was to raise $2 for every homeless person in Arizona last year, but the project was unfortunately cut short due to ongoing health issues. We are awarding Seráh and her project a $500 Small Grant. Her project is inspiring and eye-opening to the realities of chronic homelessness — you can read more or donate at her website.

Pathfinders Project CambodiaAll quarter, our Pathfinders have been pouring their lives into working with nonprofits, schools, and businesses for their secular humanist service trip. Pathfinders Project has three main goals:

  • Complete clean water, education, and sustainability projects in Asia, Africa, and Latin America
  • Engage in dialogue across religious, cultural, and ethnic boundaries
  • Assess countries and partner organizations with the ultimate goal of selecting a site for launching the Humanist Action: Ghana, a future program of Foundation Beyond Belief

The Pathfinders kicked off their year of service in Los Angeles, CA, working with the Westside Food Bank, TreePeople, and Heal the Bay. In August, the Pathfinders moved on to Cambodia, their first international mission. They taught English and built floating latrines and water movement systems at Bridge of Life School. Now, our Pathfinders are working in Uganda, where they will remain until mid-November. Conor, Ben, Michelle, and Wendy are working hard to provide much-needed services to children and adults who may not have gotten these benefits another way. Follow their adventures in humanism, service, and international relations on their website.

Earlier this month, FBB launched a new crisis response drive to support those affected by the violent conflict in Syria. International Rescue Committee is the beneficiary of this fund drive. While much of the world’s attention is focused on the political and diplomatic aspects of the Syrian civil war, the most pressing issue that must be addressed is the massive refugee crisis. More than 6 million Syrians have been displaced, The first millionand relief organizations have received less than half of the funding necessary to meet their basic needs. The IRC is working to provide food, water, and shelter to refugees in Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon. Setting the IRC apart from other crisis response nonprofits is its dedication to eliminating the gender-based violence that often accompanies war and displaced populations. So far, we’ve raised more than $8,800 to support the IRC’s work. Click here to donate to our crisis response campaign.

In July, Foundation Beyond Belief hit a major milestone: Our members and community have now raised more than 1 million dollars for secular and humanist organizations. Thank you so much for coming together and proving that the humanist community is compassionate and actively engaged in improving this life for all people. With continued, generous member and donor support, we’ve reached old goals and set new ones. Thanks again for your support as we promote humanist compassion and generosity.

Don’t forget to sign in to your account and allocate your donations for the third quarter (on the right side of the page, choose “Manage Donation”).