Select Page

Vihara Donate

Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Create an account

Donation Total: $100.00

By clicking Donate Now you agree to all Terms and conditions.

About the Vihara Foundation

The Vihara Foundation (VF) is a Scientific and Educational non-for-profit chartered in 2009 with a purpose of supporting the global efforts underway for Poverty Alleviation, and Climate Mitigation, together with Creative Development Financing for servicing these two globally challenging problems. The vision for Vihara Foundation was driven by a need to cost effectively deliver solutions in support of global poverty and climate change. The know-how, team and resources to construct a model framework in support of these agendas (with solutions that are practical and pragmatic) became the driving force that underpinned the VF commissioning, and leading to its present day vision, mission, and objectives.

Biographies of Founding Team Members

Dennis Ramdahin, MSc. Founder and Executive Director

Dennis Ramdahin is a career environmentalist and sustainable development practitioner with 20 years experience, focused in the areas of environmental management and sustainable development. His experience included corporate sustainable program development, energy master planning, green building design, energy life cycle financial modeling, and poverty alleviation modeling, all aimed at supporting the climate agenda and poverty reduction and alleviation. Dennis career contributions include substantial work in the area of seeding and pioneering sustainability in government, a tough uphill challenge. He contributed 10 years as a sustainability program coordinator for the world’s largest mass transit system – New York City Transit, and, key support during the 2006 – 2007 team effort for the design exercise of the United States Air Force Base Energy Model – an initiative to facilitate energy efficiency in Air Force bases design and operation, (intended for replication nationally and globally).
In addressing creative means of financing energy sustainability, Dennis’ work extended beyond status quo fencelines to baseline the hurdles in current business and financing arrangements (found within existing government practices in the US). He conceptualized a methodology called Total Life Cycle Valuing (TLCv) for fragmenting, estimating and presenting, the different values of risks associated with shortfalls in decision making that affect energy efficiency and associated carbon impacts. This work was focus of multiple public platforms, including Keynote at the 2008 International Conference on Sustainability, Kuala Tennaganu, Malaysia, and multiple lectures at universities and professional forums, and loaned to the current work of the Vihara Foundation. Dennis also facilitates sustainable planning and modeling for addressing socio-economic-environmental-cultural parameters associated with poverty. He conceptualize with the help of other scientists, a theoretical poverty reduction model for laying out a strategy for addressing poverty in its extreme case, in Haiti. Called Sustainable Development Master Planning (SDMP), this work was presented as Keynote platform at the 2008 University of Johannesburg’s Value Conference, and which loaned to the current work of the Vihara Foundation. In 2009 Dennis has moved to India and founded The Bihar Project (now called Vihar Project) which gave birth to the Vihara Foundation. This is an initiative engaging the merging of TLCv and SDMP to address development and poverty issues in the Bihar/Uttar Pradesh region of India – where quarter of the world’s poverty stricken resides.
The project concept has stimulated support from many key stakeholders, including globally renowned and respect scientist, Dr. MS Swaminathan, and is being advance for funding and beta testing. Since founding the Vihara Foundation, Dennis’ involvement in sustainable development issues globally has been sought by many in the field. This has loaned to the creation of the Rock against Poverty movement, and its association with UNESCO NYS Chapter. Dennis holds a MSc. and BSc Degrees in Environmental Studies from the City University of New York, and is working on a “reverse” Ph.D. whereby facilitation of his field works on poverty alleviation and development (applying TLCv and SMDP), will be used to design and defend his thesis and dissertation.

Ambassador Byron Blake, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder, Vihara Foundation

Serving as the United Nations Ambassador for Jamaica and the former Senior Advisor to the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Byron Blake is an Economist with over thirty-five years experience, working at different levels in institution building, policy development and promotion, planning, program and project development and promotion in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM – 1970 -2004).
Ambassador Blake has developed projects and programs in agriculture; industry services including tourism, maritime and air transportation; energy; technology and the environment. His interests include regional integration, development economics, environmental issues as well as international trade and the role of business in national development. Twice, Ambassador Blake has been responsible for the economic and environmental negotiations for the G77 (Group of 77 and China, a negotiation group for 131 developing countries and member states of the United Nations). Currently, he serves as the CARICOM Chair for the redevelopment of Haiti.
Ambassador Blake has experience serving on a number of Public and Private Sector Boards, including: The Caribbean Consultancy Group (Chairman since March 2006); The Board of Directors of The Caribbean Tourism Research Center/ Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTRC/ CTO) (1974-2004); The Board of Directors of The Caribbean Food Corporation (1979-1982); The Board of Directors of the Community Enterprise Organization of Jamaica (1977 -1979); and representative to the Annual Shareholders Meeting of LIAT (1974) Ltd. (1979-1982).

Dr. Vikas Kumar, Co-Founder and Lead Research, The Vihara Foundation

Dr Vikas Kumar is an environmental research scientist. Kumar is co-founder of Vihara Foundation and also leading partner NGO Prabhat, registered in Spain and India. Kumar has more than 15 years of research background and more than 30 major publications in reputed international journals and presentations at major international conferences. Kumar is one of the lead researchers of the Vihar Project.

Late Muriel Glasgow (1949-2013), Founder, Vihara Foundation

Formerly with UNICEF for three decades plus, Ms Glasgow was responsible for highlighting and integrating the participation and involvement of communities at the village level in UNICEF-assisted drinking water, hygiene and sanitation programmes in various countries. The main thrust was to design, develop, implement strategies at field level to influence UNICEF policies at national and international levels.
She developed a Community Participatory Audit to support the field level integration of these aspects into projects and programmes. The Audit is also a tool for project staff and governments to monitor and evaluate the extent of community involvement in the project or programme. Ms Glasgow worked very closely with communities as she travelled across the globe appreciating at first hand their culture, daily workloads, livelihoods and lifestyles and the impact of these on the socioeconomic conditions of families. Using her experience at community/village, Ms Glasgow had been invited to sit on Boards of many NGOs to help keep their focus and their attention to community involvement at the outset of project planning and design, to ensure that there is community ownership throughout implementation and hand-over. Ms Glasgow envisioned the role technology can play, if addressed correctly, in propelling communities out of their immediate and challenging situations and empowering them to work up and out of poverty.
She produced internet radio, by featuring people who are changing narratives on issues of concern each month. She also produced podcasts on the Yakkers’ Corner, United Nations Yak, interviewing people involved in socio-economic and humanitarian development who are committed to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations; people who are dedicated to reaching the bottom billions and helping restore their dignity by improving their lives and livelihoods. Ms Glasgow was an Ambassador of Peace. She gave 5 dedicated years of her life towards the Vihara Foundation, and her investment of time and experience will always be remembered.