By Kirk Prichard, Advocacy Officer, in Nairobi for Concern Worldwide US
World Humanitarian Day recognizes the sacrifices and contributions of those who give others help and hope. This year, it is a celebration of people helping people. In Nairobi, where I have been deployed on short notice to support Concern’s emergency response in the Horn of Africa, I see evidence of people helping people every day. And though international staff like myself are called on to contribute to the relief effort, it is almost entirely powered by Kenyans.
Concern’s Kenya team works in partnership with local organizations that are Kenyan-run, Kenyan-staffed, and crucially, implement Kenya-appropriate programs. It is through these partners that so-called humanitarians and aid workers—too often mistaken as solely western—are enabled to reach the poorest of the poor. Concern’s role is to monitor and assess programs, to provide technical expertise when and where it is needed, and to build the capacity of these local partners. We have been in Kenya since 2002, and we will be here for as long as that role is necessary. Read the rest of this entry »