|UMCOR Supports Tsunami’s “Hidden” Emergencies|
Fishing gear in Somalia, school buildings in Thailand, and home repairs in India are three examples of aid United Methodists are providing in tsunami-damaged areas—but often unnoticed by international media.
This work is being done by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in collaboration with ecumenical partners that are able to deliver long-term relief and rehabilitation services.
Fisher Folk Back to Work in Somalia
Somalia, on the east coast of Africa, one of the poorest countries in the world, was struck at a time when it was coping with the aftermath of 14 years of civil war and chronic drought.
The Center for Education and Development, an UMCOR partner, has identified 2,200 of the most destitute fisher folk who could not return to work without replacement of nets and boats. They also needed basic necessities such as food and water. Community elders distributed aid with Center staff supervision. Beneficiaries expressed confidence and gratitude in the process that is providing what they truly need.
Home Repair, Community Centers Critical for India
An UMCOR assessment cited home repair, the opening of community centers, assistance to school children, and income-producing activity, such as tailoring, as critical needs in the coastal areas of India hit by the giant waves. One local partner is the Madras Regional Conference of the Methodist Church of India. Once issued, the new grants will supplement disaster relief and recovery donations already provided to the conference. UMCOR has also helped the Christian Medical Association of India to assure delivery of emergency health care.
Children Return to School in Thailand Camps
In Thailand, UMCOR is rebuilding schools and childcare centers for Burmese refugees living in that country. These vulnerable families were already living in camps swept out to sea in the tsunami. UMCOR’s implementer there is the United States Committee on Refugees and Immigration.
UMCOR has its own operations in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, and is working with partner organizations in some specific projects in order to maximize resources.
United Methodists have responded generously to appeals for tsunami relief.
Donations for Advance #274305, South Asia Emergency, may be mailed to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068. The agency receives credit card donations at its toll-free line, 800-554-8583.
Date posted: Jun 30, 2005