Relief International

RI provides emergency relief, rehabilitation and development assistance to victims of natural disasters and civil conflicts worldwide. RI's programs bridge the gap between immediate and long-term community development. This orientation promotes self-reliance and the peaceful reintegration of populations. RI's programs are designed with the input and participation of target beneficiary groups such as women, children and the elderly, whose special needs are often neglected in disasters.
Aug 21, 2007

Progress Report August 2007: Help Improve Health of Mothers and Children, Darfur

Support from Global Giving donors has allowed RI to expand the services of the Zam Zam Camp clinic, which serves more than 50,000 displaced people, and to provide training and supplies to 7 additional village-run health facilities. Expanding access and care has truly benefited the people of North Darfur. The number of pregnant women visiting RI safe motherhood units for prenatal checkups has steadily increased by 4% from August 2006 to June 2007. This marks a remarkable outreach achievement for community health workers who have been conducting awareness-raising programs for tribal and religious leaders. The RI midwives are also responsible for increased prenatal care, as they have been conducting activities during household visits to promote the importance of 3 prenatal visits for good mother-baby health.

As a result of overwhelming public support, RI’s field team has been able to provide 65,000 consultations in the past 6 months through the Zam Zam clinic and the 7others. Children under 5 years of age accounted for approximately 42% of all consultations. Children in Darfur suffer illness and even death as a result of severe diarrhea caused by poor water and sanitation and hygiene. Due to hygiene promotion activities provided by RI clinics, including education of mothers on the treatment of diarrhea, cases of severe dehydration due to diarrhea have decreased by 2% from August 2006 to June 2007 in RI clinics. Overall, the 8 clinics have reached. 5,800 schoolchildren, 50 school teachers, and more than 1,500 women with lifesaving outreach.

Community education campaigns have also focused on raising awareness about prevention of HIV/AIDS. From August 2006 to June 2007, RI’s health team conducted education activities for 120 community and tribal leaders, community health workers, and youth on HIV/AIDS prevention. These representative leaders were empowered to deliver key HIV/AIDS messages to their villages.

Note: Because this program has expanded to include Relief International’s Zam Zam clinic, this profile will be replaced with a new one on Global Giving. Please see this profile, entitled “Zam Zam Clinic in Darfur - Healthcare for +50,000,” coming soon, to donate to the cause.

Aug 21, 2007

Progress Report August 2007: Livelihoods for Families through Livestock, Sudan

In partnership with donors from Global Giving, RI has been working with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the Sudan Ministry of Animal Resources to improve the care of livestock in North Darfur.

Today, RI is running 7 Animal Health Care Centers that on average treat 12,000 animals each month, including donkeys, chickens, goats, horses, and camels. The support RI receives has provided for training 2 Community Animal Health Workers and 1 para-vet in each clinic (21 staff total). This year local vet staff received essential training on vaccination and outbreak response to combat newly emerging diseases. Since 2006, 30,000 animals have been vaccinated.

Donations have also helped to make the Animal Health Care Centers into permanent fixtures. In 2007, Centers evolved from temporary 3-walled shelters to 4-walled cement buildings. By the end of 2007, all 7 Centers will have new roofs.

RI’s agricultural interventions in North Darfur focus on access to basic veterinary care, sustainable farming techniques, and educating local service providers to meet the long-term needs of their villages.

Aug 21, 2007

August 2007 Progress Report: Providing Access to Water for Families in Niger

Relief International has been working in Niger since August 2005, helping to rebuild the livelihoods of more than 14,000 nomadic herders devastated by the famine of that same year. Since arriving, RI has seen how home gardens have great potential for improving household food security and alleviating micronutrient deficiencies, provided communities can access sufficient water. It is clear that gardening can enhance food security in several ways, most importantly through: 1) direct access to a diversity of nutritionally-rich foods, 2) increased purchasing power from savings on food bills and income from sales of garden products, and 3) fall-back food provision during seasonal lean periods.

In partnership with local government in the north of the country, a local herders association, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO), Relief International has identified some 79 hectares of land in the arid north of the country which could be used by local communities to create home gardens. Consequently, RI is in the process of digging 132 shallow garden wells (each maximum 15 metres deep) to provide semi-permanent water resources for up to 14,000 agro-pastoralists in order that communities can develop home gardens and diversify their diets. Previously, they have relied solely on animal products and just two staple crops (millet and sorghum) for all their nutritional needs.

RI also provides agricultural extension training, seeds, and tools so that community members can create small plots for their families. During the cooler dry season in November/December, these plots will be prepared with animal manure and sown. These dry-season crops are those that usually grow in temperate climates, such as tomatoes, onions, cabbages, potatoes, and carrots.