VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
Counting on hope
October 29, 2010 by Kate Sands Adams
|Three-year-old Cassandra Doo's family, Burmese refugees, became the 200th family to realize the American dream under a home buying program begun in 2001 by the IRC’s Phoenix office. Photo: Loren Anderson|
Every day my International Rescue Committee colleagues and I deal with numbers -- big numbers, small numbers, sobering numbers – numbers that add to the sum total of human suffering.
During the past week alone for example, 305 people were killed and nearly 5,000 infected by a cholera epidemic in Haiti; 441 people died after a tsunami and volcanic eruptions rocked Indonesia; and at least 27 people were killed and 14,000 homes destroyed by a cyclone in Myanmar.
But no matter how grim the statistics from the crisis zones where we work, there are other numbers -- both big and small -- that add up to one thing: hope for the people who count on us.
Here are a few numbers that measure recent milestones by the IRC in the U.S. and around the globe:
- 200 homes purchased by resettled refugee families in Phoenix, thanks to financial education and other support from the IRC
- 1,000 loans worth a total of $1 million made to refugees by the IRC’s micro-lending program in San Diego. So far, 95 percent have been repaid.
- 20,000 refugees welcomed to Atlanta by the IRC since we opened our office there in 1979
- 100,000 pairs of eyeglasses distributed to Burmese refugees and migrants living on the Thailand-Myanmar border
- 100,000 Haitian earthquake survivors served by an IRC cholera prevention campaign in 30 settlements in Port-au-Prince. The IRC is the only international aid organization working in most of these locations.
If you're wondering how you can get involved with the IRC's work and create change, there are many different ways: Every dollar donated, every hour volunteered, and every petition signed helps us reach new milestones, change more lives. You can even start your own fundraising campaign.
No matter how much or how little you can contribute, it all adds up -- to hope.