The new year has been off to a rather sad, turbulent start with all the unrest around the world. Myself, I was slated to meet some project leaders in Pakistan and accompany a team of evaluators visiting a project GlobalGiving donors have funded in Mansehra. With the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, that plan was cancelled and I flew back to the US from India. Something we often chat about is our worries about our Project Leaders when we hear of such events. I know that at times I get frustrated if they are not responding to emails or are late in follow up. Then I read emails like the ones below and I realize that these men and women are doing great work in very difficult situations.
Hearing about things in the news is one thing but hearing from people in the midst of the chaos, really brings home to me that these are real people, dealing with real situations and real turmoil be it the fallout of post-election chaos or the assasination of a political leader.
From Project Leader Stella Omunga in Kenya:
Yes, indeed they are now even burning people who have taken refuge in churches. The situation in Eldoret is the worst and believe you me, GEMINI has not been cowed by all this. We are regrouping and doing anything in our power to provide humanitarian assistance and on a personal level, I’m providing shelter to the most vulnerable women and children and psychological counseling to the affected families in a nearby church compound.
You can support efforts to provide comfort and relief to those affected by this crisis here:
From Project Leader Nabeel Khan in Pakistan:
Things in the state of Punjab especially Lahore is settling down as there is deployment of the police however i cannot say the same about the state of Sindh where Karachi (the largest metropolitan) is in a state of shambles where a majority number of cities are under curfew where Rangers have been given a shoot to kill order (which is more to intimidate than any credible threat). Banks and Food Chains have been set on fire. Furthermore, since Kashf has had branches in many parts of Punjab, the area managers were put on high alert. Most offices in Pakistan were either closed due to security reasons and even if some were open, there was but little staff.It is indeed a bad way to end a reasonably good year however lets all hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Our thoughts are with our Project Leaders and we hope for a much better 2008 for everyone. You can always check our see results page for the latest news from the field.