Posted By site administrator on November 12, 2013
(Editor’s Note: This guest blog was written for the Humanity Project by Tina Cornely, founder and CEO of the nonprofit, Bridging Humanity. You can read more about Ms. Cornely in her bio at the end of this blog.)
A friend recently asked me to expand on why I founded Bridging Humanity. Initially I was not too keen about the idea of starting yet another nonprofit. There were already enough of them out there and I wondered to myself, do we really need another one? Rosa de la Cruz, a friend and supporter, strongly urged me to reconsider my position on the matter. There were other strong community leaders suggesting I take the plunge. Charity work was nothing new to me. I was the past Chair of the Friends of the Orphans local chapter and had already spent a lifetime of vacations volunteering at orphanages around the world.
Tina Cornely teaches a young Nepal monk to turn trash into art-for-sale
Once the decision was made, the doing became effortless. Bridging Humanity is essentially what the name implies and in effect is the embodiment of Karuna. One of the principles of Karuna is to help the weak become strong. But, how do you accomplish this? This question would change the course of my career path as I struggled and endeavored to better understand the challenges faced by the poor here in the U.S. and abroad. This new course led me to many exciting discoveries as I started to realize and understand, it really is not that hard. If you have the Will, the Universe will help you find the Way. To really make a meaningful difference, a holistic and all encompassing approach is the answer.
Essentially I teach the poor how to grow their own food and prepare nutritious balanced meals. Cooking food is challenging in developing countries so I teach the poor how to make eco friendly briquettes or bamboo charcoal. Additionally bamboo is a prolific plant and can deter deforestation. Contaminated water is the number one killer of children world wide and this simply should not be! Purifying water is as easy as sealing contaminated water in a clear plastic bottle and leaving it in the sun for 4 hours. Conversely millions of women die each year from child birth because family planning medicine is a luxury the poor can’t afford. This should not be when the solution is as simple as a fertility necklace! A calendar based necklace that helps women manage their menstrual cycle so they know when they can get pregnant. Trash is a valuable resource that is available in abundance in developing countries. Repurposing trash into useful items is a way for the poor to earn a living. These are just a few examples of ways one can help the poor become more self sufficient. If you want to help the poor then I urge you to read Bridging Humanity’s “Nine Steps to Eradicate Poverty.” Please join us in this important endeavor. Your expertise, time, connections and donations are of great value. Click here to visit our website and let us know how you would like to get more involved to help make a difference in the lives of orphaned children and the less fortunate. Our next trip is just around the corner. Each year we visit Haiti at Christmas so the homeless children who live in the tent city of the Cite de Soleil are not forgotten. We could really use your help rounding up toy donations and school supplies.
About the Author: Tina Cornely was born in St. Mary’s, Georgia and educated in Honduras, Switzerland and the United States. She is an enthusiastic humanitarian, environmental activist and eco artist. She specialized her business career in the fields of technology, education & museum administration. She is the former Director of Technology of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the former Operations Director of the Miami Art Museum in Miami and a 16 year veteran teacher from the University of Miami, Florida. Ms. Cornely for more than three decades has made her home in Miami, where her creativity and passion for the less fortunate continues to grow and expand. She has been on the board of trustees of the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance for 6 years and is the past Chair of the Friends of the Orphans Southeastern Region. She currently is the Founder & CEO of Bridging Humanity, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching the less fortunate how to become self sufficient.