When 20-year-old Mohammed first arrived in Ethiopia’s Kobe Refugee Camp 6 months ago, he had never been employed, never been able to earn a salary, and had never received any formal education. A refugee from Northern Somalia, he had walked 6 days to escape the massive drought that has caused widespread suffering throughout the region. Soon after came what Mohammed described as “the turning point in my life.” International Medical Corps hired him as a Hygiene Promoter, a critical component to reducing the threat of communicable diseases in the crowded camps. Hygiene Promoters are trained by International Medical Corps and then share their knowledge throughout their communities, teaching others about proper hand washing techniques, the importance of using latrines, and properly cleaning jelly cans used to carry drinking water. Mohammed is one of many refugees in the Dolo Ado Camps we're training in hygiene promotion, as well as sanitation, nutrition and gender-based violence response, among other topics. The benefits are enduring: these trained Health Promoters multiply our efforts many times over, teaching others, providing sustainable health solutions within the camps. Plus, the program creates employment opportunities for families struggling to rebuild. Famine was officially declared in East Africa 6 months ago, and today an estimated 13.3 million people throughout Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya urgently need humanitarian relief. But these communities need more than a hand-out. They also need long-term solutions. By training and educating local men and women, we create a foundation to build a sustainable health care system for a healthier future. Says Mohammed: "...with the power of knowledge I have received through trainings on hygiene promotion, I am now able to improve sanitation and hygiene practices in my community. I now know that diarrhea can be prevented by using a latrine and by washing hands with soap and water and am in a position to pass on the message of safe hygiene practices and behaviors to my fellow community members. I will thank International Medical Corps one day when I reach home!"
After a massive humanitarian response, the UN recently announced that famine conditions are no longer present in Somalia. However, 1.7 million people still desperately need humanitarian relief to survive. In addition, food stocks in Somalia are expected to run low by May, adding to fears that the country could quickly slip back into crisis.
Working in East Africa since 1991, International Medical Corps will continue its lifesaving relief and recovery efforts, helping these vulnerable communities rebuild through training and education.
At 5pm local time on January 12, 2010, the world turned upside down for the people of Haiti. The massive 7.0 earthquake that struck two years ago caused unimaginable destruction to Port-au-Prince and the surrounding towns, devastated Haiti’s already fragile infrastructure, and claimed over 230,000 lives. Today, the earthquake’s impact is clear -- more than 500,000 men, women, and children still live in temporary camps, with limited access to clean water. And the deadly cholera outbreak that began in October 2010, continues to threaten the most vulnerable: young children, the elderly, and pregnant women. International Medical Corps’ emergency response teams arrived in Haiti less than 24 hours after the earthquake hit – and we’re still there today, providing training, and helping these vulnerable communities rebuild and become self-reliant. We’re operating an innovative emergency medical care training program for doctors and nurses in Haiti, as well as helping communities prepare for the next time a disaster strikes. We’d like to share with you our Haiti 2 Year Report that details our work on-the-ground. Please take a few moments to learn what your support has helped make possible in Haiti. You can also read testimonials from doctors, nurses and the men, women and children you have helped us reach with lifesaving care. While Haiti’s recovery will be long, we’re confident that we – and the people of Haiti -- can meet future challenges with your support. Thank you.
2012 is almost here and we would like to take a moment to thank you for supporting our emergency response and long-term capacity building in Pakistan. This year with the help of our amazing supporters, we were able to continue our relief efforts in Pakistan and around the world, as well as respond to crises in Libya, East Africa, and Japan. You can see for yourself -- click on the video below and hear firsthand from our staff on the frontlines, working in some of the most unstable and dangerous regions of the world. And as we look to the future, we hope we can count on your support again. Your generosity was crucial during our initial emergency response and it’s just as important now, as we work to help these devastated communities rebuild and recover. Please considering making a donation or using your new GlobalGiving gift card to help our rebuilding efforts. Your donation will help us start 2012 strong! On behalf of all of at International Medical Corps, thank you for your support.