Amazing changes are taking place in Afghanistan and Pakistan, thanks to your support of the projects in The Safer World Fund. In rural Afghanistan, a school for girls and boys now boasts four new classrooms and many new desks as well as transportation so that teachers can attend training. In Mazar-i-Sharif, a school for 3000 girls has a new computer center, a reinforced roof, and an enhanced security wall. In Herat and Balkh provinces, ten wives of religious leaders have been trained and are currently dispensing information and providing counseling about family planning and reproductive health in their communities.
But continued progress is not guaranteed going forward as the security situation across the region remains unsettled. Girls and women in particular need our continued support as they learn to help their families and their communities. As Mother’s Day approaches, consider honoring the special mother or daughter in your life with a donation to help girls and women in another part of the world with education, medical care, and training. Donations up to $2000 are still matched at 50 percent.
To make it extra easy to honor a special person, the folks at GlobalGiving have developed Gift Cards to let you give the gift of giving. The recipient gets to pick the projects that they want to support and then see how their money has been put to work through regular updates from the field. Buy email gift cards, print-at-home gift cards, or biodegradable gift cards, and don’t be shy about mentioning The Safer World Fund!
Hooray! Thanks to your generous donations our partners Peace Winds America and Asia America Initiative have funded their Typhoon Bopha emergency responses. Because of you, emergency relief was brought to 500 families and counseling and care to 100 children. Peace Winds America and their Philippine local partner Citizen’s Disaster Response Center (CDRC) focused their relief efforts on 5 communities in the Bukidnon province after they realized that most other relief operations were concentrated in the Compostela Valley region. 500 families in the cities of Cabanghan, Bangcud, Campuhan, Batangan and Poblacion received relief goods such as relief packages, shelter and hygiene amenities. These packages contained basic items that can support a family for one week such as: rice, mongo beans, dried fish, sardines, cooking oil, one laundry soap bar, one blanket and one mattress.
In addition to the relief that was brought to 500 families, Peace Winds America helped provide counseling to 100 children in evacuation shelters. Often times, psycho-social support is overlooked in disaster relief because efforts are focused on medical care, food and other basic necessities. Anxiety was prevalent among many of the children because they had witnessed their homes being swept away by the flood and did not know where they were going to be relocated. Many of the families cannot even return to where their houses once stood because erosion from the flooding took it away. Using different forms of counseling such as conveying their thoughts and feelings through discussions and art, the children were able to better understand their situation and calm their anxieties.
Asia America Initiative served approximately 10,000 families or more than 50,000 persons through GlobalGiving funds of $1,600; $15,000 cash contributions from larger foundations and more than $1.5 million worth of relief supplies, clean water, emergency meals and public health supplies. Your GlobalGiving donations helped send AAI flood relief teams of volunteers, college students and young professions to work with other relief teams of the Philippine military, local government officials and private humanitarian NGOs in the areas of Quezon City, Taquig, Marakina and Laguna. Their concerted efforts provided protective clothing, medicines, blankets, water purification tabs, and hygiene antiseptics as well as rubber boots for more than 1,000 children living in polluted ankle-deep flood waters.
These relief teams are lessening the possibilities of epidemics of waterborne tropical diseases such as dengue fever and leptospirtosis which is a medieval plague cause by rats breeding in garbage and stagnant water. Not only did they create campaigns for epidemic prevention, but they also engaged in other programs that are still going on. These programs include multi-disciplinary education and livelihood programs, donations of nutritional supplies, and efforts to attain clean water filtering systems.
We at GlobalGiving are so thankful for our amazing donors like you! You help to bring real change and solutions to problems that seem like they can never be solved. Tens of thousands of lives have been saved in the Philippines because of you, even a donation as small as $10 has helped to make a difference in the disaster-stricken area. Thank you!!
Thank you so much for your continued support to help provide food security relief to the people of the Sahel region. While the good news is that estimates have dropped 44% for the number of Sahelians at risk of going hungry this year, the bad news is that aid agencies are asking for the same amount of relief as last year - $1.6 billion. This may come as a shock, but in dealing with this emergency situation many things come into play. In 2012 when the crisis first became apparent, focus was placed on emergency relief such as high-energy foods like Plumpy’Nut from Edesia, Inc. Medicine and equipment were given to the most vulnerable populations, particularly children, from Merlin to help try and stabilize the area.
Now efforts are being diverted into alleviating human suffering and building resilience and safety nets. Even though the figures are similar for 2012 and 2013, their make ups are very different. The crisis in Mali has been added to the situation along with carry-overs from last year: farmers’ debts from depleted granaries, unsanitary water, poor healthcare, and severe malnutrition. RAIN has been focused on providing reduced-cost food and subsidized sales of grain to not only relieve the physical pain and discomfort of starvation, but to also try and prevent a relapse in this disaster.
Aside from mitigating human suffering, action is underway to provide endurance and resilience to the Sahel region. This is crucial in order to avoid future famines and catastrophes. Allegra Baiocchi, head of the UN’s West Africa Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) explains that “It’s not just about malnutrition and food. These are multi-dimensional problems with multi-dimensional solutions.” Water, hygiene and sanitation are being taught to children, nutrition and feeding practices to adults and pastoralists are learning about irrigation, diversifying their crops and vaccination programs.
Cyprien Fabre, head of the European Union funding body ECHO’s West African stresses “What we are sure of is that funding should remain high in 2013, which is not a crisis year in the same way as last, but is still a crisis year. The poorest went into debt, reached breaking point, but did not suddenly bounce back because of the good harvest this year. Many are again starting the year with nothing. Extreme poverty is not a trap you get out of in one year.”
Thank you again for your generous support GlobalGivers. Please remember that it is because of you that relief in the Sahel is possible. With every donation, we are one step closer to ending hunger and disaster in this region of Africa.