Elizabeth Johnson Sellers

  • Madagascar | Living with a disability himself, Deriaz helps others access vital services

    A valuable member of Humanity & Inclusion’s team in Madagascar, Deriaz ensures that rehabilitation patients get the support they need.

    In Tuléar, Humanity & Inclusion partners with the center for rehabilitation and prosthetic fitting at the regional hospital. Trained community agents identify individuals who could benefit from rehabilitation services, stimulation therapy and artificial limbs., then Humanity & Inclusion links them to the appropriate services, covers associated costs, organizes logistics and follows their progress.

    Q: What is your role?

    My name is Deriaz Christian, and I work for the Improved Continuum of Inclusive Maternal and Child Health Care and Rehabilitation project in the southwest region of Madagascar. I have been working with Humanity & Inclusion for almost three years now.

    When people come to the rehabilitation center, I support them throughout the process. My role is to accompany, supervise and organize their visits. I reserve and cover the finances of their cabs and buses to travel to the center, and I book their accommodation here. I also manage the payments that cover their food costs while they are here receiving services. We oversee the whole process to make sure everyone can access rehabilitation services.

    Sometimes the coordination is complicated, because there are different kinds of patients for different services, and sometimes many people come at the same time, so it’s important to know everyone well and to be organized. 

    Q: What do you like most about your work?

    I love everything about my work! I love taking care of the people we serve because I get to have a relationship with everyone.

    In my previous job, I worked with vulnerable populations, too. But here at Humanity & Inclusion, I get to work with people living in vulnerable circumstances and people who have disabilities. As someone with a disability myself, I want to help people in similar situations. (Complications from polio led to a disability that affects Deriaz’s leg.)

    The patients that have had the biggest impact on me are people with total paralysis, in both their lower limbs and upper limbs. We see just how far society still has to go to be accessible for these individuals.

    Q: Any final thoughts?

    My message is to raise awareness in everyone, especially in people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities. They should not hide. Instead, bring children with disabilities and people with disabilities here to the center for rehabilitation and prosthetic services that so they can be taken care of.


  • Kenya | Helping people with disabilities access braces and mobility aids

    Andrew Mwangi is a Prosthetics and Orthotics Officer at Humanity & Inclusion in Kenya. In the Kakuma refugee camp and the Kalobeyei settlement, he helps people with disabilities access artificial limbs.

    When Andrew was younger, he saw someone wearing an artificial limb for the first time.

    “I was captivated,” he recalls. “I wanted to know how it was made.”

    He turned his fascination into a career, learning how to fabricate and fit artificial limbs, braces and other assistance devices. In December 2021, he joined Humanity & Inclusion to work with refugees and host communities in Kakuma.

    “I had not done humanitarian work before, but I was interested in working in that context,” he explains.

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    Daily life in the field

    Andrew is one of 36 full-time Kenyan staff who live at Humanity & Inclusion’s compound near the refugee camp. Staff rotate through 8-week cycles at Kakuma, with 2-week breaks to visit home and decompress, before returning for another two months.

    Andrew is the only full-time prosthetics and orthotics officer working at the camp, which has a population of more than 240,000 people. He spends each day of the week visiting one of Humanity & Inclusion’s three rehabilitation centers that are spread throughout the refugee camp, as well as its facility in the nearby Kalobeyei settlement.

    “The demand for our services is quite high,” Andrew explains. “I’m covering the four camps and host community. In a given week, I will only visit each place once.”

    Andrew does have the support of six technical aid workers—refugees who have been trained in basic fabrication and repair of mobility devices—who staff the workshop at each rehabilitation center. Each workshop includes a cabinet stocked with basic tools and supplies. Crutches of all sizes line the walls. Walkers, wheelchairs, orthopedic shoes, toilet seats, wooden scooters and other mobility devices can also be found.

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    Journey to fitting

    Once someone in need of an artificial limb is identified and assessed—either at the reception center or by staff in the community, the person’s amputated limb is routinely measured and shaped, to ensure proper fitting. The individual also participates in rehabilitation sessions to strengthen their muscles, and learns how to care for their stump and mobility device. Once a person receives their artificial limb, they complete training so they can walk, balance, climb stairs and complete other movements. 

    Andrew and his team see people who have required amputations for a number of reasons: gunshot wounds, explosions, snake bites, road traffic accidents, diabetes. 

    The waiting list for artificial limbs and braces is long, and funding is limited. In an average year, Andrew explains that Humanity & Inclusion's program at Kakuma has the budget to provide new artificial limbs for 20 to 25 people, and orthotics—such as special shoes or leg braces—for around 85 people. The waiting process can take more than a year because artificial limbs must travel over 125 miles to reach people who are being fitted with them.

    Gatkuoth, 17, pictured with Andrew in the lead image, is on the waiting list for an artificial limb.  

    The boy’s leg was recently amputated after he sustained a gunshot wound in September 2021. Initially identified at the reception center when he arrived in Kakuma from South Sudan, Gatkuoth is undergoing three months of stump-shaping. Andrew and his team measure the circumference at different points along Gatkuoth’s residual stump, taking note of changes over time. 

    “Once it stabilizes, we will know it won’t shrink any further, and then he can be fitted,” Andrew explains, showing Gatkuoth how to wrap a bandage around his leg. Andrew undoes the bandage so Gatkuoth can give it a try himself. Gatkuoth is expected to receive his artificial limb in September 2022.

    Provision of artificial limbs, braces and other assistive devices is based on a selection with emphasis on disability, gender and age.

    “If fitting someone with an artificial limb will help them enroll in school, we will make them a priority,” Andrew explains.

    These actions are supported by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.


  • Ukraine | Logistics experts deliver aid near the front line of conflict

    Humanity & Inclusion logistics experts in Ukraine support Save the Children to deliver essential humanitarian goods to the bombarded city of Bakhmut.

    In eastern Ukraine, accessing areas close to the front line of conflict is a key issue for humanitarian actors bringing aid for populations unable to flee the war.

    With the support of the European Union and the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Humanity & Inclusion transports essential goods and supplies from the city of Dnipro to cities and towns located at the heart of the conflict, within 12 miles of the front line. The organization’s team of highly experienced project managers, logisticians, security experts and drivers offer safe, innovative and ethical logistics solutions to more than 20 partner organizations. The logistics platform operates within the framework of a global partnership with the organizations Bioport and RLH Coop.

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  • Nepal | Kabita breaks down stereotypes with her business

    Kabita, 21, lives in Banke, a district in the southern plains of western Nepal. When she was younger, she acquired a physical disability in a road accident. Kabita's physical disability and the inaccessible education system prevented her from continuing school, like many girls in her community. As a child, she experienced societal stigma and discrimination. 

    "I never had a chance to play with other children, attend a marriage function and party," Kabita says. "I could not participate in our cultural rituals in the village. I never wanted to attend and participate anywhere due to my functional limitations and the behaviors of family and community members."

    Her strong determination, combined with family support and participation in the ENGAGE project in 2018, manifested changes in her life. Through the project managed by Humanity & Inclusion and partners, she attended a bridge class for nine months, enhancing her literacy and math skills. Later, she decided to pursue a career as an e-rickshaw driver, a male-dominated profession.

    Kabita sometimes became discouraged because of misconceptions: "You can't drive a rickshaw; it's a hassle to get to the market; handling passengers is difficult; you can't sustain in the market," Kabita explains. Kabita and her family were visited regularly by Humanity & Inclusion's team and its local partner staff who provided counseling to help overcome the barriers. With support from the project, she learned to drive and received start-up funds to purchase an e-rickshaw. Kabita succeeded in breaking the stigma associated with disability and the prevailing gender stereotype about her profession of choice. 

    "I make really good money and I provide service to people," Kabita says.

    Kabita is now confident in her profession and earns 1,000 to 1,700 Nepalese Rupees—$7 to $14 USD—each day. Having already paid six installments, she is saving money for extra batteries and maintenance of the rickshaw. She has set an excellent example that girls with disabilities can pursue their dreams and be an inspiration to others.

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    “Women with disabilities are neglected in the family and society due to their limitations, and face a multitude of barriers due to lack of enabling environment," says Indra Bista, Disability Inclusion Technical Officer at Humanity & Inclusion Nepal. "They are least prioritized in social activities and career development opportunities."

    "In remote villages where families live in vulnerable conditions, women with disabilities are more vulnerable than other members of the family," Bista adds. "Whether it's access to education, health and livelihood, they are always denied their rights."

    This story is part of the Empowering a new generation of adolescent girls with education- ENGAGE project, which aims to support girls in gaining a quality education and developing skills to earn a decent living. This initiative has been made possible with funding support from UK Aid through the Girls Education Challenge (GEC), as well as leadership from VSO. It is run by Humanity & Inclusion and its local partner organization, Disabled Empowerment and Communication Center, Banke.


  • Sri Lanka | Community event recognizes importance of early treatment for clubfoot

    June 3 is World Clubfoot Day, commemorating the birthday of Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, who developed the widely used method for treating clubfoot in young children.

    This year, Humanity & Inclusion's Sri Lankan team participated in a Clubfoot Day event at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, emphasizing the importance of early treatment. Providing care for clubfoot in the weeks immediately after a child's birth can prevent them from growing up with a disability.

    As part of the event, the team organized a variety of activities including a drawing contest, and a photo booth for health professionals, children, and their parents. 

    Awareness, early treatment crucial

    Clubfoot is a malformation that appears at birth and occurs in one or both feet. Leaving an affected foot untreated could result in serious consequences for the child. Over time, the disability can prevent a child from comfortably wearing shoes, risking injury, and walking long distances can be particularly challenging. Children may also find themselves excluded from activities or facing other forms of discrimination. 

    All children should be able to access health care, education, and other services that will enable them to reach their full physical, intellectual, and social potential. Between 2017 and 2022, Humanity & Inclusion provided services to 1,778 children with clubfoot and trained 180 clinic providers on clubfoot management across Sri Lanka. Frontline health workers are essential in ensuring babies born with clubfoot access health care. It is only through their support and guidance that teams can ensure all children born with clubfoot receive treatment and live active, healthy lives.

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    Success stories: Yenuli and Zayan

    Yenuli, pictured left, was born with clubfoot. Humanity & Inclusion's team and hospital staff encouraged her parents, who have regularly brought their daughter to the clinic for treatment over the past two years. With her braces on, Yenuli remained determined. She walks on her own now, and performs activities like other children her age. She still wears her braces at night. Yenuli enjoys running, dancing, drawing, and playing outside with her friends.

    Zayan, right, was referred to the Orthopedic Clinic at Teach Hospital Jaffna after being diagnosed with clubfoot two years ago. His parents had never heard of the disability and were worried for his future. Though the clinic is more than 100 miles from their home, they pursued treatment for their son. Their hope was renewed as his foot changed with each casting. Zayan has completed six casting sessions and wears a brace day and night. He's an active child, who loves running through the house.

    "Zayan can become anyone he wishes; his future is up to him,'' says Fanusija, his mother. “We will support him throughout every step of his dream and provide him with a quality education."

    These Humanity & Inclusion's activities are possible with support from Miracle Feet through the project: "Towards universal access to clubfoot management." Humanity & Inclusion's teams implements the program at clubfoot clinics in Colombo, Kandy, Batticola and Jaffna districts.

     


  • Yemen | Advocacy organizations support truce extension

    August 01, 2022
    Contact: Elizabeth Johnson Sellers
    2708473443

    Ahead of the end of the current UN-led truce agreement on Aug. 2, 2022, humanitarian organizations in Yemen urge all parties to the conflict to adhere to and extend the agreement to protect civilians across the country and allow them to rebuild and recover their lives.

    As organizations working in Yemen, we recognize and applaud the important steps taken by all parties to the conflict to uphold the truce. During the past four months, ordinary Yemenis have experienced the longest period of calm in the country in over seven years. Since the truce entered into force on April 2, reports of civilian casualties have dropped significantly. 

    Commercial flights between Sana’a, Amman and Cairo have allowed over 8,000 Yemenis to access lifesaving medical care, pursue education and business opportunities and reunite with loved ones. In the past four months of the truce, more fuel ships have entered Hudaydah port than in the whole year of 2021, allowing hospitals and businesses greater access to fuel, helping to maintain proper functionality of and access to public services. 

    However, unless the truce is adhered to and extended, these important gains will be lost, risking the lives of people across Yemen. Further steps are urgently needed to protect Yemen's people and future. 

    Civilian lives continue to be threatened by violations of the truce in some areas, with a recent uptick in casualties in the past month. We urge all parties to the conflict to extend the truce for a longer term of six months or more, adhere to its terms, and uphold their obligations under international law to protect civilians and deliver on all elements of the agreement, including the reopening of roads in Taiz. 

    The past four months have offered a moment of respite and hope for people in Yemen. We cannot afford to lose this progress now. An extension of the truce, adhered to by all parties, would support further fuel shipments into the country, allow more people to benefit from commercial flights from Sana’a, and support humanitarian actors to reach those most in need. It would enable parties to invest more in helping people overcome ongoing economic deterioration and soaring prices which further restrict people from accessing food, as well as agreeing on effective mechanisms to pay salaries. A renewed truce would also allow more time to begin urgently needed clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance from which people across the country remain at risk. Most importantly, it would protect the lives of ordinary Yemenis and open the door to longer-term peace. 

    We, the undersigned agencies, urge all parties to the conflict to adhere to and extend the truce agreement, build further on the gains made over the past four months, and work toward peace. The people of Yemen deserve nothing less. 

    Abn’a Saddah Association 

    ACTED

    Action Against Hunger

    Action for Humanity

    ADRA

    Afaq Shbabia Foundation

    CARE

    Coalition of Humanitarian Relief

    Direct Aid Society

    Danish Refugee Council

    Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

    Global Communities

    Humanity & Inclusion

    International Medica Corps

    International Rescue Committee

    Islamic Relief

    Intersos

    Marib Girls Foundation

    Medair

    Medecins du Monde

    Mercy Corps

    Norwegian People’s Aid

    Norwegian Refugee Council

    Oxfam

    Premiere Urgence Internationale

    Qatar Charity

    Save the Children

    Tamdeen Youth Foundation

    Yemen Peace School

    ZOA 


  • Mozambique | Shelcia pursues her passion for school

    Shelcia is joyful and intelligent, with dreams of becoming a doctor one day.

    Born with a disability that prevents her from walking on her own, Shelcia, 8, uses a wheelchair to move around. She lives with her parents and cousin in Matola, a suburb of Maputo, Mozambique.

    Shelcia loves going to school and playing with her friends. She’s currently in Year 3 at the Patrice Lumumba primary school, an inclusive school with teaches trained in providing specific support to students with disabilities.

    “My teacher is great," she says. "My classmates are also very nice. They help me during class and at playtime; we all have fun together. During playtime, I like to stay in the classroom and make my friends laugh. I have thousands of friends at school!”

    Going to school has completely changed Shelcia’s life. She has discovered a real appetite for learning.

    “I love going to school," Shelcia explains. "I love to learn. I already know how to count, and now I'm learning to write vowels."

    Shelcia is full of ambition and there is no stopping her. She wants to become a doctor with the clear goal of helping other children. Her father, Ananias, shares her ambition.

    "My daughter is very intelligent,” he says. “I know she’ll continue her studies and go to university.”

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    Special support for learning

    Shelcia used to have trouble writing because her wheelchair prevented her from sitting at a desk. Through its inclusive education project, Humanity & Inclusion met with her family members who were determined to find a solution. Her father made her a personalized desk by fitting a wooden board to her wheelchair. Now, her notebook and textbooks are at the right height and her hands are free to write.

    Ananias also requested extra assistance for Shelcia to help her develop her abilities and continue her schooling. Cristina and Gláucia, members of the Humanity & Inclusion’s team in Mozambique, provide her with specific support and organize regular coaching and information sessions, in person or by telephone.

    “They often come to the house, and are a great help to me,” Ananias says. “They are my pillars.”

    Students help each other

    Shelcia's school is a bit far from her home, so her father and cousin help her get there on time.

    "My daughter can get around at home or at school, no problem,” Ananias explains. “But it’s more difficult for her to use public transport because people ignore her disability. They don’t help her to get on the bus, for example.” 

    At school, though, Shelcia’s teachers and classmates are accepting and helpful.

    “The fact that the school is inclusive is very important because it’s a step towards the inclusion of children with disabilities,” Ananias continues. “In an inclusive school, children are taught to help and support each other. In this way, other children learn that disability does not make you different.”


  • Madagascar | Months later, support continues for cyclone survivors

    After consecutive cyclones devastated Madagascar early this year, communities were left with nothing. For months, Humanity & Inclusion has been providing essentials to people in need.

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  • Philippines | Teams assess needs following 7.0-magnitude earthquake

    After an earthquake struck the Luzon region of the Philippines on Wednesday morning, Humanity & Inclusion’s teams reacted immediately to assess community needs.

    The 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the country’s most populated island, affecting over 21,000 people.

    So far, at least five people are reported to have died and another 130 people have been injured. The earthquake caused an estimated $687 million in structural damage, including damage to over 400 homes, several hospitals, bridges, and numerous schools.

    At least 58 landslides have been recorded, in which tremors from the quake sent boulders rolling onto the towns beneath them. 

    “More than 700 aftershocks have also been recorded since the earthquake,” says Melanie Ruiz, Humanity & Inclusion’s country manager for the Philippines. “Thousands of families have been displaced and people are camping in tents and makeshift shelters as these aftershocks may continue.”

    Assessing damages

    Humanity & Inclusion’s staff are safe and already assessing the damage and determining needs with other organizations in the area.

    “Our evaluation is primarily focusing on access to food, hygiene materials, shelter, and daily essentials with specific attention on the needs of persons with disabilities,” Ruiz explains. “We have already prepared 100 kits with basic hygiene supplies such as soap, towels and buckets that are available for the immediate response, and we will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves.”

    Humanity & Inclusion has been present in the Philippines since 1985 and has operations near the affected areas. Teams are also carrying out actions in response to Super Typhoon Rai, which struck the Philippines in December 2021.


  • Nepal | Sundari dreams of becoming a doctor

    Sundari, 11, has an intellectual disability that creates memory and learning difficulties. With the support of Humanity & Inclusion in Nepal, she’s enrolled in a class adapted to her needs.

    A fifth grader, Sundari lives in a dormitory at the school, which is more than 60 miles away from her home. Her favorite subject is science. She recently made a presentation to her classmates in which she drew an animal cell on the whiteboard and talked about its different parts.

    “I want to become a doctor one day to save people’s lives and help the elderly,” Sundari explains.

    Sundari spends most of her time with her best friend, Bipana. Together, they play Ludo, a strategy board game that is Sundari’s favorite.

    "Sundari is very open and friendly,” Bipana says. “She sometimes gets angry, but I can calm her down really quickly."

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    Inclusive education resources

    The resource class in Sundari’s school caters to 30 students with disabilities. Children learn the Nepali and English alphabets, numbers, words, body parts, as well as hygiene and self-care. When they’re ready, students join their classmates for inclusive lessons.

    “Sundari was enrolled in the resource class – a class where children with intellectual disabilities study together - when she was 5 years old,” explains her teacher, Bhupendra Khadka. “She was enrolled during her early childhood development years and has since progressed to mainstream classes. She is now second in her class.”

    Children in resources classes range in age from 7 to 17, with some even in their 20s. Like Sundari, some transition to mainstream classes after a few years in a resource class.

    Over the past four years, the school’s resource class has been supported by Humanity & Inclusion and its local partner HUSADEC (Human Rights, Social Awareness and Development Center). Resource classes welcome children with a range of disabilities, including sensory and intellectual disabilities.

    Only 380 of Nepal's 30,000 schools have resource classes, and Humanity & Inclusion supports a 50 of them. Teams provide educational materials adapted to the needs of children with disabilities, including braille books or sign language learning mobile applications. Other support materials include foam letters, word cards, toy balls, storybooks in local languages and stationery. Educators are also trained to adapt their teaching methods to the needs of children with disabilities.

    Last school year, Humanity & Inclusion also provided hygiene kits and school bags to 500 students with disabilities in 46 resource classes across 10 districts to help them continue to learn during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Promoting disability inclusion

    Uttam Prasad Bhattarai, the headmaster of Sundari’s school, explains that in rural villages, acceptance of children with disabilities can be challenging.

    “There is a social stigma associated with disability,” Bhattarai says. “When children with disabilities, especially intellectual disabilities, enter a mainstream class after their entrance examination, some parents of children without disabilities are reluctant to send their children to the school. Children with disabilities tend to enroll in school at later ages than their peers and so they are older than their classmates."

    Humanity & Inclusion and its local partners continue to fight for access to education for children with disabilities.

    The resource classes have been supported by Humanity & Inclusion and its local partner since May 2018 as part of the Reading for All program, which is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).


  • Haiti | Earthquake survivor recovers his self-confidence

    Jérôme, 55, lost his home and all of his belongings when an earthquake struck Haiti in August 2021. On top of that, he has health issues. Humanity & Inclusion’s teams are providing physical rehabilitation and psychosocial support to help him overcome these challenges.

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  • Madagascar | Stimulation therapy helps undernourished children

    Odile faces challenges in affording enough food for her son, Nasolo. Humanity & Inclusion provides stimulation therapy to help children like Nasolo overcome the consequences of undernourishment.

    “My 16-month-old son, Nasolo, is underweight for his age,” Odile explains. “He struggles to hold things in his hands and he cannot walk yet. A community agent came to our home and found that Nasolo was malnourished.”

    In Madagascar, Humanity & Inclusion trains community agents to recognize signs of malnutrition and other vulnerabilities in developing children. They then visit communities in the areas surrounding Tuléar, where malnutrition is common due to high poverty rates and dwindling food supply in an ongoing drought. The community agents identify children who may be in need of stimulation therapy and support from Humanity & Inclusion. If left untreated, malnutrition can cause developmental delays in young children which may lead to long-term disabilities or neurological disorders.

    After meeting with the community agent, Odile was encouraged to enroll Nasolo in early childhood stimulation therapy at the Tuléar hospital rehabilitation center, where Humanity & Inclusion uses strategic play-based rehabilitation to encourage physical and cognitive development in undernourished children.

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    Families face food insecurity

    Nasolo’s mother, Odile, is only 18 and is raising her son as a single parent. She has not been able to find work, which makes it difficult for her to provide sufficient food for her only child. At the moment, she is dependent on her mother to care for both her and Nasolo.

    Odile lives more than 30 miles from the rehabilitation center and has to travel for an hour and a half to bring Nasolo to his stimulation therapy sessions. To support her and other families with children in stimulation therapy, Humanity & Inclusion covers food, transportation and hotel costs, in case families need to stay overnight, as well as the cost of the rehabilitation services.

    Nasolo recently attended his third stimulation therapy session with the physical therapists and continues some exercises when he is at home with his mother. He is already starting to see some results.

    “He can’t walk yet, but he is now able to hold things in his hand,” Odile says. “He loves toys and he likes to come here where he can play. I am very happy now that he has started to show progress.”

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  • Ukraine | Aging Ukrainians displaced by war receive mental health support

    Among the millions displaced by violent warfare in Ukraine, aging individuals face particular vulnerabilities. Humanity & Inclusion provides one-on-one and group services to help cope with distress.

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  • Nepal | Regional communications officer reflects on favorite parts of job

    Pralhad Gairapipli, Humanity & Inclusion's regional communications officer for India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, reflects on working for the organization as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.

    There are so many people who say "I love my job", but how often do they really mean it?

    This is a statement I can honestly make. “Okay Pralhad, why,” you may ask.

    No matter how short a time I spend together with someone—a colleague, a teacher, a person with a disability, I enjoy the opportunity to listen their story. To have someone open up to me, especially on a personal level, is an honor, and I value the trust that builds between a source and a communication professional.

    Pralhad is a communications professional with more than ten years of experience, including that with more than five years with HI. He holds a master's degree in Sociology as well as a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication.

    Moreover, communications is like going back to school in a way because you are constantly learning something completely new or being introduced to people you never would have known otherwise. Do you agree that continually learning about multiple areas and topics keeps the job interesting? 

    When you love what you do, you tend to feel a sense of purpose and belonging. Working hours tend to fly by when your company's values align with your own or when you find yourself valued for what you do. An adored job can often leave you feeling upbeat at the end of each day. You will maintain a positive attitude even on the most challenging days if you are genuinely passionate about your job. 

    As part of my work, I get to connect with so many incredible individuals on a daily basis whether it be in person, via phone, emails or social media. From Dharma in western Nepal to Sandip in eastern Nepal, all of these stories reflect resilience, motivation, and determination in individuals and their families. Whether the goal is networking and representing Humanity & Inclusion, sharing the work the organization does, or listening to stories and sharing lessons learned, these all have one thing in common: They spark a CONNECTION.

    As part of HI’s effort to Covid-19, Pralhad worked closely with the Nepalese Ministry of Health and Population, as well as various development agencies and organizations of people with disabilities to develop prevention messages that are accessible to people with disabilities. He took leadership in engaging popular celebrities in engaging for raising awareness on importance of inclusion and accessibility for HI’s India and Nepal program. In addition, he wrote opinion pieces and appeared on radio and television to promote accessibility during times of crisis for inclusive risk communication.

    That is another reason why I am passionate about my job. Preparing for an interview or presenting my knowledge or ideas on a subject is one of my favorite things to do. For example, take my recent interview with a Live Television Program in Chitwan, or my blog published at UNESCO or my first opinion piece published at a national daily about social work or my opinion piece about importance of accessibility, or it be my recent radio interview with Radio Nepal during my field visit to Dhankuta, an eastern hilly district of Nepal.

    Isn't it nice to get an opportunity to thrive professionally and be paid to do so many things you enjoy? Which part of your job makes you smile the most?

    It was a great honor to meet and talk to Jhamak Ghimire (below), a noted Nepalese literary figure at her ancestral home of Dhankuta, Nepal, during a recent field visit to HI’s project area. Ghimire, 40, born with cerebral palsy, is a leading literary figure of Nepal. She is a true inspiration and a symbol of courage to people with disabilities around the world.

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  • Ukraine | HI responds to deadly missile attack of Vinnytsia

    July 18, 2022
    Contact: Elizabeth Johnson Sellers
    2708473443

    Humanity & Inclusion's Emergency Director, Fanny Mraz, issued the following response to a deadly attack in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, on July 14:

    A shopping mall, a dance studio and a wedding hall were hit on Thursday, July 14, in the center of the city of Vinnytsia in Ukraine by Russian cruise missiles, reportedly killing at least 23 people, including 3 children, and injuring more than 100 others.

    This attack, as all the other airstrikes and shelling hitting civilians and civilian infrastructures in several regions of Ukraine, is atrocious and very concerning for the Ukrainian population. These attacks are also concerning for the humanitarian community, as they may restrict movements and therefore access to humanitarian aid. Humanity & Inclusion strongly condemns any of those attacks and supports the UN Secretary General's call for accountability for such violations.

    On June 17, States agreed on a final version of a political declaration on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. The declaration commits states to imposing limits on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas to prevent harm to civilians. It further commits states to assisting victims and addressing the long-term impacts of damage and destruction to civilian infrastructure. We urge as many States as possible to endorse this text this autumn in Dublin, to never see this nightmarish scenario of bombing civilians unfolding again.


  • 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

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    In 1982, Gniep was one of those refugees who sought aid after being injured by a landmine at the border between Cambodia and Thailand. Today, she is a mother, nurse and advocate to ban landmines. Read her story.


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  • 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 (some telework is possible)

    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

    Benefits

    • Salary range: $75,000 to $95,0000
    • Five (5) weeks paid vacation; 18 days of paid sick leave per year
    • Twelve (12) additional paid holidays. These include all Federal holidays (except Veterans Day).
    • Health, dental and vision insurance is fully paid for the employee and their family. 
    • 403(b) retirement plan with employer contribution
    • A range of additional benefits will be shared later in the application process 

    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.

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  • 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.

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    “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.

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  • 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

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