Posts

nepal relief

Salvation Army Relief Efforts Continue in Nepal

Relief Efforts Continue in Nepal

This post was contributed by The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO)

The Salvation Army continues to serve communities in and around Kathmandu following two earthquakes on April 25 and May 12 that killed 8,787 people and destroyed more than 500,000 homes.

Emergency response teams of The Salvation Army have been serving survivors in the urban and rural areas with operations revolving around camps for displaced people, including camp management roles and the provision of food, shelter, and water. Teams are also assisting many remote mountainous villages that are now isolated due to landslides from the earthquakes and subsequent rains from monsoons.

The Salvation Army has so far distributed 148 metric tons of food – including rice, oil, lentils and salt – to survivors, as many people have lost all of their food. This support will sustain families until the upcoming harvest. Additionally, hundreds of hygiene and sanitation items were distributed.

Relief Efforts Continue in Nepal

“This disaster response is especially complicated due to the remote and rugged nature of the terrain in Nepal, making the delivery of aid especially challenging,” said Betsy Baldwin, Disaster Technical Advisor for The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO). “This has meant greater coordination and creativity has been required to reach remote communities and ensure that the limited amount of assistance does not duplicate the work of others.”

Funding from SAWSO is supporting the development of temporary housing and learning centers in the place of schools that were damaged in the earthquake. Approximately 3,000 tarps were distributed to community members needing covered living space and temporary learning spaces while schools are reconstructed.

In continued support of schooling in the area, The Salvation Army provided 850 educational stationery packs to children returning to temporary classrooms.

“Where the spotlight was once on the debris and the aftermath of this disaster, it has now shifted to The Salvation Army and its capacity to provide long-term relief efforts for this community in need,” said Lt. Colonel William Mockabee, Executive Director for SAWSO. “At SAWSO we seek opportunities to support the local Salvation Army – which has been serving the Nepal community since opening its doors in 2009 – and are privileged to fund this project that will develop temporary learning centers for children to get back to school.”

Electricity remains an issue for most mountain villages, particularly at night when steep ledges and terraced hillsides are now difficult to see and quite dangerous. The Salvation Army distributed 904 solar lamps to individuals and families in these areas to ensure their safety.

The Salvation Army’s valued relationship with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has allowed emergency response teams to deliver relief items such as this to rural mountain areas. Additional support from The UPS Foundation allowed SAWSO to coordinate the shipment and delivery of 1,000 tents and mosquito nets.

Monetary donations are the most critical need for survivors. The Salvation Army has set up a designated fund for relief efforts in Nepal. To give, visit salar.my/Nepal or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769). Check donations to Salvation Army World Service Office (designate “Nepal Earthquake”) can be sent to:

International Relief Fund
P.O. Box 418558
Boston, MA 02241-8558

In-kind donations are not being accepted.

The Salvation Army is committed to utilize philanthropic gifts in the manner donors desire. Occasionally, conditions in the field may alter relief activities. If this occurs, The Salvation Army will redirect funds to our International relief efforts in the area.

Chemka-A-Woman-of-Substance[1]

A Woman of Substance

Posted by Megan on Monday, July 1, 2013 · Leave a Comment  Chemka (left) running her new small business in Kenya. Photo Credit: Captain Beatrice Ayabagabo, Empowerment Coordinator, The Salvation Army, Kenya West Territorial Headquarters.

Hope is a powerful virtue.  Opportunity to engender hope in the lives of others is transformational.  A Kenyan woman named Chemka, from the village of Sabatia Gurugwa, is the definition of hope.  I recently read her story in a field update from a women’s empowerment project that The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO) has been supporting in Kenya to teach literacy and record-keeping skills to underprivileged women.  Chemka joined other women in the program to make effective use of these skills by forming a savings and lending group to give members the opportunity to start small income-generating businesses.

A single mother, 46-years-old and struggling, Chemka happily recounted that after joining her local empowerment group and buying shares, she was able to secure a small loan to start a business selling fruit, onions and tomatoes.  She proudly reports that her enterprise is doing well, and from it, she is able to save money and provide food for her child. She is also now feeling a powerful confidence in her ability to one day expand her business, and open a shop.

What jumped out at me most of Chemka’s account is her new view of herself:  “Surely now, I can be called a woman of substance.”

And I was reminded that with just a mustard seed of encouragement and training, we can change lives, we can engender hope…not only in a financial sense, but in a sense of personal accomplishment.  And once that journey has begun, for many we help, there is momentum – the impetus to continue reaching beyond perceived limitations.

We know of many, like Chemka, who rejoice in their newfound ability to provide healthier meals to their children, to finally send children to school, and to share in the financial responsibility for their families.  These fundamental abilities are often taken for granted in America, but not for women like Chemka.

We have heard from women, like Everlyne Gibendi, who said, “I had nothing to do, but wait for my husband to buy and cater for the family.  I thought I was not important in the family.” Everlyne has since parlayed a small business selling vegetables and fish into enough money to buy a motorcycle that she and her husband rent for additional income.

Stories of empowerment like these are told in SAWSO’s Annual Report, available at http://sawso.org/SAWSO2012AnnualReport.pdf. The report celebrates people everywhere who are taking the opportunities that God presents to lift up their spirits and change their lives.  One of the gifts of serving God in SAWSO is helping a woman like Chemka come to realize that God always intended for her to be and see, that she is truly a woman of substance. ***

Lt-Colonel-Joan-Canning-215x3001[1]Lieutenant Colonel Joan Canning is the Executive Director of The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO). SAWSO’s vision is to “create a world where people live in safe and sustainable communities in which differences are respected, basic needs are met, and all enjoy opportunities to learn, work, and worship in freedom.” Learn more at www.SAWSO.org.