A Brief History:
The Humanitus Foundation was conceptualised in late 2001 by Jeffrey Richards, Lars Christopher Cölle and the late Trent Okeefe. Operations were initially focused in Uganda through the office of the Ugandan Vice President, Professor Gilbert Bukenya. Projects were concentrated in the areas of education, rural diversification, health care/education and community radio.
Due to ever increasing logistical difficulties coupled with World Bank funding shortfalls, endemic corruption and personnel safety concerns, operations were ceased in late 2005. Sadly in early 2006 the chief proponent of the Humanitus Foundation, Trent Okeefe passed away suddenly. The Directors of the Humanitus Foundation were determined to continue with the legacy that Trent Okeefe had left behind. This continuity, albeit in a different region of the world, necessitated a great deal of planning and commitment from the remaining Directors and plans that were put in place in late 2005 would become a reality in South East Asia 18 months later.
The Humanitus Foundation would not exist today if it were not for a team of professional and dedicated humanitarians working selflessly in a concerted effort to make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate in developing nations.
What we stand for and what we do:
The name Humanitus is derived from the Latin word 'humanus' meaning; pertaining to man, humane, cultured.
The Humanitus Foundation is a community specific, non-political, non-religious, not-for-profit Australian registered charitable institution working within communities in SE Asia at all levels to achieve shared goals.
The Humanitus Foundation empowers indigenous communities and individuals through the development of educational and sustainable rural development opportunities. We work alongside many agencies, NGO's, CBO's, Government ministries, education providers and industry experts. Our current focus is in the SE Asia region. Humanitus is headquartered in Melbourne and has key team and board members in Germany, Sumatra and Cambodia.
Humanitus is a fully transparent foundation and undertakes only projects which have solid support at all levels. With key personnel based in SE Asia Humanitus can ensure that 100% of funds raised through partner schools, corporate sponsors and private donors are disbursed to directly benefit the recipient schools and communities.
Issues of appropriate education, rural development, sustainability, health care program implementation and inclusive growth are many and varied and Humanitus is continually reviewing these issues and amending or adding to programs as required.
Humanitus takes into account the views of communities, governments, NGO's and other interest groups when evaluating issues. As such, we appreciate feedback on our methodology, selection, implementation and evaluation of issues covered in our website.
Some examples of our work can be found below. If you have any queries about our work and ways you can get involved please don't hesitate to contact us.
Rural Development Programs
Through the generosity and commitment from our supporters Humanitus are currently funding a rural development program in Mkak Village in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. We are in the process of setting up the 'Humanitus Centre for Learning and Development' at Mkak Primary School and will soon be replicating this centre at a neighbouring village. The centres will not only benefit the children of the area, but the entire community, through a variety of skills learning programs that will be implemented. Funding was dispersed in September 2012 to cover initial expenses which include:
- English teachers salary
- Teacher training and wage subsidies
- Outfitting library with books, shelves, tables and chairs
- Solar power
- Computers and audio visual equipment
- Set up of 1 hectare organic farm learning centre including plants, building with kitchen and water well
Further necessary funds are being raised through the 'Track to Mkak' bikeride fundraiser in December 2012.
The proceeds from this fundraising ride through Cambodia will go towards the following projects in the district:
- Health checks and implementaion of health care program
- Computers and audio visual equipment for second centre for learning and development
- Refurbishing existing building in second centre
- Setting up a food bank
- Setting up a pharmacy
- Playground equipment for Mkak Primary School
- Raise ground level and install drainage at Mkak Primary School
- Library book and learning resources
- Water filtering systems
- Micro financing program
Humanitus Schools 2 Schools Program
Humanitus believes that all children and their communities deserve to reap the rewards of a quality and enlightening education to give them hope and the necessary skills for a better future. Education is one of the key factors in breaking the cycle of poverty.
Unfortunately many children throughout the world are denied this universal human right.
The Humanitus 'Schools 2 Schools' program is a unique program that partners Australian schools with schools in Indonesia and Cambodia.
Funds raised by partner schools in Australia, along with private donations, enables Humanitus to provide the necessary tools a child needs to succeed. From professionally trained teachers, safe classrooms, electricity, access to toilets and sanitation, fresh water and nutritious food, school uniforms, sports equipment, student and teacher resources, and even bicycles for those travelling long distances to attend school.
Through the partnering of Australian schools with schools in SE Asia a unique learning environment has been created for students and teachers. Through our programs we are able to enlighten and teach Australian children about positive and active global citizenship. The childrens involvement in these action projects ensures they develop important life-long learning skills whilst developing sustainable relationships with their SE Asian neighbours.
Projects of this nature promote empowerment and ownership of learning for all those involved.
Only through building relationships such as these can the goal of developing future sustainable communities become achieveable.
The main focus of The Humanitus Foundation 'Schools 2 Schools' projects in SE Asia involve schools in Australia or elsewhere 'adopting' a 'sister school' in SE Asia. Alternatively, dependant on current needs, schools can participate in 'one off' fundraisers for one of our schools in SE Asia.
The benefits of this Humanitus Foundation initiative include, but are not limited to the following:
- Individual schools in SE Asia are assisted with necessary funding and support from schools in Australia and elsewhere
- The funding/support provides sustainable assistance through community consultation
- Relationships between the schools are ongoing with the goal of developing sustainable communities
- Needs identified by Humanitus and local communities include; teaching resources and equipment, meals, access to clean drinking water, sanitation facilities, re-building/refurbishing/building of classrooms, solar power, assistance with supplementing teachers wages and any other needs that are identified by Humanitus and the relevant communities
- A unique learning environment for students and teachers has been created through the relationships that have developed
- Teaching resources (with an emphasis on literacy and numeracy) related to the needs of the schools have been developed by our Education Director
- Projects promote empowerment and ownership of learning for all involved
- A volunteer co-ordination program is in place for graduate teachers from Australian universities to train and mentor SE Asian teachers and students
- Scholarship programs for children in SE Asia, with community consultation, is a real possibility in the near future
We hope to give you a brief insight into what we are striving to achieve in SE Asia. It is difficult to encapsulate our work and vision simply in words and photographs and we urge those interested in our work to email us for further information. Please spend some time on our website to gain a better understanding of our achievements thus far and our vision for a better future for the people in these countries.