Message from Tao Semko
A Message from Mercy Corps:
Hurricane Matthew landfall has only heaped more damage upon a country whose delicate infrastructure was already pulverized by the January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti, which decimated the capital city of Port-au-Prince, killing more than 230,000 people. It was a tragic blow to a country where 55 percent of the population already lived below a poverty line of $1 a day.
Haiti's recovery has been further challenged by an epidemic of cholera and ongoing political instability. Today, Mercy Corps continues its robust relief programs for earthquake-survivors while also helping them gain a solid foothold to lift themselves out of poverty. We recognize that in Haiti, emergency needs for food, water and shelter will never end unless we simultaneously address their root causes, especially unemployment and poor infrastructure.
Mercy Corps works with affected communities in Port-au-Prince, as well as in Haiti's rural Central Plateau and Lower Artibonite Valley, where an estimated 100,000 survivors relocated following the January 12 earthquake.
Cholera Emergency Response
Mercy Corps has mounted an emergency response in Port-au-Prince camps and in Haiti's Central Plateau to help contain an epidemic of cholera that has already taken the lives of 4,100 people. The waterborne disease reappeared in Haiti in October 2010 after 50 year absence, meaning many people were unfamiliar with how it spreads and how quickly it can kill.
Mercy Corps quickly reached more than 75,000 people in high-risk rural areas with lifesaving cholera prevention and treatment information. We are also delivering water-treatment tablets, oral rehydration salts and soap to 22,500 families, and are setting up 100 kiosks that provide chlorine to 155,000 people to disinfect their water and household items.
Over the last nine months, Mercy Corps has also provided water and sanitation services to 23,500 people in 25 Port-au-Prince camps. These services are more critical than ever given the recent epidemic, and we continue to ensure that families in these camps have regular access to clean water, latrines, showers, and hygiene information and supplies.
Helping Youth Recover
Across Port-au-Prince, Mercy Corps is training teachers, psychologists, and parents in Comfort for Kids. Developed after September 11, 2001, Comfort for Kids is a methodology that teaches adults how to help children heal from the loss and upheaval caused by a disaster. We have trained more than 3,070 caregivers in Comfort for Kids, who have gone on to reach approximately 61,000 children.
Mercy Corps has also launched the Moving Forward youth sports program in partnership with Nike. Moving Forward uses sports and play activities as a framework to strengthen important life skills in crisis-affected kids, including resilience, teamwork, self-esteem and constructive communication. We’ve trained 62 youth workers and coaches from 25 local organizations in this curriculum – and now we are supporting them as they hold Moving Forward-based sports programs at their own organizations for six months, reaching a total of 1,650 kids.
A Foundation for Haiti's Economic Growth
Shortly after the earthquake, thousands of earthquake survivors sought refuge with family, friends and even strangers in Haiti's Central Plateau and Lower Artibonite Valley. In these impoverished rural areas, many host families continue to struggle to support their expanded households. To help them get by, Mercy Corps has provided a variety of cash assistance programs here, including temporary employment and stipends for food and basic household supplies.
Currently in these regions we are providing 20,000 families with monthly stipends of $40 for nine months to buy food staples of rice, beans, corn and oil. We are giving vouchers to 10,000 families to pay for school fees or purchase home improvement materials, including tools, mattresses and cookware. In these fertile agricultural provinces, Mercy Corps is also helping Haitians use their talents to create their own prosperity. We're providing 5,000 unemployed people, predominantly women, with $175 grants to buy items such as farm tools or sewing machines to start their own small businesses. In the long-term, our programs here will focus on developing the rural economy through agriculture, helping farmers to increase their incomes by improving their yields and reducing post-harvest losses.
All our programs in the Central Plateau and Lower Artibonite Valley use cash or vouchers to deliver aid, giving people choices and strengthening local markets. Our key goal in the region is to bolster the rural economy and create new opportunities for local families and the displaced. The Haitian government has identified the decentralization of Haiti's population and economy from Port-au-Prince as critical to the country's long term health. Mercy Corps' work supports this vision.
Financial Services by Mobile Phone
Mercy Corps has teamed with mobile operator Voilà and Haitian bank Unibank to introduce Haiti's first "mobile wallet," a cellphone account that can store savings and work like a debit card. Mobile banking — which has already taken off in Kenya — has enormous potential in Haiti, as few Haitians have bank accounts, but 85 percent have access to a cell phone.
Mercy Corps is helping drive the technology's development and adoption by using it to safely and efficiently deliver cash assistance to earthquake-affected families, so that millions of unbanked Haitians can gain access to financial services for the first time.
Your donation supports Mercy Corps' work in Haiti, which includes a robust response to help contain cholera's spread. Please donate today.
A Message from the Faculty of Dr. Glenn J. Morris's Improved Kundalini Awakening Process:
KAP creator Dr. Glenn Morris spent the last few years of his life working diligently to improve the lives of those affected by both natural disaster and governmental mismanagement, by aligning his work, skills, and awareness-raising efforts with Non-Governmental Organizations providing aid and opportunity to those most affected.
In particular, Dr. Morris worked tirelessly with the Volunteers of America after Hurricane Katrina, often sacrificing his own health, sleep, diet, safety, and income, for the benefit of others.
To keep his compassion alive and active in the material world, we invite his friends, students, and practitioners of his system to help one of the most effective and responsible disaster relief organizations, MercyCorps, as they provide food, shelter, and clean water in areas devastated by disasters natural and man-made.
Please create a positive change in the world. Act now, and donate today.