Indonesian Tsunami Docs To Assist In Gulf

New York, N.Y.  The Orphans International (OI) Sumatera Tsunami Medical Team has volunteered to come to the United States and help assist refugees left in Katrina’s wake. The English-speaking doctors believe their expertise in natural disaster relief on a massive scale, especially their experience in dealing with water-borne diseases, will be an addition to the recovery effort. It is highly unusual for developing nation medical teams to offer assistance within the U.S. Orphans International operates a home for Tsunami orphans in Aceh.

These Indonesian physicians will be coordinated by American doctors affiliated with Orphans International America, based in New York. Orphans International America has also opened an orphanage for children who lost their parents to another hurricane in Gonaives, Haiti. The Indonesian Tsunami Medical Team includes Dr. Luigi, Dr. Cut Fonna Syefarra, Dr. Vini Fardhdiani and Dr. Rainy Fathiyah.

Orphans International is currently determining where their services would be best utilized and believe they would be deployed to southern Louisiana and be able to tolerate primitive living conditions, such as they encountered in Aceh. New Orleans is a city that is situated in a basin which filled like a bowl when the hurricane struck, as happened in Banda Aceh. This type of disaster is very similar to what the Orphans International Sumatera Tsunami Medical Team experienced in Indonesia.

According to the Center for Disease Control, natural disasters contribute to the spread of many serious water-borne diseases, especially since water supplies and sewage systems have been disrupted. Diarrheal diseases, due to bacteria, parasites or hepatitis A can occur. Because of the tremendous loss of life, serious injuries, missing and separated families, and destruction of whole areas, our team recognizes the situation they encounter will have much in common with tsunami ravaged Aceh.

Last week, Orphans International Worldwide founder Jim Luce announced the establishment of a fund to cover transport, room, board and stipend to flood victim professionals who wish to volunteer for the next year assisting flood orphans in both Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and Gonaives, Haiti. Scholarships are now available to Katrina-displaced professionals in various fields who wish to work with children in Indonesia and Haiti who also lost everything to nature. OI is presently evaluating the possibility of building “New Orleans Foster Home for Orphaned Children” and an announcement is pending.

Orphans International America has received bi-partisan support from leaders such as former president Bill Clinton, Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Sen. Chuck Schumer, and Sen. Hillary Clinton, as well as many New York City-based public officials. Orphans International is a non-partisan, interfaith organization incorporated in New York in 2002. Last month in Indonesia, the Acehenese Ministry of Social Affairs recognized Orphans International’s work with tsunami orphans along with UNICEF and Save the Children. We are designated as a 501(c)3 organization by the IRS.

OI’s mission is “Raising Global Citizens” and OI’s children remain in their native countries to become educated to their fullest potential and then help move their countries forward; they do not place children for adoption in America. Projects are running in both Sumatera and Sulawesi in Indonesia, and opening this month in Haiti. Projects in formation include Romania, Togo, the Philippines, Peru, Ghana, and Guyana. Future plans include working with AIDS orphans in both China and India. Each OI campus is working towards full programming for the orphaned children and the village community with classes for English, computer science, and a strong emphasis on the arts.

Donors who wish to support this effort may write for additional information. More detailed information is available on OI’s website,; the organization’s monthly e-newsletter is available on-line. Tax-deductible contributions to the OI Fund for New Orleans may be sent to “Orphans International,” earmarked “New Orleans,” at 540 Main Street, Ste. 418, N.Y., N.Y. 100044. Last year less than 3% of OI America’s income was spent on management.

About Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens

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Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens
Jim Luce ( writes and speaks on Thought Leaders and Global Citizens. Bringing 26 years management experience within both investment banking and the non-profit sector, Jim has worked for Daiwa Bank, Merrill Lynch, a spin-off of Lazard Freres, and two not-for profit organizations and a foundation he founded. As Founder & CEO of Orphans International Worldwide (, he is working with a strong network of committed professionals to build interfaith, interracial, Internet-connected orphanages in Haiti and Indonesia, and creating a new, family-care model for orphans in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

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