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.
Dec 30, 2013

Families begin to move forward after Typhoon Haiyan

Julita, Eastern Philippines
Julita, Eastern Philippines

Over a month after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Philippines, displaced families are understandably eager to return home and begin rebuilding. There has been a shortage of building materials in the country, but as more shipments make their way to battered islands, survivors are setting out to repair damage or set up temporary shelters.

Even in more remote areas that receive little assistance, resourceful residents are salvaging what debris and timber they can.

It's communities like this, farther from main distribution channels, that we targeted to receive new recovery kits with construction supplies like hammers, shovels, nails and tarps.

"I discussed with the village leader and the community what they needed most," Emergency Program Manager Dewi Hanifah explained of the first visit to Julita. "They wanted supplies that they could use for the longer term. Because most people work as farmers, they can also use the tools in these kits for their work and lives in the future."

Julita is an inland municipality deep in the eastern Philippines. Its remote location — accessed by a long drive over muddy, storm-ravaged roads — has made it difficult for the government to provide the area with relief.

Additionally, we distributed hygiene and cooking supplies including essential items like soap and detergent, and cooking and eating utensils. Over 400 families in Julita also received emergency rice distributions — a total of five tons — as the need for food remains an urgent priority for those displaced by the storm.

In all, we reached 1,800 families in 14 villages in Leyte province that were most affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The supplies help meet their day-to-day needs and give them the opportunity to focus on long-term rebuilding.

"It was wonderful to see the families' faces when they received the reconstruction kits. They haven't received any other help like this, and they kept saying how much they needed it," Dewi said.

Because of you, Mercy Corps is able to reach thankful families in remote locations who have yet to receive critical, if any, aid. And it is not too late to make more of an impact in 2013. You will reach more survivors of Typhoon Haiyan with lifesaving food, critical supplies and support that helps them recover and begin rebuilding.

On behalf of the resilient families in the Philippines who are now begining to move forward - thank you.

 

With Gratitude,

Alyssa Cogan

 

 

Families receive critical reconstruction kits
Families receive critical reconstruction kits

Links:

Dec 30, 2013

Preparing refugee families for a harsh winter

Muhamed with his niece Ahad
Muhamed with his niece Ahad

“My neighbors are like qishda wa aisal,” Um Samer happily told me, using a phrase that literally translates to “cream and honey.”

She was referring to her new neighbors’ collective kindness. After the Syrian family found shelter in an empty home in Azraq, a small town in northeast Jordan, her neighbors filled the kitchen with a stove and all of the pots, pans and dishes that she needs to cook for her family of 13.

Some members of the family escaped the war raging in their hometown of Dara’a, Syria as long ago as July 2012. On the day of our visit, Um Samer was cooking breakfast and celebrating finally having her family all together again — her eldest son, Muhamed, 34, arrived just 15 days earlier after fighting with the Free Syrian Army.

The four-room house is now a home away from home for Um Samer and her husband Abu Samer, their seven children ranging in ages 15-34, and their four granddaughters from 10 years old to as young as five months. I was there, along with Mercy Corps field officer Zeid Shaban, after delivering winter supplies and furnishings to help make the house a safer shelter for the entire family.

Derelict buildings can't protect against coldest winter in decades

Like Samer’s family, thousands of Syrians have resorted to living in derelict buildings for the little, if any, rent they can afford. Damaged roofs, cracked walls, drafty windows and a lack of heat make them incredibly vulnerable to what’s already one of the coldest winters on record in the region.

Mercy Corps is helping this family and thousands of other Syrian refugees and Jordanians in need keep warm, through a winter preparedness program supported by you. In communities where there are few resources, we’re distributing kits that include a gas heater, coupons for fuel, mattresses, blankets, pillows and sets of bedding. We are augmenting our existing efforts to provide vulnerable families with basic necessities by distributing warm jackets & winter boots for babies and children who are particularly vulnerable to the frigid temperatures.

“Everything that Mercy Corps has donated is a great help,” Abu Samer told me. “It reduces the financial burden on us to have to buy these things ourselves. Especially during the winter season, everything is helping us a lot, keeping us warm.”

You have made an incredible difference in the lives of Syrian refugees this year, from providing clean water and warm blankets to creating safe places for young refugees to play. And, there is still time left to make more of an impact this year. You will provide winter coats to children who would otherwise be unprotected from exposure to subzero temperatures and you will help insulate shelters to protect families from harsh winter winds.

On behalf of all the Syrian refugee families who are relying on you to survive this harsh winter - thank you. 


With Gratitude,

Sumaya Agha


 



Um Samer prepares breakfast for her large family
Um Samer prepares breakfast for her large family
Waed and Shahed play on swing made by grandfather
Waed and Shahed play on swing made by grandfather

Links:

Dec 30, 2013

You made change possible

Ethiopia
Ethiopia

2013 - what a year it has been!

As the year comes to a close, it is important to acknowledge the amazing work that you have accomplished in one of the world's toughest places.

You vaccinated nearly 850,000 cattle, sheep and goats, keeping them healthy enough to provide for over 45,000 families. You made families more resilient to future droughts and gave them the tools that will help them weather erratic rainfall.

And it is not too late to make more of an impact in 2013. You help women and children become less vulnerable to unpredictable weather and help improve the health of their livestock, to ensure they have the means to support themselves in the long-term.

On behalf of the families you help thrive in one of the world's toughest places - thank you.

 

In Gratitude,

Carlene Deits


Links:

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