Interfaith Enlightenment Center

The Interfaith Enlightenment Center was started in 2011 with a mission to provide aid to people in marginalized communities worldwide, with a specific focus on India and Tibet. Their foundational principle is to provide charity without diminishing those being helped — lifting as a whole, rather than handing down.

They developed their process through adopting teachings and wisdom from the zen peacemakers and other students of the Dalai Lama. According to a representative of the organization, it “came together to build a way of helping people such that they maintain their dignity through the process.”

Work in Tibet

One of the Interfaith Enlightenment Center’s largest projects is working in Tingkhye Village in Tibet. Rigdzin Tingkhye, one of the nonprofit’s founders, fled the village after the Chinese invasion of Tibet, around the same time as the Dalai Lama. He was not able to see his sister for many decades due to fear of being persecuted if he returned. When he was able to return without capture, he noticed that there were many issues in the village ranging from poor child hygiene to a lack of basic human services. These resulted not only in sickly children, but also an increase in the number of women dying in childbirth. People in the villages felt that the Chinese were helping themselves to Tibet’s natural resources without providing the locals with basic services such as electricity and hot running water.

The Interfaith Enlightenment Center set out to help by raising money for building projects and working with local leaders to source building material. With their help, the Tingkhye community banded together to build solar showers and solar panels. These actions came to the attention of the Chinese government, who began to help in other areas.

However, it also created fear that the work of non-government groups to improve living conditions was creating division against the government. These actions paralleled the mistrust of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and the security around him and mentions of his name.

interfaith enlightenment center

Interfaith Enlightenment Center + Galileo

With a rising profile, the work of the Interfaith Enlightenment Center has increasingly made them a target for online attacks. Until recently, a variety of DDoS, ransomware, and other attacks forced the tech team to wipe their servers every few months and reload the website.

Some of these attacks targeted the organization’s credibility: malicious actors hijacked the website to distribute malware and cryptomining JavaScript to visitors, seeking to sow mistrust among those who were interested in the nonprofit’s work or considering making a donation. Rather than paying ransom to these malicious actors, the team would patiently re-load a backup of the website after each new incident.

The Interfaith Enlightenment Center learned about Project Galileo in early 2019, applied, and were quickly approved after being vetted by Project Galileo partners. Their website is now reliable and able to withstand malicious attacks — with extensive analytics that help the team monitor its status. The acceleration features are an added bonus, making their website faster and more available. This enables them to re-focus their time and energy on their work.

According to the tech team at the Interfaith Enlightenment Center, “since coming to Cloudflare we haven’t had a problem, and that helps ensure we can focus on what matters most: providing support and services to communities in need.”

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