What is Bridging the Divide?
Bridging the Divide is a US-based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting social, political and economic rights in the Middle East, the Caucasus and Africa, specifically in those countries and sub-regions where major economic, political and religious divisions persist. We currently have offices in Vermont, Washington DC, Iraq and Lebanon.
What exactly do you do?
We operate on the community, national and international levels by investing in local civil society organizations that will enhance the lives of the most marginalized, while simultaneously advocating in the United States for policies that will contribute to a fairer and safer world.
Why is this important?
The tragedy of 9/11 was one of a series of recent reminders of how interconnected our world has become. Festering grievances in remote places unknown to most Americans can have terrible consequences for worldwide peace and prosperity. More spending on military and security operations is but a small part of the solution. Only by becoming globally engaged and informed will we truly achieve a more just and peaceful future.
Are you political?
We do not engage in partisan politics, but through advocacy, education and outreach, we promote positions that can have profound implications for better relations between the United States and troubled nations in the Middle East and Africa.
What makes Bridging the Divide different from other organizations?
Unlike most traditional charitable organizations, we do not run large, full-service overseas operations. Instead our experience has taught us that the best way to succeed over the long term is by investing in reputable local groups. This assures both sustainability and cost-efficiency. In addition, we seek innovative ways to use new information technologies to unite Americans and overseas communities in pursuit of common goals.
Is another international non-profit really needed?
We believe that foreign aid as it has been practiced since WW II is overly expensive, bureaucratic and leads to an unhealthy dependency. The communications revolution and the flourishing of local organizations provide us with creative new means of assisting others.
What is your experience?
Bridging the Divide’s leadership has a combined ten decades of field experience in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean, with some of the world’s largest and best known non-profits. We have worked in many of the most challenging places in the world, like Iraq, Haiti, Kosovo, and the Congo.
Where does your funding come from?
We accept funds from governments, foundations, individuals and businesses, but strive to ensure that we are beholden to no group other than our constituents in the developing world.
What is your due diligence process?
Each partner organization is subject to a comprehensive evaluation of their organizational, operational and financial management. Our experienced staff on the field provides technical assistance to mitigate any compliance issues. Our due diligence process, performed through regular audits and technical assistance, enables a continuous improvement toward international best practices, accountability and transparency.
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