Archive for January, 2012

Investing in Burundi’s Greatest Asset

Posted on Friday, January 27th, 2012 at 9:56 am

By Nicki Sugrue

Jean Kwizerimana, 15, is a sixth-year student at Rugendo Primary School in Burundi who received a school uniform and supplies from Concern Worldwide.

September is the beginning of the school year in Burundi, but for many children it is just like any other month. Twelve years of civil conflict, which ended in 2005, left the country scarred. Reconstruction has been slow, significantly impacting the quality of education and the standard of schools available. Many families do not have the means to send their children to school and, even when they do attend, there is a high drop-out rate due to large class sizes and a lack of school materials and infrastructure. Read the rest of this entry »

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Where Hope Can Grow

Posted on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 at 2:08 am

Tabarre - Tabarre Issa. January 10, 2012

By Ed Kenney, Communications Officer

Ed was in Haiti on the two-year anniversary of the earthquake that devastated the country’s capital and surrounding areas on January 12, 2010. A member of Concern Worldwide’s Emergency Response Team to Haiti, Ed reflects on what is different on the ground two years later.

Kethlyne St. Previl, 40, is beaming.  She is talking about her Concern-supported business selling food in a kiosk on the main access road into Tabarre Issa.  Her table is piled high with a bounty of Haitian street food – small fried pastries, plantains, meat patties, chicken, hot dogs.  “Business is very, very good,” she announces, smiling broadly.  Then she looks at some of the Concern team gathered around and adds, “And these are some of my best customers!”  Laughter all around. Read the rest of this entry »

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Found in Tanzania: Innovation and Inspiration

Posted on Monday, January 16th, 2012 at 6:55 am

By, Joseph Cahalan, President, Xerox Foundation

What started out as a trip to inspect the results of an investment the Xerox Foundation made in the Tanzanian operations of Concern Worldwide turned out to be an inspiring example of how similar people are the world over. The stated purpose of my trip to Ngara, Tanzania, miles from the Rwanda border, was to see the fruits of an innovation grant in a remote farming community where most people survive from harvest-to-harvest if not day-to-day. Concern workers there had a hunch that Lantana plants repelled mosquitoes that carry malaria which is the number one cause of death in these remote hills in northwest Tanzania. Based on their initial findings, they may just be on to a big idea. I learned all about their experiments and results, of course, but I learned so much more. Here is a recap. Read the rest of this entry »

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Haiti: Now is Not the Time to Scale Back

Posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2012 at 9:33 am

by Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern Worldwide US

In the past 24 months, Concern Worldwide has provided clean water and sanitation to 75,000 earthquake survivors in Haiti, and has provided emergency shelter to 98,877 people. IN the past year, we built longer-term housing for 7,420 people and relocated displaced families out of camps.

On the two-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, I feel it is important to reflect on the very significant progress that has been achieved in helping people recover from one of the world’s worst natural disasters on record, and to address some of the criticism about the efforts of international aid agencies.

To understand the scale of the catastrophe two years ago, it is important to remember the unique nature of the Haitian context. The 7.0-magnitude earthquake was a massive blow to a deeply impoverished country: 75 percent of Haitians earned less than $2 a day, only half of the country’s children were in primary school, and the majority of the population had no access to electricity. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Long Shot Becomes a Good Bet

Posted on Monday, January 9th, 2012 at 10:48 am

By, Joseph Cahalan, President, Xerox Foundation

After another long travel day that includes a ferry across Lake Victoria, one of the major sources of the Nile, and six hours of hard driving, much of it on jaw-jarring, pot-holed dirt roads, we arrive at Ngara by early afternoon.  I keep telling myself that innovation requires risk; that we shouldn’t expect too much: that, after all, this was a long shot to begin with.  But I am not fooling myself.  I want this experiment to bear fruit for Xerox, for the people of Concern and, mostly, for the heroic people they serve. Read the rest of this entry »

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