Initiatives

BGR and the Centre for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty


BGR executive director, Kim Behan (left) with Heidi Christensen, Interfaith Relations Manager, Center for Interfaith Action and Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

In July 2010, the Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty (CIFA), based in Washington D.C., invited BGR to join the 83-member international task force of the newly formed Global Initiative for Faith, Health and Development (GIFHD). CIFA’s mission is to increase the capacity and effectiveness of the faith sector’s collective efforts to combat poverty and disease. GIFHD (convened and supported by CIFA) seeks to serve as a bridge between faith-based and secular development communities by helping to enable and advocate for full collaborative engagement between all parties to better increase the collective positive impact to development. After a careful review, CIFA’s leaders chose BGR as its Buddhist representative.

The first gathering attended brought together people from many organisations including the world’s major faith-based charities and secular relief bodies. There were delegates from World Vision, Catholic Relief Services, Islamic Relief USA, Africare, Oxfam, the American Jewish World Service, and the Ford Foundation, among others. BGR, as one of the younger faith-based organisations, feel privileged to be a part of this task force and to share in these combined efforts. During the year the task force met again in collaboration with the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Faith-Based Organizations, during which representatives from UNESCO, UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNDP, WHO and other agencies spoke. One of the key themes emerging recognised the positive contributions that culture and religion can make to development.

Ven. Bodhi was invited to give the introductory talk at the leadership consultation during the task force’s third meeting. Drawing attention to a key difference between the Buddhist and secular concepts of development, he reiterated that while material development is certainly essential, it is not sufficient. “Development [he said] should aim at the growth of the whole person – material, social, intellectual, aesthetic, and spiritual – while also respecting the religious beliefs of the beneficiaries.” His talk, well received, is entitled ‘Let’s Walk the Talk’ and can be read here in BGR’s Helping Hands newsletter, Fall 2010 (vol. 2, no. 4). 

CIFA Team

By the end of 2010, the GIFHD task force had prepared an agreed ‘Strategic Frame­work’ report to help facilitate the combined collaboration between the different faiths and organisations. The framework also aims to strengthen the ties between the faith community and non-faith sectors, including governments, secular donor groups, and private agencies. Click here to view this report on the CIFA website for a more full overview of the intentions and work of the GIFHD task force of which BGR are now pleased to be a member.

Since then, BGR have been honoured to begin to work collaboratively with OXFAM America as one of our first steps in putting into action our mutual intentions with GIFHD and CIFA to help increase multi-fold the benefits to development through combined, collective efforts. We intend to post further updates here on the BGR website to keep you posted on our ongoing collaborations with CIFA and the GIFHD task force. To learn more about the task force and Global Initiative, click here.

Our Projects

BGR projects are designed to provide direct food aid to people afflicted by hunger and malnutrition, to promote ecologically sustainable agriculture, to support the education of girls and women, and to give women an opportunity to start right livelihood projects to support their families. »


Bangladesh

MARKETS FOR WOMEN
Uplift extremely poor indigenous households in five villages in one of the poorest regions. » 


Bangladesh

EDUCATING CHILDREN
Educate 1,250 children in the Chittagong Hill Tract, a poor region in Bangladesh affected by conflict. » 


Bangladesh

FOOD SUPPORT FOR ORPHANS
Provide food supplies for 54 orphans at The Orphan's Home in the rural Cittagong Hills region. » 


Bangladesh

EDUCATING ETHNIC MINORITIES
Provide food support for 106 ethnic Buddhist minority girls at Yashodara Girl's School in Cittagong Hill Tracts. » 


Cambodia

GIRLS ACCESS TO EDUCATION
Support life-transforming Girls Access To Education program ensuring that girls stay in school. » 


Cambodia

ESCAPE THE SEX TRADE
Provide non-formal education, vocational training, and life skills to sex workers and their children. » 


Cambodia

SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION
Expanding an ecologically sensitive method of agriculture that increases rice yields. » 


Cameroon

FOOD FOR POOR CHILDREN
Provide food support for children attending community primary school. » 


China

JOB TRAINING FOR WOMEN
Partner with Shambala Foundation to provide first job experience training to young women. » 


Cote d'Ivoire

ENHANCED FOOD PRODUCTION
Improve food production in the Meki-Ziway area of the Central Rift Valley. » 


Ethiopia

CROP INTENSIFICATION
Promote environmental friendly, economically feasible, and climate-smart agronomic practices among small-scale farmer. » 


Haiti

PROVIDE AFTERSCHOOL MEALS
Provide daily meals two or more daily meals for school children in Jacmel, Haiti. » 


Haiti

ENHANCED RICE PRODUCTION
Provide training in System of Rice Intensification (SRI) to benefit 425 famers in the Artibonite Valley. » 


Haiti

MEALS AND SCHOOLING
Support the establishment of a women's vocational training and community center in Nagpur. » 


Haiti & Jamaica

TREES THAT FEED PEOPLE
Distribute 400 breadfruit trees (200 for each country). Each tree can produce half a ton of fruit a year. » 


India

A YOUTH HOSTEL FOR GIRLS AND WOMEN
Educate girls from India's poorest regions and provide loans and business training. » 


India

FOOD SECURITY FOR WOMEN
Provide enhanced food security for women farmers in Uttarakhand, one of India's poorestt states. » 


Sri Lanka

EDUCATION FOR POOR GIRLS
Provide education and vocational training for girls from poor families who have not yet completed high school. » 


Vietnam

MEALS IN HOSPITALS
Provide thousands of free meals to hospital patients in remote villages off the Mekong Delta region. » 


Vietnam

SCHOLARSIHPS FOR POOR CHILDREN
Provide nearly 500 sttudents with scholarships to elementary and middle schools in Cam Duong and Tam Binh Districts. » 


Vietnam

SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION
Expand and improve the quality of Rice Intensification among village farmers in the Thai Nguyen province. » 


Detroit, MI

KEEP GROWING DETROIT
Support more than 1500 gardens to produce 150 tons of produce for low- income families. » 


New York, NY

FEEDING YOUTH STARVED FOR MEANING
Transform homeless impoverished youth to employed persons playing leadership roles in society. » 


New York, NY

URBAN COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECT
Create sustainable food system for insecure communities while educating and employing at-risk youth. » 


Santa Clara County, CA

CULTIVATING ORGANIC GARDENS
Reduce food insecurity among low income residents by teaching organic gardening skills. »