Reaching Out Internationally Program Bulletin
Nancy Jones, GFWC Reaching Out Internationally Program Chairman
We are excited to think out Knit One, Save One campaign for Save the Children, and the letters we sent to then President-Elect Obama made a difference. President Obama has taken a big step toward a comprehensive global health strategy. He is asking Congress to increase the $8.1 billion in the 2009 budget to 8.6 billion for 2010. The comprehensive global health approach can yield significant returns by investing in efforts to:
- Prevent millions of new HIV infections;
- Reduce mortality of mothers and children under five, saving millions of lives;
- Avert millions of unintended pregnancies, and
- Eliminate some neglected tropical diseases.
To reach these goals, the budget needs to invest $63 billions accumulatively over six years (2009-2014) for global health programs. We need to encourage our legislators to support these funding levels. Our voices have made a difference in the past, don’t stop now! We can save lives and keep them healthy of we support this global health plan.
Operation Iraqi Children is a grass roots program founded in early 2004 by actor Gary Sinise and author Laura Hillenbrand. Sinise and Hillenbrand created OIC to give concerned Americans a way to reach out to war-stricken Iraqi children and support our troops in their efforts to assist them.
Since it inception, OIC has delivered to Iraq over 200,000 school supply kits, along with half a million toys, books, shoes, blankets, backpacks, and sets of sporting equipment all of which have been distributed to Iraqi children by our troops. While the focus remains on Iraq, in recent months, OIC has extended its reach, sending school supplies to Afghanistan and the east African nation of Djibouti, where American troops are distributing them to children in need.
Several GFWC clubs and state federations reported projects for OIC this past year. As the new school year is just around the corner, it is a good time to get involved again. As you purchase school supplies for your children or grand children, purchase an extra set to be donated to OIC for shipment to Iraqi or Afghani children. The items must be new and assembled according to the following list. Do not enclose additional items, as all kits must be the same.
- One pair of blunt-end scissors
- One 12-inch ruler with metric markings
- 12 new pencils with erasers
- One small pencil sharpener
- One large eraser
- One box of colored pencils (crayons melt in the summer heat!)
- One package of notebook paper
- One composition book
- Three folders with inside pockets
- One zippered pencil bag
Pack only the listed supplies in a 2-gallon sized zipper seal plastic bag. For full instructions for packing and shipping, and to obtain donor information sheet go to www.OperationIraqiChildren.org/SchoolSupplies.asp.
CARE needs our help as the humanitarian crisis in Pakistan continues. As the violence between the Pakistani military and the Taliban intensified in the northwest region of Pakistan this spring, millions of people fled their homes, many with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.
CARE is on the ground—helping families who have fled the conflict with shelter, emergency supplies, and medical care. They are also assisting host families in communities stretched to the limit by the influx of refugees.
The United Nations identified this crisis as the largest civilian exodus the world has witnessed since the Rwandan genocide. This emergency also has the distinction of being the least-funded crisis for a humanitarian emergency in a decade. Lack of funding is threatening to shut down lifesaving operations of CARE and other organizations working with refugees in Pakistan.
As we head into fall, consider adding a $25-$50 donation to CARE to your club’s budget for specific humanitarian effort. GFWC would be turning over thousands of dollars to sustain these efforts. We can make a difference around the world.
PLAN USA found it necessary to make changes in their awards program offered to GFWC during this past year. Unfortunately, donations to the Global Woman’s Fund did not materialize as both PLAN and GFWC had hoped, the donations would not even cover the cost of the trip offered by PLAN to the winning club in 2010. We certainly don’t want to see PLAN USA spend monies raised for helping others pay for a prize, when the dollars raised can make such a difference in the lives of women and children in the poorest countries.
The awards program for the coming year will raise the minimum donation to qualify for the states awards to$1,000/state in each size category. If GFWC raises a minimum of $50,000, PLAN USA will again draw the name of an individual club to participate in a PLAN trip to one of their program areas.
The Global Woman’s Club works! The group this chairman had the pleasure to meet and visit in 2007, started with one sewing machine and a dream to make school uniforms for all the children who couldn’t afford to buy them. Through loans and training provided by the Global Woman’s Fund, they now have a place of business, many machines sewing everyday, all the children in the community have uniforms, and they have expanded to produce other products for sale in their area. Quite the success from the meager start they had in 2007. Help others grow as well by continuing to support PLAN USA and the Global Woman’s Fund.
Operation Smile is happy to have had the support of GFWC for 21 of the 27 years they have existed, and they are proud to acknowledge this as one of the longest lasting relationships they have with any organization.
Since 1982, Operation Smile has changed over 130,000 lives and now has a presence in over 51 countries. Their need for our help continues and GFWC members are ready.
It still takes as little as $240 to change a life of one child, and funding continues to be one of their greatest needs. They still need Smile Bags, Child Life Therapy items, medical office supplies, children’s hospital gowns, and child-size blankets.
Operation Smile has a new project called the No-No Armbands. The bands help to keep a child’s arm stiff so they can’t touch the surgery site during the healing process. It takes as little as a 10" by 15" piece of fabric, ribbon ties, and nine tongue depressors. Operation Smile will be happy to send clubs the patterns and instructions can be found at www.OperationSmile.org.