CARE in Action: June 2019

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CARE
Children in the coastal city of Beira, Mozambique, following Cyclone Idai

Thank you for your support

Pictured above: children in the coastal city of Beira, Mozambique, following Cyclone Idai. In March, Cyclone Idai brought devastation to southern Africa, destroying houses and leaving many people with nothing. Houses, roads and bridges have been ripped apart and crops have been swept away. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to abandon their homes and their farms and live in makeshift shelters. But with your support, we were able to respond straight away. Working with our partners, we delivered emergency shelter kits, food, water purification tablets and urgent health assistance.

Thanks to your support of our Life2Live campaign, we can help provide women and girls with better access to life-saving healthcare and midwives. For example, in Nepal, part of a CARE-trained midwife’s role is to educate and share information with women in the community.

Giving presentations to women in the community is just one of the many roles a CARE-trained midwife in Nepal plays. They are also responsible for preparing the health facilities they work at, examining expectant mothers and seeing newly born babies in the community.

CARE around the world: Suffering in Silence - The most under-reported humanitarian crises

Every year, more and more people around the world are affected by war, violence, climate breakdown and natural disasters. Yet, some crises receive far attention than others. The number of people fleeing their homes in the Democratic Republic of Congo last year rivals that of Syria but the crisis is rarely mentioned in the mainstream media. And while the catastrophic 2010 earthquake in Haiti hit the headlines, the food crisis in 2018 barely made international news. Here are just three of the most under-reported humanitarian crises happening around the world today.

Haiti

More than half the population of Haiti are continually facing the threat of hunger. 1 in 5 children in Haiti are chronically malnourished and 75% of Haitians live on less than £1.50 a day. Haiti has one of the highest levels of chronic food insecurity in the world. This has mainly been due to the country experiencing frequent natural disasters and underlying extreme poverty. Drought conditions have resulted in delays in crop production, meaning that some families are struggling to find enough food to eat. Thanks to your help, CARE has reached almost 400,000 Haitians in 2018, providing food, education and financial support.

Marie-Melia Joseph, a mother of eight children, used to walk over an hour from her house to the market to purchase her weekly groceries. She said:

We ate what we could harvest from our small family plot and bought what we could with whatever money we made from selling fruits we gathered on the road. Some days were better than others but I can’t recall the last decent meal we had.

This quickly changed when she found out that she was eligible to receive monthly food vouchers provided by CARE to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as staple food such as maize, beans and rice. She says:

This voucher really changed my life… it meant that I could finally rest a little easier and not worry so much about where the next meal would come from.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

More than two decades of violence in the DRC has caused a decline in farming, meaning many families are facing the threat of hunger. Around 12.8 million people are currently facing the threat of hunger. This includes 4.3 million malnourished children; 1.3 million of them suffering from severe malnutrition. Cholera and the Ebola virus also continue to pose severe health threats to communities. There are at least 8.5 million people at risk of these epidemics. By the end of 2018, around 500 people had contracted Ebola, of whom over 280 died.

Ongoing violence and tensions have resulted in huge numbers of people leaving their homes. In addition to the large numbers of internally displaced people, the DRC hosts more than 530,000 refugees from neighbouring countries. The DRC’s refugee population is among the 10 largest in the world. Women and children make up the majority of refugees and more than half are under 18 years old, who have been separated from their family members and have crossed borders alone. In response to this crisis, CARE is providing assistance in the area of sexual and reproductive health.

CARE also works through local health centres and communities to provide health services and food. In response to the Ebola crisis, CARE is providing safe water as well as supporting communities to play an active part in the fight against the outbreak.

The Philippines

The Philippines experiences around 20 tropical cyclones each year. Despite being considered as the strongest tropical cyclone the world faced in 2018, the British media chose to focus on the ongoing story of Brexit and barely reported on Typhoon Mangkhut, which displaced over a million people and killed 82 people. The storm made landfall on Luzon island in the Philippines with winds of over 120mph and destroyed countless homes and crops. CARE has worked in the Philippines since 1949 and in the aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut, CARE distributed cash, food and shelter repair items.

Deria’s home in Kalinga province was severely damaged by Typhoon Mangkhut. As a single mother, she faces a big challenge to meet her family’s daily needs. She said:

We already experienced a strong typhoon in 2016 that damaged our house. And now Mangkhut left even more devastation behind. We almost gave up but when CARE arrived in our community, we got much-needed support to rebuild.

Deria and others in her community received cash assistance from CARE to purchase shelter repair items. She says:

Having this kind of support is a big help to us. Instead of using our savings to repair our homes, we get to spend it for food and school expenses of our children.

Thank you for helping her live, learn and earn in Tanzania

The reality is that damage done to the climate is already having a huge impact on the lives of women like Rehema. She is on the front line.

We first met Rehema and her daughter Salha 15 months ago when she told us about her life as a farmer in northern Tanzania. Persistent droughts mean she can no longer rely on farming to provide an income and spends five hours every day cracking rocks to make a living.

Forty-five-year-old Rehema lives in Makanya village, Same district, with her husband and six of her eight children (the others have left home).

We went back to visit her recently and showed her how we’d shared her moving story to inspire the British public in our Help Her Live, Learn and Earn campaign.

Thank you to the 31,599 people who donated an incredible £550,000 which was doubled by the UK government through UK Aid Match. This will help train farmers like Rehema to survive and thrive in the face of climate change.

Rehema will soon start her training at the Farmers’ Field Business School. She says:

Because I’ll learn modern agricultural techniques in preserving water, I expect my yield to be high. I’m looking forward to learning how to plant using minimum rains, like we’ve been getting recently.

Rehema hopes that things will improve so that she and her family can eat a balanced diet.

Thanks to the local Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) run by CARE, Rehema is also learning more about finances. Being a member of the VSLA also improves her access to finance – as well as giving her a return on her savings, she can also take out a loan if she needs to, for example to pay for her children’s school uniforms. She says:

The VSLA is my opportunity to keep an eye on my money. My husband has no say in this. I feel happy to be in control here. I like being independent and making my own decisions.

A mother’s letter from Yemen

Dear CARE supporter,

As a Yemeni woman and a frightened mother, I’m writing to tell you how much we need – and value – your help. The future of my son, Yusuf, and all the other children of Yemen depends on your kindness and the kindness of others like you.

The situation here gets worse every day. We try to hang on to hope, but every day that gets harder and harder. Every day the bombs fall. Schools. Airports. Hospitals. Nowhere is safe for our children. For anyone.

That’s why I’m here, in Yemen, working for CARE. We are here delivering humanitarian services under the most challenging circumstances. We are doing all we can to reach families and children in the hardest-hit areas with emergency supplies, life-saving food and water, and desperately needed healthcare.

Every day, I fear my own son will not survive. And if he does, what will he and all our children remember? Only fear, hunger, disease and thirst? Only violence, destruction and death?

My country has the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. It will take the best of humanity to save us. We’re trapped in a nightmare and we urgently need more help if we’re to survive.

For Yemen,

Bushra Aldukhainah
Area Manager, CARE Yemen

In Memoriam: Immaculate Achien’g Odera, Jessica Hyba, Safiullah Ebadi, Mohammad Waqif and Mohammad Asif Frotan

From left to right: Immaculate Achien'g Odera, Mohammad Asif Frotan, Safiullah Ebadi, Mohammad Waqif (not pictured: Jessica Hyba)

We were deeply saddened to hear about the tragic passing of our CARE colleague Immaculate Achien’g Odero and of our former CARE staff member, Jessica Hyba, in the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March this year.

Immaculate was our Field Security Officer for the Horn of Africa and she lost her life as she was travelling back home to Kenya after a field deployment. She joined us in 2019 and in her short time with us, took on her role with enthusiasm and quickly became a valued member of the team. She will be greatly missed by us all and leaves behind a husband and daughter.

Former CARE staff Jessica Hyba was also on this flight. She worked with CARE Canada from 2001 until 2005 as a programme officer and in Aceh, Indonesia from 2006 to 2008 as a programme support officer with the tsunami response. She leaves behind close family including two daughters.

It is also with deep sadness we share the news of the deaths of our colleagues killed in a bomb explosion in Kabul on 8th May 2019. CARE Afghanistan’s security watchman, Safiullah Ebadi, our driver, Mohammad Waqif, and Mohammad Asif Frotan, who advised on how to get girls into school against all odds, all tragically lost their lives in a bomb attack on a neighbouring office. Our dedicated colleagues had a combined 36 years of service to CARE in supporting our programmes in Afghanistan where we have been working for over 50 years. As we mourn the loss of our brave and hardworking colleagues, CARE is providing all necessary support to their family and friends.

We stand in solidarity and in grief with these families and our colleagues in the face of these tragedies.

#March4Women

CARE International’s #March4Women is a global movement fighting for gender equality: it’s for anyone and everyone who believes in a more equal world.

On 3rd March, our annual #March4Women event to celebrate International Women’s Day saw an incredible turnout. Supporters at the event at Central Hall Westminster were entertained and inspired by a wonderful line-up of speakers including Annie Lennox, David Tennant, Beverley Knight and Helena Bonham Carter.

On 5th March, we held a day of action – our first parliamentary lobbying day. Over 100 people came to London to lobby their MPs in Parliament for a strong global convention to end harassment and abuse in the world of work. More than 40 MPs attended our packed reception or were lobbied directly by constituents – a positive step forward towards making workplaces safe for every woman, everywhere.

Huge thanks to so many of you who stood up for #March4Women. If you want to take the next step and continue the fight for equality, why not become a Global Feminist? Sign up here: careint.uk/signup

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.