Ambassadors to UNICEF
Voices for Justice represents a unified voice for every child whose rights have been denied and for every child whose voice has been silenced. Voices for Justice supports the efforts of UNICEF’s life saving work with quarterly monetary contributions.
UNICEF works in more than 180 countries and territories providing health care, clean water, improved nutrition, and education to millions of children in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Our last contribution through the “trick or treat” for UNICEF Program provided funding for vaccination and immunization for Nigerian children.
Last year Voices for Justice was given the title of Ambassadors for Unicef for helping to raise funds for an after school program at a Palestinian Youth Center. Thank you to all who helped make this possible!
Summer 2016 Program
Supporting Children and Youth Summer, 2016
The Team has generously donated to the Davidson Clubhouse, a program of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Petaluma. The Davidson Clubhouse provides healthy snacks, breakfast, lunch, and engaging activities to at-risk children and youth in the summer months. 83% of the students that attend Davidson Middle School in San Rafael qualify for free or reduced lunch.
A unified voice for every child whose rights have been denied and for every child whose voice has been silenced, Voices for Justice supports the efforts of many humanitarian organizations in their works for children’s rights, survival, development and protection with monetary, service, and advocacy contributions.
Health and Well-being
Hamaseh Kianfar (website link), and her team: Samira Behjat, Emily Hedges and Neda Ana Tejada Castillo, of Voices for Justice had the opportunity to meet with the President and CEO of Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA), a non-profit organization, to discuss their mutual commitment to social justice and HIV/AIDS prevention. Voices for Justice continues to support AIDS prevention works in Malawi, in creating long-term healthcare capacity through nursing scholarships, to empowering women, to caring for orphans and providing HIV treatment and prevention to vulnerable villagers.
Voices for Justice launched an annual baby knit cap project. For many years handmade knit caps have been donated to orphanages, hospitals, clinics and schools in Malawi (Africa) and Bangladesh. Malawi is one of the 11 poorest countries in Africa and there are 550,000 orphaned children currently living in Malawi. Both Malawi and Bangladesh have high rates of infant death. The caps are distributed through collaboration with other humanitarian organizations, including Save the Children.
In support of the United Nations Missions to eliminate poverty and hunger and to achieve universal primary education, Voices for Justice has developed ongoing programs of food drives to eliminate hunger; and to contribute towards universal primary education, including:
- holding a quarterly food drive to support families in need in Marin County.
- collecting non-perishable food items to be donated to Women’s and Homeless Shelters in December, March, June, and September
AIDS Walk San Francisco
Voices for Justice has been volunteering and participating in Annual AIDS Walk San Francisco. The events are always well attended and raise awareness of the severity of HIV/AIDS. Voices for Justice is dedicated to raising awareness of the HIV/AIDS crisis in our local communities and internationally.
Hamaseh Kianfar has an extensive research on HIV and Living Positively and her research may be found at hamasehkianfar.com; and her co-authored article on: A Qualitative Study Examining HIV Antiretroviral Adherence Counseling and Support in Community Pharmacies may be found at 454 Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy JMCP July/August 2013 Vol. 19, No. 6.
Hamaseh Kianfar also gave a presentation on Living Positively: Narratives of Forgiveness and Imagination Among Women With HIV at Dominican University, as part of the ongoing program: Building Bridges of Understanding. hamasehkianfar.com/living-positively/
Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, San Francisco
Did you know? Breast cancer is a leading cause of death for women in the world Three million women in the United States are living with breast cancer In the past five years, 4.4 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer and survived.
Voices for Justice supported The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and the Avon Foundation for promoting awareness and providing education throughout the world about the severity of breast cancer.
Voices for Justice has hosted panels, roundtable discussions and small group meetings focused on education to understand the signs of domestic violence, and has also partnered with SWO in addressing domestic violence. sufiwomen.org/projects.html. One of the joint projects included the presentation of a panel discussion entitled: Recognizing Women’s Rights and Creating a Safe Place. This program was in collaboration with the Annual Sufism Symposium, featuring women psychologists and attorneys, and was presented in Farsi.
Collectively VFJ will continue its program in adopting a classroom in Central America, in 2016. Adopt a classroom in Central America is focused towards preschool aged children in rural areas. We will continue to provide school supplies to each child in selected areas.
VFJ also initiated a program to improve understanding among youth of different spiritual backgrounds, enabling them to learn of each other’s traditions and establish bonds of friendship and open communications. They presented a panel discussion at an Annual Sufism Symposium.
In partnership with Sufi Women Organization, Hamaseh Kianfar (Voices for Justice) and Samira Behjat (Voices for Justice) conceived a Cross Cultural Study of Middle Eastern Families who emigrated to the United States, addressing the challenges of adjusting to a new culture, language and environment, and the potential effects on intra-generational relationships. sufiwomen.org/projects.html
Human Rights Outreach
The Building Bridges of Understanding Series hosted the Honorable Shirin Beady, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, for a visiting lecture in Angelico Hall of Dominican University of California. Dr. Ebadi lectured on “Human Rights” to a packed audience, who were very eager to hear about human rights by one of the world’s leading activists. Her lecture was part of the ongoing Building Bridges of Understanding Educational Partnership between the International Association of Sufism and the Humanities Department of Dominican University of California.
Voices for Justice Chair, Hamaseh Kianfar, hamasehkianfar.org, welcomed Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi, and members of the Team held a conversation with her at the reception held in her honor.
Honors and Awards
Voices for Justice was nominated for the Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence for the Heart of Marin Award, in 2007. The celebration was a gathering of many outstanding people and organizations.