Sierra Leone: What You Didn’t Know About #102

MedShare is partnering with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s Faiths Act Fellows, Clint Fluker and Sana Rahim, to mobilize multi-faith communities to advance the UN Millenium Development Goals and combat malaria.

The entire 5.6 million population of Sierra Leone is currently at high risk for malaria. There are only 102 doctors in the entire country- that’s one doctor for every 50,000 people. This year, we are raising funds for 2 medical containers to Sierra Leone that will include critical medical supplies and insecticide treated bed nets, which will help address the pressing challenges of malaria. 

Click here to join us in the fight against malaria!

Rev. Jesse Jackson Visiting MedShare to Address East Africa’s Famine

Rev. Jesse Jackson Visiting MedShare to Address East Africa’s Famine

Rev. Jesse Jackson visiting Atlanta-based nonprofit to initiate humanitarian aid shipments to those suffering in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya

This afternoon, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, will visit MedShare to address East Africa’s famine.

The U.N. fears that thousands have died due to hunger, and Rev. Jackson hopes to partner with MedShare to mobilize his influence to send humanitarian aid to treat those suffering from malnutrition in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya.

“According to the UN World Food Program, over 11 million people are in need of emergency assistance in the Horn of Africa,” says Rev. Jackson. “In Kenya, an estimated 3.6 million people have been affected; this includes refugees, rural pastoralists, and urban poor who are unable to buy adequate food because of escalating prices. In Ethiopia, at least 4.5 million people are in need of assistance. I strongly believe that we can show how compassionate we are as a country by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and sheltering the homeless.”

“MedShare is honored to host the Revs. Jackson and Lowery, and explore opportunities for medical supplies and equipment that we can provide to address the healthcare issues that thousands of East Africans are facing as a result of the famine,” says A.B. Short, CEO and Co-founder of MedShare.

Welcoming our TBFF Faiths Act Fellows to MedShare!

MedShare was chosen as a host site for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s (TBFF) Fellowship Program. Our Fellows, Sana Rahim and Clint Fluker, recently joined us, bringing with them a wealth of experience and talent.  Faiths Act is the Foundation’s multi-faith social action program which mobilizes people of faith to work together on issues of health and global poverty in order to help achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

We’d like to welcome them to you, our incredible supporters, with this short video:

Clint and Sana’s primary roles will be to facilitate volunteer opportunities among members of the faith community, work with Development and the MedTeam Program to help launch joint-faith container sponsorship projects and to spread the word about MedShare’s hand-carry program. They will also be working to fulfill the mission of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation by building bridges and developing mutual respect and understanding between different faith groups in the Atlanta community. If you’d like to meet them, sign up for a volunteer session here!

Welcome to MedShare, Clint and Sana!

Hurting People of Haiti

The day started early today, because Haiti received it’s feared most since the earthquake-rain.  During the night in between sleep and wake, I thought I felt some rain drops.  Then I was jolted out of bed by a Haitian frantically trying to move my mattress under the awning.  The next thing I knew, the bottom fell out.

The UN officers trying to control an aggressive and increasingly violent crowd.

I lay there outside, but protected from the rain.  And in the faint distance, I heard young children crying, as the sheets and sticks being used as their house, did not protect them from the heavy downpour.  I laid there praying, begging God to make the rain stop, but it seemed like the harder I prayed, the harder the rain came down.  Then, we hear a mob of people marching by our house in the rain and chanting, “I may be afraid, but I still have Jesus!”

The rain lasted on and off throughout the night and into the morning.  It cleared up just in time for the food distribution in Pastor Forges’ community.  There were 1,500 food coupons distributed the night before, but much more lined up in an aggressive mob the next morning.  Led by my group, I pushed my way through the crowd inside the gate where the distribution was to take place.  This is the first time I’ve been scared since my arrival in Haiti.

The UN arrived shortly with an army trucks carrying soldiers and all the food that was to be distributed.  Each person with a coupon got one bucket of rice and one bucket of beans.  I watched tearfully as UN officers had to use their guns and sticks to control the crowd.  It reminded me of cow herders herding cattle.  It broke my heart to see people brought to this level of desperation that they behave and are treated like animals.  This is not okay.

Once preparations were finished and the crowd was somewhat subdued, the distribution of the food went very smooth.  Until it was over, and people without tickets were trying to raid area where the leftover buckets food were that was being taken to the orphanage and the church staff.

The people exiting with their bucket of rice and beans.

One of the church staff, Cenatta, looked at me and said, “Can you help?” I eagerly said yes, so she told me to grab two buckets and run for it.  really hard to desc

ribe the next ten minutes, because everything was so frantic.  The UN officers escorted us, but they were having a hard time controlling the crowd.  I started getting mobbed by people trying to grab the buckets out of my hand, crying and begging me for it.  Only by God’s strength was I able to hold it together.  I couldn’t look into their desperate eyes, or I would have lost it.

When this was all over, I had to sit, breathe and cry .  I had so many going on at once…happy, sad, confusion, frustration, anger.  I was happy that the people were being provided for; sad for the people that didn’t receive food; confused why they have to suffer and not me?; frustrated that the UN is not doing a better job with aid distribution; and angry that the people had to be treated like animals.

All of this transpired before 10:00 in the morning.  Needless to say, I am physically and emotionally exhausted.