Microfinancing African Secularism

by | August 10, 2019

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

The Brighter Brains Institute or Humanists Global based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California in the United States of America wants to assist with the development of the atheist community within various African nation-states. This is through microfinancing.

Microfinancing or the gifting of microfunds does not remain a new phenomenon, but one used for the assistance of entrepreneurs at various levels. One ex-Muslim and atheist, Mubarak Muhammed Bala, is the President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria.

Humanists Global is a non-profit entity and, therefore, or by implication, does not profit on the outcomes of these microfinancing endeavours. The vision of the organization is the improved status of the non-religious or the secular or the non-religious around the world.

In Nigeria, for Bala, religious law, in particular Sharia law, as interpreted there, is a significantly bad item in country for the secular. For speaking openly or using his constitutional right to freedom of expression, Bala has received numerous death threats because of the opinions have been deemed too heretical.

Bala, as many of non-theists have experienced, were either bullied into leaving a job or outright fired from a position due to a politically and socially motivated religious fundamentalist with an intense xenophobia, bigotry, and prejudice against the secular individual.

This raises questions about the survivability and long-term economic viability of the life for Bala. There is a project by Humanists Global or Brighter Brains Institute (BBI) to help those like Bala in supporting themselves as entrepreneurs in various African countries.

Humanists Global’s Director, Hank Pellissier, is an activist who founded the “the world first atheist film festival” in 2009. Pellissier created the atheist calendar in 2010, then moved onto founding BBI in 2013. Then he founded the “world’s first atheist orphanage” in 2015.

According to Humanists Global or BBI, “$300 is enough to buy a sewing machine, fruit juicer, used motorcycle, ten milk goats, washing machine, kerosene tank, corn grinder, fifty chickens, popcorn machine, or dozens of other items for new business ventures in Africa. Humanist.Global / BBI has provided funds for 77 small projects. The majority go to women’s collectives. “

The Buhanga Thuligahuma Women’s Group in Uganda received$300 to found Bio-Briquette Business. Bala founded Kaduna Fries, a street stall. Humanists Global intends to help atheists marginalized and persecuted for beliefs and wants to assist in the expansion of the membership of the organizations, too.

For U.S. citizens, there is a tax deductible receipt for donations, and for Canadians, there are a letter of appreciation, a photo, and then periodic updates on the progress of the initiative.


For more information, email BrighterBrainsInstitute@gmail.com


Bala, M. (n.d.). Humanists Global Oath. Retrieved from https://humanists.global/humanists-global-oath.

Humanists Global/Brighter Brains Institute. (2019). Business Projects. Retrieved from https://humanists.global/business-projects.

Humanists Global/Brighter Brains Institute. (2019). Humanists Global/Brighter Brains Institute. Retrieved from https://humanists.global/micro-funding-for-subsaharan-atheist-entrepreneurs-launched-by-sf-bay-area-nonprofit.

Istvan, Z. (2015, February 24). ​The World’s First Atheist Orphanage Has Launched a Crowdfunding Campaign. Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wnjbeb/the-worlds-first-atheist-orphanage-just-launched-a-crowdfunding-campaign.

Kiva. (2008, August 28). Kiva Lending Team: (A+) Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious. Retrieved from https://www.kiva.org/team/a_atheists_agnostics_skeptics_freethinkers_secular_humanists_and_the_nonreligious.

San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center. (2009, June 28). Atheist Film Festival. Retrieved from https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/05/25/18597958.php.

The Nigerian Humanist Association. (2019). The Nigerian Humanist Association. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/NigerianHumanistAndFreeThinkers/.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

Do not forget to look into our associates: Godless Mom, Nice Mangoes, Sandwalk, Brainstorm Podcast, Left at the Valley, Life, the Universe & Everything Else, The Reality Check, Bad Science Watch, British Columbia Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, Canadian Secular Alliance, and Centre for Inquiry Canada.

Other Resources: Recovering From Religion.

Photo by Nikolay Vorobyev on Unsplash

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.