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Apr 30, 2018

With you help life on the edge just got a little easier

Results of our winter stove trial
Results of our winter stove trial

Since the last report the snows have begun to melt and there has been a rush of frantic activity as the projects build up steam for the coming season.

Fruit

The fruit project has been working hard with our partner farmers to finalise a design for the next run of packaging which is now ordered. We have also helped the farmers start to develop a website for the juice. You can track its progress at the link below.

On the orchard side, we have been carrying out trainings into pruning and natural methods of pest control. 

The pen is mightier than the sword” (Edward Bulwer-Lytton). In Community Development work this is a powerful truth and a successful facilitator works hard to place the pen into the hands of the participants.

The Play: Orchard Training

The Scene: The Beautiful Roshkala Valley

The Act: Summer Pruning

Enter Ivan. Declaring this his 3rd training and eager to show his accumulation of knowledge and the practical outworking of his learning; he grabbed the pen, and began drawing branches and situations which require pruning in the summertime.

The 24 participants eagerly lapped up the knowledge he was sharing. Here was a respected “one of their own” showing that he was both able to learn and willing to share.

Last year, one of my own colleagues who lives up the Roshkala Valley brought some apples to share with the office staff. I was amazed. I only hope that one of you reading this, will one day be able to share in the fruitful abundance of this valley. Until then, keep cheering on the farmers who are improving their communities, one apple tree at a time.

 

Health

In the health project we have been teaching on health issues during pregnancy in a new village. One thing we have come to realise is that without the mothers-in-law on board the new knowledge the women are gaining is unlikely to be implemented so we have started working more closely with them as we move forward. 

 

Greenhouses and High Altitude Agriculture

We have been busy carrying out trainings and partner meetings since the last report. We have trained the greenhouse keepers in the brand-new school greenhouses how to get started, we have carried our phase two training for those school greenhouses who will be entering their second growing season, and we have had a great time with our longest running partners as they share new ideas and problem solve some of the issues they faced last year.

The stove trial for growing throughout the winter in a greenhouse was a big success in terms of crop - we now need to calculate whether is make financial sense considering the fuel and initial investment.

 

REMEMBER: For blow by blow updates of what we are doing check out our facebook page (link below)

 

Looking forward and the resourcing situation

As we look forward to the rest of the year we have exciting plans for celebrating International Children's Day in remote villages, building experimental greenhouses, training more fruit farmers, holding a young farmer's club and much much more. We are also having to turn our attention to fundraising again. Your generous donations have allowed us to get from October to May! We are still needing funds to get us from May to December. So all fundraising suggestions are gratefully accepted.

Links:

Feb 16, 2018

1837 families receive Hygiene Kits in January 2018

Operation Mercy local Staff
Operation Mercy local Staff

On January 25th, Operation Mercy staff and local day workers, distributed Hygiene Kits to 1,837 Syrian refugee families in the Domiz 2 camp, in Northern Iraq. The kit was composed of hygiene items such as toothpaste, shampoo, floor cleaner, soaps and sanitary pads. It was a beautiful cool day and people were eager to smile and laugh.

Prior to the distribution, our Operation Mercy local staff went through several empowerment trainings reminding them of their value and worth, and how to best interact with beneficiaries. Our local staff did a great job greeting and treating all of the refugees with love and respect. The distribution was very organized, which the beneficiaries greatly appreciated and commented on. Many beneficiaries said they feel respected by and honored by how organized and fair the distribution is. While waiting in line, the beneficiaries enjoyed discussing what their favorite Syrian food or sweet is.

The much-needed hygiene kits help the Syrian Refugees to stay clean and healthy during the rainy winter season.

Operation Mercy has decided to stop the distribution project in Domiz 2 in order to focus more on their existing development projects in the same location.  Operation Mercy is currently running a Women’s Fitness project in Domiz 2, which improves the mental and physical health of the participants.  In addition, they run a Mobility project in Domiz 2, which focuses on improving the lives of children and adults with disabilities.

Thank you so much for partnering with us to bring help and hope to these families.

Please share this update with others who might be interested in supporting this project so that more families can be given an opportunity of surviving this difficult time and starting a new life.

Distribution team of local staff and day workers
Distribution team of local staff and day workers
Feb 15, 2018

Shinning glimmers of hope on the shadows of disabilities in Central Asia

In the shadows
In the shadows

Almas' mom stood in our office holding her son and with tears rolling down her cheeks.  When Almas was born, doctors had told her that she must get rid of her son because of his disability.

"They told me he isn't even human and I must just give him to the orphanage, but today I saw my son standing and playing and you have given me hope.”

So often children with disabilities in Central Asian countries (and around the world) are viewed as being a disgrace to their family and commiunity. 

It is tough if you are a disable person. How do you deal with that if you are a parent, sibling, or relative of a disabled person?

Operation Mercy staff are there to help change this world view about people with disabilities.  Our programs help children with disabilities but also, help promote and demonstrate their dignity to themselves, their family, and their community. 

 
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