United States: Mercy Corps building campaign nears end
Mercy Corps’ $10 million campaign to pay for its new Old Town headquarters is nearing an end. A recent $600,000 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust put it within $1.4 million of its goal. Mercy Corps said Wednesday it is two months away from cutting the ribbon to open its new headquarters in the renovated and expanded Skidmore Fountain Building in Old Town Chinatown, Southwest First Avenue and Ankeny Street.
West Bank and Gaza: Commentary: Growing up inside Gaza
Editor's note: Reem (whose last name is withheld for security purposes) is a 22-year-old student living in Gaza City and a participant in Mercy Corps Global Citizen Corps, a nonprofit initiative that helps youth build leadership skills and act to end world poverty. Reem and the nonprofit are part of an upcoming CNN special event, "Generation Islam" with Christiane Amanpour. Here, Reem writes about growing up in Gaza. View videos of Reem and other Palestinian youth here
United States: 3 things you can do to empower women
In their new book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (Knopf), husband-and-wife Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn argue that the key to economic progress in the world lies in unleashing women's potential. Their suggestions for how you can help:
Indonesia: For kids’ sake: Designing a healthier snack cart
Learn more about this program Here Children growing up in the crowded slums of Jakarta ease their hunger pangs by frequenting the food carts lining the streets and alleys of this mega-city. Snacks are so cheap that even poor mothers can afford to send their kids off to school with enough rupiah to buy a bag of chips or sweet treat. But these goodies come at a high price. A steady diet of chips and candy is resulting in a generation of Indonesian children with anemia, stunted growth, and rotten teeth.
United States: A blend of old and new at Mercy Corps’ new headquarters
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.
Pakistan: Not a victim, but a hero
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
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
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
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
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.