* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
NEWS: FRESH GROWTH FOR THE FUTURE IN SOMALIA
As Somalia struggles to meet the daunting task of recovering from decades of raging civil strife and no effective government—not to mention the recurring blows of drought and famine—few challenges are greater than that of education.
More than 72 percent of the country’s adults are illiterate, and formal basic primary-school education for children is only sparsely available. In fact, in most rural areas it is nonexistent. Among the small number of children who do enroll in school there is a high dropout rate because parents often cannot afford to pay school fees. It is a struggle for families to afford both learning materials for their youngsters and food for the whole family.
UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, has partnered with Turkey-based International Blue Crescent (IBC) and is supporting IBC’s mass mobilization campaigns in Somalia. The campaigns are designed to sustain basic education provisions, especially for the most deprived populations—notably the country’s many uprooted families who are classed as internally displaced persons, or IDPs—and to develop new local efforts that will pave the way for a much fuller education service for all in the future.
The IDP camps of Jamacadaha and Korsan, on the outskirts of the capital city, Mogadishu, form the focal point of this initiative. It involves the provision of what IBC calls “child-friendly spaces.” In these spaces, some 600 children are now benefiting from free primary education. The program employs 40 teachers in four schools, with base salaries assured for a period of one year. It also includes an incentive program aimed at enhancing and sustaining the schools. Read more.
A gift from you will help children and their families in the IDP camps of Somalia and elsewhere in the Horn of Africa. Please give to International Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #982450, and earmark your check “Horn of Africa Crisis.”
PRAYER: CHINA EARTHQUAKE SURVIVORS
Pray for families struggling to recover from the April 20 earthquake that devastated communities in Lushan and Baoxing counties, in Sichuan Province, China. Recovery in this rural area is difficult and many of those affected are elderly and unable to rebuild on their own. UMCOR is supporting longtime partner Amity International in the recovery efforts.
UMCOR OPENINGS: NEW YORK AND HAITI POSITIONS AVAILABLE
UMCOR is seeking qualified persons to fill its Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Education (WASH) coordinator position in its New York City headquarters and its head of mission post in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Visit our Careers webpage for more information.
MEDIA: FRESH WATER IN DR CONGO
Share the joy of a small village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo when, last week, they inaugurated a new well with hand pump that has brought them the precious gift of clean water. View a short video of the moment the water splashed into a waiting bucket in Camp Pensionne.
RESOURCE: RELIEF SUPPLIES ARE NEEDED
Get the word out about UMCOR’s urgent need for relief supplies using this church bulletin insert. UMCOR Sager Brown in Baldwin, Louisiana, and UMCOR West in Salt Lake City, Utah, are running very low in their inventory of layette, sewing, and bedding kits particularly, but other relief supplies are needed as well.