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Feb 27, 2013

Project Update - A New Dorm for Yuzuncu Yil

Opening ceremony!
Opening ceremony!

Hello GlobalGivers!

We have some fantastic news for you all! Through your generous donations, Yuzuncu Yil University in Van had an opening ceremony for a 192 student capacity dorm on November 9th, 2012.  The newly built girls’ dorm has 48 rooms, 4 beds and 1 bath in each room, and study rooms for the girls to work in a quiet space. This is a major turning point in the area because women and girls in eastern Turkey are commonly not given the chance to succeed. They make up a low portion of the workforce and tend to obtain far lower levels of education than men and boys. However with this new dorm, the girls that live there will become role models for their families, friends and peers. They have been provided with an environment that will allow them to achieve their goals and thrive in their communities. 

The city of Van was already struggling with harsh economic conditions before the 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck. Yet with this devastation came opportunity. Before the earthquake, Yuzuncu Yil only had the capacity to house 2,800 students in dorms out of a total of 24,000. Now that the girls’ dorm has been completed, efforts have switched to providing 14,000 more students a dorm. Thus the fundraising continues! It is so amazing to see the transition from emergency response and relief to long term recovery efforts. All of this would not have been possible without your support! Any amount donated has and will make a difference in a student’s life. Thank you again GlobalGivers! Your donations are truly helping to make our world a better place. 

A girl studying in a study area
A girl studying in a study area
Making the dorm a home
Making the dorm a home
Feb 27, 2013

Project Update - February 2013

Sneak peak production
Sneak peak production

Greetings GlobalGivers!

What a difference a year can make! Somalian refugee community leader Mire Ahmed Adu Rahman explains, “Last year there was measles and hunger; there were storms that would take the houses away. There was a shortage of tents there was nothing but problems. But now the dying time is over thanks to God. This year, there is life.” While media updates are becoming more scarce since the famine officially ended twelve months ago, we at GlobalGiving wanted to feature a couple of organizations that have continued to provide support and relief to the people of Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti.

Meeting the nutritional needs of the thousands of children that were affected by this famine is Edesia, Inc. They are a non-profit producer of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs) such as Plumpy’Nut which is a densely packed, nutrient rich peanut paste. These types of foods require no refrigeration or water making it very simple to ship and distribute to children, families and communities in need. When used properly it has over a 90% success rate, and turns children from skin and bones to healthy and plumpy within 4-10 weeks. Even though the mortality rate has plummeted and great progress has been made thanks to solutions such as Plumpy’Nut, the number of severely malnourished children is still very high compared to global standards. 

A huge challenge in dealing with these malnutrition rates has not been allocating RUTFs, but rather teaching the victims of this famine about their importance. The United Nations Refugee Agency quickly realized this dilemma. Not only was it urgent that they distribute these foods to the people in need, but they had to regularly train them about their bodies’ nutritional needs, especially for children. Dorothy Gazarwa, a UNHCR nutrition officer describes the difficulties, “People who for their entire lives drank camel milk had to learn that Plumpy’Nut was more efficient. Our task was cultural as well as nutritional.” An immense amount of refugees at the camps that UNHCR set up were unaccustomed to Western medicine. Some had never seen a doctor or hospital in their entire lives, and even more astonishing some did not know what a doctor was. Gazarwa goes on to say “training was about changing mentalities. It was important for us to constantly perform refresher trainings and repeat the nutrition message over and over.”  

Both Edesia, Inc. and UNHCR have done amazing jobs at providing hope for the communities and refugee camps affected by this humanitarian disaster. They have helped people in the Horn of Africa look past their day to day needs, and focus on the future and what is in store. Yet their jobs are still not done. Continuous support is needed to make sure that these communities remain healthy and strong, and that their children do not get sick again. Your donations have made it possible for organizations like Edesia, Inc. and UNHCR to administer critical relief and support. No matter how small the donation, a life has been affected by it in the Horn of Africa. Thank you!

Child with Plumpy
Child with Plumpy'Nut
Somali child awaits treatment from UNHCR
Somali child awaits treatment from UNHCR
UNHCR staff
UNHCR staff
Feb 11, 2013

Updates from the Field

Patient receiving Cholera treatment from PIH
Patient receiving Cholera treatment from PIH

Our most sincere gratitude goes out to all of you GlobalGivers who have continued to help in our efforts to bring relief and rebuild Haiti. It has been more than 3 years since a massive earthquake devastated the world’s poorest country, yet with your generous contributions we have been able to support organizations that have been on the ground since the initial emergency response.

One of these organizations, Partners in Health (PIH) and its Haitian sister organization, Zanmi Lasante (Partners in Health in Creole) is the largest healthcare provider in Haiti. Not only are they dedicated to treating the here and now, but PIH and ZL are building sustainable solutions that will raise standards of healthcare for the poor in rural Haiti. They are introducing new treatments and diagnostics to Haitian doctors, nurses and specialists that will address common and complex illnesses.

These illnesses which have common prevention methods tend to run rampant in poverty stricken areas like Haiti. Cholera has had devastating effects ever since the epidemic began 10 months after the earthquake. According to special correspondent for PBS Newshour Fred de Sam Lazaro, “Fatalities have dropped from 10% of cases early on to about 1%.” While these short term efforts have proven successful, cholera is likely to remain for some time. Problems such as the cholera epidemic have shown how vital it is that rebuilding efforts remain strong and relentless both in the literal sense and physical sense. PIH and ZL raised $22 million to build a state of art teaching hospital with 300 beds. In 10 years’ time, they will turn it over to the government to have control of.

Like PIH, International Medical Corps has been on the ground since the beginning of the disaster and are focused on rebuilding Haiti’s infrastructure from the bottom up. By providing vigorous training programs and technical assistance to local health officials, they are slowly making it possible for Haiti to be self-reliant. As a result of the cholera outbreak, International Medical Corps added two additional mobile medical units to provide cholera screenings, hygiene promotion and other health care services. This is in addition to the network of health care clinics that have already been established that administer a range of programs such as disaster risk reduction, nutrition, early childhood development, mental health, etc.

Both organizations have done amazing jobs at not only providing relief to Haiti, but also by working side by side with its citizens so that they may learn from them and become self-sufficient. This is fundamental to the survival of Haiti. In order to stand on its own, it must have a strong infrastructure with educated citizens. So much has been accomplished in the past three years, and this has only been made possible by you. Three years and counting of unwavering support have resulted in quality healthcare delivered to poverty stricken people. You have helped to save the lives of Haitians of all ages. So thank you for your commitment and belief in rebuilding Haiti one day at a time, and one life at a time.

IMC assessing damage from Hurricane Sandy
IMC assessing damage from Hurricane Sandy
Despite the damage, kids are still able to smile
Despite the damage, kids are still able to smile

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