Elizabeth Johnson Sellers

  • Global Disability Summit | Ensure disability inclusion is not just a tick mark

    One billion persons have a disability worldwide, but meaningful inclusion remains a challenge.

    In this Q&A, Ruby Holmes, an inclusive governance global specialist for Humanity & Inclusion, expands on the organization’s commitments ahead of the Global Disability Summit, which will be held virtually Feb. 15-17.

    What is the Global Disability Summit?  

    The Global Disability Summit (GDS) is the second summit of its kind. The first one brought stakeholders from different governments, civil society organizations, the UN and organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) together in 2018, to discuss disability inclusion and inclusive development.

    Disability inclusion is a key topic: about 1 billion persons, that is 15% of the global population, have a disability – and this is only an estimate due to lacking global disability data. Persons with disabilities are the largest minority group in the world.

    Because of a lack of awareness amongst governments and service providers, persons with disabilities face many barriers, such as accessibility factors. However, one of the main barriers is attitudinal, as they face a lot of stigma and discrimination. One of the major challenges today is awareness raising, to show that persons with disabilities have equal rights and must have access to services just like everybody else.

    Why is the GDS a key moment for inclusion and disability rights?

    The GDS is important because of the momentum that the disability rights movement is gaining globally. We really want to keep those conversations, those partnerships going. It is also extremely important to hold stakeholders accountable to implement their commitments and ensure they are including persons with disabilities and OPDs in all of their programs, policies and initiatives.

    A report by the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities found that between 2014 and 2018, less than 2% of international aid was disability relevant. So international stakeholders must really continue to support funding, providing more direct support to OPDs and pay them for their expertise.

    What are HI’s commitments for the GDS?

    Inclusive health, inclusive education and inclusive humanitarian action are part of the topics and themes that were produced by the Summit Secretariat. They are also pillars to Humanity & Inclusion's work and interventions.

    Inclusive education

    In inclusive education, Humanity & Inclusion commits to working with local education actors to train teachers to include students with disabilities. The work will include a focus on supporting children and young people with a range of diverse and complex needs, such as intellectual disabilities, communication impairments and psychosocial disabilities. Humanity & Inclusion commits to developing a guidebook and toolkits within the next two years, to developing research on the itinerant teacher and support mechanism model, and to applying these innovations in at least five new flagship projects over the next two years. Amongst other actions, Humanity & Inclusion also commits to advocating for financing efforts, to strengthen inclusive education systems and increase investments, in international platforms and networks.

    Inclusive health

    For the health sector, Humanity & Inclusion is focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Among other items, the organization is committing to develop at least four new inclusive SRHR projects over the next four years, through meaningful participation of organizations of persons with disabilities. In addition, through continued and renewed advocacy with key partners, Humanity & Inclusion commits to influence at least four policies, strategic planning or budgeting processes in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom and European Union in the next 4 years. 

    Inclusive humanitarian assistance 

    Persons with disabilities are routinely ignored during disaster preparedness and often left behind when disaster strikes. More climate-induced disasters will increase the vulnerability of persons with disabilities. To fight against that, Humanity & Inclusion is committing to support persons with disabilities to meaningfully participate in humanitarian responses. By the end of 2025, the organization will develop, pilot and share two sets of tools for field professionals and three lessons learned from case studies.

    Cross-cutting issues

    Humanity & Inclusion has also created a commitment on meaningful engagement and sustained partnerships with OPDs across all of its projects. Throughout livelihood and education initiatives, Humanity & Inclusion will implement capacity building on advocacy and inclusive policies in five countries by the end of 2026. The organization has also made a commitment on acknowledging disability, gender and age as cross cutting components and critical vulnerability factors for populations affected by sudden onset or long-term crisis or poverty. Recognizing the diversity of the disability community, Humanity & Inclusion is committing to implement its disability, gender and age framework within all its projects by the end of 2023, to ensure that further marginalized groups, such as persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities, receive equal opportunities and representation in all initiatives.

    The meaningful participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities is also key in many other topics, such as climate action and disaster risk reduction. Humanity & Inclusion attended COP—a global climate change summit—in Glasgow in 2021 and disability inclusion was not at all on people’s radar.

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    What outcomes is HI expecting of the GDS?

    We need to increase the scale and ensure that disability inclusion is meaningful, not just a tick mark. Humanity & Inclusion is definitely advocating for more funding on inclusion projects. The organization also wants stakeholders to be intentional about disability inclusion from the very beginning and include OPDs in the design of their projects.

    Humanity & Inclusion is expecting more dedication from States, UN entities and donors to support inclusive actions. Commitments are not legally binding agreements and there was a lack of response from some stakeholders at the last summit. For this summit, there has to be more pressure, more follow-up. Commitments have to be much more time-bound and practical, so that they are more likely to be achieved.

    What added value can HI bring?

    The GDS is very aligned to Humanity & Inclusion’s work and mission. For 40 years, Humanity & Inclusion has worked alongside persons with disabilities and populations living in situations of extreme hardship, in order to respond to their essential needs, improve their living conditions, promote and respect their dignity and fundamental rights. Humanity & Inclusion is also unique in that it is working in situations of poverty and exclusion, but also conflicts and disasters. The organization’s actions encompass the thematic pillars of the summit, focusing on more development context through education and health but also working in many situations focused on humanitarian action.

    Furthermore, through its disability, gender and age policy, Humanity & Inclusion is taking more of an intersectional approach to inclusion. This approach is gaining a lot of traction globally: it is an important time and momentum to look at the various identities of a person and the role they play in their everyday lives.

    Why is it important to support OPDs?

    Obviously, we have to stay true to the disability rights motto: nothing about us without us. How could we work on disability rights without including persons with disabilities? They are the experts of their own needs, the barriers they face and accessibility. They must play a central role in ensuring that their human rights are translated into concrete measures that improve their lives.

    OPDs are a way for persons with disabilities to come together and have a united voice. That uniform voice and collective movement has really played a huge role in the traction that the disability movement has had globally.

    Humanity & Inclusion has historically always partnered with local organizations, to promote their meaningful participation, equal access to opportunities and resources as well as accessibility of the environment.

    For instance, Humanity & Inclusion’s teams are working in Iraq with the Iraqi Alliance of Disability (IADO). In 2019, Humanity & Inclusion supported IADO in a joint publication on a shadow report on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which helped the UN committee learn more of a civil society perspective. It led to 69 recommendations to the Iraqi government, which actually encouraged the Prime Minister to sign a decree to reserve a certain percentage of jobs for persons with disabilities.

    What is HI doing to support OPDs?

    Humanity & Inclusion has been supporting the implementation of the CRPD in 59 countries and currently has about 35 country projects across 25 countries, where it is working with OPDs. Humanity & Inclusion is supporting OPDs through small grants, capacity building (workshops and trainings on creating an advocacy action plan, for instance), partnership building and elevated advocacy efforts, from the local to the regional, national and international levels.

    Humanity & Inclusion’s main goal is to work at the local, very grassroots level, and then support those efforts to reach the national and international level, to create networks and spark constructive dialogues. For instance, Humanity & Inclusion has a regional capacity-building program in 15 countries in West Africa. The lead OPD partner is the Western Association of the Federation of Persons with Disabilities, who is in turn supporting smaller federations of OPDs.

    In most contexts, Humanity & Inclusion does not need to play the advocacy role, as the organization is only acting as a support and not replacing OPDs.

    Ruby Holmes is an inclusive governance global specialist. She has been working at HI for over 3 years and represents the organization in a number of international consortiums. She is working alongside HI teams to help them support civil society and organizations of persons with disabilities, through training materials, capacity-building workshops, advocacy events, etc. She is making sure HI is partnering with local organizations and that they're being engaged in a very meaningful way.

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  • Nepal | Prabin fitted with artificial limb after overcoming fear

    Prabin, 5, lives in southeastern Nepal with his parents. He was born without the lower part of his right leg.

    “Because of the disability of our child we were worried about his future,” says Sunita, Prabin’s mother.

    A community mobilizer from Community Based Rehabilitation-Biratnagar (CBRB), a local partner organization of Humanity & Inclusion, met Prabin and referred the family to seek services at a rehabilitation center.

    At first, Prabin was hesitant to be fitted with an artificial limb. Specialists worked with the boy and his parents to better understand how the device would work, and how it would help him. A month later, he was eager to have a new leg.

    “This was a wonderful change for our little boy, as he quickly accepted the prosthesis and began playing, running, and even jumping like any other child of his age,” Sunita explains.

    Prabin attends school and loves to play with his toys.

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    Ambika Sharma, a specialist in artificial limbs and orthopedic braces at CBRB, worked with the family.

    “Initially, it was challenging to fit Prabin with an artificial limb because he was not accepting,” Sharma says. “But his parents made it possible with their supervision and guidance. It was an amazing experience for us to see him happy with prosthesis.”

    As Prabin gets older, he will need to be fitted with new devices.

    “Growth is an important aspect of a child's life,” Sharma continues. “As their bodies change, prostheses have to be adapted or changed in the similar manner to accommodate them. Just as they outgrow shirts, pants, and shoes, they will outgrow their prostheses."

    These rehabilitation services are supported by USAID.

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  • Aid agencies: Dozens killed overnight in Yemen airstrikes

    January 21, 2022
    Contact: Elizabeth Johnson Sellers
    2708473443

    Aid agencies operating in Yemen are horrified by the news that more than 70 people, including migrants, women and children, were killed in Hodaida and Sada on Friday morning, in a blatant disregard for civilian lives.

    In Sada, a holding facility for migrants was attacked overnight, among other buildings, killing 67 people and injuring 108, according to initial reports.

    Initial hospital reports suggest more than 100 people, mostly migrants, were also injured, and the true numbers might be higher as aid workers and paramedics clear the rubble and verify the information.

    In Hodaida, three children were killed while playing on a soccer field, and at least five adults injured, after airstrikes, which also damaged a telecommunication center downing internet connection across the country and disrupting phone lines in several governorates.

    The escalation comes after the Human Rights Council voted to end the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts, the only international and independent body tasked with investigating the examination of all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights and other appropriate and applicable fields of international law committed by all parties to the conflict.

    These airstrikes come after three medical facilities and one water reservoir were attacked this week alone.

    Aid agencies operating in Yemen call on parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law and protect civilians and civilian infrastructure during hostilities.

    We also call on the international community to ensure accountability for all violations and abuses against children and civilians, through the urgent reinstatement of an international independent monitoring and reporting mechanism on Yemen and the establishment of an adequately resourced and sufficiently staffed international investigative mechanism for the country.

    Signatories

    Action Against Hunger

    Danish Refugee Council

    Humanity & Inclusion

    INTERSOS

    Norwegian Refugee Council

    Oxfam

    Saferworld

    Save the Children


  • Grants Management and Compliance Officer

    Humanity & Inclusion works alongside people with disabilities and populations living in extreme circumstances, taking actions and bearing witness in order to respond to their essential needs and to improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.

    HI’s US office is in Silver Spring, Maryland, and was founded in 2006. Our mission is to support the work of HI by mobilizing both public and private resources, administering grants and contracts, representing HI with national and international bi-lateral and multi-lateral institutions based in the U.S., and raising the organization’s profile. The US national association has experienced steady and sustained growth in institutional funding, doubling revenue in five years, primarily in the form of US governmental grants from the US Agency for International Development and the US Department of State.  The US team includes executive, communications, financial management, institutional funding and technical staff.

    This position will work in close collaboration with the Operations, Financial Management and Business Development teams based in both the US and internationally.

    The Grants Management and Compliance Officer is a member of the grants management and compliance team of the US as well as the global institutional funding teams, and is primarily responsible for compliance and management of grants and contracts awarded to HI from US donors (Department of State, USAID, private Foundations, universities, partner organizations and other private funds).

    The roles and responsibilities of the Grants Management and Compliance Officer are organized around the three major pillars listed below.

    This position reports directly to the U.S. Director for Grants Management and Compliance and will collaborate closely with staff in the US, at the HI Federation headquarters in Lyon, France, and globally-based technical and program staff.

    Responsibilities

    Donor Compliance

    You are responsible for guaranteeing HI compliance with donor rules and regulations including through increasing internal understanding of donors and grant regulations in your portfolio and supporting donor compliance. 

    For this, your role includes: 

    • Gathering, monitoring and communicating on donor rules and regulations (from donors’ website, NGO networks, emails and meetings) including during grant proposal kick-off meetings (narrative and budget)
    • Creating training and information content to provide guidance on donor rules and regulations to all relevant HI stakeholders including field offices; organizing training sessions and updating internal platforms.
    • Registration of HI on donor’s platforms.
    • Ensuring donor rules are manageable for the HI network by defining acceptable standards (as per donors' requirements) in coordination with the advisor on IF compliance; assess non-compliance risks and advising on risk mitigation.
    • Liaising with donors to solve compliance issues with adequate problem-solving skills and adequate corrective actions in accordance with donor expectations.

    Grants Management

    You are responsible for monitoring grants from US Government and other US donors in your portfolio. This implies being the bridge between donors and implementing field offices to maintain a healthy relationship and highlight the quality of the results achieved by HI projects teams

    For this mission, you are responsible for:

    • Providing assistance to the Business Development team proposal revision, more specifically to verify proposal compliance and offer advice in light of the Grants Management of Compliance team’s knowledge and past experience with the donor.
    • Taking the lead on grant awards/contract signature by coordinating the internal review and approval process; disseminating contract to the relevant field and HQ teams; compiling comments; exchanging with members of the Institutional funding team members; organizing kick off meetings with project teams; preparing the Joint Implementation Agreements with the HI Federation.
    • Creating and maintaining grant files; preparing and sharing contract sheets; verifying the Program Control Checklist (PCC); disseminating grant documents; entering data in internal databases and other specific tools, verifying the donor codes in HI’s CRM.
    • Monitoring the grant award including liaising with implementing country offices for grant award amendments and modifications (including but not limited to no-cost and cost extensions, reallocation of funds); conducting occasional field visits to monitor project implementation.
    • Overseeing the reporting process by reviewing narrative and financial reports; Ensuring budget narratives are conform to budgets; updating the reporting tracker; submitting reports to donor’s and to donor’s platforms in a timely manner; communicating with implementing field offices on deadlines; Monitor proper application of NICRA rates.
    • Contributing to the grants closeout process by sharing information on internal and external closeout processes for the donors in your portfolio; updating information in PMS and following other closeout guidelines and processes as required.
    • Contributing to audits by updating grant files and providing feedback to audit questions and requests; ensure files are complete and compliant: bank statements, PCC, JIA, reports).

    Institutional Relationships and Collaboration

    • Building and maintaining a relationship based on trust and transparency with HI’s US donors.
    • Developing a strong expertise on HI’s US donors.
    • Familiarizing yourself with HI’s Mission, Vision and objectives.
    • Sharing your experience of grant management and compliance to contribute to HI’s Operations Strategy, Institutional funding workshops and the US NA’s 3-year plan.
    • Develop a functional and close work relationship with the HI US Business Development team, the HI US Financial Management team and the HI Federation teams.
    • Develop a relationship with HI’s primes and sub-awardees and negotiation of award conditions
    • Participate in formal and informal networks.
    • Other duties as assigned

    Qualifications

    HI seeks a thoughtful, detailed-oriented and team-player candidate with exceptional communication skills and demonstrated prior knowledge and experience implementing and/or managing US donor funded projects such as the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bureau of Populations, Refugees and Migration Office (PRM), the Office of Weapon Removal and Abatement (WRA) and/or the Bureau for Humanitarian Affairs (BHA).

    • Bachelor’s Degree in international development/policy/relations, or a related technical field with 2-5 years of relevant experience or 5+ years of professional experience in management of US Government awards.
    • Strong working knowledge of US government foreign assistance funding mechanisms, rules and regulations (2 CFR 200) and US donor policies
    • Sub-grant management
    • Experience implementing US grants in developing countries will be considered as an additional asset
    • Excellent organizational and analytical skills with high attention to detail
    • Respectful of deadlines
    • Good interpersonal and cross-cultural skills
    • Strong written and oral communication skills, including presentation skills
    • Training and internal knowledge building skills
    • Understanding of the humanitarian and international development context preferred
    • French strongly preferred
    • Ability and permission to work in the United States or in France

    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 “Grants Management and Compliance Officer” 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.

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  • Sierra Leone | Providing emergency care to severe burn survivors

    In Sierra Leone, Humanity & Inclusion is helping survivors of a fuel tank explosion access specialized rehabilitation care.

    On Nov. 5, 2021, the explosion of a fuel tanker in Freetown killed more than 100 people and injured another 100. Facing a fuel shortage in the country, people gathered around the wreckage, collecting gasoline that leaked from the truck – then it exploded.

    Humanity & Inclusion set up an emergency response to assist people burned in the incident, as well as survivors experiencing psychological trauma. After identifying affected individuals, the organization helped them gain access to mental health and specialized physical therapy. Almost two months after the explosion, survivors share their stories of recovery.

    Accessing care

    Mohamed received rehabilitation care for severe burns.

    “I got burnt on my left ankle. I didn’t know what to do after being injured and I was afraid that the police would come and take me if I went to the hospital,” he says. “So I went back home and tried to take care of it on my own.”

    Mohamed lives 15 miles from the site of the explosion.

    “I was home when the Humanity & Inclusion team located me,” he explains. “They advised me to go to the nearest hospital to avoid infection. I received a treatment, including physical therapy, which is helping me. I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t gone to the hospital, as I couldn’t walk without a crutch. Now I am getting better day by day.”

    To help patients get to their medical appointments, Humanity & Inclusion provides reimbursements for transportation costs.

    “I am receiving treatment at Rokupa Government Hospital, about 30 minutes away from where I live in Old Wharf,” explains Mariatu, who was also injured in the incident. “Considering my condition, it’s difficult for me to attend daily care, as I have no income. Humanity & Inclusion supports me with transportation fees. It is so far the best support that I’ve received. I am now getting better every day.”

    Burn care expertise

    When caring for burn injuries, physical therapy is essential during acute care in the hospital and long after discharge to avoid secondary complications and long-term functional limitations, which may lead to disabilities.

    Humanity & Inclusion deployed a physical therapist specialized in burn care to provide capacity building support for rehabilitation workers at the National Rehabilitation Center. The National Rehabilitation Center also deployed one rehabilitation worker in a community center to ensure continuity of care after the patients are discharged from the hospital.

    “We are grateful for the burn training we have received,” says Emily, who leads the rehabilitation team. “The training was short but our team acquired vast knowledge, which is going to help us in our practice.”

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  • Haiti | Community members help neighbors rebuild after earthquake

    The August 2021 earthquake and subsequent landslides in Haiti damaged roadways, destroyed bridges and left many communities inaccessible. Nearly 350 community members were hired to conduct clearance activities alongside Humanity & Inclusion throughout the South, in exchange for daily wages.

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  • Nepal | Reading for All’s success, future plans

    Humanity & Inclusion recently organized a consortium project review and planning for the USAID-funded “Reading for All-R4A” Program in Nepal with its colleagues from USAID Nepal, World Education and 10 other partners.

    The consortium celebrated the outstanding performance of the inclusive education project, and discussed the challenges faced by the project participants, partners, and key stakeholders to better plan for the future: centering solutions to strengthen the government education system that support children with disabilities inside and outside the classrooms. The partners also developed a comprehensive implementation plan for the next six months of the project.

    Achievements include:

    • 5,071 head teachers and database focal persons from 3,094 schools trained on Early Screening and Integrated Educational Management Information System (EMIS).
    • 103,268 children from early child development (ECD) to grade three completed early screening interventions at schools that identifies functional challenges of screened children and makes them available via a central EMIS sub-system managed by Center for Education and Human Resource Development.
    • 86 learning facilitators trained to help children with disabilities through remedial and outreach learning support.
    • 360 students received support by learning facilitators.
    • 186 digital learning tablets and 892 hygiene kits distributed to children with disabilities.
    • 8,544 sets of supplementary teaching-learning materials provided to 257 schools from four core municipalities, and to 46 resource classes in 10 districts.
    • 9 Inclusive Education training packages designed and tested to ensure long-term intervention for children with disabilities.

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    “Happy to see all the progress made and great teamwork over the past few months- you all should be proud of your achievement,” said USAID Nepal’s Laura Parrott in her reflection note during the event. “We must continue the spirit and focus on the quality of interventions, working together to bring the change in children’s reading outcome.”

    “As we have completed our strategic interventions, which often took longer time to coordinate with the authorities than we had anticipated, and entered at the full swing with field intervention in the schools and communities, we will achieve all target and objectives on time,” said Khindra Adhikari of HUSADEC, a local partner of Humanity & Inclusion for implementing the program in the district of Dhankuta.

    “The leveling interventions of past six months helped the project to clear a huge backlog of the past few years. Now, we are in a comfortable position to plan our targets for next six months,” summarized Govind Phulara, Project Coordinator, at DEC-Nepal, Banke.

    “The program has reached this milestone due to every single effort made by the members of the R4A consortium,” acknowledged Shaurabh Sharma, Chief of Party for the program. “For example, 94% of planned financial resources used, 48% of total revised project target of screening children performed using an early screening tool for the review period because of the excellent planning and execution.”

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  • Aid agencies express concerns as attack cuts 120,000 people off from water supply in Yemen

    January 18, 2022
    Contact: Elizabeth Johnson Sellers
    2708473443

    Aid agencies operating in Yemen are extremely concerned over escalation of fighting across the country, as a single attack last week hit water reservoirs in Sa’ada city, effectively cutting off 120,000 people from accessing safe water.

    The attack on Sa’ada comes amid an escalation in violence across the country, where the last three months of 2021 recorded a 60 percent increase in civilian casualties compared to the previous quarter.

    Civilians continue to bear the brunt of seven years of war that has created one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises.

    All parties to the conflict must uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law and must take all necessary measures to protect civilians and public infrastructure, including healthcare, education and water facilities during the conduct of hostilities.

    Yemen is one of the world’s most water scarce countries with 15.4 million people requiring support to access to water and sanitation services, 8.7 million of whom are of acute need. Disruption of one of the most basic needs for Yemenis, also raises the risk of surge of communicable diseases such as cholera and heightens the likelihood of malnutrition.

    Signatories

    Action Against Hunger

    CARE

    Danish Refugee Council

    Humanity & Inclusion

    INTERSOS

    Islamic Relief

    Norwegian Refugee Council

    Oxfam

    Save the Children


  • Going Green | HI commits to reducing its carbon footprint

    Humanity & Inclusion and fellow humanitarian actors have created the CHANGE consortium to determine standards, measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    Climate change is a global issue, one that contributes to humanitarian need worldwide. However, the operations and processes involved in humanitarian action have their own environmental impacts. In order to respect our commitment to “Do No Harm,” NGOs must take appropriate steps to reduce our carbon footprints as much as possible.

    In December 2020, Humanity & Inclusion signed a commitment alongside nine other humanitarian organizations—Action Against Hunger, CARE, Doctors of the World, Electriciens Sans Frontiéres, Islamic Relief France, Oxfam Intermón, Premiere Urgence Internationale, Red Cross France, and Solidarités International—to integrate climate change accounting into its operations.

    Through the agreement, Humanity & Inclusion commits formally to:

    • Measuring the environmental and carbon impacts of its actions
    • Reducing its carbon footprint
    • Adapting its humanitarian action to meet climate-related challenges
    • Communicating progress made and actions taken
    • Encouraging other actors to do the same

    In 2021, to implement their commitment, the 10 humanitarian organizations officially established a consortium, known as C.H.A.N.G.E (Consortium of Humanitarian Actors and Networks Engaged in Greenhouse gas Emissions reduction). Through CHANGE, Humanity & Inclusion and its partners aim to determine the current carbon footprint of their individual activities, and ultimately reduce the impact of humanitarian action on climate change.

    Developing common standards

    Presently, there is no requirement for humanitarian organizations to measure their carbon footprints. For those that choose to do so out of their own initiative, there is no uniform system, meaning that each organization measures differently resulting in inconsistent reporting across the sector.

    “Currently everyone is using different parameters and ways of counting,” says Denis Bedjai, Humanity & Inclusion’s Logistics Advisor and Environmental Agenda Project Manager. “But it doesn’t make sense to compare different kinds of measurements. We want to create one method that is common to all NGOs.”

    Humanity & Inclusion and its fellow CHANGE members are working together to determine common accounting parameters for their greenhouse gas emissions, with support from Citepa, an organization with over 60 years of experience in air, climate and energy. Getting a clearer idea of our impact will enable the organizations to develop reduction plans for the future.

    What makes up the carbon footprint?

    There are numerous parameters to account for when measuring greenhouse gas emissions. Most organizations measure emissions that come from lighting and heating the office, or from driving organization vehicles, but many indirect emissions go unaccounted for. Any energy purchased through external providers, waste generated, transportation, distribution, production of goods, or even investments are just a few of the many factors that contribute to an organization’s overall carbon footprint. In humanitarian contexts, the supply chain may comprise a large part of the greenhouse gas emissions, so accounting for each step is crucial.

    “If we purchase buckets for hygiene kits, we need to know where that bucket comes from, how it was made, how it was transported, how the waste was managed, etc.,” Bedjai explains. “Even though we didn’t produce the bucket itself, we have to take into consideration its entire life cycle as part of our carbon footprint when we buy it.”

    Creating an emissions factors database

    Once the standard of accounting parameters is set, the consortium members must conduct the actual measurements. However, measuring greenhouse gas emissions is even more difficult in low-resource or economically developing nations.

    To simplify the process, the CHANGE consortium and its partners plan to continue the development of a database specific to the humanitarian sector. Initiated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the emissions factor database will be adapted to intervention locations, free to users, and will enable organizations to more accurately track the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their frequent actions or service providers. 

    Adopting action plans

    Once Humanity & Inclusion has a clearer vision of its current carbon emissions, the organization plans to set targets to reduce those emissions by implementing adapted action plans.

    “For example, if we see that travel from flights is a major source of our greenhouse gas emissions during the auditing phase, we would determine steps to reduce that where possible,” Bedjai says. “Only sending people when absolutely necessary, using flight routes with the fewest legs, making sure to send groups together—these are all best practices for keeping those emissions as low as possible.”  

    In the long-term, Humanity & Inclusion aims not only to reduce its own carbon footprint, but to support local humanitarian actors in doing the same. By implementing projects that reinforce organizations’ skills and capacities to introduce conscious ecological measures, Humanity & Inclusion will be able to further its goal of lessening the ecological impact of humanitarian aid on local and international levels.

    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.

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  • South Sudan | Mental health specialist: ‘Not all wounds are visible’

    Dorothy Namara is a Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Specialist for Humanity & Inclusion’s South Sudan program.

    With a master’s degree in clinical psychology, Dorothy has held a variety of MHPSS roles within the organization since 2018, when she first began working in her home country of Uganda. Always eager to take on a new challenge, Dorothy shares the needs, highlights, and challenges of taking on such an important role. Below, Dorothy shares her experience as a mental health specialist for Humanity & Inclusion in South Sudan.

    Q: What are your daily responsibilities?

    I engage in a variety of activities depending on what is planned for a given month. I provide technical support for the mental health projects in the program, provide capacity building trainings, and ensure quality assurance to make sure the mission’s MHPSS programs are in line with Humanity & Inclusion’s global standards. I also represent the organization externally and provide an MHPSS lens for stakeholder activities.

    I also have to take into account the different mental health emergencies that arise from the project sites. They may not come up every day, but when they do, I give them priority.

    Q: What do you like most about your job?

    Positive change! Seeing the smile on a person’s face is very rewarding. I wake up every day looking forward to it. I love seeing the transition from their first meeting to their last meeting, and watching them develop positive coping strategies about life amidst adversity. It gives me courage, especially when I see persons with disability. I’m a person with disability myself, so I take a lot of pride in seeing these changes.

    Q: What is unique about the context of the South Sudan program?

    South Sudan is a very unique context. It has diverse cultures and languages that spread across 10 states. Each of the cultures has its own practices and dynamics that you have to understand before introducing an intervention or project. Community acceptance is key to a project’s success, and not everything that has worked elsewhere works in South Sudan.

    You may wake up in the morning ready to go to work, then you encounter a security situation and cannot do what you had planned. You may also have to organize counseling sessions around other projects that participants are involved in, such as cash for work. So, you really have to be flexible and take things one day at a time. Every day has its own unique context.

    Personally, I embrace it positively. It gives me the opportunity to think outside of the box and ask myself: How can I best empower the team to accommodate changes positively and move on without being frustrated? It gives me a learning point to embrace the context, embrace the culture and appreciate the people, so for me, it’s very positive.

    c_R.-Crews_HI__A_Black_woman_wearing_a_white_collared_shirt_with_a_blue_HI_logo_on_it_sits_at_a_desk_working_on_a_laptop.jpg

    Q: What are the greatest needs?

    We have traumatized populations that are constantly in conflict. Today there may be conflict in one place, another day you will find it somewhere else. We see a lot of trauma cases. Depression, PTSD, anxiety, domestic violence and suicide are all common. Alcohol and substance abuse are particularly common. We also see a lot of protection cases, such as early child marriages and gender-based violence.

    Mental health needs to be addressed as part of the bigger pictures of health and protection—especially when it comes to the most at-risk populations, including persons with disability. This population really needs support because most of the time they are left behind. This is why I’m really happy with Humanity & Inclusion’s advocacy efforts. We’re able to create awareness among our partners about mainstreaming disability in their programs, but more support is needed.

    Q: What do you wish more people knew about your work?

    People should know that the diversification of mental health projects, by including skill development, livelihood initiatives and income-generating activity has a greater impact and results on the psychological wellbeing of the population. For example, coupling mental health with livelihood projects works wonders. Whenever someone is able to get their mind settled, and then you give them a skill to make a living, it empowers them to maintain their coping strategies. They cope better. If they come to the sessions and talk about their stressors, and then they go back home and sleep hungry, this will bring them back to the same situation they were talking about in-session.

    There are not many MHPSS actors in South Sudan. South Sudan is a huge country, and mental health coverage is just a drop in the ocean. We can only do as much as our funding can cover. Because mental health is not a tangible thing that entices donor funds, there are very few that really invest in mental health. When you build 10 schools, they are physically there and are visible. But, when you have group counseling sessions with 500 mothers or 200 children, it’s hard to see the evidence until donors can hear participants share the benefits. It’s really a challenge.

    Q: Is there anything else you would like to share?

    We appreciate those that have been able to fund the cause of Humanity & Inclusion in South Sudan. We call upon them to continue, because mental health is not a one-day change. It is a process. For a mental health project to be effective, we need years of implementation to document tangible, more permanent changes and see more of the community benefit.

    Everyone is a candidate for mental illness. Anyone can be affected at any time. No one chooses these illnesses. We cannot predict that one day there will be no mental health issues. There are very many stressors in the environment that can cause them, just like any other health-related illness.

    Lastly, it is important that we not forget the link to people facing specific hardships, including people with disability who are disproportionately affected. At Humanity & Inclusion, we believe that every life matters, and there is no health without mental health. It is important to invest in mental health and psychosocial support, because not all wounds are visible.

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  • PHILIPPINES | Delivering emergency aid to typhoon survivors

    Many families are displaced and living in evacuation centers after Typhoon Rai, which struck the Philippines in December. As part of its emergency response, Humanity & Inclusion is distributing hygiene kits and multi-purpose cash assistance to families in Surigao.

    Schools are being used as emergency shelters. During the day, families work to repair their homes, and sleep in classrooms at night. One evacuee, Jennifer, brought her children’s lessons when they evacuated. Her husband is working to repair their damaged home.

    “We will try to fix our house because we can’t stay in the evacuation center,” she explains. “This is the children’s school.”

    Hygiene kits

    Mary Joy Maling-on, 38, and her eight children had to leave their home, which is in a landslide-prone area. She received a hygiene kit that includes items like soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, towels, sanitary napkins, a bed pan, masks and a 5-gallon water jug.

    "Thank you so much for the kit. It will be useful to my children, especially the soap and toothbrushes,” says Mary Joy Maling-on, pictured below.  

    c_M.-Ruiz_HI__A_Filipino_mother_and_her_two_children_stand_in_a_classroom_with_a_water_jug_and_other_items_from_a_hygiene_kit.jpg

    Alexander, 47, has difficulty walking. His family and five other families—15 people total—share a classroom on the second floor of a school currently serving as an evacuation center.

    "Thank you very much for the hygiene kit, particularly the bedpan that I can use at night,” he says. “The restroom is on the ground floor of the next building, and I only have my lighter to find my way in the dark.”

    Cash assistance

    Displaced families have prioritized finding food and drinking water, both of which are scarce. Humanity & Inclusion and its partners have offered cash assistance to more than 270 families so they can buy food, diapers and other necessities.

    Vena, one of the recipients, plans to buy plates, glasses and other kitchen essentials. "Someone gave us sardines, but we also like cassava [yuca],” Vena explains. “With the money, I will buy cassava, charcoal and fish. Thank you!”

    Humanity & Inclusion is working with the Surigao City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) and JPIC-IDC to help people impacted by the typhoon.

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  • Chad | More than 800 displaced children enroll at village’s first school

    Humanity & Inclusion helped open the only school in Ngourtou Koumboua, a village that hosts more than 7,000 people displaced by violence. More than 820 children have enrolled, including 501 girls. 

    Through a project aimed at protecting and educating children in the Lake Region, Humanity & inclusion built six classrooms to finalize school’s construction. Built according to the “temporary learning spaces” model, using local materials and metal structures, the new classrooms are adapted for emergency contexts.

    The new elementary school opened its doors on Oct. 25, 2021, finally providing more than 800 displaced children a place to learn. Six newly recruited teachers are leading classes daily.

    When the school opened, 161 newly enrolled children received school supply kits containing one bag, four notebooks, one slate, two pencils, two pens, one box of color pencils and one ruler. Additional supplies are being distributed in January 2022.

    Parents celebrate the opportunity to finally send their children to school.

     “We are very happy this morning,” one father said at the opening ceremony. “For us and our children who have waited so long in Ngourtou Koumboua, the school year can finally begin. I am so glad to see this school opening!”

    HI’s presence in Chad

    Humanity & Inclusion has worked in Chad since the 1990s in the sectors of inclusive and emergency education, mine action, victim assistance, peace building, physical rehabilitation and economic integration of people with disabilities. Teams currently run projects in N'Djamena; the Lake, Logone Occidental and Logone Oriental provinces; and the Borkou, Ennedi and Tibesti (BET) regions.

    This education project is part of Humanity & Inclusion’s ongoing initiative to improve the physical, psychosocial and cognitive protection of children affected by humanitarian crises by improving their access to quality education. Future plans include establishing child-friendly spaces for psychosocial support, constructing sustainable and accessible restrooms, and training parent-teacher associations, community-based protection networks and educational staff in inclusive education, children's rights and psychological first aid.

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  • Haiti | After earthquake, engineering student finds joy in helping her community

    Gufflie, a civil engineering student and resident of Les Anglais, helped Humanity & Inclusion clear access to her community after the August 2021 earthquake caused significant damage. 

    Deliver emergency aid to Haiti

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  • Haiti | Louisiane provides for her family after earthquake

    Louisiane is a farmer in one of regions most affected by the earthquake that hit Haiti in August 2021. After the disaster affected her income, she joined Humanity & Inclusion’s emergency clearance activities to support her family.

    Read more

  • Laos | Unequal access to Covid-19 vaccines

    Humanity & Inclusion is working to reduce the impact of Covid-19 in Laos and recently published a survey on the obstacles people with disabilities face to receive vaccines.

    Humanity & Inclusion teams interviewed 100 people with disabilities by telephone throughout May and June 2021. The survey participants live in the capital city of Vientiane within the Xamnua or Kaison districts.

    “Our current projects show that people with disabilities always find it harder to access care,” says Pilar Duat Llorens, director of Humanity & Inclusion’s programs in the region. “As the survey we conducted in Laos a few months ago revealed, access to Covid-19 vaccination programs is no exception.”

    Among those interviewed, the survey revealed that:

    • Only 19% are vaccinated
    • 61% are worried by the unknown effects of the vaccine and feel they lack information how it may impact underlying medical conditions
    • 43% do not have enough information on where and how to be vaccinated
    • 55% say that if they had more information, they would be more motivated to get vaccinated
    • 73% say the biggest obstacles to vaccination are long lines and no priority lane for people with disabilities
    • Between 56% and 85% say they would get vaccinated if they had the opportunity to do so

    Support our Covid-19 response

    Reducing the pandemic's impact

    In the first six months of 2021, Humanity & Inclusion’s teams in Laos:

    • Raised the awareness of 1,287 people, including 110 people with disabilities, on Covid-19 risks by displaying posters, organizing workshops and training sessions, and relaying prevention messages in the media and on social media in 21 villages in Houamoung
    • Distributed 1,466 protection kits containing thermometers, masks, face shields and protective suits in Savannakhet
    • Handed out 365 kits containing awareness-raising posters in Savannakhet, Houaphan and Houamoung
    • Repaired and maintained seven ambulances belonging to Vientiane Rescue 1623
    • Transported 460 Covid-19 patients in Vientiane
    • Adapted two of Humanity & Inclusion’s vehicles to transport Covid-19 patients in Houaphan

    “As a humanitarian organization, we need to help reduce the impact of Covid-19 in the countries where we work,” Duat Llorens explains.

    Protecting people with disabilities

    People with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially since the virus has the potential to impact pre-existing conditions. Physical obstacles and discriminatory behavior can also limit access to high-demand public services.

    “The pandemic affects everyone, but people with special needs are even more vulnerable,” Duat Llorens says. “Many easy and reasonable adjustments can be made so everyone is included in the fight against Covid-19.”

    “The people organizing Covid-19 vaccination programs need to ensure everyone is included,” she adds. “It is important to adapt communication campaigns by making new formats available and translating messages into sign language, for example. We also need to transport vulnerable individuals and provide appropriate support to people with special needs if they have to wait in line.” 

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  • Stop Bombing Civilians: Final negotiations scheduled in historic international political declaration

    January 04, 2022
    Contact: Elizabeth Johnson Sellers
    2708473443

    Governments gather one final time in February to iron out the final text of a political declaration designed to save civilian lives

    Silver Spring, Maryland—The political declaration against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas will have its final edit February 2-4, 2022 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. This declaration will be historic. If strong enough, the international agreement stands to give civilians a fighting chance to avoid the injuries, deaths, loss of homes and livelihoods caused when explosive weapons are used in populated areas.    

    The upcoming negotiations gather representatives of States, UN agencies, international organizations and civil society to finalize an international agreement to prohibit the use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas. This will be the third and final round of in-person consultations, after preliminary discussions in November 2019 and February 2020, in which around 70 states participated.  
     
    The exclusion of heavy explosive weapons from populated areas must become an international norm,” says Alma Al Osta, Humanity & Inclusion’s Disarmament and Protection of Civilians Advocacy Manager. “We call States to unconditionally support an end to the use of the most destructive weapons in cities.” 

    “Some States are trying to water-down the text. The United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, and China, among others, have strongly opposed any meaningful limitation of explosive weapons in populated areas, some even mentioning that they did not want to “stigmatize’ explosive weapons. On the contrary, Humanity & Inclusion praises the early mobilization of African and Latin American States in favor of a strong declaration,” says Al Osta.   
     
    Led by Ireland, this diplomatic process began in October 2019 but was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, a high number of civilians have continued to be killed and injured by explosive weapons, making the resumption of talks even more pressing. The political declaration text will be submitted to States for signature later in 2022.  

    Devastating humanitarian consequences  

    Massive and repetitive use of these weapons in populated areas is one of the main causes of long-term humanitarian crises, and civilians are the main victims.  

    Conflict affected more than 50 million people in urban areas in 2020, according to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres' annual report on the protection of civilians in war zones, released in May 2021. And 90% of those killed and injured by explosive weapons in populated areas are civilians (AOAV). Those who are injured risk developing lifelong disabilities and severe psychological trauma.

    “These negotiations offer our best hope for a successful conclusion of the diplomatic process, to which many humanitarian organizations including Humanity & Inclusion, have contributed,” Al Osta adds. “We must ensure that the text of the declaration is strong and will have a real impact on the protection of civilians in conflict situations. For this, the international agreement should impose a presumption against the use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas.”

    Explosive weapons have devastating long-term effects. They destroy infrastructure that provides essential services such as health, water, electricity, and sanitation, which civilians heavily rely on, particularly in times of conflict. In Syria, for example, after 10 years of war, at least a third of homes are damaged or destroyed. Major cities such as Raqqa, Aleppo and Homs have been largely destroyed by the massive and intense use of explosive weapons. 80% of the city of Raqqa was destroyed in 2017 (United Nations). 

    Many heavy explosive weapons used in urban warfare today were originally designed for open battlefields. Their use in such an inappropriate context puts entire neighborhoods at risk. Multi-rocket systems fire simultaneously over a wide area and munitions cause large explosions and fragmentation. Many states already recognize the damage these weapons inflict and have expressed their concern and support for immediate action. Accordingly, 19 African countries through the Maputo Communiqué and 23 Latin American and Caribbean states through the Santiago Communiqué  have issued strong commitments to address this urgent humanitarian problem. 

    In 2019, the UN Secretary General and the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) called for warring parties to refrain from using heavy explosive weapons in populated areas because of their devastating consequences for civilians.

    Parliamentarians in European countries, such as France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland, have brought the topic to discussion at their national parliaments and demanded that their states contribute to the diplomatic process - with strong demands to strengthen the protection of civilians from explosive weapons. However, the U.S, the UK, the Netherlands, France and China, among others, have strongly opposed any meaningful limitations on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, even arguing that they do not want to ‘stigmatize’ this type of weaponry.  

    Chronology of the diplomatic process   

    • October 2019: the Vienna conference launched the political process for an international agreement against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. This conference brought together 133 states. A majority of them announced their willingness to work on a political declaration to end the human suffering caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas 
    • November 2019: The first round of consultations on the text of the political declaration 
    • February 2020: The second round of consultations, engaging more than 70 states to discuss the political declaration 
    • March 2020: Restrictive measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic began and suspended the in-person consultation process 
    • September 2020: Ireland organized a high-level panel, followed by a webinar to address the challenges of urban warfare and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas 
    • March 2021: Informal online consultations 
    • April 2021: The National Defense Commission of the Belgian Federal Parliament adopted a historic parliamentarian resolution regarding the protection of civilians from bombing and shelling in populated areas  
    • May 2021: Parliamentarians from 5 different countries participated in the European Inter-Parliamentarian Conference on the future political declaration to protect civilians from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. Since then, over 250 parliamentarians from Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Switzerland and the European Union, signed the European Inter-Parliamentarian Joint Statement  
    • February 2022: The final round of consultations to negotiate the final text of the international agreement against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas 
    • TBD 2022: Political declaration is opened for signature by States  

    Notes 


  • Chad | Economic inclusion: Khadidja starts her own business

    Khadidja is a 27-year-old entrepreneur living in Chad. With a boost from Humanity & Inclusion’s economic inclusion initiative, she opened her own business.

    When she was 2, Khadidja fell off of a donkey in her village and was seriously injured. Ever since, her right leg muscles have been weak, requiring her to wear an orthopedic brace for support.

    “As they could not treat me there, my family took me to N'Djamena,” she recalls. “The doctors here told me that I had to be treated in France but we couldn't afford it. Later, my family was able to buy a prosthesis.”

    When Khadidja’s brace broke, an acquaintance suggested she reach out to Humanity & Inclusion. Since 2018, she’s been participating in Humanity & Inclusion activities in Chad. Teams repaired her brace and she received an income-generating activities grant. The single mother of two was able to launch her own business.

    c_F.-Rabezandriantsoa-Bakoly_HI__A_Black_woman_wearing_an_orange_dress_and_headscarf_stands_in_front_of_a_metal_building_in_Chad._In_front_of_her_is_a_large_bowl_of_oat_cereal_for_sale.jpg

    “Thanks to HI’s help, I set up my small business selling cereals. Now I have enough food every day,” Khadidja explains. “I make numerous orders, which helps me to live and pay for my health care and my children's school.”

    With money she saved from her work, Khadidja was also able to purchase a sewing machine to start a small sewing workshop for extra income.

    Khadidja's newfound autonomy is helping her plan for the future.

    "Since my business is doing well, I would like to expand my activities and buy a motorized tricycle to make it easier for me to get around and collect the goods I sell,” she says. “I would also like to build an extra room to better accommodate my children.”

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  • Afghanistan | Amid uncertainty, teams provide rehabilitation, mental health support

    Mohammad Rasool is base coordinator for Humanity & Inclusion in Afghanistan, managing our work in the Kandahar and Nimroz provinces. There, our teams are providing rehabilitation and psychosocial support. In this interview, Mohammad describes the situation on the ground.

    Q: What is it like living in Afghanistan at the moment?

    People are still struggling with poverty, displacement, drought, the risk from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and threat from ISIS. Additionally the country is facing a failing health system and the economy is also on the edge of collapse. So people are highly distressed as they don't know what will happen next in this highly unpredictable situation.

    Daily, thousands of people are aiming to leave the country due to protection issues or to seek a better life out of the country. Everywhere in Afghanistan, there is food insecurity and there's a huge need for humanitarian assistance.

    Q: What is the level of need for rehabilitation services in Afghanistan?

    Even though the conflict is now over, I mean the big conflict between the previous government and the IEA, the battlefields and the districts are still highly contaminated with explosive remnants of war and IEDs. So, of course, the need for physical rehabilitation and risk education, and also for psychosocial support, remains high.

    Q: Could you describe how Humanity & Inclusion's teams are supporting people in Afghanistan?

    We have several approaches to reach people in need of services, especially rehabilitation, psychosocial support or skill development (which is for income-generating activities).

    For instance, we provide support in the rehabilitation center where people are referred to us by other stakeholders including humanitarian partners. And we also have mobile teams. We go to the communities where we deliver the services directly to people. We also refer them for follow-up services to other partners and also to the rehabilitation center if they need further support.

    Q: What is the level of injuries at the moment in Afghanistan?

    In Kandahar, approximately one-fourth of the people we are seeing in our rehabilitation center are survivors of the conflict. Either they have acquired their injury in the recent conflict in the recent months, or they are the victims of the conflict in the previous years, but they didn't have the opportunity to access the center. We also see people who have injuries from road accidents as well as people who acquired a disability during birth.

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    Q: Are you able to share the story of a patient that particularly affected you?

    I will share one of the story out of a thousand because in our center we are seeing 9,000 patients every year.

    One of the people who was referred to us in the recent months was Anisa, an 8-year old girl from Zabul Province (pictured above). A mortar bomb hit her house while she was playing at home with her cousins. She was badly injured and she was taken to several hospitals to treat her.

    Unfortunately, her left leg had to be amputated and then she was referred to the rehabilitation center in Kandahar, which is managed by Humanity & Inclusion. Our team at the rehabilitation center worked with her for several weeks to help her recover. She was happy that she could play again with her cousins or go to school.

    Q: What are the major challenges you face at the moment?

    Certainly, there have been some changes as the new government is not well established yet and the public service remain interrupted. So there are a lot of uncertainties and the new government is trying to introduce new guidelines procedures. Female staff who are working for the public sector, apart from the health sector, are still not able to attend work. We had some challenges related to access for our female staff to our community-based activities. We had a lot of interaction and intensive engagement with new authorities. Finally, we succeeded and access for our female staff was granted.

    Q: What do you enjoy the most about your job?

    I like visiting my team while they are delivering services to the people we support. I take the opportunity to directly hear from my team and their patients, listening to their feedback, suggestions and challenges that they face in the day to day activities.

    Q: Do you have any message for our supporters here in the U.S.?

    Of course, I have a message: The people of Afghanistan really need the support from the international community now more than ever. So please, please don't forget Afghanistan in this difficult time.

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  • Disaster Risk Reduction Technical Program Manager

    Humanity & Inclusion works alongside people with disabilities and populations living in extreme circumstances, taking actions and bearing witness in order to respond to their essential needs and to improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.

    For more than 20 years, HI has been active in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) efforts, implementing and promoting inclusive approaches that ensure protection of groups most excluded and most affected by disasters, such as persons with disabilities, aging people, women, children, and indigenous populations. Together with local partners, HI develops risk reduction and disaster preparedness strategies that address and lessen the differential impact of disasters on these populations. The increased frequency and intensity of disasters due to climate change poses unprecedented threats to at-risk communities, calling for greater investments in DRR and innovative, proactive approaches.

    HI has developed a multi-year project proposal to pilot its inclusive anticipatory action plan for communities frequently impacted by climate-driven disasters in three countries. HI will join a growing community that systematically links forecasts and early warnings to projected humanitarian impacts to take mitigating actions that will help save lives and protect livelihoods.

    The DRR Technical Program Manager will coordinate the project, supporting country teams in the development, implementation and quality control of planned activities in their respective context. They will ensure cross learning, consolidate monitoring and reporting, promote project results and learnings globally, and liaise with relevant partners. They will combine technical and project management skills as well as expertise in facilitating collaboration between multiple stakeholders. This role will be offered as a 3-year contract and involves up to 15% international travel.

    This position is contingent on HI being awarded funding and is anticipated to begin in January 2022.

    Responsibilities

    With the support of the unit manager, in close collaboration with the other specialists and in coordination with all other technical specialists, the DRR Technical Program Manager will:

    • Project Management and Coordination: Lead project’s inception phase, oversee budget monitoring, liaise between relevant teams, manage consultants, mobilize HI’s global specialists
    • Monitoring, Reporting and Assessment: Lead the development of monitoring tools, organize performance review meetings, conduct monitoring visits, oversee timely reporting of activities, conduct program-level final evaluations
    • Capacity-building, Quality and Knowledge Management: Provide technical guidance and ensure technical support when gaps of expertise are identified, address needs for ad hoc tracking, organize peer-to-peer learning workshops, ensure quality control of knowledge products
    • Team Management: Recruit and manage staff, participate in performance reviews
    • Technical Oversight and Advisory Support: Ensure strategic and technical support to DRR projects, disseminate lessons learned to other teams, contribute to the development of new innovative projects, identify potential partnerships

    Qualifications

    • A Master’s Degree in Disaster Risk Reduction/Management, International Humanitarian Assistance, Early Warning and Risk Analysis or related field. Additional training in climate change and/or inclusion is a plus.
    • At least 5 years of experience in DRR and humanitarian assistance including with NGOs, UN agencies, governments, donors, etc. Experience with anticipatory action based on climate forecasts and risk dynamics preferred.
    • Experience managing and coordinating large, donor-funded projects
    • Experience integrating disability, gender and age inclusion in humanitarian assistance
    • Experience managing knowledge products and knowledge-sharing events including seminars, webinars, training workshops, conferences and peer-learning sessions
    • Technical knowledge about DRR with a community engagement approach
    • Understanding of climate risks and their consequents
    • Understanding of issues related to populations most impacted by disaster, with a special focus on disability, gender and age as potential factors of exclusion
    • Knowledge of the humanitarian system, global emergency response networks and leading actors in DRR landscape
    • Expertise in designing and implementing capacity-building programs
    • Effective time management, multi-tasking and planning skills. Results driven.
    • Excellent networking, interpersonal, communications and presentation skills as part of intercultural team.
    • Fluency in English and French

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

    Location: Silver Spring, Maryland*; Lyon, France; London, United Kingdom; Brussels, Belgium
    Type of employment: Full-time, Fixed term contract (3 years)
    Starting date: ASAP
    Deadline to apply: January 31, 2022

    Download the full job description

    People with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply!

    Apply

    Submit your CV and cover letter here.

    *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.

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  • Philippines | Typhoon Rai: Humanity & Inclusion launches relief operations

    Humanity & Inclusion is preparing to launch its emergency relief operations in the Philippines to assist people following the devastation caused by Typhoon Rai.

    More than 1 million people have been affected by Typhoon Rai, which hit the Philippines Dec. 16-18. Humanity & Inclusion was one of the first humanitarian actors to assess the damage in some of the hardest-hit communities.

    Emergency aid in two provinces

    After having assessed the needs of communities and individuals, Humanity & Inclusion’s teams in the Philippines will start their operations on Dec. 26 in the Bohol and Surigao del Norte.

    In Bohol, teams plan to distribute 3,024 temporary shelters to people whose homes have been destroyed, and will provide 2,700 tarps in partnership with another organization. The support will provide families with decent shelter until they can rebuild their homes.

    In Surigao Del Norte, Humanity & Inclusion is preparing to distribute 100 hygiene kits, containing items like soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and sanitary towels. Teams are also set to provide 300 families with cash transfer in three barangays—neighborhoods—in Surigao City. Families will be able to use the aid to buy food in local markets.

    “Our teams are happy to be part of these operations. Humanity & Inclusion was one of the first humanitarian organizations to assess needs in the field and we are happy to be returning with assistance to help affected populations,” says Alvin Dumduma, Humanity & Inclusion’s project manager in the Philippines. “We’re keen to start implementing the first aid operations.”

    Unstable situation

    Working with local authorities and community teams, Humanity & Inclusion will identify the families and individuals with the greatest needs to prioritize aid efforts.

    “The situation is changing all the time,” Dumduma explains. “People affected by the typhoon do not want to wait around in overcrowded and uncomfortable evacuation centers with limited access to sanitary facilities. They want to return home to rebuild their houses, even by using salvaged materials. We will have to reassess their needs when we start providing them with emergency assistance. With so many people affected, it’s really important to take into account the needs of the most vulnerable people and the most immediate needs.”

    Future actions

    Humanity & Inclusion is looking into the possibility of working on child-friendly spaces, with educational and learning activities to ensure children still have access to education, and to provide them with mental health assistance to detect and treat trauma.

    In a second phase of the response, the organization plans to distribute non-food items like cooking supplies and dignity kits, including items such as sanitary towels, underwear, toilet paper, and more.

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