DR Congo: American Lisa and Congolese Lisa February 3, 2010
My Thursday column is about the war in eastern Congo, looking at the work of Lisa Shannon and her Run for Congo Women. Readers sometimes ask why I often write about outsiders, like Lisa, rather than about the innumerable local people who are doing extraordinary work — often at greater risk. It’s certainly true that Congo, for example, has a vibrant and admirable civil society, full of Congolese women themselves organizing against rape and war.
Haiti: Mercy Corps veteran says of the many disasters she has seen, Haiti was the worst February 2, 2010
Get ready for the return, over the next days and weeks, of volunteers who dropped everything to help in the aftermath of last month's earthquake in Haiti. They will come back armed with snapshots and unforgettable images of death and destruction. But Cassandra Nelson, Portland-based Mercy Corps' director of multimedia projects, came back this week after 16 days on the devastated island with even more: a vision of improving conditions.
Haiti: Visions from Mercy Corps in Haiti: Women, jobs, military help keep peace and rebuild February 2, 2010
First of all, MercyCorps has raised $9.5 million for Haiti in the past three weeks. A whopping 30 percent of those private donations have been from Portlanders. Good job, guys. Donate here.
Haiti: Mercy Corps’ jobs program aims to put Haiti back on its feet February 2, 2010
Portland’s Mercy Corps is turning its attention from direct aid in quake-damaged Haiti to helping Haitian businesses and employees get back on their feet by putting a little cash in their pockets. The international aid organization has gathered about $9.8 million in donations for Haiti – about 30 percent of the money coming from the Portland area – and is focusing much of its new efforts and money on helping to create jobs and boost small businesses.
Haiti: Mercy Corps' Cassandra Nelson returns from Haiti February 2, 2010
Stephanie Stricklen talks to Mercy Corps' Cassandra Nelson, who just returned from Haiti. Watch this television clip of Mercy Corps' Cassandra Nelon, just back from Haiti by clicking here
Haiti: Haiti disaster is unprecedented and needs international support January 31, 2010
LAST week, I left Port-au-Prince after spending a few days with Mercy Corps' team of expert emergency responders. My next stop was a world away: the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The two places couldn't be more different, but even in Davos, Haiti is front and center in people's minds. Haiti is filled with tremendous devastation and suffering, as well as amazing examples of human resilience. Against a backdrop of so much tragedy and a growing number of triumphs, a few things come into sharp relief. These are my lessons from Haiti:
Haiti: Oregon's beacons of achievement January 30, 2010
Hardly a day goes by without a front-page headline on the latest crime, conflict or natural disaster. Readers get tired of negative news -- and sometimes we do, too. That's why we've decided (for a week, anyway) to shine a spotlight on the positive. Recently, we asked 50 Oregonians with an interest in public policy to help us identify some Oregon "success stories." Everyone touts the Oregon beach bill and the Oregon bottle bill as signature accomplishments -- but those laws date to 1967 and 1971, respectively.
Haiti: Local Haiti helper returns home January 29, 2010
Watch the video clip by clicking here BOSTON -- A Boston-based relief worker has seen the disaster in Haiti firsthand. Mercy Corps aid worker Jenny Vaughan recently returned from the devastated nation, where she spent two weeks in Port-Au-Prince delivering aid to earthquake victims.
Haiti: In Portland, one Haitian's medical team makes a difference January 28, 2010
In the last few days, Bernard Ferere hasn’t received any more bad news from his brother. “We’re now just trying to pick up the pieces and move forward,” Ferere told The Skanner News from his shop, Bagel Land, in Northeast Portland. Working with a team of doctors in Cap-Haitien, Alain Ferere has been working around the clock to help the throngs of people injured by the earthquakes that have ravaged his native Haiti. Alain leads the nonprofit HACAOT, which organizes yearly medical trips to the impoverished island nation.
Haiti: Northwest aid groups defend Haiti effort that's been called a disaster January 28, 2010
You can't expect a seamless aid operation in Haiti when the capitol city has been decimated, the president has been left homeless, and the official base of operations is "under a tree somewhere" (as Mercy Corps spokesperson Joy Portella puts it).