Rainforest Foundation US offers long-term solutions for indigenous communities


rff-logoHelping others through charitable giving is certainly worthy of admiration; however, the act of giving to others does not necessarily equate to being helpful. Many charities give aid to those in need with the best of intentions, then proceed to withdraw that aid after the immediate problem has been patched up, leaving the communities more or less in the position that they were in when they began.

In the process of vetting the charities that may receive support from Foundation Beyond Belief, the staff looks for charities that give aid in an effective way. Instead of providing a patch job, FBB looks for charities that support a community they are trying to help so that improvements they make are long term. In other words, Foundation Beyond Belief seeks charitable organizations that practice sustainable giving. 

Rainforest Foundation US does an outstanding job of giving sustainably, because it uses a top-down and bottom-up approach to protect the rainforest and empower indigenous communities. The top-down approach includes attempting to influence policy regarding indigenous people’s rights and resources, and the bottom-up approach includes strengthening the leadership in these communities to enable them to effectively voice their community’s interests.

One of success stories that Rainforest Foundation US has to offer is that of the Caña Blanca community in Panama. After pressure from the United Nations, Panama passed a law in 2008 allowing indigenous communities to apply for land title rights, so Rainforest Foundation US began working with the Embera and Wounaan people to gain recognition for all of the communities that still needed titles in the Darién, a region of Panama. Additionally, they cooperated with the communities to establish land management plans, so they can manage their lands sustainably into the future.

In continuation of this goal, Rainforest Foundation US has recently implemented a Solar Power Project in the Caña Blanca community of the Darién region, where a solar grid was installed in an indigenous community to provide them with renewable and sustainable energy into the future. This project would not have been possible without the help of the people of Caña Blanca, as well as Thermal Design, the manufacturer that planned, installed, and donated the materials for this project. The end result provides this community of over twenty families with filtered water, a refrigerator for medicinal purposes, lighting, and outlets to charge equipment needed to defend and monitor their land.

Rainforest Foundation US is practicing sustainable giving to communities that need it in an effort to move toward a more sustainable Earth. View pictures of this project on their Facebook page, and read further about how the efforts of Rainforest Foundation US are positively impacting global climate change.