Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Mercy Corps helps people survive, recover and become self-sufficient. We partner with the people we serve to help them recover from disasters and conflicts, secure peace, grow more food, improve health, educate and protect children, empower women and start businesses that improve the standard of living for families and communities.
Jun 12, 2012

I insisted to breastfeed my second baby

Advocates and Participant of Mother Support Group
Advocates and Participant of Mother Support Group

When I had my first baby, I wanted so much to breastfeed him, but nobody supported my will because I had ill-lung. The doctor and my relatives insisted that I should bottle-feed my baby. So, I bottle-fed my first baby since the day he was born and he fell ill very frequently. He died due to severe diarrheic,” said 28-year old Lena as she burst into tears when she shared her story in a Mother Support Group (MSG) meeting in North Jakarta, Indonesia. 

The MSG started by Mercy Corps was created to provide a safe, trusted and friendly environment for young mothers like Lena to share their personal experiences, fears, doubts, tips and information regarding childcare, with emphasize on breastfeeding. Facilitated by trained Motivators, MSG pregnant and nursing women attendants learn best-practices from experiences shared among them like the one Lena did.

Lena continues, “Learning from my experience with my first son, I insisted to breastfeed my second baby despite of my family’s disapproval. I’m happy to see that my daughter grows healthy and active. I want to help my friends in this group to successfully breastfeed their babies like I do.”  

Participation in MSGs has motivated many young women in Tugu Utara Sub-District to practice optimum breastfeeding. Moreover, many of these mothers has expressed interest to become Motivators as they want more mothers in their neighbourhoods get the chance to learn what they have learned in the MSG.

Because of your support, more women like Lena can learn the value of breastfeeding and motivate others to be empowered. Thank you!

If you want to have even more impact, donate, June 13, starting at 12:01 am EST, GlobalGiving is sponsoring a special “Bonus Day,” where every donation you make to Mercy Corps' Breast Feeding Saves Lives project will be matched by a certain percent—greatly increasing the impact of your generous donations!


Lena and her baby Salsa
Lena and her baby Salsa

Links:

May 14, 2012

Biodiesel enterprise fuels Japan economic recovery

Tomihiro and Akiko Kashiwagi using business grant
Tomihiro and Akiko Kashiwagi using business grant

If you had never visited Japan’s tsunami-ravaged coast until now, the bleak landscape where homes and businesses once stood would be sobering.

Having watched the relief effort and the recovery, my visits back to the Tohoku region have been increasingly reassuring. In fact, my recent visit with partner colleagues was inspiring. We were there to witness the signs of recovery – and we found many. Thank you for your donation to make these improvements possible!

At a recent event organized by Kesennuma Shinkin, a local cooperative bank we’re partnering with to support small business recovery, 13 entrepreneurs were awarded grants. The recipients from Kesennuma and three neighboring coastal towns have used the funds to start new businesses in the disaster area. Their businesses run the gamut — from a day care center, a fish processor and a baker to a machine repair shop, a mulberry tea producer and an ice-making factory.

In only five months since its inauguration, this Mercy Corps program has funded the startup of 20 new businesses (like the three featured in this video) and supported the recovery of an additional 50 businesses through a loan subsidy program. Well over 300 jobs have been created in the process.

But the program does more than restore jobs — it recreates livelihoods and self-determination. Each of the entrepreneurs has an incredible story to tell and an important contribution to make.

Like Tomohiro Kashiwagi, whose repair shop was completely destroyed by the tsunami. Without a building or the capital to buy or build one, he and his wife, Akiko, are starting from the ground up with a completely new — and very innovative — business in their home. They are recycling cooking oil into fuel.

Kashiwagi has lined up a string of restaurants as a source of used cooking oil. He collects it and refines it using a machine that he bought with his grant. He then sells the fuel for use in converted diesel engines. It’s not only good for the couple — and good for the environment — it’s good for customers, as it sells for about 30% less than commercial diesel fuel. The city of Kesennuma, in fact, is Kashiwagi’s primary customer, having converted some of its garbage trucks to run on his recycled vegetable oil. He says they smell like fried chicken when they drive by!

It was a very moving day. Because of your support, the lives of hardworking entrepreneurs, their families and their community ar being transformed. Thank you.

Links:

May 9, 2012

Horn of Africa Update: Providing Water and More

Mercy Corps supplied water in Wajir County, Kenya
Mercy Corps supplied water in Wajir County, Kenya

Because of your donation and support, Mercy Corps has helped 1.6 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia survive the drought and food crisis. Now we are helping people recover from flooding and build resilience to  withstand future cycles of drought and famine.

In all areas, we are helping communities build back smarter so that they can better withstand these kinds of crises in the future. Our work isn’t just about providing emergency food and water in the short term. We’re helping pastoral
communities become more resistant to drought in the long term – helping them better capture, store and manage water, improving health and long-term care of livestock, supporting frail and damaged economic systems, and other vital, smart interventions.

Here are some water-specific efforts we have been able to do because of you:

ETHIOPIA:
Mercy Corps has distributed water, improved water storage capacity and improved access to water to help 284,140 people survive. We have installed 45 new large-capacity water tanks/reservoirs, restored 104 water storage ponds and 23 wells, developed 5 natural springs which are benefiting 12 different communities and expanded over-all water storage capacity in the most drought affected communities by over 175 million liters and we are continuing to maintain other water storage facilities to help communities benefit from the rains.

KENYA:
Mercy Corps delivered enough water to supply 290,664 people and their animals for three months and 10,000-liter water storage tanks to help 10 communities harvest rainwater. Mercy Corps is currently rehabilitating water points in 19 different villages. These include over 100 wells, 8 boreholes and 7 water pans. Once rehabilitated, these water points are expected to improve water access for over 53,000 individuals in these villages.

SOMALIA:

MOGADISHU: Mercy Corps has supplied 15,000 people with clean drinking water for five months. We constructed two water access points and installed water-piping systems from boreholes in one IDP camp, benefiting over 4500 people.

CENTRAL SOMALIA: We constructed 14 water access points and installed water-piping systems from boreholes in nine IDP communities benefitting a total of 19,800 individuals. 4 shallow wells constructed/rehabilitated for two communities benefitting 6000 individuals.

PUNTLAND: Mercy Corps has constructed five water points and supplied water to 17,640 individuals in IDP camps and neighboring districts. We distributed Water Vouchers to 3,780 people in five displacement camps to get daily water supply for three months.

Creating these changes would not have happened without you. Thank you.

Livestock accessing Mercy Corps supplied water
Livestock accessing Mercy Corps supplied water
Women taking water home in Kenya
Women taking water home in Kenya

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