We’re BAF, or The Bishop’s Action Foundation, a charitable organisation that has been working throughout Taranaki since 2005, researching, collaborating and supporting projects that help our communities to flourish. To achieve this we act as a catalyst for change, supporting changemakers to launch ideas that challenge inequity. We focus on developing collaborations and solutions that can thrive beyond our involvement so that we can continue to look for more good to be done.
Our website is constantly updated to provide a comprehensive overview of what we do and why we do it. The Research and Project sections profile what we’re doing and the Our Impact page provides access to our Impact Framework and Strategy along with changemaker stories that demonstrate the impact that is being achieved.
For more information on how to become involved in BAF projects from funding to collaboration and research, get in touch with us here.
As a faith-based organisation we further define BAF’s role using the metaphors of yeast, salt and light:
As yeast becomes one with the dough that it permeates and makes a fundamental contribution to enhancing the bread that is created, so the Foundation seeks to respond within a community development model that enables communities and organisations to be empowered as active partners in identifying and responding to their needs.
All of the ingredients to make bread can exist together, but without yeast the loaf will not rise. Similarly, in most communities the ingredients needed to respond to issues often exist alongside each other, but without a catalyst to bring them together the issue remains unmet. We see the Foundation as this community catalyst.
The metaphor of salt suggests another dimension. Salt enhances the flavour of whatever it is added to, although it cannot be seen. In a sense, it stands alongside, yet within, what it is added to. The Foundation therefore has the opportunity to enhance and nurture the communities within which it works. We can inspire informative critique of our society and its prevailing norms and through such dialogue we can help to inform positive change.
However, salt is not simply a positive element. Too much salt can ruin the flavour of food and can contribute to negative health conditions. This aspect of the way salt works serves to remind us that the Foundation should retain a humbleness within its work and should remain strategic in its attempts to achieve change.
The absence of light is darkness and when it is dark it is hard to see what is around you. Once light is applied then clarity can be achieved. This is a helpful metaphor to describe the ability of the Foundation to contribute to knowledge through research, capacity building and through the nurture of informed community discussions.
However, it is important to remember that the ability to see what is around may not always be welcome. The reality of a situation may cause communities, organisations or society to engage with hard questions. This does not mean that those questions should not be asked, but it does require that the Foundation has the strength to both support and engage in the robust conversations that would follow.
Our focus on justice and our desire to remain humble in our approach reflects Micah 6:8 “…to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.”