Pathfinders Project strengthens bonds across the globe


Pathfinders ProjectBy Conor Robinson. Click here to lend your support to the Pathfinders Project fund drive.

When we announced the Pathfinders Project, we shared our excitement for its potential to demonstrate humanism at its best and serve as the launching pad for the Humanist Action: Ghana. We are also eager to build synergy among humanists and humanist groups and strengthen the connection Foundation Beyond Belief has developed since its inception.

At Foundation Beyond Belief, we engage in a thorough vetting process for selecting beneficiaries. Through this process we come to know and value the people of these organizations and their amazing work. When Foundation Beyond Belief selects an organization as a beneficiary, it marks the beginning of a relationship with that organization, not the end. Foundation Beyond Belief is proud that Pathfinders Project will strengthen its relationships with some of its beneficiary organizations even further, while exploring relationships with organizations that may very well become beneficiaries in the future.

For their first project, the Pathfinders will work with Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK), one of Foundation Beyond Belief’s inaugural beneficiaries from 2010. In addition to providing meals to all those who are hungry, TASK provides adult education services to encourage self-sufficiency, informs the wider community about the needs of the hungry, advocates for resources to meet these needs, and offers educational extracurricular activities for needy children on days when local schools are not in session.

Kasese Humanist Primary SchoolThe Pathfinders will be working with two former education beneficiaries when they get to Uganda, where there is a promising profusion of humanist schools. One such school is the Kasese Humanist Primary School, a beneficiary from 2012. Another is the Mustard Seed Secondary School, one of the institutions supported by the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust, a beneficiary from 2010 and an Encore Beneficiary in 2011. The Kasese Humanist Primary School and the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust develop lifelong learners who care for each other and for their communities. The schools encourage students to be open minded and questioning, to respect evidence, and to appreciate shared human values. We wish we saw more of this approach to education in the United States!

Leo IgweDuring part of their stay in Ghana, the Pathfinders will visit some of the witch camps where Leo Igwe is currently conducting his research. Leo Igwe’s field study into witchcraft accusations in Ghana is currently being supported by Foundation Beyond Belief in collaboration with the James Randi Educational Foundation and the Institute for Science and Human Values. Igwe is one of the most prominent and acclaimed humanists on the African continent, and his work raises awareness of the deplorable living situation for the many Ghanaian women who have been accused of witchcraft and expelled from their villages. The Pathfinders will help identify the needs of these women, needs that Foundation Beyond Belief is committed to helping address in the future.

During one of their months in Guatemala, the Pathfinders will work with Avivara, one of Foundation Beyond Belief’s 2012 small grant beneficiaries. Avivara is a small organization with a big impact—its multifaceted approach to improving educational access and outcomes for impoverished youth in Guatemala has yielded tangible results for Avivaramany students, schools, and communities. 

With your help over the past three years, we have been hard at work putting our money where our mouth is in support of some incredible beneficiaries. Now, with your continued help, we will put our young humanist leaders to work furthering the exemplary efforts of our beneficiaries and the principles of humanism on the ground. If you’d like to contribute, please visit the Pathfinders Project fundraiser on IndieGoGo.