What a year 2013 has been! Aid Still Required has seen incredible growth and achieved major accomplishments:
In Haiti, we began our support and guidance of OADENN, a children’s mentoring and support program in the northern city of Cap Haitien. The program is working with over 100 kids weekly and provides everything from educational counseling, medical care, and team building, to safe places for play, yoga and meditation. Heading into 2014, we aim to establish a physical center for expanded programming, to increase enrollment, and to support more kids going to school and receiving medical care.
In Haiti, we began to include men in our trauma therapy courses and expanded to include new courses in the village of Les Cayes. With 90% of women in the settlements experiencing rape or sexual assault at some point in their lifetimes, these programs are providing unquantifiable relief. Heading into 2014, we aim to establish a center for our trainers to provide more consistent programming, to hire an in-country director and to provide more training for our teachers.
In Indonesia, ASR continues to partner with Yayasan Lamjabat to provide training in craft making and business development for women. A micro-finance system has been developed to allow women to expand their businesses. Entering 2014, we plan to develop an online marketplace for these women and to implement the existing micro-financing structure.
In Indonesia, fishermen have come together to agree on new fishing practices to help protect the coastal waters for sustainable fishing. ASR helped to place buoys and lights to identify protected zones. In 2014, these protected zones will be expanded and an oversight committee will be established to help enforce regulations.
In Haiti, ASR partnered with Dutch solar light company WakaWaka to deliver thousands of solar lamps to the farmers enrolled in CODEP who plant millions of trees on the deforested hillsides of Leogane, to the men and women who have completed the trauma therapy courses in Wharf Jeremie and Les Cayes, to the children who are in the OADENN program and to the boys and girls at the home in Pandiassou for orphans run by Sister Armelle and her order of sisters and brothers.
For Haiti, Darfur and New Orleans, ASR launched massive awareness campaigns to draw attention to the work that still needs to be done in these parts of the world due to environmental disaster and human crisis. These campaigns brought together dozens of celebrities to bring the message to the tens of millions around the world.
As we reach the end of the year, it is helpful to look back at what has been done so that we can reflect upon what worked and what could have gone better. What could we have done differently to make those things more successful and which of those were beyond our control? What can we do in the coming year to make sure that we are able to create as much impact as possible.
It is also a time to give thanks. We are grateful for all of the generous support you have given us. Beyond generating the funds necessary to run ASR programs, your support has also helped to strengthen our resolve during those times when we feel tired and frustrated. Thank you for spending the time to learn about the work we are doing and for being inspired to give. Our successes are also yours. The people with whom we work and serve are also served by you. Thank you for making this work possible.
As we enter 2014, it is also nice to think about what we reaffirm about ourselves as an organization. We resolve to be wholly committed to our programs and the people we serve. We promise to be responsible, efficient and effective with the funds we receive and we promise to be transparent about how we use those funds. We promise to partner with well-vetted organizations to help implement our programs and we promise to partner with the best organizations in the areas in which we work.
We promise to stay true to our mission by shining the spotlight on those people who have been forgotten after natural disasters. We will implement programs that are environmentally conscious and engender self-sufficiency so that people have the power to improve their own lives and countries have the ability to truly recover beyond the emergency relief received after disaster.