Welcome to the Vihara Foundation (VF), a scientific and educational non-government organization (NGO) with a mission of researching, designing, and implementing new and innovative sustainable strategies for addressing poverty and climate mitigation issues (globally). Our areas of focus are global, but with particular emphasis on Africa, Asia, Latin America and Caribbean.
VF aims to deliver sustainable livelihoods for the poverty stricken and at the same time contribute to and drive strategies for positive climate action. Recognizing poverty is a complex socio-economic-cultural subject which contributes negative impacts to the environment and climate change, VF's mission is to decomplex the problems at hand and provide sustainable solutions in the areas of agriculture, water and resource management and conservation, green and appropriate renewable energy, direct market access, creative financing for development and climate mitigation, education, healthcare, women's upliftment, youth engagement and other major development parameters all aimed at delivering sustainable solutions for the underlying problem statements. Here, innovation is driven to pursue a macro approach to aiding poverty and climate issues using a combination of “creativity through sustainability”, and “creativity in thinking” - two pillars for poverty alleviation and climate mitigation that augment and support present and important efforts by others already underway.
Founded by a team of very experienced and out-of-the-box-thinking sustainable development practitioners and scientists (positioned around the globe), and partnering with other highly professional Non-Government Organizations, academic and industry institutions, VF converges many years practical training and experience in the fields of energy and environment, natural resource management, human resource and business management, health, economics, social planning, and other areas of specialties in support of poverty alleviation and climate mitigation. It is also the strategic aim of VF to support the 2015 United Nations Millenium Development Goals as it carries out its mission and implementation of goals and objectives.
Addressing Poverty and Climate Change
Our first live poverty alleviation project is The Vihar Project (formerly called Bihar Project), a macro-scale, macro-economic, integrated, sustainable development undertaking that has developed (through intense grassroot level community based intervention) a "sustainable business model for addressing poverty alleviation".
One hundred rural villages comprising 100 square kilometers/50,000 hectares of gangiatic plains farmland in Ballia, (Eastern) Uttar Pradesh, India - one of the most poverty stricken regions of the world despite being some of the most fertlile lands globally - are earmarked for development. Collection of field data and economic research evaluates a sustainable economic turnover of one billion USD annually (achievable through sustainable intervention with an optimization increase of 66 percent target from present base measures).
The lessons being learned through the Vihar Project are intended for replication throughout India and elsewhere to other poverty stricken locations globally (in Africa, Latin America, and impoverished Republic of Haiti). Already, intervention has been made in Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to aid farmers there.
In recognition of the threat posed by Climate Change to the farming regions of India and globally, VF is also concurrently advancing a parallel macro-scale strategy of creative financing to support climate mitigation. This is a proposal with broad global applicability aimed at re-diverting energy inefficiency investments in the global building sector (40 percent of carbon emissions) into positive climate green finance action.
Both The Vihar Project and the Climate Mitigation Finance Proposal are represented by a creative financing methodology termed Total Life Cycle Valuing (TLCv). In fighting poverty, TLCv aims to free farmers and agrarian communities from dependence on development donors, and at the same time with respect to fighting global warming, turn energy-economic-carbon inefficiency into a global mechanism for financing building sector carbon reduction.
Addressing Creative Development Fundraising
VF recognizes that in order to address (at-scale) two of the world's biggest challenges (poverty and climate change), a sound funding base is necessitated. The aim to complete the implementation of the Vihar Project (as a globally recognized poverty alleviation business model prototype) and have it replicated into other needy sectors within meaningful measures of time, and, along with undertaking the cause of uprooting climate impacting energy inefficiency in the US and global building sector, will require a platform for innovative thinking to muster critical resource mobilization. For this, VF lauched the Rock against Poverty (RaP) Fundraising Campaign in 2010, and have steadily outgrown it over the years. As part of the recent 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, VF recently teamed with UNESCO Center for Peace New York and launched a jointly branded RaP/VF-UNESCO(USA/NYS).
Launch of Rock against Poverty Campaign by VF-UNESCO(USA/NYS) at the 68th Sessions of the United Nations General Assembly Side Event, New York City, September 24, 2013. In Picture is Dr. Joe Profit, President NFL Alumni Atlanta, and Keynote.
Our website is constrantly being upgraded and populated with information. Viewers wishing to see more interactive updates and project photos are encouraged to view our facebook page (below). Nonetheless, we hope your viewing of our website will be an eye-opening experience and will help you relate to how real and urgent poverty and climate issues are, and of the action being taken by VF to make a significant difference. Also, our website will aim to give you a comprehensive understanding into the depth of poverty (using real footage) and enhanced narratives of the situations at hand.
We also encourage you to understand how you (too) can play a vital role in supporting this initiative, by putting the smiles back onto the faces of the poor and destitute, and a face of quality of life and equality back into humanity, and helping our planet out of a crisis. We, along with the people of this development project, would be delighted if you would find the passion to loan your help and/or expertise to this important initiative, and/or, make a small contribution towards this humanitarian and environmental effort. Presently, many (like you) have stepped forward to support this cause.
Thanking you for your support,
Ambassador Byron Blake
Chairman of the Board of Directors, and, Former Senior Advisor to the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations & the G77 and China