This month we report on an Integral cooperation between Tearfund (UK) and SEL France in Mali. Working through local partner TNT, funds were given to provide emergency grain to tide over conflict-affected communities in Timbuktu and Gao until harvest-time. TNT, in collaboration with representatives of these communities, offered 20 tons of rice to the most vulnerable households. The following testimonies, taken from the end of project report, give us a clear picture of the benefit of this humanitarian relief project …
Maimouna Cisse is the mother of seven children. She did not hear from her husband for more than three years when he left Gao in search of a job in Nigeria. When the crisis came, she and her children lost their home. She says, “I never thought that the crisis would last so long. We literally had nothing. We always heard that help was given by a particular organisation, but my family and I have never received even a pot of rice. I want to thank the people who brought this aid to us. Today is a blessed day – thank you for remembering the poor and needy.”
Abdoulaye Abubakar is a tailor by trade. He says, “Since the rebellion broke out, nothing happens – nobody sews clothes for parties, weddings or social events. It is no longer possible for me to make a living from my business. I tried other trades, but everyone knows me as a tailor – our whole family have done this job for decades. I could not feed my family. This is the first time in more than eight months that I have brought home a bag of 50 kilos of rice. Thank you very much. This rice bag has more value than gold for me and my family."
Alassane Issasa was born in Gao and worked as a city employee collecting taxes. She explains, “I have not received a penny from the town for more than nine months. I have a family of 12 people. In addition to my wife and my children, I have the family of my younger brother, who died a few months ago from typhoid, to look after. I do not know how we have all survived. Your help is welcome and has brought us a great respite. I dare not even describe this crisis. Thank you very much for your help. I hope you will not forget us.”
Hawa Musa is a widow with four children. She says, “My husband was a mechanic and he died before the outbreak of the rebellion. My children were forced to go around the houses of various relatives in the city in order to eat. There are days when they had nothing and had to sleep on empty stomachs. The shortage is so great that the solidarity that existed in the past has disappeared. Now it's every man for himself. Thank you for thinking of others and for this bag of rice.”
The end of project report speaks about the benefit of collaboration and cites it as a key learning: “There is strength in collaboration. The combination of partners helped to implement the programme in a timely and efficient manner, and the commitment of each partner and their desire to see the programme succeed were key elements of the success of the distribution.”
Integral Alliance is a WEA affiliate and has served as a Global Partner to the WEA in the field of relief and development since 2006. Integral contributes to the WEA’s goal of fostering Christian unity around the world through working with its Members on a more integrated and collaborative strategy in disasters.
More Information about Integral:
• Integral’s vision is a world without poverty.
• Our mission is to work in collaboration as national relief and development agencies committed to maximising the holistic impact of our Christian response to the poor worldwide. Integral’s main focus is on working together when disasters happen, and to find opportunities for our Members to collaborate and so maximise our resources and impact following a disaster.
On Integral Collaboration:
• Integral’s goal is for all its Members to become more effective and efficient in their work and to see greater impact and reach as a result of working collaboratively. This means making sure that Integral Members share information and play complementary roles with the resources they have available when an emergency happens. The Integral Secretariat plays a co-ordinating role to facilitate better communication between all Members in disaster situations with the aim of increasing support and avoiding duplication.
• Integral is committed to working with the Micah Network and the World Evangelical Alliance to ensure that excellence is championed and collaboration encouraged within our wider constituencies.
Integral has 18 Members who work in over 85 countries and currently fund over 1100 projects in more than 30 sectors. Our Members have a combined income of over $350m USDs and are:
CEDAR Fund – Hong Kong
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee – Canada & USA
Food for the Hungry – USA
Integra – Slovakia
MAP International – USA
Missions Alliance – Norway
Mission East – Denmark
SEL France – France
Strømme Foundation – Norway
TEAR Australia – Australia
Tearfund – Belgium
TEAR Fund – New Zealand
Tear Fund – Switzerland
Tearfund – UK
World Concern – USA
World Relief Canada – Canada
World Relief – USA
In disaster situations Integral Members have previously collaborated in:
• 2012: S. Sudan.
• 2011: Cote d’Ivoire, Libya, North Korea, South Sudan, Japan earthquake, Middle East, East Africa food crisis
• 2010: Haiti earthquake, Sahel food crisis, Indonesia earthquake, Guatemala Hurricane, Pakistan floods
• 2009: Sri Lanka (internally displaced people), Pakistan floods, Asian disasters
• 2008: Kenya Unrest, China Earthquake, Myanmar Cyclone, Democratic Republic of Congo, East Africa Food Crisis, India floods
• 2007: Bangladesh Floods, Zimbabwe Humanitarian Crisis
• 2006: Indonesia Earthquake
• 2004: Indonesia Tsunami, Sri Lanka Tsunami
Deborah Hancox, Interim Director of Integral
Sarah Fordham, Integral Communications