Living in an orphanage in Ukraine is usually a traumatizing experience, even in peaceful times. Estimates put the number of youth in orphan care in the country at about 90,000. The majority are social orphans, meaning they have been placed in institutions because their parents could not care for them on account of extreme poverty, abuse, or abandonment. Around age 16, orphans must leave the boarding schools or other care institutions because state funding runs out. Yet, having spent their whole lives without parental love and care, most are woefully unprepared for independent adult living.
Since the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine on February 24, thousands have fled their homes, crossing borders to find refuge with family and friends in neighboring countries. AVSI-USA asks you to join us in this urgent appeal so we can respond quickly and directly to help Ukrainians fleeing from war.
AVSI Foundation will host a learning event on the theme of “Pathways for Refugee Livelihoods and Integration” together with the US State Department, Bureau of Population, Migrants and Refugees (PRM) on Tuesday January 25, 2022. The virtual learning event will feature 6 projects implemented by AVSI worldwide, including 5 funded by PRM and 1 by USAID.
AVSI-USA received a grant of $160,000 from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s (CDP) Haiti Earthquake Recovery Fund to mitigate the harmful effects of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti on August 14, leaving more than 650,000 people in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. Funds will be used to provide physical and psychosocial protection, promote child development, and reactivate child protection networks. As part of the project, AVSI will render fully functional 8 child-friendly spaces with programming serving at least 800 children and their families living in underserved urban slums in Les Cayes and Torbeck and remote coastal villages, including Roche a Bateau, Coteaux, Port-a-Piment, and Chardonnieres.
Three month after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the country, we have distributed plastic sheets to 5,301 people and created 12 child-friendly spaces to help children and adolescents cope with the trauma.
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.
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.”
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.
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.