Bija Gutoff’s stories
Ethiopia: 'You gave my baby a second life'
When Istohil Sheik Ahmed Abdi brought her 9-month-old son Sahane to the Mercy Corps mobile clinic in her area, she hoped to learn why he was so weak. The baby cried constantly, was vomiting and refused to nurse. He had a high fever.
Ethiopia: When no tears come
There was already a crowd at the mobile health site when we arrived. The veranda was a colorful swirl of fabric. Most of the women had a bulge at their side, belly or back that turned out, when unwrapped, to be a baby.
Ethiopia: Bigger harvests, safer food
I’m writing from under my mosquito net in Jijiga, Ethiopia. If you don’t know where that is, don’t feel bad. I didn’t either. I looked it up before I left home, of course, but Google maps only showed a big empty expanse that I suppose is meant to indicate sand.
Kenya: Drought pushing food prices up
Here's an example of how prices have skyrocketed in Kenya because of the drought. The conversion rate is simple: 100 Kenyan shilling equals a dollar.
Kenya: ‘Asante Mercy Corps!’
In the town of Lag Bogol and the surrounding villages of Leheley, Boji Yareh and Boji Eyrib, we meet dozens of pastoralist “dropouts” — herders who have no more herds, and therefore are forced to “dropout” of their ancient way of life.
Kenya: 'Our camels are so weak, we have to help them stand up'
Chief Saladi Ibrahim shakes my hand and manages a smile. As we sit down in the hut, he pauses to gather his thoughts. He is clearly troubled. He’s been chief for 17 years, and his village of Dela, like the rest of Wajir County, is in a terrible time.
Kenya: Pressing for time
All day long, as the heat swelled to a punishing bake, gray clouds teased a promise of rain. But no rain came. In Wajir town and the surrounding scrub the landscape is parched: red sand, broken branches, piles of white rocks.
Japan: Six months after the quake
Six months after the massive 9.0 earthquake struck eastern Japan on March 11, Mercy Corps continues to work with our partner agency, Peace Winds Japan, to bring relief and recovery to people in need.
Libya: Helping children heal
I recently caught up with Dr. Omar Reda, a Libyan-American psychiatrist who’s helping Mercy Corps set up psychosocial programs for children affected by the conflict there.
Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya: Food crisis hits Horn of Africa