BGR Wins Prestigious Award
We are pleased to inform our readers that Buddhist Global Relief was selected by Foundation Beyond Belief as an encore beneficiary of its “Challenge the Gap” program for the first quarter of 2013. In the email telling us about this award, A.J. Chalom, the Foundation’s Humanist Giving Program Coordinator, writes:
Your commitment to adding programs for people in need and our positive response from our members when you were last featured helped with our selection. It’s often assumed that an unbridgeable gap exists between the religious and non-religious. Challenge the Gap—Different Beliefs, Common Goals is an innovative humanist program that challenges this idea by finding and working the common ground between theists and non-theists. In April of this year, 100% of the funds collected in the Challenge the Gap beneficiary category will be distributed to BGR. Though we cannot guarantee any specific amount, the average raised for our recent beneficiaries has been approximately $7,000. We hope this contribution will assist you in the success of your programs. MORE>
BGR Project Update
From Karaoke Girl to Brilliant Businesswoman
By Jennifer Russ – You know what they say: give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a Cambodian woman to sew and she’ll employ her whole village. In Cambodia, where the educational system is still rebounding from the brutal anti-intellectual regime of the Khmer Rouge, Khorn Vanna is one of the 45% of the country’s women who never received an education. Like many single women in Phnom Penh, Vanna, a 30-year-old single mother, turned to the red light district for employment. It was while working at a karaoke bar in 2011 that she sought an education at Lotus Outreach’s Non-Formal Education (NFE) program, one of BGR’s best appreciated projects in Cambodia.
Since 2005, the NFE program has offered women job and life skills training in the red light district of Phnom Penh. Over the course of a year, students learn a set of marketable skills such as cooking and sewing that can help them find safer, more dignified jobs. In addition, they learn practical skills like literacy, mathematics, conflict resolution, nutrition, financial management, and HIV awareness and protection.
Vanna enrolled in basic courses at NFE and immediately shot to the top of the class. She also enrolled in sewing and tailoring classes. “When I started NFE,” she says, “I couldn’t sew a straight line.” MORE>