UPS & NGO partners help curb cholera crisis in Mali

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(Washington, D.C.)  August 16, 2012 ― Humanitarian groups are increasing their efforts to curb a recent outbreak of cholera in Mali, an area already devastated by drought, fighting, and food shortages.

The onset of the rainy season and the existing humanitarian crisis in northern Mali has exacerbated the situation. As part of the emergency response, a UPS chartered plane headed to Bamako, Mali, today from Frankfurt, Germany.  The flight was loaded with 156,394 pounds of relief supplies, including:

• AmeriCares’ water purification supplies will provide 25,000 people with clean water, and emergency medical aid that will help treat 15,000 people in Mali.

• UNICEF’s water purification kits will serve 2,640 families, while oral rehydration salts will help 2 million people.  Medical kits will also cover the needs of 10,000 people for a month.

•  Shelterbox’s 497 tents will protect 497 families in Niger.

• High energy biscuits will feed 39,000 malnourished children for a month in CARE’s program in Mali.

“We must do everything we can to try to curb the further spread of cholera in northern Mali and this latest shipment will help reach that goal,” said Samuel A. Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international NGOs. “InterAction members are grateful for the support given to us by partners such as UPS to respond to this crisis,” he added.

“When a humanitarian crisis occurs, logistics immediately becomes key to saving lives. This is the third movement of critical relief supplies to the Sahel region of Africa that UPS has been involved in since April as there’s a lot of need,” said Dan Brutto, president of UPS International. “UPS’s role has been to utilize our capabilities to efficiently deliver our NGO partners’ supplies by consolidating them and we’re honored to be able to help provide our expertise.”

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Jesuit Refugee Service

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA (jrsusa.org) is an international Catholic non-governmental organization whose mission is to accompany, serve and defend the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.

As one of the ten geographic regions of the Jesuit Refugee Service, JRS/USA serves as the major refugee outreach arm of U.S. Jesuits and their institutional ministries, mobilizing their response to refugee situations in the U.S. and abroad. Through our advocacy and fund raising efforts, JRS/USA also provides support for the work of JRS throughout the world.

JRS/USA gives help, hope, ear and voice to vulnerable people on the move by being present to and bearing witness to their plight; by relieving their human suffering and restoring hope; by addressing the root causes of their displacement and improving international responses to refugee situations.

In addition, JRS/USA inspires the Ignatian family and others to respond together to the needs of refugees and displaced persons worldwide and forges strong partnerships with like-minded institutions and agencies devoted to the cause of refugees and displaced persons.

JRS works in more than 57 countries worldwide to meet the educational, health, social and other needs of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. JRS services are made available to refugees and displaced persons regardless of their race, ethnic origin, or religious beliefs.

JRS provides primary and secondary education to approximately 170,000 children, and undertakes advocacy to ensure that all displaced children are provided with a quality education.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. jrsusa.org/donate.cfm?LID=201

School educates youth, lifts community in Haiti

A two-year commitment and $225,000 from Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is enabling a new preschool here to provide education, and nutritious meals, to more than 195 students.

A group of Catholic nuns from the Carmelitas de La Caridad de Vedruna order had been providing the service to 60 children, but with the help of JRS they’ve been able to expand the educational program. Classes were once held in the community chapel, but the new school just outside of the town center opened last September. In addition to the classroom block, a latrine was built, and a well for fresh water.

Fond Parisien is located only about one and a half hours from the Haitian capital of Port au Prince, and saw an influx of displaced families from the capital following the January 2010 earthquake.

“When we began thinking about this project we realized there was no preschool; schooling began here at the elementary level. They were forgetting about the most basic education. We saw a gap,” said Sr. Nuria, one of the school founders.

Read the full story on the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA website: bit.ly/Honti2

Imago Dei — Detention in the USA

An excerpt from Imago Dei: Journeys of Courage, Hope & Home.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA invites schools and parishes to stage Imago Dei: Journeys of Courage, Hope & Home, a company-produced piece of documentary theater written and produced by the students of Jesuit High School of Sacramento for JRS/USA.

We offer two versions of the Imago Dei script, one designed for a full theatrical production of the play Imago Dei: Journeys of Courage, Hope, & Home, a second script adapted for dramatic readings and small group events. Included with scripts are discussion questions designed to guide group dialogue and reflection after the performance/dramatic reading.

Learn more about staging the play here: jrsusa.org/imagodei

The play is about the experiences of refugees and the forcibly displaced and based on Jesuit Refugee Service’s 30 years of accompaniment, service and advocacy on behalf of refugees.

Students from the Drama Department at Jesuit High School of Sacramento wrote and produced the play. Other students came from St. Francis High, El Camino High and Rio Americano High.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA hopes the play will allow audiences to ‘stand in the shoes’ of forcibly displaced people and refugees to gain a deeper understanding of what life is like for them.

Earlier this year Jesuit Refugee Service/USA pitched the idea of commissioning Jesuit Drama students to use true accounts compiled by JRS/USA from years of assisting and supporting uprooted people to write a script and produce a play.

JRS/USA hopes the play will allow audiences to “stand in the shoes” of forcibly displaced people and refugees to gain a deeper understanding of what life is like for them.

Learn more jrsusa.org

Jesuit Refugee Service takes global approach to urban refugee issues

Jesuit Refugee Service has long recognized that serving urban refugee populations is a major challenge.

Isolation, restrictive and inadequate government policies and resource constraints all take on increased significance in urban settings.

In March of this year, JRS staff from more than 25 countries met in Bangkok for a global consultation meeting to discuss and debate our work with urban refugees.

Learn more about Jesuit Refugee Service and Urban Refugees here: bit.ly/JdBQpz

Jesuit Refugee Service and Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins

Jesuit Refugee Service International Director Fr. Peter Balleis, S.J. talks about the unique partnership between JRS and Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins.

Combining forces for good, the two organizations have brought U.S. higher education to refugees at camps in Malawi and Kenya, and to urban refugees in Syria.

Learn more at jrsusa.org

Convention on Cluster Munitions Celebrates Second Anniversary: Campaigners Call on U.S. to Attend Upcoming Treaty Meeting

Washington, D.C.— August 1 marked the second anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. In recognition of the day, campaigners in the United States have written to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to urge that the United States participate as an observer at the upcoming Third Meeting of States Parties to the Convention which will take place in Oslo, Norway, from September 11-14, 2012.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions comprehensively bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions and places obligations on countries to clear affected areas, assist victims and destroy stockpiles. To date, 111 states have joined the treaty, including most of the U.S.’s closest allies.

“While only two years old, the treaty banning cluster bombs is already creating a powerful effect in stigmatizing the weapon, so that even those countries like the United States that have not yet joined will not be able to use cluster bombs without facing widespread international condemnation,” said Zach Hudson, coordinator of the U.S. Campaign to Ban Cluster Bombs.  Read the rest of this entry »