Step Aside Bill Gates, Family Philanthropy is Possible for Everyone

WHAT IS PHILANTHROPY?

Philanthropy  means “love of humanity” in the sense of caring, nourishing, developing and enhancing “what it is to be human” on both the benefactors’ (by identifying and exercising their values in giving and volunteering) and beneficiaries’ (by benefiting) parts. The most conventional modern definition is “private initiatives, for public good, focusing on quality of life”. citated from Wikipedia.

Bright Star Philanthropy Partners  (BSPP) is a shared value community development initiative of Bright Star Grant Consultants. BSPP identifies and supports  leaders to realize solutions that they design and execute with BSPP collaborations, technical assistance, and grants.

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Tools and seeds donated for family gardens. Bright Star Philanthropy Partners volunteer Alex Larkin Chajul, Guatemala

WHAT IS THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT POVERTY?

  There doesn’t seem to be any when every day there is a news story about suffering in Africa, homelessness in our great cities, the working poor who work multiple jobs day and night to keep families together. In the face of such overwhelming problems, we tend to go numb, glaze over, and move on to the celebrity or comics page.

 The good news is that there are ways for you to reach out and create a life changing difference with a small amount of money. This is fabulous for people who have never felt able to donate to causes that they believe in. Parents of all social strata are now able to teach their children the ethic of philanthropy by making it a family project, or by making gifts of volunteerism in lieu of material gifts. Those in need benefit from lifting themselves out of poverty with pride, and thereby changing their communities for the better one person, one family at a time. The time for, “someone should do something about this” is now.

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WHAT IF YOU ARE WITHOUT A DOLLAR TO SPARE?

More and more, middle and high school students around the country are being required to perform community service hours as part of their learning experience.

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I Cannot Fail. There Are No Second Chances.

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Mani+/NutriPlus has developed a Ready-To-Use Supplementary Food (RUSF) that rapidly and effectively combats the specific forms of malnutrition found in Guatemala

“I cannot fail.  There are no second chances”, said Miguel Cuj: Director of Research and Nutritionist for Mani+/Nutri Plus., Guatemala

Bright Star Grant Consultants Vice President, Janet Bourque, met Miguel in January 2011 when she volunteered to teach conversational English to Mayan university students in a program sponsored by the Maya Education Foundation in Antigua, Guatemala.  Miguel is an exceptional scholar that has played a “game changing” role in relationship to hunger and malnutrition in Guatemala.  As a professional colleague and friend, Miguel shares with Bright Star Philanthropy Partners our goal of shared value solutions in collective impact poverty alleviation through innovative solutions to hunger and malnutrition.

Miguel entered and graduated from University at a time when the percent of Mayans with this achievement was so small as to be hardly counted. He accomplished this through determination, passion for making a difference in the lives of his Mayan country men, and support from organizations and mentors who recognized his brilliance. His story is one of inspiration for Mayans and for those who support them.  Here is Miguel Cuj’s story, in his own words:

“I was born during a civil war. Fear and hunger were the everyday experiences of my childhood. In my own personal and professional experience as a Maya person in Guatemala, I see that my country still suffers from violence, racism, social and economic inequality, although the conflict officially ended in 1996 with the Peace Accords. It is for this reason that my interest developed in the holistic, qualitative and quantitative social health of my country. I would like to further my research into the political, economic, and social causes that result in the high rates of malnutrition in Guatemala. “

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Partners With A Purpose: Food Security

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Guatemala currently has one of the highest rates of chronic malnutrition in the world. More than 65% of rural area Guatemalan children under age 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition and hunger (UNICEF). Coffee leaf infestation by the fungus Roya has destroyed up to 80% of the coffee crop of the small holder farms in the highlands of Guatemala. The economic impact of income loss for day laborers is severe. There are reports that up to 85% of the children in the rural area of Chajul, Quiche, Guatemala are at high risk for malnutrition and hunger. Some reports are saying that Guatemala is the most mal-nourished country in the western hemisphere.

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Community Development Through Collaborative Action

 We are change agents.   Under the leadership of MANUEL LAYNEZ and Bright Star Philanthropy Partners we will change the situation of hunger for the Ixil Maya.  We will increase crop production and develop new jobs. We will change the barriers against education for the families with no resources. We will do this together because we know that if you practice the same things always, the results will be the same.  One has to practice different ways to get different results.

 

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