See, this is what I’m talking about.
When we talk about the atheist/ humanist community getting involved in humanitarian or social justice issues which disproportionately affect marginalized people — this is what we’re talking about. (Well, one of the things.)
Humanist Foundation Rallying Support for Refugee Children
Campaign to focus on legal advocates for unaccompanied children
(Atlanta, GA) – Foundation Beyond Belief, the nation’s largest humanist charity organization, announced Monday a campaign to raise funds for the legal representation of child refugees who have fled poverty and violence to reach the Southern border of the United States in recent months. The Humanist Crisis Response program is a joint initiative of Foundation Beyond Belief and the American Humanist Association.
FBB has chosen two beneficiaries for the funds raised by this campaign: Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, both of which focus on providing attorneys to represent these children in immigration hearings, which are required by federal law. Legal assistance will help the children navigate an immigration system that they have difficulty understanding. KIND and The Florence Project have offices in Texas, Arizona and California and are already offering this assistance, but they need the resources to handle the sudden influx of new refugees.
While many organizations have focused on the crucial task of providing food, shelter and other basic needs for the refugee children, little attention has been paid to getting the legal help they need to navigate an immigration system they don’t understand. KIND and The Florence Project have offices in Texas, Arizona and California and are already offering their assistance, but they need the resources to handle the sudden influx of new refugees.
The overwhelming majority of these child refugees are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and the conditions they left for their dangerous journey to the United States are marked with violence, poverty, and instability. For young girls, especially, sexual violence is a major driving factor. An estimated 86% of these children face immigration hearings alone, with no adult to advise, protect, or explain the situation to them.
“As this crisis has unfolded, it has become clear that a major need for these children is not food and shelter but legal advocacy to protect their basic rights,” said Dale McGowan, executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief. “No child should meet a national immigration system alone. KIND and The Florence Project are doing brilliant work to ensure that they are not alone, and the humanist community is proud to support them.”
“This campaign is an opportunity for humanists to put into practice our values of justice and human rights and to ensure that vulnerable children receive the legal representation that they need,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.
This will be the first Humanist Crisis Response campaign undertaken since FBB and the American Humanist Association joined their efforts earlier this year.
For more information or to interview Dale McGowan, contact Media Relations Coordinator Ed Brayton at 616-894-3123 or [email protected] For more information or comment from the American Humanist Association, contact Communications Associate Merrill Miller at 202-238-9088 ext. 105 or merrill[email protected]
Foundation Beyond Belief is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation created to focus, encourage, and demonstrate humanist generosity and compassion. Its members and supporters have raised over $1.6 million for charities around the world and established a network of over 90 humanist volunteer teams in cities across the U.S. For more information, visit www.FoundationBeyondBelief.org.
I just donated. Even small amounts help — they really do add up. Please give what you can. Thanks.