Halimo cares for her four young children alone, since her husband died in the brutal conflict that still rages in her native Somalia. In 2011 she fled drought and violence, making the 8-day journey by truck to Boqolmayo refugee camp in Ethiopia.
Once at the camp, Halimo was deeply concerned that she needed to repeatedly take her children to the medical clinic for treatment, as they were constantly falling ill and suffering from malnutrition.
Boqolmayo camp was built to accommodate 20,000 refugees, yet today nearly 40,000 people live there, placing a massive strain on the water supply and sanitation services in the camp. Diseases related to inadequate water and poor sanitation and hygiene practices such as skin diseases, eye infections, diarrhea and intestinal worms are a frequent feature of life in the camp.
This March we began a campaign to improve the hygiene and sanitation infrastructure at the camp. Before meeting with one of our Community Hygiene Promoters (CHP), Halimo had been fetching water using an old and dirty jerry can. She had no idea that this could be linked to the recurring bouts of diarrhea that her children had been suffering.
The CHPs taught Halimo about proper hygiene and sanitation practices, including hand washing at critical times, proper utilization of latrines, safe solid and liquid waste disposal, and proper storage and handling of water. Afterwards, Halimo began to attend our awareness-raising tea talks. For the last three months, she has been cleaning her compound, washing her and her children’s hands using soap and cleaning her jerry cans every other day.
“My children are healthy and growing well, and my first child is now in school!” says Halimo.
We have exciting news we’d like to share with you! Starting at 12:01 am EDT on June 13th, GlobalGiving will match online donations to our projects at 50%.
This means that your gift will go 50% further to help families affected by tragedy overcome difficult obstacles for a happier, healthier future.
Consider giving again to Provide Lifesaving Relief to Drought Victims or see our many other projects helping devastated communities worldwide recover and rebuild.
And there is more.
The organization that raises the most funds on Bonus Day will receive an additional $1,000 from GlobalGiving. And an additional $1,000 will be given to the organization with the most unique donors.
There are $75,000 available in matching funds – we need you to act fast before they’re gone! If you’ve been waiting for the right time to give, Wednesday is the day. Please don’t hesitate.
Our lifesaving work is possible because of you. Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Almost one year ago, you helped us respond to a massive humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa. We’ve been able to reach thousands of families displaced, and today our training and education programs are creating lasting positive change within these devastated communities.
Ethiopia’s Dolo Ado camps are home to more than 150,000 refugees, the vast majority Somalis who’ve fled across the border to Ethiopia. A deeply conservative society, gender-based violence (GBV) is pervasive in Somalia and women are often relegated second-class status.
Since 2009, International Medical Corps’s GBV awareness and prevention programs in the Dolo Ado camps provide key services to survivors, including psychosocial support and referral services. We also work to change attitudes towards gender-roles and GBV within the community: our teams holds community events like tea talks, dance ceremonies, and skits to educate and mobilize community members.
Sadiya was just one of the women who’ve benefited from our work. After losing three of her children to the drought in Somalia, she fled with her remaining children to Dolo Ado while her husband stayed to look after their property.
Although life in the camps is challenging, Sadiya now has the opportunity to be exposed to new ideas on how to improve her and her family’s lives at International Medical Corps’ tea-talk sessions.
Says Sadiya: “I like attending the tea-talk sessions. I can be here with my friends. I feel safe here. I have a young daughter and thanks to what I have learned here, I won’t make her marry early. And I won’t subject her to female genital cutting.”
When asked if her husband would object to her new views, Sadiya replies, “I will educate him, and I think he will listen. If not, I will bring him to a tea-talk session.”
Sadiya is just one of thousands of refugees in East Africa whose lives we’ve changed with your help. On behalf of all of us at International Medical Corps, thank you!
This Sunday is the Academy Awards©. Millions will be watching as Hollywood recognizes the past year's most acclaimed films. That got us thinking: what if we could get even a small fraction of those millions to show their support for saving lives and rebuilding communities devastated by disease, conflict, and natural disaster?
Before the Academy Awards© this Sunday, we want to add 1,000 new Facebook supporters. "Like" us on Facebook today and help us reach our goal before February 26. When you "like" us on Facebook and share our posts, you're helping more and more people to find out about our lifesaving work. And when more people know how they can help, we can restore health and hope to more communities around the world!"Like" us on Facebook today and don't forget to share with your friends, so they can be part of the campaign too!Thank you. We know we can count on your support!
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.
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Resource Development Officer