UMCOR / News Room / News & Features / Archives 2011

News & Features Archives 2011

December 2011

  • Hope Restored
    Disabled since birth, Joyce receives medical assistance from UMCOR which helps with the delivery of her baby girl in South Sudan.
  • UMCOR Responds to Typhoon Sendong
    Typhoon Sendong struck last weekend in the Philippines sweeping away entire villages and leaving tens of thousands of people homeless.
  • Clean Water and Good Health in Zimbabwe
    Water and sanitation are key to good hygiene practices, and good hygiene practices promote good health. The Nyadire Connection and UMCOR are working together to ensure both at Nyadire United Methodist Mission in Zimbabwe.
  • Shouldering Malaria Burden
    Beneath Dr. Guy Kasanka‘ s quiet exterior lies a bold dedication to the people of the Democratic. Republic of Congo, who suffer diseases of poverty such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. Read how Dr. Kasanka leads his community to work for their improved health.
  • Small Children Play Big Role in Somalia (Part II)
    Naima, 8, is one of many small children in Korson Camp in Somalia who undertake adult tasks to help their internally displaced families.
  • Small Children Play a Big Role in Somalia
    Drought and violence in Somalia have displaced Fawziya and her family. Fawziya, 11, is the main caregiver for her paralyzed brother and an “unsung hero” of the camp.
  • Agents of Change
    Community health workers and participants of the denomination’s Ministry With the Poor program in DRC, are fast becoming change agents in their communities – offering improved overall health.
  • World AIDS Day: Addressing HIV in Rural Guatemala
    In Guatemala, more men are being reached with HIV prevention messages, thanks to a project funded by the UM Global AIDS Fund.

November 2011

  • New Quake in Turkey
    After a second earthquake in just over two weeks struck eastern Turkey last night, UMCOR is responding with its partners there.

  • Marking Eid after the Quake
    For the people of eastern Turkey, today’s Eid-al-Adha feast will be celebrated in temporary shelters, after a powerful earthquake caused massive destruction October 23.


October 2011

  • Floods Quietly Disrupt Life in El Salvador
    Thousands of Salvadorans lost their homes earlier this month following seven straight days of torrential rain. UMCOR is helping families cope and rebuild.
  • Food and Medicine Needed After Quake
    UMCOR is in conversation with partners in Turkey, seeking to respond to emergency needs following the 7.2-magnitude earthquake there that has caused injuries, deaths, and widespread destruction.
  • In the Nick of Time
    The 10-Fold campaign concludes today with a look at UMCOR’s International Disaster Response work, which includes helping partners foresee and plan for emergencies.
  • The Power of Connection
    In Alabama, UMCOR and all of the United Methodist connection are helping communities recover from damage caused by devastating tornadoes last spring.
  • Multiplying Good Health in DRC
    Ngoy Mwambay Martine is a community health worker in Democratic Republic of Congo. In an interview with UMCOR, she talks about her service and what it means for her, her family, and her community.
  • Taking the Long Look
    In a “historic” board of directors meeting yesterday, UMCOR adopted measures to bolster the organization and also released significant funding to propel disaster recovery in the US, Japan, and Haiti.
  • Japan Recovery Advances
    Seven months after the triple disaster in Japan, UMCOR board of directors yesterday approved nearly $2 million in new funding for emergency needs and rebuilding.
  • Digging into Recovery
    UMCOR board of directors yesterday approved a significant grant in support of the “hard work of long-term recovery” in Alabama following last spring’s devastating tornadoes.
  • UMCOR Responds to Typhoon-Stricken Residents
    UMCOR and partner Asuncion Perez Memorial Foundation distributed food and other aid to isolated villagers, survivors of back-to-back typhoons in the Philippines.
  • Imagine No Malaria
    Imagine No Malaria enters a new grant-making phase this month, the fruit of purposeful investment in the leadership and potential of Africa to eradicate malaria.
  • Young Leaders Imagine No Malaria
    The Imagine No Malaria campaign celebrates two young leaders in the struggle against a deadly but preventable disease.

September 2011

  • UMCOR Responds to Typhoon Nesat
    UMCOR, through its Philippines field office, is assessing damages provoked by Typhoon Nesat, which roared through the island nation earlier this week.
  • The Journey of Mintu Pal
    Mintu Pal is a construction worker who was laboring in the Indian state of Sikkim, when a 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck the area on September 18. He tells his story to UMCOR partner CASA-India.
  • Mental Illness Awareness Week
    Mental illness is often a hidden disability, but in any given year more than a quarter of Americans can be found to be living with mental illness.
  • Hope Among the Ashes in Texas
    A North Texas Annual Conference Early Response team offers hope to survivors of devastating wildfires in Bastrop, Texas.
  • Casualties and Damages in Himalayas after Earthquake
    A house destroyed by the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Kathmandu, Nepal, is seen in Bhaktapur, September 18, 2011.
  • Sending a Message of Help and Hope
    UMCOR is responding to widespread flooding in the Susquehanna Annual Conference and elsewhere, a consequence of Tropical Storm Lee.
  • Fighting Fires in Texas
    “We may need a new church van by the time this is over,” said Laura Young of Linden United Methodist Church’s efforts to help Texas fire fighters battle nearly a dozen fires in Cass County, Texas.
  • Together Through Storm and Flood
    During a lull in the rains that have lashed the East Coast and inland areas since Hurricane Irene lumbered through, personnel from UMCOR and the New York Annual Conference visited storm survivors and began assessing damages.
  • A Bold Act of Compassion
    Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, UMCOR developed a multifaceted response in the United States and overseas, including a still ongoing program in Afghanistan.

August 2011

  • Surviving the Drought, and Preparing for the Next One
    UMCOR partner Church World Service has been working with local communities in rural Kenya to provide water-capture systems that in the midst of today’s drought are helping the communities survive.
  • Impact of Hurricane Irene Not Over Yet
    With severe flooding continuing in New Jersey, Vermont, and other areas, the impact of Hurricane Irene is far from over. UMCOR is responding with emergency grants to affected conferences.
  • Maximizing Resources for a Better Life
    Karina Mikaelyan, 46, lives in the mountainous region of Semyonovka, Armenia. She is the primary caretaker for her four daughters and a son, two grandchildren, and her husband, who is unable to walk because of injuries he sustained during the war.
  • UMCOR Salutes Hispanic/Latino Group
    Rev. Cynthia F. Harvey, UMCOR's top executive, celebrated with members of the United Methodist association of Hispanics and Latinos on the occasion of the group’s fortieth anniversary founding of MARCHA.
  • Disaster Response Has Its Own Timing
    Five months after the massive earthquake and tsunamis in Japan, UMCOR is helping the Japanese people breathe fresh life into their recovery and rehabilitaion efforts.
  • Not Without Hope: Step by Step Recovery for Trafficked Survivors
    Staff Psychologist Liudmila Badaylan, UMCOR Armenia, says communication and relationship building are among the first steps toward recovery for survivors of trafficking. Learn how she helps survivors on their road to recovery.
  • Drought just one factor in Horn of Africa Crisis
    United Methodist Missionary Paul Jeffrey recently returned from the Dadaab refugee complex in Kenya, where he traveled for ACT Alliance and UMCOR. Read his observations on the severe drought in the Horn of Africa.

July 2011

  • UMCOR Departs Indonesia
    Six years and thousands of beneficiaries later, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has completed its mission and closed its doors in Indonesia.
  • Crisis in the Horn of Africa
    While the countries of the Horn of Africa experience their worst drought in decades, UMCOR is working with partners there to plan a regional response.
  • Rice and Beans
    After last year’s earthquake in Haiti, deaf Haitians banded together to form their own village, where they share the common goal of recovery from the disaster.
  • In Sri Lanka, Village Livelihood Groups Promote Independence
    An UMCOR-implemented livelihoods program in Sri Lanka is helping villagers start their own businesses and build a brighter future for themselves and their families.

June 2011

  • There for the Long Haul
    Bulging rivers in North and South Dakota will crest this weekend, but relief and recovery challenges will remain for months to come.
  • Fending off the Cold in DR Congo
    Internally displaced persons in DR Congo can stop wearing extra clothes to bed, thanks to a distribution of blankets.
  • Japan Relief Advances
    UMCOR hails the opening today of an ecumenical disaster response office in Japan.
  • In Columbia: Clinic Inauguration Ushers in a New Day
    After years of violence, survivors in six Colombian villages find healing and a new life, thanks to a recently inaugurated clinic. Read the story and view videos of the inauguration.
  • Reaping Cocoa Benefits
    Although the Dominican Republic is considered the second poorest country in the Caribbean, cocoa producers who are members of CONACADO Cooperative, are reaping sweet benefits through fair trade premiums.

May 2011

  • UMCOR Keeps Promise to Storm Survivors
    UMCOR is keeping its promise to stand with tornado, storm, and flood survivors, who this spring have experienced historic challenges.
  • From Sri Lanka to Haiti
    Field officers from eight countries where UMCOR runs emergency and transitional development programs gathered at headquarters for an annual meeting.
  • Severe Weather in Three States
    Tornadoes over the weekend wreaked widespread destruction and caused scores of deaths.
  • Innovation: Tool for Rebuilding
    A forum in Haiti, sponsored by UMCOR, EMH, and UMVIM, calls for creative solutions to the persistent problem of rebuilding homes.
  • UMCOR Attends Ivorian Inauguration
    UMCOR head, Rev. Cynthia Fierro Harvey, and board director, Bishop Janice Huie, attend Ivorian president’s inauguration this weekend in a sign of solidarity and hope for peace.
  • A Rolling Flood of Need
    As UMCOR assists annual conferences in the wake of April tornadoes and severe storms, new emergencies loom.
  • Survivors of Human Trafficking: Not Without Hope
    “Not without Hope,” the walls of the shelter seem to whisper to new arrivals, survivors of human trafficking in Armenia. Here, in an ambience of trust and encouragement, residents re-learn the meaning of hope after seemingly endless years of sexual servitude and forced labor.

April 2011

  • UMCOR Underscores Commitment to Storm-ravaged South
    UMCOR underscored today its “absolute commitment” to communities impacted by this year’s historic spring storms, even though the organization’s US Disaster Response funds are extraordinarily tight.
  • Storms Leave a Trail of Death and Damages
    UMCOR is in contact with bishops and disaster response personnel in annual conferences affected by last night’s storms to assess damages and next steps to assist communities in need.
  • South Carolina UMVIM ERT Disaster Response to North Carolina
    South Carolina Annual Conference’s UMVIM Disaster Response Team responded to the call to aid their North Carolina neighbors after devastating tornadoes there.
  • Severe Weather Continues to Haunt South
    As severe weather continued to wrack the South, UMCOR worked with United Methodist annual conferences to assess damages and respond to survivors. Violent weather is expected to continue in the coming days.
  • Reaching Out to Vulnerable Communities after the Storm
    UMCOR Disaster Response consultant Barbara Tripp describes the aftermath of tornadoes in her home state, North Carolina, and efforts to help the most vulnerable.
  • World Malaria Day
    UMCOR Health executive Nyamah Dunbar speaks about the upcoming 100,000 net distribution in Mozambique, which is a collaborative effort to launch the National Malaria Nets Campaign. Read more in the UMCOR Notebook.
  • After Tornadoes a Light of Hope
    After some 200 tornadoes tore through the US South at the end of last week, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is working with annual conferences to assess damages, convene volunteers, and extend the light of Easter hope across a ravaged landscape.
  • Standing With the People of Japan
    As the full impact of last month’s devastating disaster in Japan unfolds, UMCOR is standing with the Japanese people to help them bring hope, healing, and comfort to those in need.
  • Setting a Vision
    During its spring board of directors meeting, UMCOR approved significant funding for disaster relief in Japan and Haiti and advanced its strategic planning process.
  • In Cote d’Ivoire, Prayers for a Quick Resolution
    As the conflict in Cote d’Ivoire appeared to reach its climax today, United Methodist sources there and in the US called for prayer for a quick resolution and the restoration of peace.
  • Partners in Providing Shelter
    More than 3,200 families in Haiti will soon have transitional, upgradeable, or permanent housing, thanks to collaborations between UMCOR and three different humanitarian organizations.

March 2011

  • Shepherd or Sheep
    At the recent African-American Women and HIV/AIDS conference held in Columbia, South Carolina March 3-5, guest speaker Dr. Bambi Gaddist, executive director of the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council, engaged participants with a question: “Are you the shepherd or the sheep?”
  • Letter from UMCOR Director, The Rev. Cynthia Fierro Harvey about Japan
    Read an update from UMCOR top executive, Cynthia Fierro Harvey, about the United Methodist Response to the crisis in Japan.
  • UMCOR Responds to Japan Emergency
    The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has partnered with the United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ) and first-responder GlobalMedic to bring immediate relief to communities in Japan affected by last week’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami.
  • UMCOR Assesses Response to Pacific Emergency
    The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is connecting with partners to assess damages and needs resulting from the powerful 8.9-magnitude earthquake and 33-foot-high tsunami that rocked Japan today.
  • A Clarion Call to Fight HIV/AIDS
    The first ever African-American Women and HIV/AIDS conference sponsored by the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund opened Thursday night March 3 at Wesley United Methodist Church in Columbia, South Carolina.
  • Myanmar: Emergency Response Training Program Builds Future Leaders
    It is potentially one of the least interesting aspects of humanitarian work: disaster response training. But according to director, Ngwe Thein, ongoing training and cooperative learning efforts for young people are critical to the future of Myanmar

February 2011

  • Emerging from the Floods in Pakistan
    “The people who were very poor in Pakistan were made poorer by last year’s flooding there,” said David Sadoo, International Disaster Response executive for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). “Lay that natural disaster on top of already existing security issues, and it’s a very difficult situation.”
  • HIV in Myanmar: “I am not useless”
    In a country where the challenges for the poor can seem unfathomably complex, one of the brightest spots can be found in the vision of an unlikely leader: Naw Shé Wah.
  • Myanmar: Empowering Sex Workers to Prevent HIV
    Ma Thaw is a local community activist in Yangon, Myanmar. She uses drama and her network of friends to promote health and reverse discrimination in her community.
  • UMCOR Armenia Anti-Human-Trafficking Project FAQ
    UMCOR’s victim assistance program in Armenia is the only program in the country that provides long-term, comprehensive reintegration services to women, children, and men victims of human trafficking.
  • Moringa, the "Miracle Tree" is launched in Sierra Leone
    Imagine a tree in your backyard that meets all your nutritional needs, takes care of you medicinally, and purifies your water for you. This tree actually exists.
  • A Place to Call Home
    During the 1980s, Juma Gul and his family fled to Pakistan from Afghanistan, hoping to escape violence and war. Just over three years ago, the family returned to their village in Kabul province.
  • Investing in Life: A Microcredit Program in Haiti
    For about 18 years, Eglise Methodiste d’Haiti (EMH, Methodist Church of Haiti) has operated a microcredit program in the town of Petit Goave, 43 miles from Port-au-Prince, in Haiti.

January 2011

  • A Big Day for Haitian Children
    Last Wednesday was a “big day” for the field office of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in Haiti—and an even bigger day for 700 Haitian children who now have the opportunity to continue their education.
  • Ending Human Trafficking, One Life at a Time
    Alisa* fell prey to a human trafficker in her hometown in Armenia. She was just 20 years old and the single mother of a nine-month-old baby. The trafficker forced Alisa into prostitution by threatening to kidnap her young child if she did not do as he said. He kept her enslaved and took all the money she made.
  • Emergency Continues in Brazil
    At least 20,000 people have been forced from their homes or left homeless by the intense rains that provoked deadly mudslides in the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. According to authorities, at least 806 people were killed and as many as 300 remain missing.
  • Flooding Affects Nearly One Million in Sri Lanka
    Nearly a million people have been affected by severe flooding in Sri Lanka since a monsoon began to pelt the island nation on December 26.
  • Celebrate Life!
    On the one year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, Melissa Crutchfield, UMCOR"s International Disaster Reponse executive, addresses the Protestant Federation of Haiti in Port-au-Prince with words of hope that reflect progress over the past year and celebrates renewed commitment for the journey ahead.
  • Day of New Beginnings
    January 12 marks one year since the Haitii earthquake. The Rev. Cynthia F. Harvey, deputy general secretary for UMCOR, reflects on UMCOR's response while encouraging us to celebrate new beginnings for the people of Haiti. Read Courage, Strength and Hope, the director's blog now.
  • One Year Later: Haiti Quake Survivor The Rev. Jim Gulley
    The Rev. Jim Gulley, UMCOR consultant explains why he cannot abandon Haiti, even after being trapped during the earthquake in January 2010. "I needed to go back and to re-engage."
  • Trafficking Survivor Rediscovers a World of Beauty
    Mariam* was just 15 years old when her parents married her to a man 20 years her senior. She worked day and night, a servant to her husband’s extended family, and was not allowed to sleep until her husband came home.
  • The Recovery Tightrope in Haiti
    Over the course of the year since the earthquake in Haiti, the work of recovery there has advanced like a tightrope walker along a taut chord. Go too fast, and the acrobat loses his footing, falls into the net, and has to start again. Go too slow, and the patience of observers wears thin. The only sure way to advance is to walk deliberately, setting one foot in front of the other, eyes forward, and maintaining balance.
  • Compassion Companionship: An Interview with Rev. James L. Gulley
    The Rev. James L. Gulley is an agricultural consultant for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). In January 2010, he was visiting Haiti with a small delegation representing UMCOR and United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) when the earthquake struck.