Archive for December, 2010

Poorest in Pakistan Journey Toward Recovery

Posted on Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Safe water comes to the people of Aboro Jakhro village. Photo: Pakistan, Concern Worldwide

By Joop Koopman, Press Officer, Concern Worldwide US

We are getting into the thick of our mission to report on Concern Worldwide’s emergency response to the Pakistan’s devastating floods. Susan Finucane, Program Officer, and I have flown to Karachi, provincial capital of Sindh, and have made our way by car to Thatta, the ancient center of Muslim learning, and more rural parts of Thatta district, where Concern is working in close partnership with local organizations.

This is our first look at the destruction left in the water’s wake. Thousands of villages in Sindh have been damaged, and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates there are still up to 1 million homeless. Surveying the landscape, the statistics make sense. Highly vulnerable mud houses, characteristic of the extremely poor province, were literally washed away in heavy flooding. Meanwhile, stagnant water in large areas of the province increases the chance of waterborne diseases, a risk factor that will get worse once warmer temperatures return in the spring. Read the rest of this entry »

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Local Partners are Key to Recovery in Pakistan

Posted on Thursday, December 9th, 2010 at 2:13 pm

By Joop Koopman, Press Officer, Concern Worldwide US

Their homes destroyed, villagers in Sindh rely on tarpaulin and bamboo frames for shelter. Photo: Pakistan, Concern Worldwide

Susan Finucane, program officer at Concern Worldwide US, and I have come to Pakistan to report on the progress of Concern’s large-scale emergency program in response to the megadisaster caused by summer’s unprecedented heavy rains and massive flooding that left an area the size of Italy underwater.

Upon our arrival, Dorothy Blane, Concern Worldwide Country Director in Pakistan, briefs us on Concern’s immediate priorities and our approach to this particular disaster, which is informed by a long track record in both long-term development and emergencies in Pakistan. Read the rest of this entry »

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Levelling the Playing Field for Ethiopia’s Children

Posted on Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Parents of children attending the Duguna Deddo Primary School at work on a new library that more than 2,000 children will access to borrow books. Photo: Ethiopia, Concern Worldwide

By Joan Bolger, Communications Officer, Concern US

Though she lives just a short walk from the local school, Maza Matthews, 14, rises before dawn every morning to help take care of her younger siblings so that she can be at her school desk for 8:00 am.  Like all pupils in this remote rural village of Duguna Fango, in Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), Maza’s parents have determined with the school which shift suits their family best.

Double-shift schooling was adopted in Ethiopia as a solution to the overcrowding that ensued after 2002 when the government introduced free primary education for all. In practice it serves many purposes by reducing large class numbers, doubling the number of seats available in a day; and allowing schools to operate on lower budgets. Read the rest of this entry »

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