Michele Lunsford

  • donated 2021-11-30 10:24:17 -0500

  • Beirut | Recovering from the blast: “I’m grateful to HI’s teams”

    Many of Beirut’s population were seriously injured when the explosions ripped through the city’s port, including Chakif who is now recovering from a serious leg injury.

    Humanity & Inclusion’s teams have been reaching out to residents of two neighborhoods—Quarantine and Basta—to identify victims that need help recovering from their injuries and the trauma.

    One of the people our team met with was 36-year-old Chakif. He was in the kitchen of his home near the port of Beirut when the explosions hit. “The blast from the explosions were so powerful that the kitchen ceiling collapsed on top of me,” he says. “I was in deep shock.”  

    Beneficiary assistance

    Chakif is still waiting to have his leg X-rayed and is injury is causing him a lot of pain. He finds it diffuclt to move throughout his home and go about his daily routine. To help ease the pain and give him more mobility and independence, Humanity & Inclusion’s team provided him with crutches and an abdominal belt, as well as psychological support to aid in his recovery.

    Physical therapy care

    Once doctors have fully diagnosed his condition, Humanity & Inclusion will provide Chafik with follow-up care and decide if he needs physical rehabilitation to rapidly restore his mobility.

    “I’m grateful to Humanity & Inclusion’s teams, who have assisted everyone with a serious injury,” he adds. “I hope the support that I have been receiving from HI will help me get through this difficult period.”

    Humanity & Inclusion in Lebanon

    Our teams have worked in Lebanon since 1992. There, we provide assistance to the most vulnerable individuals and people with disabilities and help ensure they are included in community life. We also implement demining projects in the north of the country where people’s lives are still at risk from explosive devices leftover from the 15-year civil war, which ended in 1990.

    How can you help?

    Generous donors all over the world help Humanity & Inclusion (the new name of handicap international) respond to emergencies, and to deliver long-term care and aid where it's needed. Here are a few easy ways to become a donor today.

     

    Donate via payPal

    Make a single gift

    As a "First Responder," or monthly donor, your sustaining gifts can bring swift care and aid to people injured in natural disasters or other emergencies, and give teams the critical funds to provide long-term care and to support critical development projects. Your donation is charged to your credit or debit card each month. We will send you a receipt for your first gift, as well as a tax letter every January. Become a monthly donor

     

     


  • Lebanon | From Syria to Beirut: HI helps ease a refugee’s pain

    Many of Beirut’s inhabitants have been affected by the explosions that ripped through the city’s port on August 4. Ramadan, 23, a Syrian refugee from Aleppo, who now lives in Beirut, is one of them.

    Humanity & Inclusion’s teams have been reaching out to residents of two neighborhoods—Quarantine and Basta—to identify victims that need help recovering from their injuries and the trauma.

    One of the people our team met with was Ramadan. Ramadan lives in a house in a neighborhood close to the port of Beirut with his mother Hourya. The young man was gravely injured in an explosion in Syria. As he does not receive care for his multiple wrist, knee, and shoulder fractures, his health has begun to deteriorate. He also has a spinal cord injury that has left him paralyzed and an ulcer on his lower back.

    c_Tom-Nicholson_HI__Syrian-refugee-Ramadan_-23_-receives-support-from-Humanity-_-Inclusion-in-Beirut.jpg

    Emergency equipment

    Humanity & Inclusion’s teams met up with Ramadan to find out more about what had happened to him and provide him with emergency equipment and psychological support to relive his pain.

    The seriousness of his injuries makes it impossible for him to move around on his own. Since the explosion in Syria, he has received no physical rehabilitation care and he has been bedridden for four months. Like everyone in a critical condition, the deterioration in the city’s health services has made him even more vulnerable than before.

    Our teams are providing him with a water mattress, orthotic devices, and a new wheelchair. He also benefits from an alert system set up by Humanity & Inclusion in case his ulcer worsens, and he needs urgent care.

    Ensuring continuity of care

    Humanity & Inclusion’s rehabilitation experts will assist Ramadan to ensure continuity of care and prevent his condition from worsening. This assistance brings some degree of comfort to Ramadan and his mother. Like many Syrian refugees in Lebanon, they live in highly precarious conditions.

    Humanity & Inclusion in Lebanon

    Our teams have worked in Lebanon since 1992. There, we provide assistance to the most vulnerable individuals and people with disabilities and help ensure they are included in community life. We also implement demining projects in the north of the country where people’s lives are still at risk from explosive devices leftover from the 15-year civil war, which ended in 1990.

    How can you help?

    Generous donors all over the world help Humanity & Inclusion (the new name of handicap international) respond to emergencies, and to deliver long-term care and aid where it's needed. Here are a few easy ways to become a donor today.

     

    Donate via payPal

    Make a single gift

    As a "First Responder," or monthly donor, your sustaining gifts can bring swift care and aid to people injured in natural disasters or other emergencies, and give teams the critical funds to provide long-term care and to support critical development projects. Your donation is charged to your credit or debit card each month. We will send you a receipt for your first gift, as well as a tax letter every January. Become a monthly donor


  • published Beirut | Helping Nada stand tall in News 2020-09-01 15:50:30 -0400

    Beirut | Nada: "You were the first to come see me"

    Nada Baghdadi, 27, lives near the port of Beirut and has intellectual disabilities. On August 4, she was at her home when the district was hit by two explosions.

    Emergency equipment

    Many of Beirut’s population were seriously injured when the explosions ripped through the city’s port, including Nada who is now recovering from a fracture in her leg.

    Humanity & Inclusion’s teams have been reaching out to residents of two neighborhoods—Quarantine and Basta—to identify victims that need help recovering from their injuries and the trauma.

    One of the people our team met with was Nada. She shared her experience and we provided her with emergency equipment and psychological support to aid in her recovery.

    Since she finds it extremely difficult to move around with her broken leg, Humanity & Inclusion also provided her with a set of crutches so she can move around more independently.

    Physical therapy and cash assistance

    Humanity & Inclusion has been providing Nada with physical rehabilitation care to help her get back on her feet as soon as possible. She will also receive cash assistance to pay for essentials like food and medication.

    "I'm so grateful for Humanity & Inclusion’s support,” she says. “You were the first to come and see me.”  

    Humanity & Inclusion in Lebanon

    Our teams have worked in Lebanon since 1992. There, we provide assistance to the most vulnerable individuals and people with disabilities and help ensure they are included in community life. We also implement demining projects in the north of the country where people’s lives are still at risk from explosive devices leftover from the 15-year civil war, which ended in 1990.

    How can you help?

    Generous donors all over the world help Humanity & Inclusion (the new name of handicap international) respond to emergencies, and to deliver long-term care and aid where it's needed. Here are a few easy ways to become a donor today.

     

    Donate via payPal

    Make a single gift

    As a "First Responder," or monthly donor, your sustaining gifts can bring swift care and aid to people injured in natural disasters or other emergencies, and give teams the critical funds to provide long-term care and to support critical development projects. Your donation is charged to your credit or debit card each month. We will send you a receipt for your first gift, as well as a tax letter every January. Become a monthly donor

     


  • Libya | Clearing explosive weapons & keeping communities safe

    Since the fall of the Gaddafi regime, Libya, especially Misrata and Tawergha, has been wracked by violence between rival militia and the uncontrolled influx of weapons, creating a situation of ongoing insecurity. There are incredible amounts of remnants of war that remain a threat to the population, especially in Tawergha. People are slowly starting to return to the ghost-town.

    Humanity & Inclusion started its clearance operation in 2011, but the civil war interrupted our mission between 2015 and 2017. In Tawergha, since November 2019, our teams have destroyed nearly 450 items, weighing two tons. Between 2012 and 2014, Humanity & Inclusion's clearance teams destroyed 122,273 unexplored unexploded ordnance, RPGs, missiles, and ammo, leftover from the civil war. “We also destroyed WW2 mines,” says Simon Elmont, Humanity & Inclusion's EOD Field Manager in Libya.

    Soon after the war ended, Humanity & Inclusion's team started providing risk education sessions to children at school and in the local mosques. Our staff explained the risks of explosive weapons of war and what to do should they spot any. "When children know what a grenade, ammunition, or an RPG look like, they are safer." 

    Learn more about Humanity & Inclusion's work in Libya.


  • Thailand | Keeping refugees in Umpiem Mai camp safe from COVID-19

    Humanity & Inclusion’s teams and the disability self-help group visited the most isolated families in the Umpiem Mai refugee camp in Thailand to give individuals information on the threat from COVID-19 and how they can protect themselves from it.

    Ma Yin Maung, 37, who has an intellectual disability was initially very worried about the epidemic: "I didn't even dare leave my home to buy food,” she says. “I was scared and couldn't get straightforward information about it.”

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    The information she received from Humanity & Inclusion’s teams reassured her immediately. Our teams also gave her a hygiene kit with two masks, soap, and small posters about the virus.

    “After Humanity & Inclusion’s information session, I felt confident enough to walk around the camp wearing a mask and buy items I need every day. HI also gave me a prevention kit, which is extremely useful for me and my family," she adds.

    Focus on the most vulnerable 

    As COVID-19 takes aim at our planet's most vulnerable neighbors, Humanity & Inclusion donors ensure that people with disabilities, people with injuries from conflict, children, women, and especially older people have the information--and even the soap--they need to stay healthy. Learn more about Humanity & Inclusion's vast COVID-19 response.

    Begin a monthly gift today to help sustain this work and reach as many people as possible.

    Become a monthly donor


  • COVID-19 in Sri Lanka | HI supports more than 1,000 vulnerable families

    As part of its response to the COVID-19 crisis in Sri Lanka, Humanity & Inclusion has provided financial assistance to some of the country’s most vulnerable families, allowing them to meet their basic needs such as buying food. 

    Sri Lanka has been seriously affected by COVID-19 and the lockdown imposed by the authorities to limit the spread of the virus. This has severely disrupted the livelihoods of many households with disastrous consequences for the poorest families, including women with disabilities, who already live in precarious conditions.

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    We’ve provided financial support to more than 1,000 vulnerable families. Logini Niksankumar, 36, was one of the women assisted financially by Humanity & Inclusion. Logini lives in Jaffna with her husband and two children. Her arm was injured in a bomb attack in 1995 during the country’s civil war. The wound was not properly treated and she had to have part of her arm amputated. The lockdown had a serious impact on her business, and she found Humanity & Inclusion’s support extremely helpful.

    It has been a tough few months and Humanity & Inclusion’s assistance was a big help,” says Logini.One of the things we could buy was food.”

    Working in partnership with local Sri Lankan organizations, Humanity & Inclusion’s team supported a project in northern Sri Lanka that aims to help the most vulnerable people, including women with disabilities, meet their basic needs, such as buying food and paying the rent.

    Focus on the most vulnerable 

    As COVID-19 takes aim at our planet's most vulnerable neighbors, Humanity & Inclusion donors ensure that people with disabilities, people with injuries from conflict, children, women, and especially older people have the information--and even the soap--they need to stay healthy. Learn more about Humanity & Inclusion's vast COVID-19 response.

    Begin a monthly gift today to help sustain this work and reach as many people as possible.

    Become a monthly donor


  • Madagascar | Training 60 schools in COVID-19 prevention measures

    Humanity & Inclusion has worked in Madagascar for more than thirty years. Our teams have successfully developed an inclusive and solidarity education program which ensures the most vulnerable students, including children with disabilities, are enrolled in school. In 2019, 1,349 girls and boys with disabilities, vulnerable children, and students at risk of exclusion or dropout returned to school in the regions of Boeny, in the west of the island, and Diana, in the north.

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    Our teams are now working to better protect students and teachers from the spread of COVID-19 in Madagascar. As part of a consortium[1], the organization has launched a project to supply 21 schools with disinfection and protection equipment and products and is now actively supporting the Malagasy education system to help communities cope with the spread of COVID-19. Since May, the Malagasy authorities have organized workshops on the COVID-19 protocol with school staff to ensure personal protection measures are implemented.

    We launched our activities in the north of the island in schools in the Betsbiboka and Boeny region. Together with local authority officials[2], Humanity & Inclusion has trained officers to disinfect beneficiary schools.

    In total, 56 people have been trained to disinfect school premises in 21 schools in the communes of Ambatoboeny, Berivotra, and Maevatanana.

    Donation of equipment to the project's target schools

    Every classroom in each school will be supplied with hand-washing kits containing a bucket with a tap, soap, and informational posters on personal protection measures.

    These schools will also be supplied with school-cleaner kits containing disinfectants and protective equipment. The kit can be used to disinfect all classrooms for up to 50 days.

    Informing the community

    COVID-19 awareness announcements are also being broadcast on the local station Varatraza to help inform the community of these measures.[3]

    Focus on the most vulnerable 

    As COVID-19 takes aim at our planet's most vulnerable neighbors, Humanity & Inclusion donors ensure that people with disabilities, people with injuries from conflict, children, women, and especially older people have the information--and even the soap--they need to stay healthy. Learn more about Humanity & Inclusion's vast COVID-19 response.

    Begin a monthly gift today to help sustain this work and reach as many people as possible.

    Become a monthly donor

     

     

    [1] Humanity & Inclusion is leading the MIARO project, funded by European Union Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, in consortium with CARE International.

    [2] The trainers are representatives of the Regional Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene divisions.

    [3] The Regional OCC (Operational Command Center coordinating the fight against the COVID-19), with support from Humanity & Inclusion.


  • COVID-19 in Kenya | Supporting children with disabilities in Dadaab refugee camp

    Families of children with disabilities in Dadaab refugee camp are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 crisis. They can no longer afford to buy the food they need to survive.

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    Hamze is a four-year-old refugee with cerebral palsy. He lives in Dadaab and Humanity & Inclusion’s physical therapists have provided him with rehabilitation care since birth. His mother, Maryann, was also born in the camp in 1999, after her parents fled the war in Somalia. Her husband left her when Hamze was born and she now raises her child alone.

    Every week, Hamze and Maryann attend rehabilitation sessions in the orthopedic-fitting center run by Humanity & Inclusion in the camp. Maryann is learning to provide her son with the care he needs to protect his health and well-being. Our team has given Hamze a splint to prevent knee joint contractures and a specially adapted wheelchair to support his posture as he moves around.

    Since March and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Humanity & Inclusion has also been teaching Maryann how to protect her family against the virus. She now understands the need to take precautions such as regular hand washing and wearing a face mask in public.

    Humanity & Inclusion has provided me with information on the steps to take to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 in the camp,” she explains. “It's a deadly disease that can affect anyone.”

    She and her parents are extremely poor and depend on humanitarian aid from Humanity & Inclusion and other NGOs to survive. Before the epidemic, she used to clean her neighbors' houses.

    "Unfortunately, my neighbors are also afraid of getting sick, so I can’t work there anymore. I no longer earn an income, and I cannot feed my son and my parents," she adds.

    This loss of income only adds to the problems experienced by Maryann. Her son has special needs because of his illness and she can no longer afford to buy him milk. Food has become expensive in the camp.

    Maryann thanks Humanity & Inclusion for the daily support the organization provides to people with disabilities in the camp, helping them meet their needs in these difficult times.

    Focus on the most vulnerable 

    As COVID-19 takes aim at our planet's most vulnerable neighbors, Humanity & Inclusion donors ensure that people with disabilities, people with injuries from conflict, children, women, and especially older people have the information--and even the soap--they need to stay healthy. Learn more about Humanity & Inclusion's vast COVID-19 response.

    Begin a monthly gift today to help sustain this work and reach as many people as possible.

    Become a monthly donor


  • Beirut | Zeina, head of HI emergency team: “Reality is much worse”

    Zeina is coordinating one of Humanity & Inclusion’s teams of 25 emergency responders in Beirut. The situation is worse than she imagined possible. Here’s what she shared with us:  

    To understand my experience over the past few days, you need to know a little bit about me. I was born in Lebanon and I live in Beirut—it’s my home. I joined Humanity & Inclusion 11 years ago. My colleagues are like family.

    I was at home when the explosion happened. My house is a long, long way from the port but just before the noise of the blast, I felt the strangest wind—like a great big wave pushing against my body.

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    The next day, I saw the destruction in the city with my own eyes. I had seen the photos and videos on the TV but a part of me thought perhaps there was some exaggeration. If anything, the reality is much worse. What I saw on the news is just a glimpse of the scale of the disaster. It’s difficult to describe and I still find it hard to believe that something like this can happen in Lebanon.

    The first place I visited was the Humanity & Inclusion office and I remember my first thought when I walked in—I was just so thankful that the explosion happened after working hours, thankful for Humanity & Inclusion and for Beirut. There was glass everywhere. Desks thrown around. Complete chaos. I believe there would have been many casualties if we had been there. 

    Since that day, the Humanity & Inclusion team has been doing everything in our power to help. We have been in the hospitals and in the areas that have been destroyed beyond recognition in order to find out what people need.

    Each day, I meet people with difficult stories. One gentleman, a taxi driver, lost his home and his car in the blast. He has five children and, due to the economic crisis, was the only person earning an income before the explosion. He has been forced to send his children to live with four different families who can help support them. He told me he would rather be dead than deal with what his future holds. This is something my team has heard repeatedly. It’s harrowing, but it helps you to understand why the psychological first aid we are providing is so essential.

    We are also coming face to face with the urgent need for rehabilitation. People were discharged from hospital very quickly, many couldn’t return to their homes because the buildings are dangerously unstable. We need to find these people and provide physical therapy to kick-start their recovery.

    This is not the first time that Lebanon or Beirut has dealt with a disaster. We know how to pick ourselves up and rebuild. But this time, the explosion is only part of the picture. The economic situation is dire, the politics are complicated, and we are desperately struggling to control the spread of COVID-19. We’re on our knees and I honestly don’t know how we’ll stand up again.

    On behalf of my team—thank you for supporting us!


  • Lebanon | Providing support to Beirut Explosion Survivors

    Explosions rocked Beirut, Lebanon's capital, on August 4. The blasts injured more than 5,000 people, and claimed at least 220 lives. Damages to buildings and infrastructure left 300,000 people homeless.

    Humanity & Inclusion teams have worked in Lebanon since 1992, most recently in aid of Syrian refugees, especially those with disabilities, serious, conflict-related injuries, chronic illnesses, and the effects of aging.

    Our 100-person team in Lebanon, including physical therapists, psycho-social, and livelihood experts, are leading this critical response. Post-surgical physical therapy, in particular, will be a vital component of our actions.

    Make an urgently-needed donation today.

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  • Beirut Explosion | HI shocked by vast rehabilitation needs

    Injuries caused by the huge blasts in Beirut that occurred on Tuesday include burns, fractures, and amputations, in addition to thousands of minor and major wounds caused by shattered glass. 500 people are likely to need physical rehabilitation in order to recover.

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    Hospitals in the city are damaged and under-resourced. To contribute to the collective humanitarian effort, Humanity & Inclusion will be providing wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility aids to victims with serious immediate needs who may be discharged from the hospital early. We will also distribute wound treatment kits containing alcohol, plasters, and bandages to allow those with minor injuries to treat themselves at home and avoid over-burdening hospitals.

    Humanity & Inclusion currently has a team of 98 staff in Lebanon who are all being deployed to respond to the crisis. Additional emergency response experts will arrive in the country in the coming days.

    Humanity & Inclusion has worked in Lebanon since 1992. Caroline Duconseille, Humanity & Inclusion's Head of Mission, was on a roof terrace of Humanity & Inclusion’s offices in Beirut's Achrafieh quarter (just over one mile from the explosion site) at the moment of the explosion. In the video below, she explains the dire situation in Beirut and what Humanity & Inclusion's teams are doing to help the victims.

    Photo caption: A view from inside a building shows the aftermath of the blast at the port of Lebanon's capital Beirut on August 5, 2020. © Anwar AMRO / AFP


  • Togo | Providing essential care to Lomé's homeless

    In Lomé, the capital of Togo, COVID-19 restrictions have made the lives of homeless people even more difficult—many of which are children and single mothers. Humanity & Inclusion’s teams visit the streets at night to assist them as their precarious living conditions have worsened. We recently checked in with one of Humanity & Inclusion’s staff members Eli Koffi Afossogb who shares more about our outreach in Lomé:

    Assisting the homeless

    Humanity & Inclusion launched a series of actions to promote the basic hygiene of homeless people in Lomé and supply them with food aid, and to help reassure the rest of the population about their state of health. In the future, our actions will include opening two centers for the most vulnerable, including children, isolated women, and people with disabilities, where they can get a health check and psychosocial support. Two mobile teams visit neighborhoods at night to provide consultations. Our goal is to help 3,000 people.

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    Earning an income doing odd jobs & begging

    At least 15,000 people live on the streets of Lomé, a city of two million inhabitants. Many are children, teenagers, and single mothers with young children. Before the pandemic, they often earned money doing odd jobs at the Grand Marché in Lomé, such as carrying groceries or parcels for customers or traders. Begging was an important source of income for them, enabling them to just about survive.

    Businesses on lockdown

    As a result of the curfew and the restrictions put in place from March to May to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Grand Marché was closed and the homeless lost their source of income. Although the restrictions were lifted in June, the recovery has been slow. There are fewer odd jobs to do. People who are afraid of them because they see them as potential vectors of disease are more reluctant to give them money when they beg, leading to a serious deterioration in their living conditions.

    Not enough to eat

    Restaurants were also forced to close for two months. Many homeless people used to eat what restaurants threw out. Only some of the restaurants have reopened, leading to a spike in cases of undernourishment.

    Desperate & overwhelmed children

    Some homeless people have been forced from the places where they used to sleep. Before the curfew, a group of children aged between nine and 15-years-old used to sleep near the post office. Now they spend the night on the pavement. Some are at risk of sexual abuse. We have seen children overwhelmed by fear and despair.

    Focus on the most vulnerable 

    As COVID-19 takes aim at our planet's most vulnerable neighbors, Humanity & Inclusion donors ensure that people with disabilities, people with injuries from conflict, children, women, and especially older people have the information--and even the soap--they need to stay healthy. Learn more about Humanity & Inclusion's vast COVID-19 response.

    Begin a monthly gift today to help sustain this work and reach as many people as possible.

    Become a monthly donor


  • Cambodia | Resuming rehabilitation care & protecting the most vulnerable

    Humanity & Inclusion has resumed its activities in Cambodia, which include COVID-19 awareness-raising, rehabilitation care, and inclusive employment.

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    Humanity & Inclusion’s team recently organized COVID-19 informational sessions for 30 disability organizations in 13 provinces in Cambodia all in partnership with WaterAid and Cambodian Organizations for People with Disabilities.

    After suspending other projects, our teams recently resumed training on inclusive employment, and mother and child health. Our COVID-19 awareness sessions for villagers are limited to 15 people, in line with prevention measures including temperatures being taken upon arrival. Everyone is also expected to respect social distancing rules and wear a mask.

    Humanity & Inclusion’s team is working hard to ensure that beneficiaries perform rehabilitation exercises while safe at home. Srun Vimean, a physical therapist at HI, shares concerns about the quality of these sessions performed without a physical therapist:

    "Patients who exercise at home may not have a lot of time and can forget the instructions we give them. There are no physical therapists present to correct them. Patients were recently able to return to HI’s rehabilitation center, which is a big improvement, but they are still not allowed to sleep there for security reasons. This makes it extremely complicated for some patients who live far from the center and need to rush back home. We are currently looking at ways to provide virtual rehabilitation sessions.”

    Focus on the most vulnerable 

    As COVID-19 takes aim at our planet's most vulnerable neighbors, Humanity & Inclusion donors ensure that people with disabilities, people with injuries from conflict, children, women, and especially older people have the information--and even the soap--they need to stay healthy. Learn more about Humanity & Inclusion's vast COVID-19 response.

    Begin a monthly gift today to help sustain this work and reach as many people as possible.

    Become a monthly donor


  • Kenya | Aruwa gains mobility and stays safe from COVID-19

    Aruwa is six years old. She lives with her mother, her uncle, and her siblings in the Kakuma refugee camp. Her mother does not work, and the family is completely dependent on humanitarian organizations. On top of their daily struggles, the family is also worried about Aruwa's health. The little girl has developed genu valgum, a deformity of the lower limbs. Her legs were bowed which made it difficult for her to move and run around with other children.

    That is, until she met Humanity & Inclusion. Our team arranged for Aruwa to have surgery, and since then, her life has changed drastically. With support from Stella, Humanity & Inclusion’s physical therapist, she can now move around on crutches. After each rehabilitation session with our team, Aruwa becomes more and more self-reliant.

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    Aruwa's physical therapist also teaches her how to protect herself from COVID-19.

    Today, Aruwa was invited to our rehabilitation center for a different reason: a COVID-19 prevention session. Stella teaches her how to wash her hands, wear a mask, and apply social distancing rules. The Kakuma refugee camp has not slipped under the pandemic’s radar. Quite the opposite. The overcrowding, lack of hygiene, equipment, and resources to fight the spread of the disease are aggravating risk factors.

    "I first heard about COVID-19 on the radio and when HI's physical therapist came to our home to treat Aruwa,” says Crouch Abdalla, Aruwa’s uncle who accompanies his niece to the center. “It's a serious disease that spreads very quickly. I haven't met anyone infected by it in the camp yet, but I know it kills a lot of people and I don't want anyone in my family or community to get it.”

    The pandemic makes life in the refugee camp even more difficult and precarious. 

    Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, life in the Kakuma refugee camp has been increasingly tough. "I arrived from Sudan in August 2014 and have been living here ever since,” her uncle continues. “We are always short of water and sometimes we have to fetch it from the neighboring camp, which is far from here. We drink even more now to protect ourselves.

    Many agencies have closed because of COVID-19, and it is difficult to find work and supplement our supplies, eat a balanced diet and find clothes for the family. It is incredibly stressful. I hope that after the end of the pandemic, when they lift the restrictions on our movements, we can go to work again, and the children can go back to school. I’m glad Humanity & Inclusion has been able to continue its work here and that Aruwa still benefits from the rehabilitation services. I really value the fact that she can do her exercises once a week, just like before! I also appreciate the information and training we receive from the HI team on COVID 19. It’s extremely useful!"

    Aruwa knows exactly what she wants to do after COVID-19. 

    "When the pandemic is over, I want to go back to school and learn, because when I grow up, I want to massage and rehabilitate other people. I also want to be able to play with my friends again like I used to," she says shyly but with determination.

    Focus on the most vulnerable 

    As COVID-19 takes aim at our planet's most vulnerable neighbors, Humanity & Inclusion donors ensure that people with disabilities, people with injuries from conflict, children, women, and especially older people have the information--and even the soap--they need to stay healthy. Learn more about Humanity & Inclusion's vast COVID-19 response.

    Begin a monthly gift today to help sustain this work and reach as many people as possible.

    Become a monthly donor


  • Thailand | Gaining confidence and making new friends

    Augustine Moo, 8, was born with cleft lip, leaving his parents in a tough situation to handle while raising four other children in very basic circumstances in the Thai temporary shelter camp where the Burmese family found shelter ten years ago. Augustine was a shy and insecure boy. That is, until he met Humanity & Inclusion.

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    Due to his lip, Augustine had difficulties communicating. For many years, he was mocked by other children and felt isolated and lonely. The teasing got better after Augustine’s surgery, but what really helped was his participation in the Growing Together children’s club, organized by Humanity & Inclusion. “In that club, Augustine developed communicative skills and learned how to engage in relationships with other children”, says his mother Ree Mah. Today, he is more confident which has made a positive impact on his friendships. Since starting the club, he has made some good friends. “So far, only boys,” Augustine adds, smiling shyly. “Sometimes I don’t know how to behave among all those girls.”

    Attending the Growing Together club has also had a big impact on his schooling. “Because of his isolation, Augustine wasn’t motivated at school, but now he’s more confident and really keen to perform well and catch up. I’m home tutoring him and now he’s the third best student of his class,” says his proud mother. 

    Growing Together Project

    Growing Together is a four-year project in Thailand, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and is funded by the IKEA Foundation. Humanity & Inclusion is creating inclusive spaces where children can come together–through play–to work through some of the challenges they face, especially children with disabilities. In addition to inclusive playgrounds, Growing Together will target the youngest children who are at risk of developmental problems. Simultaneously, the program will engage local child development service providers and help them become more responsive to the needs of boys and girls with disabilities and other vulnerable children. Learn more about the partnership.


  • Myanmar: Concerns with upsurge in fighting in Rakhine State

    Myanmar: INGOs concerned upsurge in fighting in Rakhine State will cause greater hunger, displacement and vulnerability  

    As international humanitarian organizations working with communities throughout Rakhine State, we express deep concern for all those affected by the upsurge in fighting between the Arakan Army (AA) and the Myanmar Military in northern Rakhine State.  This area in and around the Kyauk Tan village tract is home to more than 10,000 people and local sources report many are fleeing from their homes while others are trapped and unable to leave. We are deeply concerned by reports of burning villages, indiscriminate fire, and the arbitrary detention of civilians.

    We urge all actors to protect civilians, exercise restraint and prevent the further escalation of conflict. Parties to the conflict must ensure full adherence to international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians.  The Government must uphold the human rights of all civilians within Rakhine and Chin States.

    We see first-hand the impact months of escalating fighting in Rakhine and Chin States is having on populations living in these areas. These latest operations will likely cause greater hunger, displacement and human suffering at a time when populations are dealing with COVID-19 and heavy rains from the monsoon season. Many children are at risk due to fighting and unable to attend school. Further, given that many farmers are now displaced during planting season, the recent escalation of fighting is further likely to negatively impact the long-term food security and livelihoods of impacted communities. Humanitarian access is already extremely limited and assistance is simply not able to reach many of the most impacted communities.

    We call for unfettered access for humanitarian actors and their partners so that they can independently asses needs and provide comprehensive assistance and protection to affected communities.  Unfettered access to all areas of Rakhine and Chin States for independent third parties, including journalists and human rights observers, should also be granted as soon as possible.

    Many INGOs are working in Rakhine and Chin, often in partnership with national and local organizations, to provide humanitarian relief and development assistance and deliver aid based only on need. We abide by the regulations administered by the Government of Myanmar in relation to the provision of assistance, and coordinate with Union and State Governments as well as civil society and local communities most affected by the conflict. We adhere to humanitarian principles of independence, neutrality and impartiality.

    We reiterate our earlier message to all parties to conflict to heed the call by the UN Secretary-General for a global ceasefire, extending to all parts of Myanmar without exceptions, to enable the protection of civilians and support efforts to prevent and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to evolve in Myanmar.


  • India, Bangladesh, & Pakistan | COVID-19 is spreading at an alarming rate

    Humanity & Inclusion works in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, where COVID-19 is spreading at an alarming rate.

    South Asia has seen a worrying jump in COVID-19 cases, particularly in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The situation has made it especially difficult for the most vulnerable individuals to access health care and humanitarian aid.

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    India: the world’s fourth worst-affected country

    According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 is spreading at an alarming rate in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Out of 565,000 confirmed cases, more than 330,000 were recorded in India, the world’s fourth worst-affected country.

    Two powerful typhoons: Amphan and Nisarga

    May 13, India and Bangladesh were also hit by Typhoon Amphan, affecting 71 million people, mainly in West Bengal, and Odisha in India. India was hit by another typhoon, Nisarga, on June 3. Due to social distancing guidelines, lack of space in evacuation centers, and other factors, the COVID-19 crisis further complicated evacuation efforts. Natural disasters considerably increase vulnerability during an epidemic.

    India: risk prevention

    The situation is particularly worrying in India, where more than 330,000 people have been affected by the epidemic. More than 70% of people with disabilities have experienced problems due to the lockdown and travel restrictions, including financial issues, difficulties accessing services, food, and the like . According to the International Labour Organization , as a result of the pandemic, some 400 million workers in the informal economy are at risk of falling deeper into poverty. They include more than 100 million migrant workers in India who have lost their jobs due to the lockdown and been forced to return to their region of origin, depriving their families of sometimes vital financial support. The situation is therefore likely to further increase inequalities in a country with a population of 1.3 billion, and more than 190 million undernourished people.

    Humanity & Inclusion is currently identifying the needs of people with disabilities in India and, in partnership with SPHERE INDIA, trains local organizations to be inclusive in their projects. Our team also translated COVID-19 prevention messages into sign language for individuals with hearing disabilities.

    Bangladesh: rehabilitation and psychological support

    In Bangladesh, more than 90,000 cases of contamination have been reported, although the actual figure is likely to be higher, given the country’s limited testing capacity. According to the World Food Program, around a quarter of the population—more than 160 million people—is food insecure, and one in three children have stunted growth due to acute malnutrition. The lockdown is likely to have a disastrous social and economic impact.

    In Bangladesh, and particularly in the Rohingya refugee camps, Humanity & Inclusion continues to provide rehabilitation and psychological support, and socio-economic support (through livestock breeding schemes, cash transfers, etc.) to more than 300 families. We also remotely assists some 1,400 people with disabilities, sharing advice on their sexual and reproductive lives. Our teams help train partner organizations to ensure they are inclusive to people with disabilities, so that no one is left on the sidelines.

    In response to rumors currently circulating in Rohingya refugee camps, the organization provides local people with information on the risk of contamination and how to protect themselves from it. Lastly, Humanity & Inclusion helps transport equipment to remote areas. We’ve supplied humanitarian organizations with 169 trucks and transported 653 tons of humanitarian supplies to refugee camps and storage centers.

    Pakistan: food distribution and awareness-raising

    The situation is very worrying in Pakistan. There has been a significant increase in the number of recorded cases (more than 140,000) and deaths in recent weeks. Lockdown measures have not been implemented.

    Humanity & Inclusion continues to operate in Pakistan. A project providing support to health centers in Afghan refugee camps in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has been adapted by raising the COVID-19 risk awareness of health unit staff in refugee camps and local communities. Our team has also distributed food to the most vulnerable people, including children and young women with disabilities.

    Focus on the most vulnerable 

    As COVID-19 takes aim at our planet's most vulnerable neighbors, Humanity & Inclusion donors ensure that people with disabilities, people with injuries from conflict, children, women, and especially older people have the information--and even the soap--they need to stay healthy. Learn more about Humanity & Inclusion's vast COVID-19 response.

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  • published Demand the U.S. to stop using landmines 2020-06-26 14:44:18 -0400

    Demand the U.S. to stop using landmines

    Target: U.S. President, Donald Trump

    Humanity & Inclusion needs your help. On January 31, President Donald Trump reversed an Obama Administration policy, and decided to allow the U.S. military to again use landmines in conflicts around the world. 

    More than 70% of landmine victims are civilians. In 2018, landmines killed 3,059 and injured 3,837 people. 54% of civilian casualties were CHILDREN. With landmines impacting communities in more than 60 countries and territories, the danger is very real.

    164 countries have signed on to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which prohibits the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of anti-personnel landmines. In 1997, the U.S. participated in the Ottawa process to ban landmines, but never adopted or signed it. 

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