Nonbelief Relief, a leading freethought charity, has announced its early spring grants “to improve this, our only world.”
Nonbelief Relief is a charitable organization created by the executive board of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Its purposes are to serve as a humanitarian agency for atheists, agnostics, freethinkers and their supporters. Nonbelief Relief seeks to remediate conditions of human suffering and injustice on a global scale, whether the result of natural disasters, human actions or adherence to religious dogma. Such relief is not limited to but includes assistance for individuals targeted for nonbelief, secular activism or blasphemy.
The organization is giving:
• $20,000 to Doctors Without Borders, with the request it be used for the group’s work in Syria and with Syrian refugees, given the crisis there.
• $5,000 to Violence Policy Center, which is a 501(c)(3) educational group to stop gun death and injury through research, education, advocacy and collaboration. Nonbelief Relief notes that the center is especially important, given the official embargo on gun violence research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
• $5,000 to UltraViolet, in the wake of the #MeToo and #Timesup movements. UltraViolet works to mobilize millions of activists on a range of issues including reproductive rights, health care, violence, economic security and racial justice.
• $25,000 to the volunteer Women’s Medical Fund, in memoriam to FFRF’s principal founder Anne Nicol Gaylor, also co-founder of the longest continuously operating abortion fund in the nation. All money goes to pay for abortions for low-income or indigent women in Wisconsin, one of about 35 states that has cut off Medicaid assistance for abortion care. The fund helped more than 1,000 women last year, with an average of $330.
• $10,000 to the Afghan Women’s Fund, endorsed by FFRF Honorary Director Katha Pollitt, which works to open schools for girls in Afghanistan and ensure the human rights of Afghan women. Its motto: “Education is the key.”
• $10,000 for Camp Quest to use as scholarships for children who would otherwise be unable to afford to attend one of the educational summer programs offered around the country catering to the nonreligious.
Additionally, this year Nonbelief Relief has already given stipends of $5,000 each to three individuals: a feminist journalist forced to leave Bangladesh; a Pakistani man who was accused of blasphemy and tortured and is now (with his family) seeking asylum in the United Kingdom; and a Bangladeshi who co-edited the first gay journal in that country, whose colleague was brutally murdered and who was targeted for assassination. He is seeking asylum in the United States. Articles about their plight will be appearing in FFRF’s newspaper, Freethought Today, when they are at liberty to write about their situations. A fourth application for an endangered Pakistani is under consideration.
Nonbelief Relief Administrator Annie Laurie Gaylor notes that given the rising violence and persecution in Islamist nations worldwide, the demands for help from threatened nonbelievers from a variety of nations is also increasing. These stipends are given after vetting with a loose consortium of aid groups and individuals. Most individuals receive assistance from more than one organization.
To donate directly to Nonbelief Relief, go to ffrf.org and select the “Donate” button and then click on “Nonbelief Relief, Inc.” Your donation is deductible for income tax purposes.