Archive for February, 2010

“Without work you are still a slave” – mother in Haiti

Posted on Friday, February 19th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Child is treated for malnutrition at Concern's stabilization unit. Photo: Ed Kenney, Concern Worldwide

We know that distributions are only part of the answer and in our focus group discussions, women made it clear: jobs are a priority and work is seen as freedom. ‘If you work, you can have a house and not depend on others … you can eat regularly … Without work you are still a slave,’ said one. Read the rest of this entry »

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Haiti: What your support has made possible

Posted on Thursday, February 18th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

82nd Airborne provide security at a distribution in the Place de la Paix camp. Photo: Tom Dobbins, Concern Worldwide.

I have just spent the day visiting Concern’s emergency team in the poorest areas of Port-au-Prince. It was a long, hot day—but it was a great day.  I feel very energized and excited about what we have been able to achieve in the past few weeks, and also excited to be able to tell you how  your support is allowing us to make a real and immediate difference here.

We have a great team of more than 250 staff now working in Port-au-Prince; 230 of them are Haitian, and we are recruiting more every day.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Children in Tanzania catch up on missed school

Posted on Monday, February 15th, 2010 at 11:37 am

 

Hadija (left) pictured with her mother at new water point supported by Concern. Photo: Isla Gilmore, Concern Worldwide.

Water has always been readily available to me

As a city girl it’s hard to imagine life without clean water. Being in Tanzania I have had to adapt to not being able to drink it, and constantly being cautious about boiling, filtering and washing food in clean water. But I live in Dar es Salaam and I have access to all the water I need.

Life in rural villages in Tanzania is completely different

I visited Concern Tanzania’s water programme earlier this month. Biharamulo District is in Kagera Region, close to Rwanda. It looks a bit different to other parts of the country where we work because the villages are located in hills and valleys. Read the rest of this entry »

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How our youth health volunteers have transformed lives in Haiti

Posted on Thursday, February 11th, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Typical scene in informal slums of Haiti. Some 42 percent of Haitians had no access to clean drinking water even before the earthquake. Photo: Megan Christensen, Concern Worldwide

I arrived in Haiti the end of 2009, when the earthquake had not yet devastated the capital of Port-au-Prince. Initially, I was intimidated by the robust presence of the United Nations police and peacekeeping forces. But, according to Concern’s Haiti staff, the UN presence had played a major role in stabilizing this island nation and improving the security situation for the people living here.

At that time, Haiti’s streets were vibrant and full of life and despite the many challenges people seemed happy and hopeful about a more prosperous future.

According to reports from my colleagues in the field, that resilience has not been hampered by the recent disaster. Read the rest of this entry »

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Concern aid worker returns to New York from Haiti

Posted on Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 at 11:42 am

Supporters of Concern Worldwide Michael Londra, Susan Finucane (Concern worker), Patty Mulvihill McMenamin and Kathy Adler attended a pre-event celebratory reception for the 2010 Women of Concern Brigid Awards. All proceeds will go to Concern's relief efforts in Haiti.

I was obliged to return to base in New York last week in order to fulfil my role as Program Officer. It was a difficult decision to make as I felt like I was abandoning the team and the people in need in Haiti, but our programs in other fields beckon, and sadly, time waits for no man. Read the rest of this entry »

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Camp residents in Haiti adapt to a new normal

Posted on Monday, February 8th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Magdala Teracine (center) and family in their home in Boliman Brandt camp, Port-au-Prince. Photo: Ed Kenney, Concern Worldwide

In her black skirt and prim white top, Magdala Teracine, 31, looks as though she is dressed for a day at the office.  A few weeks ago, in a different reality, that’s exactly where this school secretary would have been.

This morning however, she sits in a home built out of metal and wood scraps, sheets, plastic bags and discarded plastic shipping panels. Read the rest of this entry »

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Concern intent on preserving the development gains of 16 years in Haiti

Posted on Friday, February 5th, 2010 at 10:22 am

Patients at Wesleyan Hospital on the island of La Gonâve lie on outdoor beds, both by choice and because of overcrowding. Photo: Ed Kenney, Concern Worldwide.

There are thousands of families who have fled the mainland to the small island La Gonâve, just 20 kilometers off Haiti’s northwestern coast, and their numbers are growing.  In a place where the supply of food and clean water for the normal population is uncertain at the best of times, and where the hurricane season is four short months away, the challenge for organizations like Concern is immediate and massive. Read the rest of this entry »

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Haiti: One family’s story of survival

Posted on Thursday, February 4th, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Jeaninie Mascelin and son Valner Valbuen at Wesleyan Hospital, La Gonave.

We visited Wesleyan Hospital, largest on the island, and La Gonâve’s dilemma was brought home in one family’s story.  We saw a very thin older woman lying motionless, expressionless on a bed in the middle of the hospital courtyard.

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Visiting Anse-a-Galets: home to 16,000 new arrivals

Posted on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 at 10:57 am

Brian Tabben consults with La Gonave Vice Delegate Esper Feno on the island of La Gonave.

We arrived at the port of Anse-a-Galets, La Gonâve’s largest town, and nothing seemed amiss.  Boys were still fishing off the pier, roughhousing and mugging for visitors, and islanders were slowly trickling into the dockside with their bundles to wait for the main Port-au-Prince ferry, still a couple of hours away. Read the rest of this entry »

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Emergency team assess situation on La Gonave post-earthquake

Posted on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Concern's Assistant Country Director Brian Tabben (r) and La Gonave Water Program Manager Hugues Nevelus (l) arrive on La Gonave to conduct an assessment.

The road from Port-au-Prince to Cariesse, where ferry boats depart mainland Haiti for the island of La Gonave is smooth and uncongested, bracketed by the sea to the east, and farmland and the dramatic Matheux mountains to the west.

In Haiti: the earthquake is everywhere. This is why, on one recent morning, Concern sent an assessment mission to La Gonave. Read the rest of this entry »

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