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Jun 20, 2014

Building Resilience and Saving Lives in Niger

Santou with her goats
Santou with her goats

A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to travel to Niger with Mercy Corps, and I wanted to send you an update on the situation people are facing there right now and the support they are receiving because of your generosity.

I spent two days visiting villages in Ouallam, a region in western Niger that was at the epicenter of the food crisis in 2012. Unfortunately, drought returned again this past fall, and the vast fields of millet, their staple crop, barely grew. It is brown and dry and empty as far as you can see. In Tolkoboye Fondobon village, the women told me that most households only have enough food to eat one meal a day until the next harvest in September. 

But they were also eager to show me their new sources of hope and pride — the goats they received from Mercy Corps and the savings they have accumulated in the village savings and loans groups we helped them form. Both of these assets will allow the women to buy food in the market when they need it most this lean season. It's the first time in many of their lives that they've had the resources to help their families themselves.

These women struggle just to eat every day, but they are so strong. I spent some time with one woman named Santou. I was so happy to see that the two goats that Mercy Corps gave her over a year ago have now turned into five. Though she worries about the bad harvest, she is focused on her animals and what they can provide with her hard work — an income that is not dependent on the unpredictable rain.

That's what I saw over and over throughout my visit — communities asking for the opportunity to work hard to help themselves. And a team who is dedicated to finding the solutions that work best in these harsh conditions. I hope you will accept my sincerest thanks for your support on behalf of families in the Sahel. This is another difficult time in Niger, but without you, Mercy Corps would not be able to help families through it. 

 

With Gratitude,

Liz Hummer

You can continue to make a difference by:

Santou collecting water
Santou collecting water

Links:

May 19, 2014

Do you know what "daghang salamat" means?

Devastation from Typhoon Haiyan
Devastation from Typhoon Haiyan

In the six months since the devastating storm tore through the Philippines, your generosity has helped more than 140,000 people survive the chaos of disaster and begin putting their lives back together. 

Thanks to you, families in the hardest-hit areas received: 

•  Food, clean water and hygiene supplies immediately after the storm

•  Safe spaces for their children to recover from trauma

•  Tools, materials and financial assistance to help survivors rebuild homes and businesses

Today, because of your support, children are sleeping under new roofs. Fishermen are repairing their boats. Parents are reopening their family businesses. 

We know recovery from a disaster of this scale takes time. In the aftermath of a crisis there is an opportunity to build back better. That’s why, with your support, we’re working to improve access to clean water and mobile banking in underserved Filipino communities. We’re focused on ensuring thousands of vulnerable families have what they need to rebuild now and meet their needs for years to come. See photos  

The courage and determination of the Filipino people to move forward is extraordinary. And your kindness in their moment of greatest need is a source of great hope for the future. As Anna says, our work would not be possible without you.

Daghang salamat. Thank you.

Typhoon Haiyan survivor
Typhoon Haiyan survivor
Child friendly spaces in the Philippines
Child friendly spaces in the Philippines
Businesses reopen in the Philippines
Businesses reopen in the Philippines
Financial services offered by Mercy Corps
Financial services offered by Mercy Corps

Links:

Mar 24, 2014

Thank You for Saving and Improving Lives in the Horn of Africa

Thank you for helping families survive the crisis
Thank you for helping families survive the crisis

In 2011, the most severe drought in 60 years hit the Horn of Africa and ignited a food crisis across the region that contributed to violent conflict and put the lives of more than 12.5 million people at risk. 

Persistent droughts destroyed crops across the region. Without food and water, animals became sick and many did not survive. This was especially concerning because most people are pastoralists who earn a living by selling the food and milk of their livestock or who rely on livestock to feed themselves.

With few alternatives, families needed to walk countless miles in search of water and food to fill their empty stomachs.  And a life of constant upheaval often pushed children to drop out of school for extended periods — many never returned. 

When you generously donated to Mercy Corps' Food Crisis Hits Horn of Africa project on GlobalGiving you helped us ramp up our relief and recovery efforts to reach hundreds of thousands of people. You saved lives and helped people gain the tools to transform their lives. You’ve made a real difference. 

Taiko, a mother from Ethiopia, worried about how she was going to feed her family and couldn't afford to keep her kids in school. Because of you, Taiko is able to take care of her family. And you helped give her children a chance to complete their education on scholarship. Taiko and her family are so thankful for your support.  

Together, we:

  • Treated malnourished children and provided health care to families.
  • Promoted peace by helping communities resolve disputes.
  • Helped farmers adapt to climate issues and protect their crops and livestock.
  • Provided vocational training and job opportunities so people could support their families.
  • Increased education, economic and civic participation opportunities for youth.

Mercy Corps continues to meet the needs of millions of people in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya to ensure they thrive. However, we are retiring this project on GlobalGiving because we have received sufficient funds to implement the programs our team aims to achieve in the coming months. To learn about our current work in this region please visit the country pages our website: SomaliaEthiopia and Kenya

To continue saving and improving lives in the world's toughest places, please consider supporting our Help Mercy Corps Turn Crisis into Opportunity project on GlobalGiving. Thank you! 

You've helped give youth new opportunities!
You've helped give youth new opportunities!
You helped Taiko's daughter continue her education
You helped Taiko's daughter continue her education

Links:

 
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