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.
Jan 24, 2013

Job skills lead to freedom and self-sufficiency

John flashes his smile, showing his enthusiasm.
John flashes his smile, showing his enthusiasm.

The lives of many young people are being transformed because they are learning job skills and are able to support themselves and their families. With help from donors like you, World Concern operates the only vocational training program in Warrap State, South Sudan, which is home to about a million people. In South Sudan, 85% of the population is engaged in non-wage work, and half live on less than $1 a day.

I want to introduce you to John, a young dad whose life has changed dramatically because of your support in his village of Lietnhom, South Sudan, where the vocational training center is located.

John and his family have lived in Lietnhom for nine years. They witnessed, and survived, the brutal civil war that destroyed what little infrastructure that was there. Despite the hard life he’s lived, an immense smile spreads across John’s face. This and his lanky six-foot-five figure make him unmistakably memorable. But what’s most memorable about John is the great sense of dignity and excitement that he exudes.

Like many in South Sudan, John has spent the majority of his life struggling to provide an income for his family with no job skills. He has scarcely managed to feed his children. But because of the support of World Concern and donors like you, he has been given what every human being deserves—the opportunity to provide for himself and his family.

Through World Concern’s vocational training program, John was trained as a mechanic—and a fabulous one at that. He fixes motor bikes in a little shop in Lietnhom’s main market. He believes so strongly in the value of job skills that he’s training others in order that they too can find work and provide for themselves. His dream is to own his own mechanic shop someday and employ others like those he trains.

Empowerment to move past daily survival—this this is what John, and others, have been blessed with. You can see on his face the effect of such empowerment—dignity, self-sufficiency, and joy.

John shares what he
John shares what he's learned by training others.
John, hard at work in the Lietnhom market.
John, hard at work in the Lietnhom market.
Dec 12, 2012

Starting over in the Horn of Africa

A young Somali girl in the Horn of Africa.
A young Somali girl in the Horn of Africa.

Sometimes leaving is hard. But in the case of Dadaab, Kenya, the hub for the Horn of Africa famine response, it’s a good thing. This is not a place anyone would want to stay for long – especially the families who fled Somalia’s famine last year.

The Dadaab refugee camp is the largest in the world, and at the height of the famine, it became home to nearly half a million people. It is not a place to start over. But for many, it was the only place to go to try and survive the crisis.

When World Concern arrived in Dadaab in July 2011, we decided not to work in the camp itself – there was an ample response by aid organizations already working there. Instead, we chose to reach people who were en-route to the camp, or had stopped along the way in “host” communities on both sides of the Kenya-Somalia border. These villages became inundated with refugees and displaced families, and were stretched beyond their capacity to help. There wasn’t enough water. There wasn’t enough food. And the people arriving were in dire need of medical care and emergency assistance.

With your help, we set up a voucher system to feed families with food from local markets, thereby helping support the economy in these communities. More than 130,000 people were fed through this system, saving many lives. We also provided medical care to 24,500 people in a joint response with partner Medical Teams International. We were one of the only international relief agencies able to work in parts of southern Somalia at the time.

We rehabilitated water pans, fixed wells that were broken from being over-used, and installed rainwater catchment tanks, bringing clean water to 41,450 people. We built latrines, and trained people to keep their families healthy with good hygiene. More than 100,000 people received emergency supplies, such as cooking pots, blankets, tarps, and mosquito nets.

Most importantly, people received hope that they could survive and, eventually … start over. And that’s why we’re leaving Dadaab to continue our work in areas where families are resettling and rebuilding their lives. We’re moving from disaster response to building resilient communities, helping them plant crops and learn better farming techniques. Some will start businesses, and children can get back in school. This is the goal of helping – equipping people to sustain themselves and have a better life.

Thank you for joining us in this challenging response. We couldn’t have done this without the support and generosity of our donors.

For more information on how we’re serving communities long-term, and to join us in transforming lives in other areas, please visit http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/one-village.

We
We're helping farmers grow better crops.

Links:

Dec 5, 2012

Families in Haiti receive new homes

Mr. Maxi (center) outside his temporary shack.
Mr. Maxi (center) outside his temporary shack.

When Hurricane Sandy hit the island nation of Haiti on Oct. 24, it took the lives of more than 50 people, destroyed more than 6,000 homes, and damaged another 21,000 homes. According to the U.N., nearly 2 million Haitians were affected by the storm, which made landfall on the island nation as a category 1 hurricane before spiraling through the Atlantic and slamming into the East Coast of the U.S. on Oct. 29.

As families braced for the hurricane in Southern Haiti, a struggling farmer named Mr. Maxi did all he could to protect his home in the rural village of Marc-Cavaillon. He feared for the safety of his wife and two sons as fierce winds and torrential rains battered their home. Their lives were spared, he believes, by God and a few trees on their property as their home collapsed during the storm.

“We were so sad to see all that we possessed disappear in a brief moment,” he said.

The family gathered up the scraps of metal and wood from their home and pieced together the one-room shelter you see in these photos, which is where they’re living, “while waiting for God’s help,” Mr. Maxi said. The family is supported by his crops, but his income is barely enough to survive. His two children are not able to attend school, and can only write their names, he said.

With your donations, help has arrived for this family and others in Marc-Cavaillon and surrounding villages. Mr. Maxi and his family will soon have a new home, thanks to support from people like you. Because of the remote location of this village, families here say they never receive any government assistance, even after major catastrophes like Hurricane Sandy. Residents said they consider World Concern’s help a “response from heaven.”

Thank you for helping us reach families like this who lost everything in this disaster. We are working to repair or rebuild more homes damaged by the storm in this area. We’re also giving families small cash grants to buy food, restart businesses, and get back on their feet earning income again.

Helping U.S. families recover

In the U.S., we’re working through partners who were on the ground on the East Coast within days of the storm, assessing needs, providing spiritual support, and organizing opportunities for cleanup teams. One partner your donations are helping support immediately dispatched rapid response clean up teams to communities in Northern New Jersey, such as the town of Little Ferry, which was heavily damaged by the storm surge.

As we maintain these relationships with our partners and assist with long-term recovery, we will continue to walk alongside families on the East Coast and in Haiti who lost so much. With a disaster of this magnitude, it will take time before life returns to “normal.”

Thank you for standing with us as we help families rebuild their lives.

Another view of the damage to Mr. Maxi
Another view of the damage to Mr. Maxi's property.

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