Haiti: 'It was like a huge bomb fell' February 17, 2010
One of the first disaster responders to land in Haiti after the January 12 earthquake, Richard Jacquot of Ashland found that his most powerful tool was his Blackberry, which he used to organize help from neighboring nations. With 230,000 dead and chaos all around him, Jacquot slept in the airport parking lot the first night and, with dawn, leaped into his job as disaster team administrator, setting up water sanitation, building 800 latrines, distributing life's necessities and launching a cash-for-work program.
Haiti: S. Oregon relief worker returns from Haiti February 15, 2010
MEDFORD, Ore. - A Southern Oregonian who traveled to Haiti to help rebuild after last month's massive earthquake is home. Richard Jacquot was the team leader for the Portland-based Mercy Corps Initial Emergency Response Unit. The unit worked with other relief agencies to sanitize water, help children who had experienced emotional trauma, and started a cash for work program. Haitians were given $5 a day to do community work. They cleaned streets and prepared a drainage canal for the upcoming rainy season, which typically starts in March, but appears to have come early.
Haiti: Group addresses mental health needs of Haitian children February 15, 2010
In the weeks since the horrific earthquake that leveled much of Haiti's capital we've seen images of death and destruction and a few amazing rescues. But one aspect of the devastation that the television screen cannot capture is the psychological trauma of a generation of Haitian children who have experienced dramatic loss and serious injury. "Comfort for Kids" is a program developed by Mercy Corps, a non profit international humanitarian organization, and child care provider Bright Horizons. Its aim is to help Haitian children traumatized by the earthquake.
Haiti: Timbers will play benefit match for Haitian relief February 15, 2010
The Portland Timbers will play the University of Portland Pilots this Wednesday in a charity match to benefit Haiti. Tickets are $7 and the money raised will go to Mercy Corps. The Portland aid agency is providing shelter and food to earthquake survivors in Haiti. The Timbers announced last week they had signed Haitian National Team Midfielder James Marcelin. He’s been playing for the Puerto Rico Islanders but was on break in Haiti when the earthquake struck.
Haiti: Haiti one month later February 14, 2010
As weather paralyzed the nation's capital with record snowfall, scrambling schedules and disrupting plans, I was able to participate in a short, one-day trip to Haiti. Normally I would think twice about the usefulness of spending less than six hours on the ground in a country, but my deep personal concerns about Haiti made it worth the travel.
Afghanistan: Afghan financier offers countrywomen a door into the business world February 13, 2010
KABUL - Storai Sadat is a financier whose clients are often found far from the commercial centers of this capital city. She loans money to female entrepreneurs, whose workplace may be a hillside backyard where pigeons are raised for pet markets or a living room where blue cloth is sewed into burqas.
West Bank and Gaza: Wheelchair basketball brings hope to the West Bank February 12, 2010
Carlee Hoffman is a University of Illinois grad student and Paralympian who wants to empower disabled athletes in the West Bank. The two-time gold medalist was disabled by an accident at age three. Carlee spent time in the West Bank last spring with the humanitarian NGO Mercy Corps to help kick start a Paralympic basketball training.
Haiti: Small fund-raisers for victims start to add up February 10, 2010
Devin Greene celebrated his seventh birthday on Saturday. His party raised $1,025 for Mercy Corps to support its charity work in Haiti. Asked how much he thought he might raise, Devin said, “About $200.” He said he had been inspired by his teacher, who told his first-grade class in Portland, Ore., that “there are a lot of bad things happening to other people.” For Dina Yazdani, a junior at Lincoln High School in Portland, it was an urgent sense that she and her classmates needed to do something to help after the earthquake struck Haiti on Jan. 12.
Haiti: Haiti relief’s secret weapon: Google Earth February 9, 2010
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Days after the Jan. 12 earthquake, a group of Haitians set up a small tent camp in an open field not far from the U.S. Embassy. In theory, this small community was well-situated to receive aid: It was in spitting distance of a helicopter landing zone. And right nearby was the World Food Program’s consolidated warehouse, where relief agencies store all their goods shipped from the Dominican Republic.
Haiti: Kraxberger students step up for Haiti February 9, 2010
Four eighth graders from Kraxberger Middle School learned a couple of valuable lessons last week: young people can make a difference and don’t set your sights too low. The girls were so affected by the images coming out of the recent earthquake in Haiti that they decided they needed to put together a fundraiser to help those stricken by the tragedy. “Our first goal was $800,” said Cassidy Olsen-Shults, but in the end they raised more than $2,000 for Mercy Corps, a relief agency based in Portland.