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U.N. Blue Helmets from Sri Lanka Come to Our Assistance in Haiti

Leogane, Haiti.  Another early day here in Leogane, Haiti — epicenter of the earthquake — for our international NGO post-disaster relief team.  I brief the team over breakfast at 7am and by 8am we are at the U.N. Coordinating Committee compound to continue our introduction to them. Known as “OCHA,” this U.N. branch is connecting the […]

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Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis: Are American Service Clubs Too Old To Matter?

New York, N.Y. Service clubs are a particularly American institution that began in the heartland, although now they are found on both coasts, as well as virtually every country in the world.  Iraq and North Korea are exceptions, although Libya now has a Lions Chapter. The ideal of these international organizations – particularly Rotary, Lions, […]

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Post-9/11 & Katrina: What’s Up With the American Red Cross?

Washington, DC. In addition to interviewing Bekele Geleta, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies recently (story), I was also able to speak with David Meltzer, Senior V.P. of International Services for the American Red Cross.   David manages American Red Cross government- and privately-funded programs in more than 30 […]

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Hip Campaign from World’s Oldest Humanitarian Program

Geneva, Switzerland.  The International Red Cross and Red Crescent can be best understood as a collection of pieces building a whole. In my first piece, I told the story of the Secretary General. In my second column, I interviewed him on the role of the Red Cross Red Crescent today. The latest Red Cross Red […]

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Airlines Applauded as Our Tsunami Docs Return from New Orleans

New Orleans, LA.  Orphans International Worldwide’s Indonesian “Tsunami Docs,” wearing traditional Moslem head covering, were present as they passed through New York to return to Jakarta after volunteering in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.  The United Nations Singers performed, and diplomats spoke from a variety of countries. The airlines that have assisted Orphans International Worldwide […]

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Mountaineers Climb Up so Kids with AIDS Can Grow Up

Scale Mount Kilimanjaro to help African kids with AIDS. The program includes Climb Up the 50, Climb Up the World, and Climb Up Kilimanjaro.  Funding will cover AIDS-related medication, supplies, and food for children infected with the disease in the hardest-hit countries, including Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Climb Up the 50 is based in the […]

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Fonkoze: Haitian Diaspora Unites Across U.S.

With Barbara Magnoni. Photos by Tequila Minsky. Brooklyn, N.Y.  As the world economy collapses, the lifeline to already-impoverished Haiti has run thin.  One third of Haiti’s economy flows through remittances — through companies such as Western Union and Moneygram — from overseas family members sending cash home. Banks and micro-finance institutions such as Fonkoze also play […]

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2,870 Mayors for Peace: Does Yours Belong?

New York, N.Y. 2,870 cities in 134 countries. That’s how many cities have committed themselves to not being a nuclear target by joining the U.N.-associated Mayors for Peace. “Being in favor of nuclear disarmament is a no-brainer for cities. Atomic weapons were developed to destroy cities,” Aaron Tovish explained to me over coffee at the […]

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