Since 1933, the IRC has provided hope and humanitarian aid to refugees and other victims of oppression and violent conflict around the world.
The IRC on Twitter
Thanks to all who voiced support for U.S. #CIR! What your calls on the Senate immigration reform bill achieved: t.co/z5OAvG7uFs
May 24, 2013
RT @DocEdH: The best of @theIRC: amazing local staff -in this case Immaculee M- listening thoughtfully to a community leader t.co/LH…
May 24, 2013
@angusa Thx for your interest in working with us! Positions posted at t.co/w3SDWahSdt; if a position isn't there it's no longer open.
May 24, 2013
A woman awaits a checkup at an IRC clinic inside #Syria. t.co/KYCuHf1zWA Photo: Peter Biro/IRC t.co/qptp52tHvi
May 23, 2013
Please tweet @theIRC if you have questions, comments or requests!
May 23, 2013
VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
Father's Day: Tough times for working dads in Kenya
June 21, 2009
By Joanne Offer
[gallery] “My job means that I have to be away from my two young sons for long periods of time – sometimes up to two months,” says Peter Mutanda. “It’s very difficult for me and I miss everything from helping them with their homework to playing with them on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I try to call them every day, but only if the unreliable Kenyan phone network allows!” Mutanda works with the International Rescue Committee in Lodwar, a remote, arid place in northwest Kenya renowned for prolonged drought and frequent cattle rustling between rival clans. It’s a plane ride away from his wife and sons Alvin (8) and Anton (3), so Mutanda only gets to catch up with them every few weeks or so. “The older boy understands that I have to work to make ends meet,” says Mutanda, “but he does get very frustrated when I stay away too long. The younger one is always asking me if I will come home ‘tomorrow’. They both want me to work and stay near them, which is hard, but my situation is so much better than many of the families here in Lodwar. They really are struggling with a myriad of problems.” The IRC has worked in Lodwar, northwest Kenya since March 2008. We started out with a small HIV/AIDS program that has now expanded across six field sites. It serves a population of 250,000 with comprehensive services from voluntary counseling and testing to home-based care for people living with AIDS. In February 2009, the IRC also launched a community health care program for mothers and babies of nomadic groups. “The biggest challenge for mother and fathers in this area is how to raise and support their children when abject poverty is so widespread,” says Mutanda. “Not only do families lack ways to earn an income, but they face a dearth of social services like adequate education and quality health care. It’s not easy to raise a family here.” The IRC is encouraging fathers in particular to get involved in educating their children on important health matters, including sexuality and reproductive health. We run a weekly radio program and our five-week ‘families matter’ educational course is helping parents to find new ways of talking to their children and teenagers about sensitive subjects. One elderly male participant, who was too shy to be named, says: “Initially I wasn’t open; I wasn’t able to speak to my children about sex. According to Turkana tradition, these things aren’t discussed openly, so children get embarrassed and surprised when their parents try to talk about them. But since I’ve started coming to this course, I’m able to talk to them.” Such words keep Mutanda motivated in his work. “On Father’s Day,” he says, “we must remember that fathers are role models for their children. Fathers must demonstrate high levels of integrity in words and deeds and participate fully in their family’s development.”
No comments yet.