Why Support the INEB COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund?
In response to the unbearable levels of suffering among the poorest and most marginalized communities in South and Southeast Asia, the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) has set up a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. As we write to you, the World Food Program is warning of a famine of biblical proportions as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our network partners are already providing food and medical relief and we know the most critical needs will increase exponentially over the coming weeks. Our goal is to be able to increase our response to the most urgent needs for food supplies, hygiene and sanitary supplies, in addition to medicine, hospital beds, and toilets.
We know this is a difficult time to ask for your support, but this is the moment when even a small contribution can save lives.
Founded in 1989 in Siam (Thailand), the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) is a vast global network of ordained and lay Buddhists working to integrate the practice of Buddhism with social action for a healthy, just and peaceful world. For 30 years INEB has been pioneering grassroots, community led solutions to end poverty, inequality and social injustice among the poorest and most marginalized communities in South and Southeast Asia. This commitment to a global community, based on the universal truths of wisdom and compassion, guides all our activities. As practitioners of a buddhism with a small “b” – in the words of our founder, Ajahn Sulak Sivaraksa – we actively work with social activists, spiritual leaders, academics and young people from Buddhist as well as non-Buddhist backgrounds. Click here to read more about INEB
The communities that we work with in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar are those that are often ignored or actively discriminated against even by their own governments. They need our help to survive the pandemic. Thanks to our global network of organizations we have unparalleled access to some of the most at-risk communities, enabling us to distribute emergency relief quickly, efficiently and equitably.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the global economy to a standstill and exposed even more clearly the social distortions and growing inequalities of our present global order. We are all suffering together, especially the most vulnerable groups, even in rich countries. Persons living in poverty and on the margins of society – whether by race, religion, class, citizenship or place of birth, or gender – have been the most vulnerable to the disease on a variety of levels: crowded living conditions and the absolute need to continue to work that increases exposure, weaker immune systems from the effects of poverty (stress, diet, etc.), and poorer access to testing and medical services.
To respond to the COVID-19 crisis INEB has developed a three-part initiative:
1. Forming an emergency response fund – Mindful Action: COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund – to support the most vulnerable groups in regions and countries in the INEB network, specifically in South and Southeast Asia.
2. Issuing a statement of solidarity with other religions to call for an end to responses to the pandemic that inflict suffering on vulnerable and marginalized groups while encouraging action to provide immediate and long-term support to these groups. Click here to see the statement
3. Developing a four-part strategic plan to realize shifts in consciousness and the building of alternative structures that create societies that can flourish and endure the sorts of dislocations that COVID-19 and environmental changes will bring to our world.
This note was received from our local partner who was able to bring critical food supplies to a Dalit (Untouchable) village in India in response to emergency aid that our network was able to provide. Imagine the scene repeated over and over as we are able to bring help in the form of food and basic medical supplies to these at-risk marginalized communities thanks to your generous support.
“We distributed free one-month rations to more than 100 families of marginalized communities based in Vannur, Villipuram District, Tamil Nadu on April 13th, 2020. The distribution items included Rice 20 kg, Sugar 1 kg, Salt 1kg, Dal 1 kg, and 1 litre edible oil along with vegetables.
This village does not have proper food, livelihood, and other basic amenities and is largely inhabited by Dalits. There were tears in the eyes of villagers as no one has ever visited them or even listened to their social suffering which they were undergoing from both caste and the lockdown. Caste discrimination has treated them so badly that they were denied to receive support from anyone outside. The people are begging for food in this village.”
INEB Partners’ Relief Effort
Atish Dipankar Society – (ADS)
The Atish Dipankar Society is distributing humanitarian relief aid to poor local Buddhists as well as to people in Muslim and Hindu neighborhoods who have lost daily livelihoods and income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and government lockdown. The corona virus is spreading rapidly among Bangladesh’s dense population, where now millions are without work and food.
THE ADS humanitarian response includes distributing food – rice, potatoes cooking oil, onions, wheat and salt, as well as soap. We have also provided 12 hospital beds. The humanitarian response also includes sanitizing areas by helping spray inside and outside homes and other buildings.
Parbatya Bouddha Mission – (PBM)
Parbatya Bouddha Mission (PBM) is a non-profit, non-government, socio-economic, humanitarian and religious (Buddhism) development Organization. It was established in 1983 with the end at highlighting socio- cultural and socio-economic condition of poor peoples of Chittagong Hill Tracts and since then this organization tirelessly pursuing its mission for uplifting the conditions of Ethnic Indigenous Minorities of the region. At present PBM is mainly working in the Khagrachari & Rangamati Hill District in Chittagong Hill Tracts. But it has planned to expand its activities in another Hill Districts in Chittagong Hill Tracts and others region of the Country.
All Manipur Buddhist Association (AMBA)
Nagaloka Relief Fund
Foundation of His Sacred Majesty
Siddhartha’s Intent Society & Youth Buddhist Society of India (YBS)
Kalyana Mitta Foundation – KMF
Phaung Daw Oo Monastic School
The Spirit in Education Movement – SEM
Bikalpa Gyan Tatha Bikas Kendra
Bikalpa Gyan Tatha Bikas Kendra is an organization based in Kathmandu Valley that is helping vulnerable children from families living in extreme poverty, especially children from slum areas. Their programs focus on education, peace and nonviolence. Bikalpa runs alternative education programs for many children who are outside the formal education system: such as Mobile School, Doorstep School and Open Class with the motto, “If the children cannot come to the school, the school goes to them.”
The COVID-19 situation has left many families from the slum communities with no livelihoods or ability to earn a living. Bikalpa Nepal will respond to their urgent needs by providing basic food and soap to families residing in Kathmandu’s slum areas.
Chokgyur Lingpa Foundation
INEB was established in Siam (Thailand) by Sulak Sivaraksa and a group of Buddhist and non-Buddhist thinkers and social activists. Over the years the network has expanded to include members, both individuals and organizations, from more than 25 countries across Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. INEB operates as an autonomous organization under the Sathirakoses-Nagapradeepa Foundation (SNF), Thai NGO, established 1968.
Vision and Objectives
INEB’s overall vision is to develop the perspective and practice of socially engaged Buddhism that:
- Promotes understanding, cooperation, and networking among inter-Buddhist and inter-religious social action groups, as well as a variety of secular civil society organizations.
- Acts as an information resource related to areas of social concern
- Facilitates conferences, education, and training based on Buddhist values and practices that support and strengthen socially active individuals and groups
The focus of INEB’s work is to overcome suffering through the practice of dharma. This practice creates unity and solidarity with individuals and groups who hold similar such values from other beliefs and other fields of social work. In this way, INEB remains steadfast in its commitment to non-violent engagement and articulating holistic social development to build sustainable and harmonious societies.