Everyday, Burners Without Borders transforms communities through innovative disaster relief programs and community initiatives that make a lasting impact. 



Announcing the BWB Community Grant Winners for 2017

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The Burners Without Borders Community Micro-Grant program started in 2008 and has awarded over $170,000 over the course of its existence.  Grants of $100-1,500 are given to projects aimed at creating positive impact in the world, by leveraging a relatively small amount of money against the mighty power of the community’s capacity to make a difference.

This year the program received 55 proposals from all over the world, addressing a myriad of social issues. The judging process was tough, but in the end, 21 projects received grants. This years projects ranged from makerspaces, permaculture and farming, educational workshops, and addressing water issues. Thank you to all who applied to this years program.

Do you have an idea for a project in your community? You are invited to apply in April, 2018.

2017 BWB Community Micro-Grant Recipients:

Disaster Hackerspace, Kathmandu, Nepal

Disaster Hackerspace is an open-sourced model hackerspace in Kathmandu, Nepal to aid in the recovery and development of the city after the earthquake two years ago. The space offers coding education, 3d printed prosthesis, drone and art projects and a tech business incubation lab.

The space has already served over 180 students with web development skills,  has helped train Nepal’s prosthetists how to utilize additive 3d printing technologies, facilitated over 400 volunteers desire to help, installed Nepal’s largest street art installation, and burned a 30ft x 50ft sculpture in a rural village.

Ascential Language and Arts School, Ometepe, Nicaragua

Ascential Language & Arts School (ALAS) program in Ometepe, Nicaragua teaches villagers English through a unique curriculum combining elements of Dance, Art, Music and Martial Arts. Currently, the school has over 250 students attending in the communities of Merida, El Congo, San Ramon and Altagracia.  

Support Farmer to Farmer Education, Philippines

Friends of ENCA Farm supports education, cultural preservation and food security in the Philippines. Through educating and empowering farmers to return to the historical practice of saving seeds, farmers are no longer dependent on purchasing seeds after each planting and forced to use harmful chemicals to grow these seeds. Through Friends’ farmer-to-farmer led education and training programs, organic smallholder farmers in the Philippines gain the hands-on skills and knowledge they need to propagate, store, save, and sell their own regionally adapted organic seeds.

Foodsharing For Everyone, Copenhagen, Denmark

>An organized group has been collecting unused food from the largest wholesalers in the city and redistributing it to those who are in need. Last year, 250 volunteers participated in collecting over 60 tons of food to give throughout the last year.  Food distribution events are held every other week in Copenhagen attracting an average of 300 recipients at each one. 

Zuma Poop, Oaxaca, Mexico

ZumaPoop aims to provide sustainable hygiene practices for the children of Moctezuma, a rural community in Oaxaca, Mexico that lacks water and sewage infrastructure. It is a social project composed of an educational program about ecological sanitation and the design and construction with community participation of sustainable composting-toilets and hand-washing units.

EcoPazifico, Colombia 

This project involves building recycling stations on the Pacific coast of Colombia. There will be 30 recycling stations constructed that each will involve its own artistic theme, a sign, a bench, roof, and bins. An ecological pathway will be created to connect three neighboring communities with the stations lined up along the way. The local Colombian army is assisting this project as well and will help collect plastics on the beach to distribute to the recycling stations. 

Telluride Children Arts and Fire, Telluride, Colorado

Coldharbour Institute and Telluride Fire Festival collaborate each year to bring a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) program which engages historically underrepresented (economically, racially, physically) students from three very rural areas of Colorado and brings them to Telluride for two weekends. In November they bring them first to work in the Deep Creek Experimental Mine with experienced burner artists who develop and execute an amazing burn sculpture together. In January, they bring them back to exhibit at the Telluride Fire Festival and experience the wonder of all the artists and visitors.

Permaculture Action Days ‘On the Road to Burning Man’,
Multiple Locations (Seattle, Las Vegas, Big Pine Paiute)

Permaculture Action Network will be organizing a series of action days with local communities in Seattle, Las Vegas, and the Big Pine Paiute Tribe.  Volunteers & Artists come together to make a day of impact in their hometowns with a focus on work that creates a more sustainable and regenerative relationship between participants and the land.

Barrel Project, Corpus Christi, Texas

A group of Burners and friends have been doing mass beach clean ups at a place called the Bowl in Corpus Christi, Texas for many years. As a way to reduce the broken glass, cans and other trash that has been accumulating, barrels will be placed throughout the long stretch of beach to facilitate a Remove All Trace mentality. In order to discourage defacement, these trash barrels will be decorated mural-style with eco-friendly messages. At times, the Barrels will be partially suspended via rope handle in order to not be disturbed by tidal fluctuations and branded as a community project. 

Love Without Borders, Greece

Love Without Borders is an ongoing educational program teaching refugees in Greece how to make jewelry to create independence and to add another way to supplement their income. Classes are held at a home nearby, which include art and also English lessons. The organization also facilitates finding safe homes for vulnerable families in the camps. 

Le Spacemaker, Montreal, Canada

Le Spacemaker is an 11,000 square ft community maker space in its beginning stages whose offerings will include fabrication, exploration, exhibition, and the sharing of knowledge. One of its goals is to give access to specialized tools, offer the space to the community and unite varied expertise. There will be basic shops (wood, metal, painting, etc.) but they want to keep a portion of the space for the sporadic needs of the community and specific projects.The goal of Le Spacemaker is to become completely self-funded within two years and then being able to reinject profits of the space into the community through democratic grants.

Creative Kids Workshops, Henderson, Nevada

With a lack of arts education in the community, a series of three interactive arts workshops are being created for teenage youth. The first workshop will focus on writing and spoken word/poetry, the second on painting/art on canvas, and the third will be photography and editing.  They will be held at the City Lights Gallery in Henderson. 

LOLA Project, Serbia & Croatia 

LOLA (Language of Love Awareness) is a project with activities that will connect two countries, two civil organizations, two local communities and two orphans centers based on free and volunteers’ actions and events. They will make a connection and network between organizations, children, orphans and media whose main aim to bring enthusiasm, joy, creativity and above all love to the children in the orphanages. Besides creative workshops, LOLA will spread and rise awareness on more than ever the needed “Language of Love” and non-violent communication amongst two countries still affected by a past war. The project will take place in Split, Croatia and Novi Sad, Serbia. 

Keiki Agriculture, Hawaii 

Keiki agriculture will host an open invitation for local children (or Keiki in the Hawaiian language) to create and learn how to maintain a small garden. The students will take home gardening materials with starter vegetables along with soil and pots after participating in the gardening.

Far Away Project, Venezuela 

Far Away Project hosts a wide array of events and workshops. This particular ReGener8 Event will aid Venezuelans in food sovereignty and resource reliance training. The programming that is designed will use elements of permaculture, urban agriculture, and vertical hydroponic farming to redevelop community focused food systems.

Indigenous Wisdom and Permaculture Skills Convergence, Pine Ridge Reservation,  South Dakota

The Indigenous Wisdom & Permaculture Skills Convergence is bringing together ecological teachers, tribal resiliency groups, and participants from around the country to build sustainable infrastructure and join a variety of skill sharing workshops. The IWPS Convergence takes place July 26th – 31st where attendees will gain hands-on experience in permaculture and ecological design. https://www.iwpsconvergence.com

Mobile Mural, Nicaragua 

Mobile Mural is a 30 ft x 9 ft mural that will travel to rural communities in the country placed on a truck. It is a collaboration between a Nicaraguan muralist group, the Nicaraguan Health Department and ICAS/Juntos Adelante. Their mission is “to be committed to the rescue of our values, identity, culture and committed to social awareness through murals”.

In rural Nicaragua, murals are an effective way to spread messages of public health including HIV prevention, the importance of a clean environment, promotion of health and well-being through exercise, and the encouragement to get health exams such as pap smears. Nicaragua’s Ministry of Health and provides free health services to the community with up to 75% of the local population relying on the public health system for their health care.

PLARNit For the Planet Workshop, Washoe County, Nevada

PLARNit for the Planet is a hands-on project that educates the general public about the environmental dangers of plastic grocery bags. Each workshop keeps plastic grocery bags out of our oceans and landfills and motivates participants to reduce waste, innovate, volunteer and learn a new skill. The workshops will be hosted in Washoe and Storey County.

New Orleans Farming Project, New Orleans, Louisiana

The NOLA farming arts project will be aiding in the outreach and provisions for workshops for a pre-existing urban farming market. The project collaborates uses a bottom up approach with local organizations and provides resources and volunteers to help connect and engage the community through supporting grassroots/collective organizations.
Collecting donations here:  https://www.gofundme.com/gloriastremegarden

Love Infiltration, Flint, Michigan

Love Infiltration will put a big water filtration system on a bus and give away clean water for free to the community of Flint. It will also be advocating for the city to build filtration systems for community use. The project is headed by Morgan “Spark” Hale and friends.

The Sensory Station Project, Los Angeles & San Diego
The Sensory Station project will provide sensory based and interactive play therapy stations that support and care for special needs children with a focus on the autism spectrum. The goal and intent is to design and develop stations that evoke therapeutic powers of play to help the children to prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development through sensory based activities.  

> How to create a Project.