Blacksmith is a very great nonprofit with a clear, well focused and necessary mission of helping and bringing attention to children and people in developing countries fight pollution to improve their healths. Coming from a developing country myself in South America (Lima, Peru), I have seen first hand the struggles of many of these poverty stricken people who are left to fend for themselves with no avail in many cases to fight pollution. In many instances, they have no alternative because the source of pollution is their only source of income. I have not seen or heard of any other nonprofit that does this kind of work, that links environmental consequences to health. I think that many people still do not consider how important the link between environmental pollution and human health is and this nonprofit does exactly that, show the links and try to bring a solution to both parties. I have volunteered at this nonprofit and I'm glad to see that their staff is very dedicated, knowledgeable and believe firmly in this cause which is something I have seen lacking in other nonprofits and companies alike. They do strive to make a difference and do not get discouraged when things get tough.
The Blacksmith Institute is a great organization. It does marvelous work in tremendously challenged environmentally endangered densely populated areas in the emerging world. Leveraging the expertise of thought leaders in their field who are on their board of advisors, buy in from federal/local governments, on the ground blacksmith personnel and the leverage of monies raised in conjunction with additional funds from countries and household name ngo's. Their record of success is inspiring.
Blacksmith is a highly effective organization in finding solutions to many areas of health threatening pollution around the world using their access to leading expertise in analysis and subsequent cleaning of highly toxic environmental situations that, simply put, save lives, particularly of children whose bodies are more susceptible to its dangers. Often the world's quest to support itself economically yields dangerous by products of toxic waste which causes severe health crises that only Blacksmith seem to be able and willing to tackle.
Blacksmith Institute (BI) has a specific mission to address the world's worst polluted places. Legacy and on-going pollution, particularly in the developing world, result in death, reduced life expectancy, and an inability to work and provide support for families. As a 30-year environmental consultant, this was an area that I had always wanted to be involved with. I just did not know how. I responded to a notice in a professional society newsletter and went to NYC to meet the founder of BI, Richard Fuller. I was full of excitement after spending time with this charismatic visionary. I have helped BI ever since by being a member of the Technical Advisory Board. I have been blessed to travel to Mexico to work with the government and an NGO to remediate lead-contaminated workshops and encourage the switch to the use of lead-free glazes in the ceramics. I have also been to Senegal to assess and remediate lead-contaminated soil in a community where at least 18 infants died from lead poisoning. The source of the contamination was the improper "recycling" of used lead-acid batteries, an epidemic throughout the developing world. When I consider what I have been directly involved with in the past year, I can hardly believe it. This is one of few great NGOs that actually spend donor money on direct community-based results that save lives and provide alternatives to adverse environmental practices. I volunteer my time, donate money and provide technical expertise and support.
Review from Guidestar
I've been volunteering with Blacksmith Institute since 2006 when a former student recommended they contact me for some environmental advice. As Professor of Environmental Health at Hunter College School of Public Health, I'm contact often with these requests and freely offer my professional guidance to NGOs. My specific role as "science advisor" continues and I've been asked to provide technical assistance in the area of env sampling, assessment, biological monitoring and hazard evaluation. They are always receptive to following scientific protocol and implementing all my recommendations. Volunteering with Blacksmith, I've traveled to many countries assessing toxic waste sites and truly experiencing the dreadful conditions that exists worldwide. Ultimately the visions, stories and data from visiting toxic sites are integrated into my graduate courses where students are made aware. They are shocked when they see the conditions and motivated to pursue public health.
Review from Guidestar