United States: A blend of old and new at Mercy Corps’ new headquarters August 3, 2009
Working on the new Mercy Corps headquarters, Walsh Construction Co. found a way to build a bridge to the past: a lot of structural steel. That steel, along with concrete, was needed to support a building that wouldn’t have survived a major earthquake – especially with a wall removed to add a new wing, said Afton Walsh, assistant superintendent with Walsh Construction. “If you had a really strong breeze, this thing would have fallen over,” Walsh said.
Quick-start project for appeals July 29, 2009
An initiative to speed up fundraising for international disasters has been unveiled in Edinburgh. The humanitarian charity Mercy Corps has teamed up with Edinburgh City Council to create a quick-start fundraising process. It means the city can respond as soon as there is an overseas emergency. In an international emergency, Mercy Corps argues the early days are crucial - the sooner you can raise funds, the sooner you can move in aid.
Pakistan: Not a victim, but a hero July 27, 2009
After being kidnapped at the age of 16 by a group of thugs and enduring a year of rapes and beatings, Assiya Rafiq was delivered to the police and thought her problems were over. Then, she said, four police officers took turns raping her. The next step for Assiya was obvious: She should commit suicide. That’s the customary escape in rural Pakistan for a raped woman, as the only way to cleanse the disgrace to her entire family.
United States: Businesswoman balances demands to mentor other women July 17, 2009
MicroMentor is an initiative of Mercy Corps Dorit Kagy, a Los Angeles businesswoman, is busy. While working full time for IBM, working towards an MBA, and working on getting used to being a new mother, she decided she wanted to help others. While looking for some online volunteer opportunities, she discovered MicroMentor, which would allow her to volunteer from the comfort of her own home, while using her business expertise to help other women in business. “I think this is the perfect opportunity,” said Kagy.
Indonesia: Wasting away: Behind Jakarta’s trash problem July 16, 2009
Most Jakartans know little about what happens to their trash once they throw it into their waste bins. By the morning, the waste has miraculously disappeared and as long as it’s not around anymore, why bother worrying about the landfills or recycling and composting? “I really don’t know where my trash goes or who picks it up,” said Rena Nurul Agustiary, a homeowner from Central Jakarta. “My pembantu [maid] takes care of it.”
Iraq: Mercy Corps worker and Syracuse University graduate gives Joe Biden some advice in Iraq July 13, 2009
Editor's note: Sahar Alnour is a program manager for Mercy Corps in Iraq. She spent part of her childhood in Syracuse and graduated from Syracuse University in 2001. In packing for a recent trip to Baghdad, the furthest thing from my mind was Vice President Joe Biden. I thought I would spend much of my trip helping my colleagues move boxes into a new office, and I packed accordingly.
United States: Kids rock as money rolls into Mercy Corps June 29, 2009
Eli Hirsch seems a bit young to be speaking about his fan base, or his abilities as a concert promoter. It would be easy to dismiss the 14-year-old would-be rock star’s enthusiasm as a blurring of the line between wishes and reality. Easy, that is, except for that Friday night in April when 800 people, most of them Hirsch’s age or younger, rocked the downtown Crystal Ballroom listening to four bands, including Hirsch’s band, Blind Einstein. The benefit concert raised more than $6,000 for nonprofit Mercy Corps’ work in underdeveloped countries.
Dawe praises Mercy Corps June 22, 2009
CITY leader Jenny Dawe has paid tribute to the charity Mercy Corps after a visit to its European headquarters in Sciennes. She said: "My first direct experience of Mercy Corps was as a member of the working group set up to help fundraising and boost awareness after the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004. "I was impressed at how effective Mercy Corps was in mobilising humanitarian aid for some of the world's most vulnerable citizens.
West Bank and Gaza: Mercy Corps working closer with Middle East partners June 15, 2009
Mercy Corps received a $10 million contribution this week from Qatar Charity for its work in the Gaza Strip. The two organizations said they will focus largely on developing economic opportunities. Mercy Corps and Qatar Charity signed an agreement to collaborate on a large-scale cash-for-work program involving removing rubble, restoring buildings, helping fishermen and small farmers, teaching entrepreneurship skills and designing a business resource center.
United States: Mercy Corps gets big June 8, 2009
Mercy Corps faces three questions as it grows from its Portland home base into a major player on the global humanitarian stage: How much overhead is too much? How much of the world can you save? And when, if ever, is it OK to throw a swanky charity gala in honor of destitute people? Mercy Corps' answers may provide relief to loyal Northwest donors worried about the organization getting too big too fast. They also offer general clues for people trying to sort out which charities to support this year, when the needs are great and money is tight.