News

Preparing vulnerable children in Lebanon, Ecuador and Uganda to go back to school

As the pandemic keeps raging around the world, it has become more and more evident that access to distance learning is uneven, with huge disparities based on income and geography. Globally, parents struggle to fill the gap, and there is a well-founded fear that the most vulnerable children will not catch up with their learning goals. At the beginning of the Summer, AVSI-USA launched the campaign “Let’s go Back to School.” The main goal was to help our partners in Uganda, Lebanon, and Ecuador prepare vulnerable children to go back to school after almost two years of online learning. To address these and other challenges created by the pandemic, AVSI and partners have planned customized responses together with families and communities. As part of our global campaign, our donors helped us reach the following results.

Reuniting families and supporting vulnerable people affected by volcano eruption in DRC

On the morning of May 23, 2021, the day after Mount Nyiragongo volcano erupted, leaving 35 people dead and 30,000 displaced, AVSI’s social workers found Jean Luc, 11 years old, wandering through the city of Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with tears in his eyes.

“I don’t know, I got lost,” mumbled Jean Luc with a blank stare when the social worker asked where his parents were. “Last night, after the sky turned red, my parents grabbed my three little sisters and me, and we started running. There were too many people in the street. I fell down and never saw my family again.”

You are the Heart of Development: AVSI-USA 2021-2022 Annual Campaign

In last year’s Annual Campaign, we invited you to “Expand your Horizons” and to join us as we reached out with hope towards communities fighting to counter the negative impact of the COVID pandemic. Over the difficult year, we have all experienced how much our destinies are tied to each other. The life of someone across the globe can impact mine, just as my life can impact theirs. It’s time to take a leap forward in how we conceive of our self and our responsibility towards one another, especially towards those suffering, on the margins of society and at risk of falling short of their fullest potential.
Human development is something that must concern us all. You are the heart of development. These are times that require bravery. AVSI-USA offers you this chance to say yes to the dramatic needs in our backyard and around the world, by supporting important projects in Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Haiti, Lebanon and Los Angeles.

USAID Mission Director’s visit to Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement, Uganda

AVSI looks forward to starting this work with a new group of participants who, after 30 months, will be as resilient as Charlotte and her family. AVSI Foundation and its partners Trickle Up and IMPAQ International are grateful to the Mission Director for his visit to the project that is creating change in Kamwenge by helping participants move out of poverty and remain resilient.

Witnessing courage, strength and determination in Iraq

The Islamic State (ISIS) caused havoc when they seized 40% of Iraq. They invaded the country in 2014 and ruthlessly destroyed basic infrastructures and businesses. The word ‘sad’ doesn’t really describe what I witnessed; it was heart wrenching! It has already been 4 years since ISIS was defeated, yet as you drive by the streets of Qaraqosh, there are still reminders of the destruction ISIS caused.

Finding hope, resilience and beauty in the slums of Kibera

Ruth and Elizabeth lead the group through an intricate maze of tin houses. The terrain is muddy. We are in Kibera, Kenya, the largest slum in Africa and the third largest in the world, with a population that varies between 500,000 to well over 1,000,000 depending on the source. Here, most residents live in extreme poverty, earning less than US$1.00 per day. Along the path, we see children playing dangerously close to the open sewage. A colorful mural brings some beauty to Kibera, but hope seems to be a concept that abandoned this place a long time ago. For Ruth and Elizabeth, on the contrary, hope is alive and well. They were both able to open their own small businesses thanks to AVSI’s “Tumikia Mtoto” (“Serve the Children”) project. We are on our way to visit their businesses.

It takes a village (and more) to work together and learn how to read

The auditorium was filled with excitement. AVSI staff and partners from the World Food Program (WFP), National Canteen Department (DCS), and the Ministry of Education (MENA) gathered to celebrate the ending of a successful 5-year project. Between 2016 and 2021, the Integrated Feeding and Literacy Program gave 125,000 children access to healthy food and distributed reading materials and books to schools in Ivory Coast.

AVSI’s “Welcomed Through Work” project celebrates two years with photo exhibit and impact study

Antonello Veneri could not hide his excitement as he led groups of patrons through the halls of the new exhibit, “Welcomed: A Journey from Venezuela to Integration in Brazil,” at the Banco do Brasil Cultural Center in Brasilia. Veneri, an award-winning photographer from Italy, seemed to pulse with energy as he described the process and decisions behind each brilliant photograph.

AVSI’s study: the education crisis in Lebanon might deteriorate dramatically in the coming months

Lebanon is facing an unprecedented economic crisis compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 Beirut Port Blast. This quantitative country-wide study analyses data collected from 26 schools and 372 households of children enrolled in AVSI educational activities, both inside and outside the classroom, to show the impact of the crisis on school-aged Lebanese and refugee children.