WHO WE ARE
Response USA for Relief and Development is a non-profit organization based in Virginia, USA that works to alleviate the suffering of extremely poor and vulnerable populations, especially women and children by delivering lifesaving humanitarian assistance including food, emergency healthcare, psychosocial support, water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and shelter services. Response USA also works with the marginalized and disadvantaged communities in remote and hard to reach regions of the world and helps them find lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, poor health and powerlessness through participatory development.
To have a peaceful, just and equitable world where everyone enjoys a life free of hunger, suffering and exploitation.
Work with others to make a difference in the lives of extreme poor and vulnerable populations - with a focus on women, girls and children, through integrated and participatory approaches.
HOW WE WORK
Response USA provides a lifeline when disasters e.g. floods, earthquakes, drought and hurricanes strike; when people are driven from their homes and countries by conflicts and wars; when economies collapse and when there are deadly disease outbreaks around the globe. Through our community development programs, we build futures with local people, empower them and mitigate the effects of future disasters. Our program strategy is guided by the following three principles:
High quality and participatory programming that is well founded on our understanding and analysis of the key underlying causes of poverty, marginalization and social injustice
A long-term engagement with the poor and vulnerable communities for achieving a greater and lasting impact
Commitment to gender and diversity, as a key element to addressing discrimination in all its forms and manifestations. Through our emergency response and development programs, we serve our program participants regardless of their religion, race and nationality
Community participation is the cornerstone of Response USA’s people centered program approach, which strengthens the voice of the most vulnerable and powerless people.
Participation involves women, men, youth and children – who are often excluded from the development process, allowing them to influence the decisions concerning their lives and environment around them. These processes increase local knowledge and skills, and thus contribute to promoting wider ownership, self-reliance and sustainability of the program outcomes.
The participatory approaches and mechanisms enable Response USA for Relief and Development to identify the extremely poor and vulnerable people, understand their problems and work with them to find sustainable solutions.
For achieving its vision and mission, Response USA is committed to foster meaningful relationships with all stakeholders – Governments, NGOs, UN bodies, private sector, research institutions and community groups/leaders.
In line with our commitment to keep the overhead costs low, we spend 90% of our total operating budget on programs benefiting disadvantaged families and communities, especially children, girls and women.
OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
DR. MALIK USMAN, BOARD MEMBER
Dr. Malik Usman has been living his dream of creating beautiful smiles for over eight years. He is a caring, gentle, and experienced professional with extensive training in Restorative, Prosthodontics, Periodontics, Endodontics and Cosmetic Dentistry. He combines dental expertise, gentle chair side manner and state of the art technology to create beautiful, healthy smiles. He received his DDS with Honors from New York University in 2008 with induction in National Dental Honor Society – Omicron Kappa Upsilon – recognizing him among top 10% of dental students. He started his professional career in Worcester, Massachusetts with a local private dental office and in 2010, he moved to the state of Virginia in order to be close to his family and friends. Selected as one of the top dentists in America in 2013 and 2014 by Consumers Research Council of America, Dr Usman is married with two lovely and energetic kids. When Dr Usman is not practicing dentistry, he loves to travel and spend time with family and friends, play cricket, racquetball and tennis
RUKHSANA AYYUB, BOARD MEMBER
Rukhsana Ayyub is a development professional with over 25+ years’ experience in Program Management. She graduated from New School for Social Research in Psychology and obtained certification in addiction treatment from Adelphi University. She began her career in New York as an addiction specialist by providing counselling to to those affected by addiction and trauma. In 2001 she shifted her prevention work to development sector. She has worked in the US as well as in the Asia Region (Pakistan, Bangladesh and Thailand) for leading International development organizations like ChildFund International and CARE USA at senior leadership positions. She is committed to addressing all forms of discrimination and has devoted her life to supporting the marginalized and the vulnerable achieve their rights. Ms Ayyub has written and published articles on gender based violence and addiction and is a public speaker and has spoken at various public, private and international forums. She is a proud mother of two sons and a doting grandmother to her granddaughter. She is an avid reader and loves to read poetry and biographies.
STEVEN D. BOTKIN, BOARD MEMBER
Steven Botkin founded the Men’s Resource Center of Western Massachusetts (MRC) in 1982 and received his doctoral degree in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts several years later. In 2004 Steven founded Men’s Resources International to support the development of masculinity awareness and men’s engagement as allies and partners with women on a global level. Since then, Dr. Botkin has provided training and technical assistance in the development of men’s engagement initiatives in Zambia, Nigeria, Liberia, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Burundi, Niger, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Albania, Ireland, Myanmar, Nepal, Lebanon and the United States. He has been instrumental in the formation of many local, national and global men’s groups, organizations and networks, including the Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre, the Congo Men’s Network and the MenEngage Network. Dr Steven has provided consultations to a range of organizations including YMCA, CARE International, UN Women, Concern Worldwide, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Save the Children, the International Rescue Committee, RutgersWPF, and the Women's Peacemakers Program. Steven currently works as an independent consultant and psychotherapist, Senior Trainer for MERGE for Equality, and serves as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the North America MenEngage Network.
DR. ARIF MEHMOOD, PRESIDENT & CEO
Dr. Arif Mehmood is a community development and humanitarian professional with over 25 years of work experience with the national and international organizations in the United States, Africa and Asia. As Director of Programs, Arif provided strategic and managerial leadership to Islamic Relief USA, Zakat Foundation of America and United Muslim Relief (now renamed as United Mission for Relief) in the United States. Arif has served at senior management positions at CARE USA, CARE Australia, Oxfam GB, Concern Worldwide, UK’s Department for International Development/British Council, and in many cases has been responsible for business development and quality implementation of programs. His areas of expertise include the design and implementation of community based programs in health (including Reproductive Health, maternal and child health, Primary Healthcare etc.), education, Livelihoods/food security, WATSAN, Gender EQUALITY, Women’s Empowerment, GBV Prevention and Disaster Preparedness and Response. In addition, he has extensive experience of strategic planning, organizational systems development, partnerships, grants management and monitoring and evaluation. Arif has been successful in securing major donor funding by designing multi-disciplinary projects both for sustainable development and for humanitarian response.
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