Buddhist Global Relief was launched in 2008 to offer a helping hand to people around the world who daily face the crushing ordeal of chronic hunger and malnutrition. Starting with a bank account of $40,000 and a small volunteer staff, we began pursuing this mission with three small pilot projects in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Over the years, a steadily increasing flow of donations has enabled us to expand the number, size, and range of our projects far beyond our expectations. This year, we are sponsoring over 50 projects with grants totaling more than $1,000,000. This has all been made possible by the generosity and compassion of our supporters.
Our projects have a truly global range, extending from Mongolia, Cambodia, and Vietnam, through southern Asia and Africa, to Haiti, Latin America, and pockets of poverty right here in the United States. The projects span four major areas: food assistance, education for poor children (especially girls), women’s empowerment, and sustainable agriculture. We act in partnership with other organizations also pledged to combating hunger and poverty. A few of our partners are large, like Action Against Hunger and CARE, but most are small, like G-BIACK in Kenya, Lotus Outreach in Cambodia, the Joan Rose Foundation in Haiti, and Building Bridges in India.
Since 2010, our main fundraising activity has been an annual “Walk to Feed the Hungry,” usually taking place in the autumn, in approximately ten locations around the U.S., with satellite walks by our partners in other countries. The walks have been hugely popular. They bring together Buddhists and other well-wishers in a joyful act of compassion on behalf of the world’s poor.
This year, however, the COVID-19 pandemic once again prevents us from holding most of our walks. Thus we will instead be gathering via Zoomfor a two-part series of Buddhist Action to Feed the Hungry Online Gatherings. The first will take place on Saturday, October 2 and will draw together Buddhist groups in the West Coast and Mountain states. The other will take place on Saturday, October 30 and will bring together Buddhist groups from the Eastern, Southern, and Midwestern states. Join us for one or both events for Dharma talks by distinguished Buddhist speakers on the theme of “putting compassion into action” as well as information about Buddhist Global Relief and the work of alleviating global hunger and poverty.
Today hunger afflicts almost 900 million people across the planet, from the slums of Indian cities to neglected rural areas here in the U.S. Yet, though the challenge is huge, we have the resources to overcome this terrible scourge on the soul of humankind. What we need is the will to earnestly take on this struggle. We see the work of BGR as part of this effort, and we invite you to join us. It’s a task that calls on all of us. Let’s work together to create a world that enables everyone to thrive!
With thanks and blessings,
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
Chairperson and Founder