UPDATES FROM FIELD
SINDH WATER SUPPLY
Response USA is implementing Water Supply Project in Thatta district of Sindh province in Pakistan where around 75% people live in poverty and only 13% use tap water. Every day, women and girls in the rural areas have to walk hours under the scorching heat to fetch water fort their families. The majority of the schools have no toilets or facility for drinking water. In addition, tens of thousands of acres of land in Thatta have been eroded by the sea, which is also severely affecting the ground water aquifers. In many areas of the district, the erosion has rendered agricultural lands useless by making them saline and turning the water sources brackish.
RURAL DEVELOPMENT, LIBERIA
Response USA is implementing a rural development program in Barchue Town of Grand Bassa County in Liberia. Setting up of a Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA) was identified to be the first Response USA intervention in the area. VSLA is a group of people who save together and take small loans from those savings. The activities of the group run in cycles of one year, after which the accumulated savings and the loan profits are distributed back to members. With extensive training and supervisory support from Response USA, the VSLA is now operational where members conduct their weekly meetings independently, do savings, decide on loan requests by the members.
KASHMIR EMERGENCY RELIEF
Response USA is providing emergency food assistance to the extremely poor and vulnerable families – especially to widows, orphans and disabled persons in Kashmir. Unprecedented lockdown and restrictions on movement imposed by the security forces have left hundreds and thousands of people - mostly women and children with severe lack of food supplies and hygiene items in Kashmir.
KENYA INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT
Response USA is supporting the implementation of this pilot project in Kamuthe & Nanighi locations in Fafi Sub County of Garissa in Kenya, which is known for hosting millions of Somali Refugees and currently facing a severe drought. The goal of the project is to ensure that community have equitable and sustainable access to safe water and sanitation services through capacity building of Community Water users Associations, repair and rehabilitation of water points, hygiene promotion, gender equality and gender based violence prevention (GBV) and introduction of alternative livelihood sources to improve food security and wellbeing.
This project is being implemented in the rural and underserved areas of Thatta District, Sindh - a disaster prone region in Pakistan that has been in the media for high child mortality incidence in the recent years. The enrolled orphan children are being provided with monthly financial assistance and periodic medical checkup support. In addition, orientation sessions on child protection, child rights and child abuse are also conducted for the family members of orphans. The water supply component of the project includes construction of deep-water wells and shallow water wells to improve the poor communities’ access to clean drinking water. Setting up and training of WASH Committees comprising of men, women and youth from the beneficiary communities is an important strategy for awareness raising on WASH and for ensuring wider ownership of the project outputs.
ORPHANS SUPPORT AND WATER SUPPLY, SINDH
QURBANI MEAT DISTRIBUTION
Response USA’s Qurbani Meat Distribution Project benefited around 40,000 poor and vulnerable individuals in 13 countries in Asia, Africa and Middle East. There was lot of excitement observed during the meat distribution, especially in countries affected by conflict, disasters, poverty and hunger; long queues at the distribution points were witnessed. Sheikhs/Imams of the community who were involved in the meat distribution expressed their appreciation for Response USA for remembering and serving those who are deprived in the society, irrespective of their religion and ethnicity.
ORPHANS SUPPORT, INDIA
Response USA, is implementing this project in Bihar and provides monthly financial assistance to orphans for meeting their basic needs including food, education and shelter. Majority of the enrolled orphan children are from Araria District, which is one of the most backward districts in India. These orphans were selected after conducting a comprehensive assessment that included visiting the identified families, meeting with the orphans, reviewing their documents, checking if they were being supported by any other organization etc. I
'I wish I could feed and educate my daughters'
Shubhadra is about 30 years old, mother of two daughters - Kabita and Amrita (10 and 4 years). She lives with her husband Aghnu and mother in law, Sibarati in a remote village of Dhanusha district of Southeastern Nepal that borders with the Indian state of Bihar. Shubhadra and her family belong to Musahar community, which are Dalits – the lowest of Hindu caste system and considered ‘untouchables’. This five-member family lives in a thatched house whose roof is badly damaged and covered with old plastic sheets and used clothes. They have been living in this house for years without kitchen, drinking water and latrine facility.
Shubhadra got married at the age of 15; she gave birth to four children-only two of which are alive. Sarita, her eldest daughter was 10 years old when she went to collect firewood in nearby forest, and fell down from a tree and died. Shubhadra’s son, Suraj died at the age of three months due to pneumonia, which is a curable disease but the family could not afford the cost of medical treatment. Her mother in law, Sibarati is almost blind and has not been able to access medical care due to lack of resources.
Shubhadra’s husband Aghnu had to sell his piece of land for 25,000 Nepalese rupees ($219) for his father's medical treatment and ultimately used the remaining amount for performing his death rituals in 2017. Aghnu borrowed two thousand Nepalese rupees ($17.5) from a moneylender at 5% monthly interest and went to India for earning livelihood for his family. Unfortunately, Aghnu got sick in India, could not earn any income and returned to Nepal after few weeks with empty hands. Since Aghnu had already sold his piece of land and had no source of income, he could not pay back his loan. Aghnu is mentally disturbed now and no one hires him for labor in the area. Subhadra is the sole breadwinner for the family; she works in the fields and mostly gets unprocessed rice as in-kind wages. There are days when she does not get work and her family members have to sleep with empty stomachs.
Two weeks ago, Subhadra gave birth to another baby girl and when Response USA volunteers delivered to her clothes and gifts for the new born, bedding items and hygiene supplies along with a food parcel to meet the family needs for almost one month, she was almost in tears. She thanked the generosity of Response USA donors for helping her family and said: “I wish I could feed and educate my daughters so that they do not have to struggle and suffer as I have been doing throughout my life"