Building Proceeds at KHPS

CLASSROOM BUILDING PROCEEDS AT KASESE HUMANIST SCHOOL

MEDIA RELEASE

28 DECEMBER 2013 - The Kasese Humanist School, with the support of Atheist Alliance International, is on-track to complete its new classroom structures within the next 6 months to start use in the Fall of 2014.

The Kasese Humanist School opened in 2008 in a rented warehouse building with 30 students. Its vision was to educate the next generation in science and reason without religious indoctrination. With AAI's help, the school has received sponsorships and supplies and has been growing each year. As of 2013, the school had hosted over 3,000 students, with the past term alone educating almost 300 students.

In 2013, the Kasese United Humanist Association - the sponsor of the Kasese school - recognized that they needed to create a permanent space specifically built to accommodate a school environment.  With AAI's help, they launched a capital campaign to purchase land and build new classroom buildings.  Construction started in fall of 2013.

Here are pictures of the recent construction:

    

 



The success of the Kasese school has come about because of our members' support.

Thank you for your support in making this project so successful!

You can contribute to this project by making a contribution here.


AAI Receives UN Special Consultative Status

Atheist Alliance International obtains UN Special consultative status

Atheist Alliance International (AAI) has been accorded Special consultative status by the United Nations, enabling the organization to better serve the need of the world’s growing non-religious population and defend the interests of atheists and non-believers who are facing persecution from governments.

“Atheists face discrimination in many countries of world – including threats of imprisonment and even death – and often at the hands of their own governments,“ said AAI president Stuart Bechman. “With our new status we will be better able to provide these people with a voice in the international community.”

The UN approved AAI’s new status at its July 2013 Substantive Session following the recommendation of the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations. AAI is now able to actively engage with the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and its subsidiaries, as well as with the United Nations Secretariat, and affiliated programmes, funds and agencies.

AAI will be able to have official representatives to the UN Headquarters in New York and its Geneva and Vienna offices. AAI representatives will be able to register for and participate in events, conferences and activities of the UN. The organization may now also designate representatives to sit as observers at public meetings of ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, the General Assembly, Human Rights Council and other UN intergovernmental decision-making bodies.

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AAI Supports Critical Thinking & Secular Ethics Program in Cambodia


Atheist Alliance International (AAI) is proud to partner with the Cambodian Children's Trust (CCT) to support Critical Thinking & Secular Ethics, a program to help educate Cambodian children for life.

The Critical Thinking & Secular Ethics project primarily works with children from 5 - 18 years of age.  The classes introduce children to the concept of a ‘community of inquiry’, exploring ethical dilemmas with the aim of developing skills to evaluate arguments and counter arguments, which will ultimately deepen their knowledge and understanding of the complexities of daily life.

The program focusses initially on children in CCT's care and street children who are part of the CCT community in Battambang Province, with over 140 participants at present.  Over time, it is hoped that the project will be expanded to include interested Khmer teachers, international volunteers and, ultimately, schools and NGOs in Cambodia.

Tara Winkler, founder of the Cambodian Children's Trust, said "We are very excited about this program - it has enormous potential to teach Cambodian children critical thinking skills and secular ethics, which will benefit them throughout their lives."

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AAI, CFI and IHEU criticise "World Statesmen Award" for Indonesian President

Atheist Alliance International (AAI), the Center for Inquiry (CFI) the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) are dismayed that the Appeal of Conscience Foundation has decided to award Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono the World Statesmen Award at its 2013 Special Awards Dinner.  Indonesia's record on human rights and religious freedom is very poor and, as President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono bears a significant degree of responsibility for the situation.  We urge the Appeal of Conscience Foundation to re-consider this decision and alter its processes so that a similar mistake is not made in the future.

AAI, CFI and IHEU have campaigned specifically in the case of Alexander Aan, an Indonesian atheist who was attacked and arrested after posting 'there is no God' on Facebook in 2012, and notes that there are many cases of abuse against religious minorities in Indonesia, as documented by a February 2013 report by Human Rights Watch (Aan's case is mentioned on page 81).  Human Rights Watch described President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as "inconsistent at best in defending the right to religious freedom".

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AAI demands release of Bangladesh bloggers, protection of free expression

Image: Asif Mohiuddin. Source: The Daily Star

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Atheist Alliance International (AAI) urges global governments to petition the government of Bangladesh to immediately release bloggers who have been arrested for allegedly "hurting religious sentiments” and, further, to demand that the state take resolute steps to protect atheists and religious minorities from real and pressing threats of violence.  On 2 April, police arrested Subrata Adhikari Shuvo, Mashiur Rahman Biplob and Rasel Parvez. The following day, authorities detained blogger Asif Mohiuddin, a writer who was attacked on 13 January by militant Islamists. The attack on Asif was followed a month later by the violent murder of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider.

“That a government will arrest people for exercising free speech and expression when those people are themselves under threat from religiously-inspired criminals is a tremendous injustice and an outrage to humanity,” said AAI President Carlos A. Diaz.  "This is contrary to basic human rights and Bangladesh's own constitution."  The arrests of the bloggers, three of whom were paraded in handcuffs at a press conference on 2 April, came after pressure from Islamists, who have organised a march to the capital on the weekend of 6/7 April to demand the death penalty for atheist bloggers.  “That the government has caved-in to a violent sectarian movement, by arrests and shutting of websites, does not bode well for the country’s future,” Diaz said. “The state should act to ensure a vibrant civil society by protecting free expression, especially the expression of minority viewpoints.”

AAI calls on the international community, concerned individuals and organisations to take a firm stand in supporting freedom of expression and freedom of conscience. Religious tolerance and pluralism are strongest when freedom of expression, including freedom to challenge religious viewpoints, is protected for all peoples.

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