World Concern

World Concern provides life, opportunity and hope to suffering people around the world through disaster response and development programs. Motivated by our love of Christ, we bring hope and reconciliation to those we serve, so they may in turn share with others.
Nov 14, 2012

Using technology to reach hungry families

Sahara Aden receives a ration card for food.
Sahara Aden receives a ration card for food.

You’ve read in previous reports how we’ve used vouchers to ensure emergency food gets into the hands of those who need it most in the Horn of Africa. This method has been extremely effective, even in dangerous and hard-to-reach places. More than 30,000 vouchers have been distributed so far. But this system has recently gone high tech with the help of mobile phone technology. It’s pretty amazing!

Over the past month, your support has helped us distribute another 5,000 vouchers—each providing two weeks’ worth of food for a family of six. With this latest round of vouchers, World Concern piloted a new mobile app that tracks beneficiaries and the food they receive by scanning a bar code. This new technology ensures a smoother, more efficient process, and enables merchants who are providing food to families to get paid more quickly.  

"This technology will enable our staff to report on their life-saving distribution in real-time, increasing our ability to respond to immediate needs as they arise," said Chris Sheach, deputy director of disaster response for World Concern.

The long-term effects of such a severe drought and crisis will be experienced for many years to come. As we shift our response from disaster to development — teaching pastoralists who lost their herds to farm and other forms of livelihood diversification — there are still many hungry people to feed. This new technology enables us to do this even more quickly and efficiently. It can also be used in other types of disasters, particularly in cash-for-work programs.

Thank you for partnering with World Concern throughout the Horn of Africa crisis. Your support has saved lives and provided hope for a life beyond famine and drought to desperate families.

A mobile phone app is helping feed people.
A mobile phone app is helping feed people.

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Oct 24, 2012

Growing food and businesses in Lietnhom

Veronica Ajok is proud of her crops.
Veronica Ajok is proud of her crops.

October 23, 2012

In spite of ongoing unrest and struggles in the under-developed country of South Sudan, your contributions are making a big difference in the village of Lietnhom for people like Veronica Ajok.

Veronica, the mother of six children, struggled to feed her family in drought conditions. “We rely on rain, and when there is no rain, we don’t have food,” she said. World Concern gave Veronica agricultural training and seeds. “I planted ground nuts and sorghum,” Veronica said. “I will sell the surplus after the harvest.” She hopes to get an ox plow and earn enough money for her children to get an education.

Akot Ajoik is a farmer and teacher with four children. “I try to improve my condition through cultivation,” he says. World Concern helped Akot increase his crop yields with an ox plow and money for hired help. “World Concern has helped me a lot. I was having a problem cultivating my crop. World Concern donated money to me, and I am able to hire people for weeding. The future of this area is improving. With World Concern’s help, we will be able to cultivate more.”

With your support, we’re also providing microloans to help build businesses in this impoverished village.

Peter Madut is the manager of a pharmacy where he has worked for two years. “We started small, and now we are able to expand and build a new pharmacy,” Peter said.  “World Concern loaned us money and allowed us to start this business. It is very good now, and we get something to eat. Now there is something to support our families, and we don’t have challenges like before. World Concern really helped us. Thank you for the support.”

Akot Ajoik cares for his students and his farm.
Akot Ajoik cares for his students and his farm.
Peter Madut grew his business with a microloan.
Peter Madut grew his business with a microloan.

Links:

Aug 16, 2012

Bringing lasting change to the Horn of Africa

A rainwater catchment tank at Benane Primary.
A rainwater catchment tank at Benane Primary.

Your support is helping bring clean water, food and better health to those affected by the ongoing drought in the Horn of Africa.

Hassan is a fifth grade student at Benane Primary school in a drought-stricken town near the Somalia border. He regularly leaves class to collect water from a nearby mud hole fed by a spring, as do 571 other children from the school. This is the main source of water for their town, as well as Somali refugees in a settlement a few miles away, all of whom tromp through the school compound with jerrycans to collect water.

Mr. Murimi, Hassan’s teacher, is excited about a rainwa­ter catchment system installed by World Concern at the school.

“It has been a problem for a long time,” he said. “Ev­ery time water runs out, they have to go fetch.”

World Concern installed rain gutters around the school which feed into six storage tanks. With full tanks, Hassan and others will be able to spend more time learning and playing.

World Concern also built latrines to improve sanitation. Previously, human waste polluted the spring, causing health problems for the entire community.

Our work in the Horn of Africa is transitioning from disaster response to long-term assistance, including farming and agricultural support.

The people of this region are primarily pastoralists who herded cattle and goats until the drought took all their livestock. They have little experience raising crops—so little that some farmers have cut the tassels off corn stock thinking they were harvesting the fruit.

World Concern is showing hungry people a connection between the maize flour they receive from relief agencies and the plants that bear the grain through community crop farming. Locals receive tools, seeds, and farming instructions.

Mama Khadija lost her herd in the drought, but is now learning to farm.

“If its tractors, seeds or advice, bring it, we need it all. Even if the water runs out, we are not leaving our farms,” she said. “I have God with me, and my eyes are open now. If I will still be alive, I think I will be very advanced in two years.”

Thank you for helping bring lasting change to hungry families and thirsty communities in the Horn of Africa.

Mama Khadija working hard on her farm.
Mama Khadija working hard on her farm.
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