Elizabeth Johnson Sellers

  • published 40th Anniversary in Our Work 2022-06-29 17:47:57 -0400

    Celebrating 40 years of Humanity & Inclusion

    Join us in celebrating 40 years of inclusive humanitarian aid!

    Our Nobel Prize-winning organization has been hard at work since 1982, helping millions of people through the hardest experiences of their lives and sparking big smiles on the other side. Thank you for celebrating with us. We wouldn't be here without you!

     

    "40 years ago, with Dr. Claude Simonnot, we created HI to help 6,000 Cambodian refugees mutilated by mine explosions. But even today, receiving a 'new leg,' an orthopedic device, and being accompanied during rehabilitation is still a question of survival for each mine and cluster munition victim."
    —Jean-Baptiste Richardier, co-founder of Humanity & Inclusion

     

    40th_anniversary_timeline_only.jpg


  • U.S. Director of Finance

    Job Title: U.S. Director of Finance  
    Reports To: U.S. Executive Director 
    Direct Subordinates: 1 
    Location: Silver Spring, MD 

    Humanity & Inclusion is an independent and impartial aid organization working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. We work alongside people with disabilities and vulnerable populations, taking action and bearing witness in order to respond to their essential needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights. 

    Founded in France in 1982, the Humanity & Inclusion Network now has more than 3,350 personnel working in about 55 countries. Eight national associations, based in the United States, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Great Britain and Canada, provide overall support for the field programs, which are implemented through the headquarters in Lyon, France. 

    Humanity & Inclusion's programs reduce and address the consequences of disabling accidents and diseases; clear landmines and unexploded ordnance and prevent mine-related accidents through education; respond fast and effectively to natural and civil disasters in order to limit serious and permanent injustices and to assist survivors with social and economic reintegration; and advocate for the universal recognition of the rights of people with disabilities through national planning and advocacy and for the elimination of landmines and cluster munitions. 

    The U.S. office of Humanity & Inclusion is a 501 (c)3 organization with an independent Board of Directors, is a constituent member of the Humanity & Inclusion network, and has its offices in Silver Spring, MD. The U.S. national association supports the work of Humanity & Inclusion by securing and managing grants from U.S. governmental institutions and private foundations; mobilizing private and public financial support; representing Humanity & Inclusion with national, international bilateral and multilateral institutions based in the U.S.; and raising the organization's profile. The U.S. national association raises approximately $30 million per year, of which 98 percent derives from U.S. Government grants. The national association conducts active outreach to the U.S. public. 

    The U.S. Director of Finance is a member of the senior management team and reports directly to the U.S. Executive Director. The U.S. Director of Finance provides direct supervision for the Head of General Services. The position also indirectly reports to and works closely with the global finance team based in France, and with the organization’s Treasurer (a volunteer Board of Directors role).  

    This is a full-time, exempt position based in Silver Spring, MD. The position has occasional international travel. This is an immediate opening.

    Purpose of the Job 

    The U.S. Director of Finance is responsible for the management of the organization’s financial processes, ensuring that they support the HI network's global strategy and priorities. The U.S. Director of Finance maintains and monitors comprehensive, effective and transparent financial systems. 

    Key Areas of Responsibility 

    1. Financial Administration, Oversiqht and Control
      • Post all credits and debits to the organization’s books in keeping with best practices and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), validating entries made by other staff and Making corrections via journal entry as necessary
      • Monitor and improve systems/tools for internal financial control and accountability in order to safeguard assets
      • Ensure that accounting systems and procedures meet national associations’ needs, follow GAAP and are compatible with network standards
      • Oversee annual budget preparation, semi-annual and annual closure of accounts and other financial reporting (financial statements and activity analysis) in collaboration with U.S. Executive Director, grants management team and global finance staff to ensure timely and accurate flow of financial information
      • Monitor expenses against budget providing monthly updates to all internal budget holders
      • Prepare financial presentations for U.S. board meetings four times annually;
      • Control cash management, including monitoring and reconciling banking and credit accounts, in coordination with the network and the U.S. Executive Director
      • Analyze, monitor, and present comprehensive financial information, including cash, on a regular basis
      • Calculate impact of proposed initiatives, expenditures, and/or policy changes on organization and budget assumptions
      • Provide advice to all members of the Humanity & Inclusion U.S. staff concerning the organization's finance manual and its application, as well as GAAP principles and accounting standards
    2. Compliance
      • Together with the U.S. Executive Director and the Board ensure financial compliance with Federal, State and local laws and statutes 
      • Ensure that all required financial and tax reports to federal, state, and local authorities (including state registrations for fundraising as well as Federal and State tax documents including Federal Forms 990 and 5500) are completed, submitted and archived accurately and on time
      • Remain up to date on all U.S. Government and local regulations with respect to contracts, taxes and income. Review and provide comments on financial aspects of vendor agreements and contracts to be signed by the U.S. Executive Director
      • Act as the lead for the organization’s annual external audit and any donor-required financial audit
    3. Supervision
      • Supervise the Head of General Services
    4. Other Duties
      • Contribute to the U.S. annual planning process as well as develop finance and administrative work plans that reflect, contribute to, and augment U.S. and global strategies
      • Maintain positive and collaborative working relationship with U.S.-based and global staff
      • Represent the Finance and Administration team in the Senior Managers Team meetings
      • Carry out tasks as required by the U.S. Executive Director 

    Requirements 

    • A minimum of 4-6 years of experience in non-profit finance
    • Bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, business or a related field
    • Working knowledge of GAAP regulations and reporting requirements
    • Understanding of and experience with U.S. Government "Administrative Requirements Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards”
    • Familiarity with laws and regulations governing charitable donations in the U.S. 
    • Strong analytical, organizational, collaboration and problem-solving skills
    • Excellent communications skills
    • Highly proficient in Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word 
    • Deadline oriented 
    • Experience directly managing an accounting database 

    Preferred qualifications 

    • Master’s degree in accounting, finance or a related field
    • Proficiency and experience with Microsoft Navision
    • French language competency
    • Experience with human resources principles and application (payroll, benefits, hiring) 
    • Familiarity with Office365
    • Knowledge of private fundraising standards 
    • Some supervisory experience
    • International development experience  

    All applicants must indicate that they have read and understood Humanity & Inclusion's safeguarding policies:

    Download the full job description

    People with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply!

    Apply

    Submit your CV and cover letter to [email protected] with “U.S. Director of Finance as the subject line.

    *To be based in the U.S., you must be a U.S. citizen, or be in possession of relevant permissions to work in the United States. Applicants without existing work permission in the United States should not apply.

    Note: Once a job offer is extended to a candidate, that offer will be contingent on the candidate passing a background investigation.

    Humanity & Inclusion is happy to meet any reasonable accommodations that an applicant requires. To request such reasonable accommodations at any point in the recruitment process, please contact: Diana Hromockyj by email at [email protected] or phone at (301) 891-2138. All self-disclosure is voluntary and personal information is strictly confidential.

    WHEN
    Liquid error: undefined method `day' for nil:NilClass
    rsvp


  • Afghanistan | Rehabilitation center serves civilians with conflict-related injuries

    Irshadullah is one of the countless civilian victims of violence in Afghanistan. As is too often the case, his injury left him with a permanent disability. Humanity & Inclusion was there to help him start over.

    In July 2021, Irshadullah was cycling near his home when his left leg was hit by a bullet fired from an armed convoy. His father took him to the regional hospital in Mirwais where his leg was amputated. He was then referred to Humanity & Inclusion’s physical rehabilitation center in Kandahar for physical therapy and an artificial limb.

    For a week, Irshadullah was led through physical therapy exercises to strengthen his amputated leg so he would be able to wear an artificial limb. Specialists then took a mold of his leg to make a customized device.

    c_Patrice-Moyon_HI__A_young_boy_sits_on_a_bench_while_a_man_in_a_white_lab_coat_adjusts_his_artificial_leg.jpg

    “I’m happy with my artificial leg,” Irshadullah says. "I can go about my daily activities normally and I can walk without difficulty."

    Irshadullah can also return to school and help his father with the garden again.

    HI's rehabilitation center

    Located in Kandahar, Humanity & Inclusion's rehabilitation center treats people with conflict-related injuries, often caused by explosive devices. Survivors of serious accidents, patients with diabetes-related amputations and people with polio are also among those receive physical therapy services. The center is staffed by 52 professionals specializing in physical therapy or psychosocial support work. It is the only rehabilitation center in southern Afghanistan.

    Donate today

    Become a monthly donor


  • Covid-19 | Center for Disaster Philanthropy funds actions in Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia

    Humanity & Inclusion U.S. is thrilled to announce a new funding partnership with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP).

    Two grants of $250,000 each, provided through the CDP’s Covid-19 Response Fund, will support Humanity & Inclusion-operated projects addressing the impacts of Covid-19 among communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia.

    In the DRC, Humanity & Inclusion will encourage community-based prevention on Covid-19 and good hygiene practices, and promote access to health care through the strengthening of women's clubs in the communes of Bumbu and Selembao in Kinshasa. In Somalia, the Humanity & Inclusion-led project will place persons with disabilities, their caregivers, supportive networks of choice, and their representative organizations at the center of Covid-19 preparedness and recovery activities, which will include community consultation and training in inclusive health practices.

    Both projects are scheduled to launch in late summer 2022.

    The CDP’s mission is to leverage the power of philanthropy to mobilize a full range of resources that strengthen the ability of communities to withstand disasters and recover equitably when they occur.

    Humanity & Inclusion is excited to work with the CDP in launching these much-needed community-based projects in the DRC and Somalia. And we are looking forward to building on this partnership moving forward.

    Donate today

    Become a monthly donor


  • Biden Administration takes step to protect civilians from landmines; reverses Trump Landmine Policy

    June 21, 2022
    Contact: Elizabeth Johnson Sellers
    2708473443

    Silver Spring, Maryland—The Biden Administration has once again barred the Department of Defense from developing, using, or transferring antipersonnel landmines, with the exception of on the Korean Peninsula, if necessary. Under the new policy, the U.S. will destroy all antipersonnel landmine stockpiles unrelated to Korea, and will not encourage any other State to use these weapons. This is a welcome change from a 2020 policy announced by the Trump Administration, which allowed landmines to be used around the world. President Biden had promised to reverse the 2020 policy on the campaign trail, but his administration’s review of the policy took 14 months to realize.  

    “Civilians can breathe a little easier today, because the leader of one of the world’s largest militaries just promised to avoid future use of these weapons outside of the Korean peninsula,” says Jeff Meer, U.S. Executive Director of Humanity & Inclusion. “We certainly welcome this step. But, organizations like ours won’t rest until the U.S. joins the Mine Ban Treaty.”  

    The Trump Administration’s 2020 decision (which itself reversed President Obama’s 2014 landmine policy) shocked advocates both in the U.S. and internationally. The Trump policy effectively gave the U.S. the ability to resume the use and stockpiling of antipersonnel landmines. Landmines are motion-activated devices that cannot distinguish between the footstep of a child or that of a soldier. In fact, in 2020, mines killed or injured more than 7,000 people—80% of those casualties were civilians, half of whom were children. Most recently, the global community along with the United States has condemned the use of antipersonnel mines in the Ukraine war.

    c_J.-Kempeneers_HI_Archives__A_sign_next_to_a_dirt_road_warns_of_landmines_and_weapons_clearance_in_progress.jpg 

    The U.S. landmine policy has always been a great paradox. While the U.S. was part of the Ottawa Process, which resulted in the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, no President has ever moved to join the Treaty. Administrations have claimed landmines are necessary for U.S. forces to successfully wage land-based wars. However, the U.S. has not used antipersonnel mines since 1991, has not exported them since 1992, has not produced them since 1997, and in the meantime has destroyed millions of stockpiled mines. The U.S. government heavily funds actions by organizations—including Humanity & Inclusion—to remove these weapons from areas once plagued by conflict, so that civilians can safely live, work and play without fear. 

    “The latest policy shift has moved the U.S. closer to compliance with the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, yet the Administration still pauses at the finish line,” says Meer. “The fact that the U.S. has refrained from using or trading antipersonnel landmines for nearly 30 years, and is counted as the global community’s most generous funder of landmine clearance, but still won’t join the treaty, is an ironic and historical oddity. This great contradiction leaves thousands of lives at risk.” 

    The U.S. is one of the few countries that has yet to join the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, joining with countries such as China, Egypt, India, Israel, Pakistan, and Russia. There are 164 States parties to the treaty, making the ban on landmines a near-universal norm of international humanitarian law.  

    “For the last 30 years we have been collecting evidence that proves, time and again, how landmines harm civilians, and pose long-term recovery obstacles for affected communities,” says Alma Taslidžan Al-Osta, Humanity & Inclusion’s Disarmament and Protection of Civilians Advocacy Manager. “We often hear that the U.S. military is doing everything it can to protect civilians during and after armed conflict, yet this statement is inconsistent with American policy on antipersonnel landmines. It is time to change that.” 
     
    “There is no place in a modern, moral military for these devices,” continues Al-Osta. “While we are engaging in discussions with different militaries how to advance and strengthen the protection of civilians, we are disappointed that the U.S. military would even consider using these weapons that are banned due to their indiscriminate effects.” 

    “Every day, Humanity & Inclusion’s teams are exposed to landmines that continue to injure, maim, and terrorize civilians,” Meer adds. “Our experts see first-hand that landmines do not help win wars, and do not save lives. Rather, there is no good outcome when landmines are deployed.” 

    Humanity & Inclusion’s work 

    Humanity & Inclusion runs projects to protect civilians from landmines and other explosive conflict debris in dozens of countries. Teams work to: 

    • raise the visibility of landmine survivors and their communities, so that the world is reminded of the scourge of landmines. 

    Notes 

    Humanity & Inclusion’s experts available for interview: 

    • Jeff Meer, U.S. Executive Director, Humanity & Inclusion 
    • Alma Taslidžan Al-Osta, Disarmament and Protection of Civilians Advocacy Manager  

    Humanity & Inclusion’s publications on landmines and civilian harm: 

    About Humanity & Inclusion 

    Humanity & Inclusion is an independent, impartial aid organization. It has been working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster for 40 years. Working alongside people with disabilities and people living in situations of extreme vulnerability, our action and testimony focus on responding to their essential needs, improving their living conditions and promoting respect for their dignity and basic rights. Since founded in 1982, Humanity & Inclusion (formerly Handicap International) has set up development programs in more than 60 countries and intervenes in numerous emergency situations. There are eight national associations within the network (Germany, Belgium, Canada, United States, France, Luxembourg, UK and Switzerland), working tirelessly to mobilize resources, co-manage projects and increase the impact of the organization’s principles and actions. Humanity & Inclusion is one of six founding organizations of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize and winner of the 2011 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. Humanity & Inclusion takes action and campaigns in places where “living in dignity” is no easy task. 

    Press contact: Elizabeth Johnson Sellers | +1 (240) 450-3538 | [email protected]


  • Jordan | Judy’s mobility improves with physical therapy

    Judy, 8, lives with leg paralysis and has difficulty with certain movements. For weeks, she has been attending rehabilitation sessions with Humanity & Inclusion to improve her mobility and gain more independence.

    Judy lives in Amman, Jordan, with her mother and her sister. When she was younger, a bacterial infection eventually caused her to lose mobility in her legs and develop a disability that affects her movement.

    “She has a neurological condition called hydrocephalus and weakness in her lower limbs, so she uses a wheelchair to get around,” explains Suhad Abood, Humanity & Inclusion’s community-based rehabilitation manager. “She was unable to sit up on her own and has difficulty grasping objects. Now, Judy participates in rehabilitation sessions, physical therapy sessions and occupational therapy sessions to help improve her movement and become more independent.”

    After initially seeking rehabilitation services at a nearby hospital, Judy’s mother learned of the new Primary Health Center, which opened in Amman in March 2022. The first of its kind, the center serves around 600 people per day and is easier for many members of the community to access since the hospital is often crowded. At the center, Humanity & Inclusion provides rehabilitation services such as physical and occupational therapy, and services that support people with cerebral palsy, survivors of strokes and individuals with mobility challenges.

    c_D.-Ginsburg_HI__A_young_girl_wearing_glasses_reaches_into_the_air__mimicking_the_movement_of_a_male_physical_therapist_wearing_an_HI_vest._Two_women_wearing_head_coverings_are_on_either_side_of_the_girl.jpg

    Judy has been visiting the center once a week for seven weeks and has already begun to see changes. Her mother says that Judy’s hand movements have improved to where she can now catch objects, and she is able to sit up without requiring support.

    During a recent visit to the center, Humanity & Inclusion’s rehabilitation specialists learned that Judy had never attended school.

    “She is 8 years old, which is two years late for starting school,” Abood explains. “We contacted the Amman directorate to approve her registration, and now she will officially be enrolled in school next semester.”

    These actions are funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.

    Donate today

    Become a monthly donor


  • Ukraine | Explosive weapons cause complex injuries requiring rehabilitation

    Gaëlle Smith, emergency rehabilitation specialist for Humanity & Inclusion, explains the severity of blast injuries in eastern Ukraine and the importance of early rehabilitation for recovery. 

    Read more

  • Afghanistan | Fazal recovers from mine accident through rehabilitation

    Fazal, 18, lost his leg in a mine accident. Humanity & Inclusion is providing him with rehabilitation care.

    When he was 16, Fazal worked in a garden in Kandahar, picking pomegranates. One day, the vehicle that Fazal and his co-workers were traveling in on their way to work ran over a mine on the side of the road. The explosion was terrible. Fazal was severely wounded. One of his co-workers was killed and two others were injured.

    Fazal spent more than two months in a hospital in Kabul, where he underwent surgery to amputate his leg.

    c_T.-Mayer_HI__A_young_man_wearing_an_artificial_leg_walks_over_marks_painted_on_the_floor_of_a_rehabilitation_center_in_Afghanistan.jpg

    At Humanity & Inclusion’s rehabilitation center in Kandahar, a team of specialists immediately provided him with crutches so that he could get around on his own. Measurements were taken of his amputated leg so he could be fitted with an artificial leg. Fazal worked with experts to complete physical therapy exercises to strengthen his muscles and adapt to walking with the artificial limb.

    “Now I can do my daily tasks by myself without the help of a member of my family,” Fazal explains. "I feel hopeful about the future."

    Opened in 1996, Humanity & Inclusion’s rehabilitation center in Kandahar treats people injured by explosive weapons. It is the only rehabilitation center in southern Afghanistan. Survivors of other accidents, individuals with diabetes-related amputations and people with polio are among other patients treated by the 52 professionals specialized in physical therapy or psychosocial support at the clinic.

    Donate today

    Become a monthly donor


  • Ethiopia | Stimulation therapy helps children experiencing malnutrition

    Malnutrition prevented Pal from developing like other children his age. With Humanity & Inclusion’s nutrition support and stimulation therapy, Pal can now sit, stand and walk on his own.

    11-month-old Pal and his mother, Nyayual, 34, live in the Nguenyyiel refugee camp, in Gambella, Ethiopia. Originally from Nasir, South Sudan, Nyayual was forced to flee her home in 2017 due to war and unstable conditions. After leaving her husband behind in the conflict, Nyayual is raising her five children as a single mother in the camp and working as a cleaner.

    Living in the refugee camp, Nyayual is faced with a lack of resources, insufficient finances and increasing drought, all of which make it difficult to access food and nutrition for her children.

    Malnutrition has a particularly strong impact on babies and young children, like Pal, who are still developing their minds and bodies. Malnutrition and undernutrition are major factors in child mortality, illness and disability. Children may show delays in motor and cognitive development, associated with behavioral and communication problems. These can consolidate over time and lead to irreversible disabilities if left untreated. Most neurological disorders related to malnutrition are preventable.

    “I was worried a lot about my baby,” Nyayual says. “His growth rate was slow and he was unable to sit up without support like other children his age.”

    c_HI__A_Black_woman_wearing_a_floral_wrap_dress_smiles._Her_small_son_stands_in_front_of_her._Behind_her_is_a_building_constructed_of_natural_materials.jpg

    Overcoming developmental challenges

    Nyayual brought her son to Humanity & Inclusion to begin stimulation therapy sessions and to receive emergency nutrition supplies. Early childhood stimulation therapy for children experiencing malnourishment stimulates motor skills and cognitive development through personalized care and playing with toys. Humanity & Inclusion’s rehabilitation specialists developed the therapy to use alongside emergency nutrition initiatives, rehydration and essential medical care to give children the best chance of survival, resilience and an improved quality of life.

    After attending sessions with his mother, Pal began to show improvements. He can now sit without any support, stand by himself and he has recently started walking independently. Nyayual also learned skills to continue Pal’s progress at home.

    “Being able to play with his peers and siblings at home also helps Pal to improve his social interactions and learn some gestures, which improves his language skills,” explains Gadisa Obsi, a physical therapist for Humanity & Inclusion in Ethiopia.

    It’s been five months since Pal’s family began receiving nutritional support from Humanity & Inclusion, and Nyayual says she is very pleased with her son’s performance, which now fits with his age group. Pal’s favorite activities are dancing and “playing drums” by beating on household objects. His favorite food is mashed potatoes with milk.

    “My ultimate goal is to see him go to school,” Nyayual says. “I hope one day he can become an educated person who will bring real change for our family.”

    These actions are funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and implemented by Action Against Hunger, Humanity & Inclusion and other partner organizations.

    Donate today

    Become a monthly donor


  • Ukraine | Anna joins emergency response team in her hometown

    In February, Anna Bekh went home to visit family in Ukraine. When conflict broke out two days later, she joined Humanity & Inclusion’s emergency response in her hometown.

    Read more

  • Chad | ‘I had never been to school’

    Insecurity in Chad’s Lake Province has prevented thousands of children from attending school. Humanity & Inclusion works to improve their access to education, protection and psychosocial support.

    Since 2010, armed conflict in Chad has internally displaced over 400,000 people and prevented nearly 25,000 children from attending school. The unstable situation left the region with insufficient teachers, schools and learning materials. Humanity & Inclusion supports the physical, psychosocial and intellectual protection of children impacted by the crisis by improving access and quality of education. The organization has contributed to the construction of classrooms, child-friendly play areas, and hygienic facilities including accessible toilets for children with disabilities.

    Humanity & Inclusion has recruited, financed and trained teachers to better provide inclusive education, psychosocial support and protection of students. The organization also distributes supplies such as backpacks, textbooks and pens to students and provides financial support for other materials needed. Present in 12 zones, this education project targets 12,000 children, including 6,000 girls and 2,400 children who have disabilities or face other challenges to education.

    c_HI__On_the_left_is_a_young_black_girl_sitting_on_the_ground_with_a_backpack_in_her_lap._On_the_right_is_a_young_boy_standing_in_front_of_his_classmates.jpg
    Fatime, 11, and Mai, 14, are students at a new school for displaced children in Chad.

    Fatime attends school for the first time

    My name is Fatime Zara. I am 11 years old. I’m from the Yiroubou sub-prefecture of Bol and I live with my parents. Before coming to the Ngourtou Koumboua site for displaced persons, I had never been to school.

    I am so happy to see an elementary school in Ngourtou Koumboua for the first time. A year ago, we didn't expect to see classrooms, but today, thanks to Humanity & Inclusion’s support, we have classrooms, school kits, text books, teachers, bathrooms, a school cafeteria, and a safe space to play.

    The school brings me knowledge and intelligence. My favorite subject is reading. I also play in the child-friendly space and participate in activities like clean latrine contests organized by the hygiene club.

    I hope to continue my studies until the end. I don’t want to be married until I am of age, and I want to choose my own husband. I am motivated to go to school and learn the French language because it will allow me to have a job. My dream is to be a humanitarian, because helping people is really important to me.

    Mai finds a safe space amid conflict

    My name is Mai Djibrillah. I am 14 years old and I am from Yiroubou, in the islands of Bol. I am in the CP2 class and I live with my uncle.

    I arrived at the site two years ago following a violent attack in Melea, where I lost my older brother, which pushed us to move and come here. Before coming to the Ngourtou Koumboua site, I went to school in the Melea village. During the move, I was taken away from my school and separated from my friends.

    I like being at the school here because I have gotten to know the other children who come from different backgrounds and our teachers show us how to live together peacefully.

    I also like participating in the clean-up days our teachers organize every Saturday. My favorite subjects are reading and singing, and I want to be a teacher one day.

    Donate today

    Become a monthly donor


  • Nepal | Learning facilitators improve inclusive education for students with disabilities

    Nisha Rai and Reshma Shrestha agree that love and patience are essential in understanding and supporting the learning needs of children with disabilities. The two women work as learning facilitators for the USAID-funded Reading for All program in Nepal.

    Rai, who has a master's degree in social science, learned about the vacancy of a learning facilitator in Dhankuta from her brother when she was looking to start her career. So, she applied and began working in April 2021 to support children with intellectual disabilities in the resource classroom.

    Rai, pictured above, completed a brief orientation provided by Reading For All staff on the types of disabilities and children she would support. Rai explains that she never had any friends, neighbors or family members living with a disability, so the training she received about disability, functional limitations, learning materials, and behavioral skills have made it easier for her to support the students.

    "Initially, I was not sure if I would be able to continue to support the children with intellectual disability, but eventually I have learned to engage with them and love my work," Rai says.

    Rai works regularly at the Shree Aadharbhut School's Intellectual Resource Class, where she engages with children using functional toys like balls and sponge letters, as well as electronic tablets. She is proud to see the children welcoming her with smiling faces and gestures every day. 

    Similar to Rai, Shrestha is a learning facilitator in the Bhaktapur district. She supports children who are blind or have low vision in their studies and beams when describing the value she has found in working with children. Shrestha’s desire to better assist students with low vision motivated her to learn basic braille.

    Before becoming a learning facilitator, Shrestha’s experience working with people with disabilities was limited to an internship at a community-based rehabilitation organization. In April 2021, she joined the Reading For All program with the goal of bringing positive change to the lives of children with disabilities.

    Shrestha’s loving and caring nature has helped her quickly bond with children and build trust with students’ family members.

    c_Sadiksha-Malla_HI__A_woman_helps_a_student_with_her_schoolwork_in_a_classroom_in_Nepal.jpgSanju Adhikari, a Reading For All learning facilitator, supports a student who has a disability at a school in Dhankuta.

    Barriers to inclusive education

    Children with disabilities face challenging barriers to education. Nearly 50% of children with disabilities do not attend school. For every child to learn and develop the skills they need to succeed, they need an inclusive education. According to a study by Humanity & Inclusion, 83% of parents and caregivers of children with disabilities worried that their children would fall further behind in school because of Covid-19.

    During the pandemic, the Reading For All program supported 35 resource classrooms with 62 learning facilitators, like Rai and Shrestha, to bridge the learning. Most of the learning facilitators were newly introduced to disability-inclusive education and are continuing careers in the field. These learning facilitators supported children by developing individualized education plans.

    “In order to ensure we Leave No One Behind and to meet SDG4, inclusive education goes beyond enrollment in the classroom and requires trained teachers, adequate learning resources, adapted school infrastructure, and engaged parents,” adds Sanju Nepali, Inclusive Education Specialist for Humanity & Inclusion in Nepal.

    Donate today

    Become a monthly donor


  • Democratic Republic of the Congo | Developing local agriculture to alleviate the food crisis

    In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Humanity & Inclusion is working alongside local farmers to help communities cope with the threat of a food crisis.

    More than 35% of the population in the Kasaï-Central province in the Democratic Republic of Congo is severely food insecure, leading to increasing levels of malnutrition. Action Against Hunger, Humanity & Inclusion and other partners are implementing agricultural recovery and food aid activities, funded by USAID, in the Dibaya area that will reach more than 32,500 people.

    In March 2022, Humanity & Inclusion distributed vegetable growing kits to 4,700 households. These kits contained a spade, hoes, a rake, a watering can and seeds for vegetables including cabbage, okra, eggplant and tomato.

    Supported by state technical services, Humanity & Inclusion teams have trained 63 “relay” farmers in vegetable-growing practices. The training is designed to strengthen the farmers’ skills while teaching them eco-friendly farming techniques, such as growing crops without the use of chemical pesticides and producing natural fertilizer. These farmers then relay their newly acquired knowledge to their communities, transferring their skills to more people.

    c_HI__A_Black_woman_wearing_a_white_shirt_and_yellow_skirt_carries_fertilizer_in_a_red_bucket._She's_standing_on_a_blue_tarp_covered_in_plants_and_fertilizer__surrounded_by_people_holding_gardening_tools.jpg

    Agnès Nkaya, pictured above, lives in Kabenguelé and completed the training.

    “This is the first time we have had this kind of training in the village,” she explains. “It’s very useful because we have problems making our farmland fertile enough, and protecting our crops from pests and diseases. As part of the training, the Humanity & Inclusion teams taught us how to prepare a vegetable garden, how to recognize soil suitable for vegetable production, how to make the beds and how to plant the seeds.”

    One goal of this training is to make agricultural activities sustainable by encouraging the use of fertilizer made from locally available products, such as plant debris, ash and manure.

    “For me, the most interesting module was the one on natural fertilizers, especially the 7-day compost,” Nkaya continues. “This is the kind of knowledge we are looking for to improve our practices and production. We have all the raw materials we need in our villages, but, until now, we didn't know how to use them. Thanks to this training, I won’t have problems with my production anymore because I’ll make my own natural fertilizers."

    Nkaya looks forward to sharing these new techniques with her neighbors.

    “I’m well-equipped now and ready to pass on what I’ve learned to other people in my village,” Nkaya adds. “This will also be an opportunity for me to improve my own grasp of these techniques. As well as sharing knowledge with us, Humanity & Inclusion has provided us with equipment—waterproofs, rubber boots, rope and logbooks—to help us when we train other people. I will make good use of it!"

    GREEN Initiative: Humanity & Inclusion is committed to reducing the adverse effects of climate change on populations worldwide. We help communities prepare for and adapt to climate shocks and stresses, and we respond to crises magnified by environmental factors. Applying a disability, gender and age (DGA) inclusion lens across all our actions, we advocate for practitioners and policy-makers to embed DGA in their climate work as well. Humanity & Inclusion is also determined to reduce its own ecological footprint by adapting and implementing environmentally conscious approaches to humanitarian action.

    Donate today

    Become a monthly donor


  • Ukraine | Teams deliver food, bedding, other essential supplies

    In Ukraine, Humanity & Inclusion's teams and Atlas Logistics experts are partnering with local organizations and volunteer networks to deliver humanitarian goods in active war zones.

    Read more

  • Yemen | Study: People with disabilities lack access to services

    In Yemen, people with disabilities face difficulties fleeing violence and accessing aid. Humanity & Inclusion recently published a case study on the protection of people with disabilities in Yemen, drawing attention to the fact that the UN resolution on this issue adopted by the Security Council in 2019 remains largely unimplemented.

    Yasmine Daelman, Humanity & Inclusion’s advocacy advisor, provides her insight.

    Q: What is the situation like in Yemen today?

    More than seven years of war in Yemen have caused one of the biggest humanitarian crises in the world. Around 75% of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance. Extensive bombing and shelling in populated areas have caused widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure. 150,000 Yemenis have died as a direct result of the armed conflict, but estimates show that the cumulative impact of the fighting, with the continuing deterioration of infrastructures and services, is responsible for a further 380,000 deaths. A temporary truce was declared in April, but it remains to be seen how long it will last, as dozens of violations are being reported every day.

    Q: How are people with disabilities affected by living in a war zone like Yemen?

    People with disabilities have told us that they are afraid to go outside. They live in constant fear of being injured, as they are unable to escape from explosions or armed clashes. Physical, sensory and intellectual limitations can all prevent a person with disabilities from escaping the violence. Many people with hearing disabilities, for example, have sustained conflict-related injuries because they couldn’t hear and understand what was happening. Not being able to perceive situations of violence causes significant and debilitating feelings of anxiety and psychological distress in these individuals.

    The World Health Organization estimates that some 4.8 million people in Yemen have at least one disability, but there is no precise data on their number and situation. What is certain, however, is that this number has increased significantly since the beginning of the war due to conflict-related injuries caused by the widespread use of explosive weapons, and also indirect consequences of the conflict, such as diseases going untreated due to disrupted or inaccessible health services.

    People with disabilities are the most marginalized in crisis-affected communities, including in Yemen. Their needs are largely unmet. They live unshielded and unseen, to quote the title of the report we produced in partnership with the Arab Human Rights Foundation. The “Unshielded, Unseen” report discusses the implementation in Yemen of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2475 on the protection of people with disabilities in armed conflict.

    Q: Over 4 million people have been internally displaced by violence in Yemen. How are people with disabilities specifically affected by displacement?

    Firstly, conflict and displacement increase the risk of people with disabilities being separated from their caregivers. Sometimes, they may even be abandoned: People with physical disabilities, for example, are often unable to flee and so when a family has to escape the violence, they are sometimes left behind.

    Secondly, camps for internally displaced people in Yemen lack adequate basic services and accessible infrastructure for people with disabilities, such as toilets and other sanitation facilities. Food distribution points are also difficult to access. As a result, their most basic needs are often unmet. Communication materials and methods in a camp are also not adapted to the needs of people with visual or hearing disabilities, who are therefore excluded from much of the support and assistance provided.

    Q: Access to aid and services in Yemen remains extremely restricted. What is the impact on people with disabilities?

    Around 60% of people in Yemen live in rural areas, while the vast majority of services still functioning tend to be concentrated around urban centers. The availability of services has also decreased significantly since the war started. At least half of Yemen’s health facilities have been destroyed, become non-functional or damaged to an extent they can no longer operate. The use of explosive weapons in populated areas has destroyed much of the very infrastructure that people with disabilities so desperately need.

    Furthermore, an estimated 10 million people across Yemen—around 50% of the population in need—are living in areas where access to services is limited. 81% of the people with disabilities we interviewed told us that they are unable to access humanitarian services: they are too far away; they cannot afford the transport; the roads are too dangerous because they are littered with landmines, and so on. The reasons are many. All of these factors combined make it extremely difficult for people with disabilities to access the services they need.

    The challenges they face can also come from barriers such as negative attitudes, misconceptions, and stigma. Another issue is that people with disabilities are often not consulted on their actual needs or asked to share their experiences in coordination spaces and international forums where decisions affecting them are made.

    Q: What can be done to improve the situation of people with disabilities in war zones?

    All states must strengthen their commitment to the implementation of Resolution 2475. Humanity & Inclusion is seeking to remind all parties to conflicts and their allies worldwide of the utmost necessity to uphold all of their obligations under International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), with special attention to article 11 on the rights of people with disabilities in situations of armed conflict and humanitarian emergencies.

    States must also ensure that dedicated resources are available to humanitarian and development partners to enable them to mainstream inclusion across humanitarian and development responses and ensure the meaningful participation of groups at risk of discrimination in humanitarian and development programming phases.

    c_J.F.-Roland_HI__A_woman_with_brown_hair_and_brown_eyes_smiles_slightly._She_is_wearing_a_navy_tshirt_with_a_white_HI_logo_on_the_chest_and_right_arm.jpgYasmine Daelman, Advocacy Advisor for Humanity & Inclusion

    “Unshielded, Unseen: The Implementation of UNSC Resolution 2475 on the Protection of People with Disabilities in Armed Conflict in Yemen”

    This report examines the situation of people with disabilities in Yemen in the light of the provisions set forth in UNSC Resolution 2475 and makes recommendations to facilitate the implementation of this resolution in the context of Yemen. For the purposes of this report, Humanity & Inclusion staff conducted a literature review and key informant interviews with representatives from eight local organizations of people with disabilities and talked to affected people and INGO professionals in the field. These interviews and research took place from March to April 2022. The report also contains anecdotal and empirical evidence drawn from Humanity & Inclusion’s experience of implementing activities for and with people with disabilities in Yemen.

    In 2019, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2475

    On June 20, 2019, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2475, a landmark resolution calling on states and parties to armed conflict to protect people with disabilities in conflict situations and to uphold their rights, including by ensuring they have unimpeded access to justice, basic services and humanitarian assistance. Comprehensive and clear, Resolution 2475 establishes several concrete actions to be taken by states, parties to conflicts, the UN and the international community at large to address the challenges experienced by people with disabilities in situations of armed conflict. However, the impact of the Resolution is entirely dependent on its implementation—and a lack of action on the ground leaves people with disabilities disproportionately affected by conflicts around the world. This is especially the case in Yemen, where some 4.8 million people are estimated to be living with at least one form of disability.

    Donate today

    Become a monthly donor


  • published New York City Marathon in Take Action 2022-05-24 10:38:14 -0400

    TCSMYCM22_charity_logo_RGB_horizontal_FC.pnghero_c_S.-Wohlfahrt_HI__Two_young_Black_boys_stand_on_the_sidewalk_outside_of_their_school._One_boy_has_two_artificial_legs_and_is_walking_with_crutches.jpg

    Humanity & Inclusion has been chosen as an official partner for the 2022 TCS New York City Marathon which takes place on November 6, 2022.

    Of the tens of thousands of runners who will participate, a portion of them will be representing Humanity & Inclusion! Will you be among them?

    The 2022 TCS New York City Marathon will involve runners from all over the world participated both in person and virtually. In order to ensure a safe race day, participants traveling to New York are expected to adhere to federal, state, and local health and safety guidelines, including pre-travel testing and quarantine requirements. NYRR's guidelines will include social distancing, elimination of touchpoints, enhanced health and safety protocols, and testing and tracing. 

    By racing in support of Humanity & Inclusion, the marathon team will help fund our work alongside people with disabilities, as well as survivors of conflict and disaster, in 60 countries.

    Are you interested in racing for Humanity & Inclusion? Let us know!

    Let us know

  • Ukraine | Volunteer hotline supports mental health needs

    With rising mental health and psychosocial support needs in Ukraine, a volunteer hotline, supported by Humanity & Inclusion, allows affected populations to access services any time, from anywhere.

    Read more

  • Mali | Climate change forces farmers to work overtime

    As a farmer, Fadimata Walet, relies on regular rainfall to provide for her 10-person household in Mali. Fadimata shares the challenges she’s facing as a result of environmental changes.  

    I work as a farmer, which serves as the main source of income for my family. We practice rain-fed agriculture, so we sow our seeds in the wintertime.

    The rains used to be abundant, and so were the harvests. I was able to repay the credit I took out to prepare for the agricultural season and I had enough left over to cover six to eight months of my family's millet (a grain rich in fiber) needs. Over the years, we have noticed a decrease in the frequency and quantity of rain. The harvests became worse and even our finest seeds produced almost nothing.

    There is a pond that used to fill up during the winter period, and the water is used by the women for market gardening. Before, it could last three to four months without drying up. But these last years, it barely stays one month after the winter. So, we have no choice but to reduce the area that we cultivate.

    ‘Trying to adapt’

    Faced with this situation, I have had to take on more work. I started cultivating more diverse plant species, hoping to have a quantity of harvest that could cover me for two or three months. I started to grow vegetables that I sell with the help of my daughter. I also sell firewood and charcoal that I bring from the bush to provide for my family. I offer my services as a cook for ceremonies, and I had to resort to large debts and a loan to revitalize my small business.

    I didn't need all this before, because the rains were abundant and sustained us. I know many families who go to the Mbera refugee camp in Mauritania after the harvest, where they receive food donations from NGOs because their crops are not enough. We hope that things will improve for us, but for the moment we are doing our best with what we have.

    Times are hard and we are trying to adapt, but it is very hard to hold on for many of us. I know today that my situation is better than many other families who do not have support.

    For two years now, I have been receiving financial support from Humanity & Inclusion, which is enough to cover my family’s food needs. I have a smile on my face because I am relieved from having to borrow, beg or go into debt to feed by family. I have also been able to buy some garden supplies to cultivate my millet field and harvest the vegetables my daughter sells at the market. Without this project, many households would be starving. Today, I am able to meet the needs of my family and am gradually returning to a normal life.

    Supporting families impacted by climate change

    In Mali, Humanity & Inclusion works to support households and communities like Fadimata’s by reinforcing their resilience to the risks of food and nutrition insecurity in response to climate change.

    The organization provides financial support to families for daily necessities, strengthens malnutrition prevention community groups and implements infant and child dietary advice through community specialists. The project also supports local initiatives and community projects and reinvigorates spaces for dialogue between local leaders and affected citizens to promote the shared management of natural resources.

    Donate today

    Become a monthly donor


  • Iraq | Airstrike survivor improves neighbors' mental health

    Anfal Mahmoud Ali, shares how her experience living amid conflict shapes her work as a mental health and psychosocial support officer for Humanity & Inclusion in Iraq.

    I remember May 5, 2017, like it was yesterday.   

    My family had been hiding in our bathroom for days without food or water, clutching our IDs. Our neighborhood in Mosul had been liberated from ISIS, but fighting on our street persisted. Then the airstrike happened. Our family home crumbled around us. By a miracle, we survived and managed to escape first to a neighbor’s house, then to a displacement camp. 

    Later that year, we returned to Mosul. We had nothing. A friend of mine told me that Humanity & Inclusion was hiring, so I applied. Since working here, I've been able to support my family, repair my house, and rebuild our lives.  

    I've seen first-hand the effect that conflict has on civilians. They lose their loved ones, their jobs, and their homes. And they usually face poor conditions, even after the fighting is over. Violence and devastation can cause people to experience depression, sadness and sometimes suicidal thoughts. Some people suppress their feelings. Others develop physical or chronic illness as their mental health needs go untreated.  

    My colleagues and I conduct awareness sessions with people experiencing psychological trauma, encouraging them to seek help and teaching coping mechanisms. When I meet all of these wonderful people, I am motivated to wake up in the morning and do my work with love. My neighbors understand that we need to stand by each other to survive. I thank those who are helping survivors of conflict, like me, access essential resources—shelter, rehabilitation, mental health support, and more. 

    Donate today

    Become a monthly donor