We want to thank you again for supporting our efforts in Niger and the Sahel region, and would like to take this opportunity to share with you what else Mercy Corps is doing on GlobalGiving...
We submitted three breathtaking photos from the field to GlobalGiving's annual photo contest, and two were chosen as finalists! Help us win $1,000 for our work simply by casting your vote by August 15th!
Just by clicking a button, you can help make a difference in the lives of others. It’s incredible how an action so small can have such a big impact.
Voting is easy - vote once for both of these inspiring photos by entering your email address. Then, check your inbox for the confirmation email from GlobalGiving. Only upon confirmation will your vote be counted.
The photo with the most votes by noon EDT on August 15th wins, so vote now!
Don’t forget to share that you’ve voted to help Mercy Corps on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Help us spread the word!
Without people like you we would not have these heartwarming stories to share. Thank you so much for your continued support.
The photo above shows Santou Hamidou rejoicing in Niger. She received two goats from Mercy Corps in December 2011, and now she can breed them. She’s been feeding her family with milk from the goats, and by selling the kids, she can buy more food for her six children. The hunger crisis across the region is worsening, but she has the means to lead her family through this hardship. Santou’s smile makes it clear: a little help can go a long way.
Vote for the photo of Santou Hamidou with her new goat!
Afghanistan is one of the world's toughest places to be a woman. Conflict and cultural repression have denied them education, careers, safety and equal rights. But Mercy Corps’ INVEST vocational training center in the Helmand province has enrolled more than 900 women who are learning English, computers, sewing, embroidery and calligraphy. The photo below shows one of these resilient women.
Vote for the photo of the woman with the sewing machine!
The hunger crisis is devastating families across the Sahel, and our emergency response work in Niger -- creating income through cash-for-work projects, supporting nutritional screening centers -- is crucial to averting famine this year.
But so are long-term solutions that help people withstand the cycles of drought and hunger that plague this region.
Mercy Corps believes in helping people survive -- and thrive. In communities where we have been working since the last hunger crisis in 2010, you can see the impact in thriving vegetable gardens, full wells, healthier livestock and smiling faces.
With funding from supporters like you and the Gates Foundation, Mercy Corps has provided 370 goats as well as chickens and cattle vaccinations to vulnerable communities in the hard-hit Tillaberi region. Igue Moussa, a widow who has been living with her brothers, was provided with four chickens that Mercy Corps trained her to care for. Igue was able to buy a goat with her poultry business profits, and then sold that for a large profit, as well. "This has changed my life. I can earn money to meet my needs. I can help my children, and I am no longer dependent on my brothers' charity." With income from her chickens, Igue is even able to share food with her neighbors as they struggle to survive the desperate circumstances in Niger.
This is only one of many success stories resulting from Mercy Corps' relief work. We have started receiving national attention for our programs across the Sahel. In June, The Huffington Post published my photo essay from my recent trip to Niger, check it out to see more heartwarming images and stories from this vibrant and resilient country.
As you can see, a little help can go a long way. With your assistance, Mercy Corps is actively responding to urgent needs, and we continue to strengthen the foundation upon which families can rebuild for a better future. Thank you for your support!
Lauretta dreams of becoming a teacher. But she hasn’t been to school since January, when she had to drop out in order to help her family at home. While her mother spends all day searching for food to feed her children, the household duties have fallen on 12-year-old Lauretta, who looks after her younger brothers, collects firewood and fetches water to cook whatever they may be able to eat.“I miss everything about school,” she said. “I miss my friends, I miss class, but most of all I miss the chance that I might be able to become a school teacher someday, so I can help my family by earning an income.”Lauretta’s family is one of millions in Niger and beyond, who are trying to survive the desperate hunger crisis that has swept across West Africa’s Sahel region. Because of your donation, Mercy Corps is assisting Lauretta and her family. Her father had to leave their small village to go to the capital city of Niamey in search of work. They are farmers and lost their entire harvest in October due to the drought.
Every day, Lauretta and her family are not sure if they will eat. And Lauretta has been forced to shoulder burdens that no child should have to.
Mounkella Adamou, the headmaster at the primary school in her village, noted that 25% of his students have had to drop out of school since the beginning of the year, when the food crisis began. He predicts that the number will dramatically increase in the coming months as the situation worsens.
“The girls have been the most affected in this crisis, as they are typically responsible for filling their mothers’ role now that the women have to forage for food daily,” said Adamou. “I am very concerned about how they will recover from this crisis if they stop school. I fear many of the girls will never return to school, even after the crisis passes. Once they stop coming, they often never come back and then ruin any chance of a better future.”I came across many stories like Lauretta’s on my recent trip to Niger. So many young children are at risk of suffering the most as families struggle to survive the dire circumstances. With your help, Mercy Corps is able to help more families. Mercy Corps is helping people earn an income through our new Cash for Work program so they can buy food and keep their children in school. The projects they participate in prepare the land for planting, building toward a stronger harvest in the fall. Until then, we are also making unconditional cash transfers available to those in the greatest need.We've been supporting nutritional screening centers that diagnose malnutrition in children and help their families get the assistance they need. More than 300 families arrive each day — and the numbers are growing.In areas where Mercy Corps has been doing this work for several years, the communities are faring much better, despite the drought. We’ve also seen the positive long-term impact of projects that repair wells, establish community gardens, and connect producers to the market.Our teams are on the ground, working hard to create lasting solutions that build more resilient communities, while also addressing the emergency needs of the most vulnerable people in this perilous climate. And they need our support.If you want to have even more impact, donate on June 13, starting at 12:01 am EDT. GlobalGiving is sponsoring a special “Bonus Day,” where every donation you make to Mercy Corps' Responding to Urgent Needs in Niger & Sahel Region project will be matched by a certain percent—greatly increasing the impact of your generous donations! Any gift on any day helps families in Niger get the food they need to survive - and thrive.
There are $75,000 available in matching funds – we need you to act fast before they’re gone! Give early! Thank you!
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