Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Jordan | Judy’s mobility improves with physical therapy in News 2022-06-15 13:57:09 -0400
Jordan | Judy’s mobility improves with physical therapy
Judy, 8, lives with leg paralysis and has difficulty with certain movements. For weeks, she has been attending rehabilitation sessions with Humanity & Inclusion to improve her mobility and gain more independence.
Judy lives in Amman, Jordan, with her mother and her sister. When she was younger, a bacterial infection eventually caused her to lose mobility in her legs and develop a disability that affects her movement.
“She has a neurological condition called hydrocephalus and weakness in her lower limbs, so she uses a wheelchair to get around,” explains Suhad Abood, Humanity & Inclusion’s community-based rehabilitation manager. “She was unable to sit up on her own and has difficulty grasping objects. Now, Judy participates in rehabilitation sessions, physical therapy sessions and occupational therapy sessions to help improve her movement and become more independent.”
After initially seeking rehabilitation services at a nearby hospital, Judy’s mother learned of the new Primary Health Center, which opened in Amman in March 2022. The first of its kind, the center serves around 600 people per day and is easier for many members of the community to access since the hospital is often crowded. At the center, Humanity & Inclusion provides rehabilitation services such as physical and occupational therapy, and services that support people with cerebral palsy, survivors of strokes and individuals with mobility challenges.
Judy has been visiting the center once a week for seven weeks and has already begun to see changes. Her mother says that Judy’s hand movements have improved to where she can now catch objects, and she is able to sit up without requiring support.
During a recent visit to the center, Humanity & Inclusion’s rehabilitation specialists learned that Judy had never attended school.
“She is 8 years old, which is two years late for starting school,” Abood explains. “We contacted the Amman directorate to approve her registration, and now she will officially be enrolled in school next semester.”
These actions are funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Ukraine | Explosive weapons cause complex injuries requiring rehabilitation in Ukraine Updates: One Year of Conflict 2022-06-15 13:04:40 -0400
Ukraine | Explosive weapons cause complex injuries requiring rehabilitation
Gaëlle Smith, emergency rehabilitation specialist for Humanity & Inclusion, explains the severity of blast injuries in eastern Ukraine and the importance of early rehabilitation for recovery.Read more
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Afghanistan | Fazal recovers from mine accident through rehabilitation in News 2022-06-10 13:56:52 -0400
Afghanistan | Fazal recovers from mine accident through rehabilitation
Fazal, 18, lost his leg in a mine accident. Humanity & Inclusion is providing him with rehabilitation care.
When he was 16, Fazal worked in a garden in Kandahar, picking pomegranates. One day, the vehicle that Fazal and his co-workers were traveling in on their way to work ran over a mine on the side of the road. The explosion was terrible. Fazal was severely wounded. One of his co-workers was killed and two others were injured.
Fazal spent more than two months in a hospital in Kabul, where he underwent surgery to amputate his leg.
At Humanity & Inclusion’s rehabilitation center in Kandahar, a team of specialists immediately provided him with crutches so that he could get around on his own. Measurements were taken of his amputated leg so he could be fitted with an artificial leg. Fazal worked with experts to complete physical therapy exercises to strengthen his muscles and adapt to walking with the artificial limb.
“Now I can do my daily tasks by myself without the help of a member of my family,” Fazal explains. "I feel hopeful about the future."
Opened in 1996, Humanity & Inclusion’s rehabilitation center in Kandahar treats people injured by explosive weapons. It is the only rehabilitation center in southern Afghanistan. Survivors of other accidents, individuals with diabetes-related amputations and people with polio are among other patients treated by the 52 professionals specialized in physical therapy or psychosocial support at the clinic.
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Ethiopia | Stimulation therapy helps children experiencing malnutrition in News 2022-06-09 11:52:36 -0400
Ethiopia | Stimulation therapy helps children experiencing malnutrition
Malnutrition prevented Pal from developing like other children his age. With Humanity & Inclusion’s nutrition support and stimulation therapy, Pal can now sit, stand and walk on his own.
11-month-old Pal and his mother, Nyayual, 34, live in the Nguenyyiel refugee camp, in Gambella, Ethiopia. Originally from Nasir, South Sudan, Nyayual was forced to flee her home in 2017 due to war and unstable conditions. After leaving her husband behind in the conflict, Nyayual is raising her five children as a single mother in the camp and working as a cleaner.
Living in the refugee camp, Nyayual is faced with a lack of resources, insufficient finances and increasing drought, all of which make it difficult to access food and nutrition for her children.
Malnutrition has a particularly strong impact on babies and young children, like Pal, who are still developing their minds and bodies. Malnutrition and undernutrition are major factors in child mortality, illness and disability. Children may show delays in motor and cognitive development, associated with behavioral and communication problems. These can consolidate over time and lead to irreversible disabilities if left untreated. Most neurological disorders related to malnutrition are preventable.
“I was worried a lot about my baby,” Nyayual says. “His growth rate was slow and he was unable to sit up without support like other children his age.”
Overcoming developmental challenges
Nyayual brought her son to Humanity & Inclusion to begin stimulation therapy sessions and to receive emergency nutrition supplies. Early childhood stimulation therapy for children experiencing malnourishment stimulates motor skills and cognitive development through personalized care and playing with toys. Humanity & Inclusion’s rehabilitation specialists developed the therapy to use alongside emergency nutrition initiatives, rehydration and essential medical care to give children the best chance of survival, resilience and an improved quality of life.
After attending sessions with his mother, Pal began to show improvements. He can now sit without any support, stand by himself and he has recently started walking independently. Nyayual also learned skills to continue Pal’s progress at home.
“Being able to play with his peers and siblings at home also helps Pal to improve his social interactions and learn some gestures, which improves his language skills,” explains Gadisa Obsi, a physical therapist for Humanity & Inclusion in Ethiopia.
It’s been five months since Pal’s family began receiving nutritional support from Humanity & Inclusion, and Nyayual says she is very pleased with her son’s performance, which now fits with his age group. Pal’s favorite activities are dancing and “playing drums” by beating on household objects. His favorite food is mashed potatoes with milk.
“My ultimate goal is to see him go to school,” Nyayual says. “I hope one day he can become an educated person who will bring real change for our family.”
These actions are funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and implemented by Action Against Hunger, Humanity & Inclusion and other partner organizations.
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Ukraine | Anna joins emergency response team in her hometown in Ukraine Updates: One Year of Conflict 2022-06-08 13:54:56 -0400
Ukraine | Anna joins emergency response team in her hometown
In February, Anna Bekh went home to visit family in Ukraine. When conflict broke out two days later, she joined Humanity & Inclusion’s emergency response in her hometown.Read more
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Chad | ‘I had never been to school’ in News 2022-06-08 13:15:41 -0400
Chad | ‘I had never been to school’
Insecurity in Chad’s Lake Province has prevented thousands of children from attending school. Humanity & Inclusion works to improve their access to education, protection and psychosocial support.
Since 2010, armed conflict in Chad has internally displaced over 400,000 people and prevented nearly 25,000 children from attending school. The unstable situation left the region with insufficient teachers, schools and learning materials. Humanity & Inclusion supports the physical, psychosocial and intellectual protection of children impacted by the crisis by improving access and quality of education. The organization has contributed to the construction of classrooms, child-friendly play areas, and hygienic facilities including accessible toilets for children with disabilities.
Humanity & Inclusion has recruited, financed and trained teachers to better provide inclusive education, psychosocial support and protection of students. The organization also distributes supplies such as backpacks, textbooks and pens to students and provides financial support for other materials needed. Present in 12 zones, this education project targets 12,000 children, including 6,000 girls and 2,400 children who have disabilities or face other challenges to education.
Fatime, 11, and Mai, 14, are students at a new school for displaced children in Chad.
Fatime attends school for the first time
My name is Fatime Zara. I am 11 years old. I’m from the Yiroubou sub-prefecture of Bol and I live with my parents. Before coming to the Ngourtou Koumboua site for displaced persons, I had never been to school.
I am so happy to see an elementary school in Ngourtou Koumboua for the first time. A year ago, we didn't expect to see classrooms, but today, thanks to Humanity & Inclusion’s support, we have classrooms, school kits, text books, teachers, bathrooms, a school cafeteria, and a safe space to play.
The school brings me knowledge and intelligence. My favorite subject is reading. I also play in the child-friendly space and participate in activities like clean latrine contests organized by the hygiene club.
I hope to continue my studies until the end. I don’t want to be married until I am of age, and I want to choose my own husband. I am motivated to go to school and learn the French language because it will allow me to have a job. My dream is to be a humanitarian, because helping people is really important to me.
Mai finds a safe space amid conflict
My name is Mai Djibrillah. I am 14 years old and I am from Yiroubou, in the islands of Bol. I am in the CP2 class and I live with my uncle.
I arrived at the site two years ago following a violent attack in Melea, where I lost my older brother, which pushed us to move and come here. Before coming to the Ngourtou Koumboua site, I went to school in the Melea village. During the move, I was taken away from my school and separated from my friends.
I like being at the school here because I have gotten to know the other children who come from different backgrounds and our teachers show us how to live together peacefully.
I also like participating in the clean-up days our teachers organize every Saturday. My favorite subjects are reading and singing, and I want to be a teacher one day.
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Nepal | Learning facilitators improve inclusive education for students with disabilities in News 2022-06-01 17:31:46 -0400
Nepal | Learning facilitators improve inclusive education for students with disabilities
Nisha Rai and Reshma Shrestha agree that love and patience are essential in understanding and supporting the learning needs of children with disabilities. The two women work as learning facilitators for the USAID-funded Reading for All program in Nepal.
Rai, who has a master's degree in social science, learned about the vacancy of a learning facilitator in Dhankuta from her brother when she was looking to start her career. So, she applied and began working in April 2021 to support children with intellectual disabilities in the resource classroom.
Rai, pictured above, completed a brief orientation provided by Reading For All staff on the types of disabilities and children she would support. Rai explains that she never had any friends, neighbors or family members living with a disability, so the training she received about disability, functional limitations, learning materials, and behavioral skills have made it easier for her to support the students.
"Initially, I was not sure if I would be able to continue to support the children with intellectual disability, but eventually I have learned to engage with them and love my work," Rai says.
Rai works regularly at the Shree Aadharbhut School's Intellectual Resource Class, where she engages with children using functional toys like balls and sponge letters, as well as electronic tablets. She is proud to see the children welcoming her with smiling faces and gestures every day.
Similar to Rai, Shrestha is a learning facilitator in the Bhaktapur district. She supports children who are blind or have low vision in their studies and beams when describing the value she has found in working with children. Shrestha’s desire to better assist students with low vision motivated her to learn basic braille.
Before becoming a learning facilitator, Shrestha’s experience working with people with disabilities was limited to an internship at a community-based rehabilitation organization. In April 2021, she joined the Reading For All program with the goal of bringing positive change to the lives of children with disabilities.
Shrestha’s loving and caring nature has helped her quickly bond with children and build trust with students’ family members.
Sanju Adhikari, a Reading For All learning facilitator, supports a student who has a disability at a school in Dhankuta.
Barriers to inclusive education
Children with disabilities face challenging barriers to education. Nearly 50% of children with disabilities do not attend school. For every child to learn and develop the skills they need to succeed, they need an inclusive education. According to a study by Humanity & Inclusion, 83% of parents and caregivers of children with disabilities worried that their children would fall further behind in school because of Covid-19.
During the pandemic, the Reading For All program supported 35 resource classrooms with 62 learning facilitators, like Rai and Shrestha, to bridge the learning. Most of the learning facilitators were newly introduced to disability-inclusive education and are continuing careers in the field. These learning facilitators supported children by developing individualized education plans.
“In order to ensure we Leave No One Behind and to meet SDG4, inclusive education goes beyond enrollment in the classroom and requires trained teachers, adequate learning resources, adapted school infrastructure, and engaged parents,” adds Sanju Nepali, Inclusive Education Specialist for Humanity & Inclusion in Nepal.
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Democratic Republic of the Congo | Developing local agriculture to alleviate the food crisis in News 2022-05-31 14:43:30 -0400
Democratic Republic of the Congo | Developing local agriculture to alleviate the food crisis
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Humanity & Inclusion is working alongside local farmers to help communities cope with the threat of a food crisis.
More than 35% of the population in the Kasaï-Central province in the Democratic Republic of Congo is severely food insecure, leading to increasing levels of malnutrition. Action Against Hunger, Humanity & Inclusion and other partners are implementing agricultural recovery and food aid activities, funded by USAID, in the Dibaya area that will reach more than 32,500 people.
In March 2022, Humanity & Inclusion distributed vegetable growing kits to 4,700 households. These kits contained a spade, hoes, a rake, a watering can and seeds for vegetables including cabbage, okra, eggplant and tomato.
Supported by state technical services, Humanity & Inclusion teams have trained 63 “relay” farmers in vegetable-growing practices. The training is designed to strengthen the farmers’ skills while teaching them eco-friendly farming techniques, such as growing crops without the use of chemical pesticides and producing natural fertilizer. These farmers then relay their newly acquired knowledge to their communities, transferring their skills to more people.
Agnès Nkaya, pictured above, lives in Kabenguelé and completed the training.
“This is the first time we have had this kind of training in the village,” she explains. “It’s very useful because we have problems making our farmland fertile enough, and protecting our crops from pests and diseases. As part of the training, the Humanity & Inclusion teams taught us how to prepare a vegetable garden, how to recognize soil suitable for vegetable production, how to make the beds and how to plant the seeds.”
One goal of this training is to make agricultural activities sustainable by encouraging the use of fertilizer made from locally available products, such as plant debris, ash and manure.
“For me, the most interesting module was the one on natural fertilizers, especially the 7-day compost,” Nkaya continues. “This is the kind of knowledge we are looking for to improve our practices and production. We have all the raw materials we need in our villages, but, until now, we didn't know how to use them. Thanks to this training, I won’t have problems with my production anymore because I’ll make my own natural fertilizers."
Nkaya looks forward to sharing these new techniques with her neighbors.
“I’m well-equipped now and ready to pass on what I’ve learned to other people in my village,” Nkaya adds. “This will also be an opportunity for me to improve my own grasp of these techniques. As well as sharing knowledge with us, Humanity & Inclusion has provided us with equipment—waterproofs, rubber boots, rope and logbooks—to help us when we train other people. I will make good use of it!"
GREEN Initiative: Humanity & Inclusion is committed to reducing the adverse effects of climate change on populations worldwide. We help communities prepare for and adapt to climate shocks and stresses, and we respond to crises magnified by environmental factors. Applying a disability, gender and age (DGA) inclusion lens across all our actions, we advocate for practitioners and policy-makers to embed DGA in their climate work as well. Humanity & Inclusion is also determined to reduce its own ecological footprint by adapting and implementing environmentally conscious approaches to humanitarian action.
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Ukraine | Teams deliver food, bedding, other essential supplies in Ukraine Updates: One Year of Conflict 2022-05-27 11:33:16 -0400
Ukraine | Teams deliver food, bedding, other essential supplies
In Ukraine, Humanity & Inclusion's teams and Atlas Logistics experts are partnering with local organizations and volunteer networks to deliver humanitarian goods in active war zones.Read more
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Yemen | People with disabilities lack access to services in News 2022-05-24 14:39:15 -0400
Yemen | Study: People with disabilities lack access to services
In Yemen, people with disabilities face difficulties fleeing violence and accessing aid. Humanity & Inclusion recently published a case study on the protection of people with disabilities in Yemen, drawing attention to the fact that the UN resolution on this issue adopted by the Security Council in 2019 remains largely unimplemented.
Yasmine Daelman, Humanity & Inclusion’s advocacy advisor, provides her insight.
Q: What is the situation like in Yemen today?
More than seven years of war in Yemen have caused one of the biggest humanitarian crises in the world. Around 75% of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance. Extensive bombing and shelling in populated areas have caused widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure. 150,000 Yemenis have died as a direct result of the armed conflict, but estimates show that the cumulative impact of the fighting, with the continuing deterioration of infrastructures and services, is responsible for a further 380,000 deaths. A temporary truce was declared in April, but it remains to be seen how long it will last, as dozens of violations are being reported every day.
Q: How are people with disabilities affected by living in a war zone like Yemen?
People with disabilities have told us that they are afraid to go outside. They live in constant fear of being injured, as they are unable to escape from explosions or armed clashes. Physical, sensory and intellectual limitations can all prevent a person with disabilities from escaping the violence. Many people with hearing disabilities, for example, have sustained conflict-related injuries because they couldn’t hear and understand what was happening. Not being able to perceive situations of violence causes significant and debilitating feelings of anxiety and psychological distress in these individuals.
The World Health Organization estimates that some 4.8 million people in Yemen have at least one disability, but there is no precise data on their number and situation. What is certain, however, is that this number has increased significantly since the beginning of the war due to conflict-related injuries caused by the widespread use of explosive weapons, and also indirect consequences of the conflict, such as diseases going untreated due to disrupted or inaccessible health services.
People with disabilities are the most marginalized in crisis-affected communities, including in Yemen. Their needs are largely unmet. They live unshielded and unseen, to quote the title of the report we produced in partnership with the Arab Human Rights Foundation. The “Unshielded, Unseen” report discusses the implementation in Yemen of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2475 on the protection of people with disabilities in armed conflict.
Q: Over 4 million people have been internally displaced by violence in Yemen. How are people with disabilities specifically affected by displacement?
Firstly, conflict and displacement increase the risk of people with disabilities being separated from their caregivers. Sometimes, they may even be abandoned: People with physical disabilities, for example, are often unable to flee and so when a family has to escape the violence, they are sometimes left behind.
Secondly, camps for internally displaced people in Yemen lack adequate basic services and accessible infrastructure for people with disabilities, such as toilets and other sanitation facilities. Food distribution points are also difficult to access. As a result, their most basic needs are often unmet. Communication materials and methods in a camp are also not adapted to the needs of people with visual or hearing disabilities, who are therefore excluded from much of the support and assistance provided.
Q: Access to aid and services in Yemen remains extremely restricted. What is the impact on people with disabilities?
Around 60% of people in Yemen live in rural areas, while the vast majority of services still functioning tend to be concentrated around urban centers. The availability of services has also decreased significantly since the war started. At least half of Yemen’s health facilities have been destroyed, become non-functional or damaged to an extent they can no longer operate. The use of explosive weapons in populated areas has destroyed much of the very infrastructure that people with disabilities so desperately need.
Furthermore, an estimated 10 million people across Yemen—around 50% of the population in need—are living in areas where access to services is limited. 81% of the people with disabilities we interviewed told us that they are unable to access humanitarian services: they are too far away; they cannot afford the transport; the roads are too dangerous because they are littered with landmines, and so on. The reasons are many. All of these factors combined make it extremely difficult for people with disabilities to access the services they need.
The challenges they face can also come from barriers such as negative attitudes, misconceptions, and stigma. Another issue is that people with disabilities are often not consulted on their actual needs or asked to share their experiences in coordination spaces and international forums where decisions affecting them are made.
Q: What can be done to improve the situation of people with disabilities in war zones?
All states must strengthen their commitment to the implementation of Resolution 2475. Humanity & Inclusion is seeking to remind all parties to conflicts and their allies worldwide of the utmost necessity to uphold all of their obligations under International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), with special attention to article 11 on the rights of people with disabilities in situations of armed conflict and humanitarian emergencies.
States must also ensure that dedicated resources are available to humanitarian and development partners to enable them to mainstream inclusion across humanitarian and development responses and ensure the meaningful participation of groups at risk of discrimination in humanitarian and development programming phases.
Yasmine Daelman, Advocacy Advisor for Humanity & Inclusion
“Unshielded, Unseen: The Implementation of UNSC Resolution 2475 on the Protection of People with Disabilities in Armed Conflict in Yemen”
This report examines the situation of people with disabilities in Yemen in the light of the provisions set forth in UNSC Resolution 2475 and makes recommendations to facilitate the implementation of this resolution in the context of Yemen. For the purposes of this report, Humanity & Inclusion staff conducted a literature review and key informant interviews with representatives from eight local organizations of people with disabilities and talked to affected people and INGO professionals in the field. These interviews and research took place from March to April 2022. The report also contains anecdotal and empirical evidence drawn from Humanity & Inclusion’s experience of implementing activities for and with people with disabilities in Yemen.
In 2019, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2475
On June 20, 2019, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2475, a landmark resolution calling on states and parties to armed conflict to protect people with disabilities in conflict situations and to uphold their rights, including by ensuring they have unimpeded access to justice, basic services and humanitarian assistance. Comprehensive and clear, Resolution 2475 establishes several concrete actions to be taken by states, parties to conflicts, the UN and the international community at large to address the challenges experienced by people with disabilities in situations of armed conflict. However, the impact of the Resolution is entirely dependent on its implementation—and a lack of action on the ground leaves people with disabilities disproportionately affected by conflicts around the world. This is especially the case in Yemen, where some 4.8 million people are estimated to be living with at least one form of disability.
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published New York City Marathon 2023-01-23 13:12:06 -0500
OUR 2023 TEAM IS FULL: Support our five runners as they prepare for the November race by donating to their fundraisers today!
Nick, Tony and Lauren raced the 2022 NYC Marathon for Humanity & Inclusion. Together, they raised more than $12,000.
Humanity & Inclusion is an official charity partner
for the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon.
Of the tens of thousands of runners who will participate this November, five will be representing Humanity & Inclusion! By racing in support of Humanity & Inclusion, the members of our marathon team will help fund our work alongside people with disabilities, as well as survivors of conflict and disaster, in 60 countries. Help them raise crucial funds today!
Our 2023 NYC Marathon team has been selected, but there's always next year! Are you interested in racing for Humanity & Inclusion in 2024? Let us know!Consider me for HI's future NYC Marathon team!
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Ukraine | Volunteer hotline supports mental health needs in Ukraine Updates: One Year of Conflict 2022-05-18 10:27:04 -0400
Ukraine | Volunteer hotline supports mental health needs
With rising mental health and psychosocial support needs in Ukraine, a volunteer hotline, supported by Humanity & Inclusion, allows affected populations to access services any time, from anywhere.Read more
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Mali | Climate change forces farmers to work overtime in News 2022-05-13 17:00:16 -0400
Mali | Climate change forces farmers to work overtime
As a farmer, Fadimata Walet, relies on regular rainfall to provide for her 10-person household in Mali. Fadimata shares the challenges she’s facing as a result of environmental changes.
I work as a farmer, which serves as the main source of income for my family. We practice rain-fed agriculture, so we sow our seeds in the wintertime.
The rains used to be abundant, and so were the harvests. I was able to repay the credit I took out to prepare for the agricultural season and I had enough left over to cover six to eight months of my family's millet (a grain rich in fiber) needs. Over the years, we have noticed a decrease in the frequency and quantity of rain. The harvests became worse and even our finest seeds produced almost nothing.
There is a pond that used to fill up during the winter period, and the water is used by the women for market gardening. Before, it could last three to four months without drying up. But these last years, it barely stays one month after the winter. So, we have no choice but to reduce the area that we cultivate.
‘Trying to adapt’
Faced with this situation, I have had to take on more work. I started cultivating more diverse plant species, hoping to have a quantity of harvest that could cover me for two or three months. I started to grow vegetables that I sell with the help of my daughter. I also sell firewood and charcoal that I bring from the bush to provide for my family. I offer my services as a cook for ceremonies, and I had to resort to large debts and a loan to revitalize my small business.
I didn't need all this before, because the rains were abundant and sustained us. I know many families who go to the Mbera refugee camp in Mauritania after the harvest, where they receive food donations from NGOs because their crops are not enough. We hope that things will improve for us, but for the moment we are doing our best with what we have.
Times are hard and we are trying to adapt, but it is very hard to hold on for many of us. I know today that my situation is better than many other families who do not have support.
For two years now, I have been receiving financial support from Humanity & Inclusion, which is enough to cover my family’s food needs. I have a smile on my face because I am relieved from having to borrow, beg or go into debt to feed by family. I have also been able to buy some garden supplies to cultivate my millet field and harvest the vegetables my daughter sells at the market. Without this project, many households would be starving. Today, I am able to meet the needs of my family and am gradually returning to a normal life.
Supporting families impacted by climate change
In Mali, Humanity & Inclusion works to support households and communities like Fadimata’s by reinforcing their resilience to the risks of food and nutrition insecurity in response to climate change.
The organization provides financial support to families for daily necessities, strengthens malnutrition prevention community groups and implements infant and child dietary advice through community specialists. The project also supports local initiatives and community projects and reinvigorates spaces for dialogue between local leaders and affected citizens to promote the shared management of natural resources.
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Iraq | Airstrike survivor improves neighbors' mental health in News 2022-05-13 15:48:52 -0400
Iraq | Airstrike survivor improves neighbors' mental health
Anfal Mahmoud Ali, shares how her experience living amid conflict shapes her work as a mental health and psychosocial support officer for Humanity & Inclusion in Iraq.
I remember May 5, 2017, like it was yesterday.
My family had been hiding in our bathroom for days without food or water, clutching our IDs. Our neighborhood in Mosul had been liberated from ISIS, but fighting on our street persisted. Then the airstrike happened. Our family home crumbled around us. By a miracle, we survived and managed to escape first to a neighbor’s house, then to a displacement camp.
Later that year, we returned to Mosul. We had nothing. A friend of mine told me that Humanity & Inclusion was hiring, so I applied. Since working here, I've been able to support my family, repair my house, and rebuild our lives.
I've seen first-hand the effect that conflict has on civilians. They lose their loved ones, their jobs, and their homes. And they usually face poor conditions, even after the fighting is over. Violence and devastation can cause people to experience depression, sadness and sometimes suicidal thoughts. Some people suppress their feelings. Others develop physical or chronic illness as their mental health needs go untreated.
My colleagues and I conduct awareness sessions with people experiencing psychological trauma, encouraging them to seek help and teaching coping mechanisms. When I meet all of these wonderful people, I am motivated to wake up in the morning and do my work with love. My neighbors understand that we need to stand by each other to survive. I thank those who are helping survivors of conflict, like me, access essential resources—shelter, rehabilitation, mental health support, and more.
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Ukraine | Rehabilitation supports healing for burn patients in Ukraine Updates: One Year of Conflict 2022-05-12 11:27:41 -0400
Ukraine | Rehabilitation supports healing for burn patients
Vladimir survived an explosion in Ukraine, but suffered severe burns. Humanity & Inclusion is supporting his recovery with rehabilitation exercises and care to facilitate proper healing.Read more
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published South Sudan | Expanding inclusive sexual, reproductive health care in News 2022-05-12 09:43:26 -0400
South Sudan | Expanding inclusive sexual, reproductive health care
Zekia Musa Ahmed, shares insight into her role as the WISH-HI Project Inclusion Assistant in South Sudan.
As a visually impaired lady, it has not been easy for me to access services due to stigma and discrimination from health providers in South Sudan. That’s why I joined Humanity & Inclusion’s staff in October 2020 to advocate on the rights of persons with disabilities, especially women and girls who are facing challenges in our community.
Sexual and reproductive health is a human right, but not everyone has equitable access to appropriate care. The Women Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) project is working to change that in 16 countries, including South Sudan.
Women and girls with disabilities disproportionately experience gender-based violence and sexual abuse. On top of that, many health professionals believe women with disabilities are not sexually active. Health facilities also lack sign language interpreters or accessible information. We need access to sexual and reproductive health care, including family planning.
For me, it means a lot to teach my fellow people with disabilities about sexual and reproductive health and help them access it.
I’m proud to be part of Humanity & Inclusion's contributions to the rights of persons with disabilities. We continue to work collectively with other organizations to urge the South Sudanese government to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to remove barriers to services and ensure disability inclusion.
The Women Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) Project is funded by the UK government to expand access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. The 5-year project is implemented by a consortium comprised of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, MSI Reproductive Choices, the International Rescue Committee, Development Media International, Options, and Humanity & Inclusion.
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Ukraine | Rehabilitation experts care for patients wounded by war in Ukraine Updates: One Year of Conflict 2022-05-06 17:06:55 -0400
Ukraine | Rehabilitation experts care for patients wounded by war
As the conflict continues, Humanity & Inclusion's rehabilitation specialists are working in Ukrainian hospitals to support patients with burn injuries and limb amputations.Read more
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Laos | Students create storytelling videos to promote disability inclusion in News 2022-04-25 15:59:01 -0400
Laos | Students create storytelling videos to promote disability inclusion
Four groups of students were recently recognized as winners of a storytelling video competition meant to promote disability inclusion in Laos.
The first place winner was a team from Phonmee High School who produced a video, titled “The Light of Faith,” about the stigma that a person with a disability may face in their school or community. The story shared a powerful message about how a sense of belonging has significant impacts on one’s well-being. In second place, a team from the Faculty of Economics and Business Management produced, “Attempt to Paint My Dream.” The video portrays the willpower and resilience of a girl with a disability who never gives up and does not allow negative attitudes to prevent her from achieving her goals. A team from the Faculty of Letters won third place with a video showcasing the ability of persons with visual disabilities. The fourth place team, also from the Faculty of Letters, explores inclusive employment.
The winners were announced at an award ceremony on April 5, hosted by the USAID Okard project and the National University of Laos.
Storytelling is a powerful tool for sharing key messages and valuable lessons, which help people reflect on their own attitudes and behaviors, and encourage the celebration and respect of human diversity. The winners will get a chance to be involved in future activities to help advocate for disability inclusion. This goal of the competition was to engage with youth in promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. These selected short storytelling videos will be publicly available through various social media platforms, as well as screened during upcoming SBCC awareness raising events hosted by USAID Okard.
USAID Okard, funded by USAID and implemented by Humanity & Inclusion and World Education, Inc., improves access to quality healthcare and economic opportunities for persons with disabilities, and supports design and implementation of disabilities inclusive policies in Laos.
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Ukraine | Overcrowded refuges support displaced families in Ukraine Updates: One Year of Conflict 2022-04-20 18:01:32 -0400
Ukraine | Overcrowded refuges support displaced families
Refuges in eastern Ukraine are providing shelter to people displaced by the conflict. Humanity & Inclusion’s support is vital to address the critical needs residents and caretakers.Read more
Elizabeth Johnson Sellers published Ukraine: USCBL Condemns Use of Anti-personnel Landmines Regardless of Potential Military Value in Press Releases 2022-04-19 16:59:39 -0400
Ukraine | USCBL condemns use of anti-personnel landmines regardless of potential military valueApril 19, 2022Contact: Elizabeth Johnson Sellers2708473443
(Washington, 19 April 2022)—The U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines - U.S. Cluster Munition Coalition (USCBL-USCMC) takes exception to U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley’s remarks concerning landmines during his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 7, 2022.
General Milley testified that “we need to look no further than what’s happening actually in Ukraine, the landmines are being effectively used by the Ukrainian forces to shape the avenues of approach…Anti-tank or anti-personnel mines are effective for use in combat.” The USCBL-USCMC strongly condemns the use of internationally banned anti-personnel landmines by any party, regardless of any potential military use, because they disproportionately and indiscriminately kill and maim civilians during, and long after, wars have ended.
General Milley mentioned two types of mines: anti-personnel and anti-tank. Anti-personnel landmines, which are banned under the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty to which 164 countries are states parties, are inherently indiscriminate weapons incapable of distinguishing between civilians and combatants. Ukraine is party to the treaty; as of the publication of this statement, there has been no reported use of anti-personnel mines by Ukrainian forces. Neither Russia nor the United States is party to the Mine Ban Treaty, and Russian forces have used anti-personnel mines in Ukraine.
Ukraine is already one of the most mine-affected countries in the world: every day, more than half a million children live, study and play in mine-contaminated areas of Ukraine.
USCBL-USCMC continues to strongly urge the Biden Administration to take swift action to condemn the use of anti-personnel landmines and take immediate steps to ban the use of such landmines by the U.S. and accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. The failure of the United States to join the international agreement banning anti-personnel landmines weakens the impact of United States’ criticism of Russia’s use of these weapons.
USCBL-USCMC Steering Committee
Humanity & Inclusion (chair)
Amnesty International USA
Arms Control Association
Center for Civilians in Conflict
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Human Rights Watch
Legacies of War
Physicians for Human Rights
United Methodist Church -General Board of Church and Society
West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions / Proud Students Against Landmines