Archive for November, 2009

Swapping NYC for DRC

Posted on Monday, November 30th, 2009 at 11:08 am

Feargal will be based in North Kivu, one of three provinces in DRC where Concern is working.

Feargal will be based in North Kivu, one of three provinces in DRC where Concern is working.

There are many pitfalls, bumps in the road and unexpected obstacles when you’re changing job and moving country all in one go.  That’s to be expected.  Especially when the country you’re moving to is the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Canadian immigration, however, was not a hurdle I was expecting.

I knew I was in trouble when the border agent asked me what country I lived in.  I stuttered a little but the confused look on my face was the deal-breaker. Read the rest of this entry »

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Five Hours Away Mothers Are Still Dying During Childbirth

Posted on Monday, November 23rd, 2009 at 4:23 pm

In Cite Okay neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, poor sanitation and water quality have been a major threat to the health of the community. Concern has been working with local organizations, youth volunteers and health committees to clean up neighborhoods and promote clean, litter free environments.

In Cite Okay neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, poor sanitation and water quality have been a major threat to the health of the community. Concern has been working with local organizations, youth volunteers and health committees to clean up neighborhoods and promote clean, litter free environments.

It is difficult to imagine that just 700 miles from United States soil, mothers are still dying in childbirth and children continue to pay the ultimate price for contracting such preventable diseases such as diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition.

For Haitians, the health situation is the worst in the western hemisphere. To make matters worse, the country is threatened by extreme weather conditions including major hurricanes and tropical storms that are destroying infrastructure and uprooting livelihoods. Read the rest of this entry »

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Making a Big Noise in Malawi

Posted on Thursday, November 19th, 2009 at 9:20 am

Concern staff working in 11 countries across the globe gather in Zomba, Malawi to make a noise about the need to provide safe schools for the poorest children.

Concern staff working in 11 countries across the globe gather in Zomba, Malawi to make a noise about the need to provide safe schools for the poorest children.

Education is absolutely fundamental to long-term economic and social development, and yet is historically and notoriously under-funded globally. Programs that address gender-based violence in schools get even less attention and funding.

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Video: “Karibuni” from Tanzania

Posted on Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 at 5:22 pm

“Karibuni”  from Tanzania, (which means “Welcome to all of you!”  in Swahili).  In this video clip, Concern’s child-to-child hygiene and sanitation club of Kigarama Primary School in Tanzania’s Ngara District does – to my ears anyway – a pitch perfect rendition of “Karibuni” in song.

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WE HAVE THE SOLUTIONS TO PROTECT CHILDREN: BUT WHERE IS THE MONEY?

Posted on Monday, November 16th, 2009 at 9:16 am
Standard 8 students in Laini Saba Primary School, Kibera, Nairobi

Standard 8 students in Laini Saba Primary School, Kibera, Nairobi

As I am learning in Concern’s workshop with education staff from the countries in which we work, finding solutions for ensuring that schools are safe learning environments is not the challenge. Our team has many solutions. Throughout the week, each Concern staff member talked about how they were overcoming these challenges in their respective fields. Read the rest of this entry »

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Making noise about safe schools for the poorest children

Posted on Thursday, November 12th, 2009 at 8:50 am

Photo: Pieterella Pieterse, Malawi, Concern Worldwide

Photo: Pieterella Pieterse, Malawi, Concern Worldwide

Last week the picturesque town of Zomba in Malawi was the destination point for 30 Concern education staff. The usually sleepy town was already buzzing with stories that Madonna was in town when our bus pulled into Annie’s Lodge carrying team members from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, US and Ireland.

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Discovering the True Meaning of “How de Body?” in Sierra Leone

Posted on Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Women in Tonkolili Sierra Leone test out a new pump supported by Concern Worldwide

Women in Tonkolili, Sierra Leone test out a new pump supported by Concern Worldwide

“How ‘de body?” – is the standard greeting in Krio, the lingua franca of Sierra Leone. Anyone who has been to Sierra Leone has almost certainly been initiated into the vibrant language of Krio upon hearing this phrase.  And the standard answer is “‘De body fine!” Read the rest of this entry »

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Water Access improved for remote villagers in Sierra Leone

Posted on Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 at 10:27 am
Putting a newly constructed well and hand pump through their paces. Maconteh Village, Tonkolili District, Sierra Leone.

Putting a newly constructed well and hand pump through their paces. Maconteh Village, Tonkolili District, Sierra Leone.

I have been “off the grid” blog-wise since Mozambique, nearly three weeks ago.  In the meantime I have been to Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania, my point of departure.

In Ethiopia, my colleague, Foundation Officer Erin Sorce blogged about all the amazing education programs we were able to visit and document in Wollo and Amhara. Ethiopia is a truly remarkable and beautiful place, a cradle of civilizations and of humanity itself.
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