Executive Summary
July 2007

Dear IOCC Supporters,

This month IOCC announces a new initiative to help Iraqi refugees living in Syria. The $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) will assist 4,100 economically disadvantaged Iraqi and Syrian children of Sunni, Shi’a and Christian backgrounds to enroll in a primary or secondary school for one year. IOCC will provide tuition fees, uniforms, tutoring, summer school, and $228,000 in school supplies that will benefit a total of 15,000 Iraqi and Syrian students in this unique project. Our close relationship with the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch will enable us to tap into its network and resources as we reach out to students in the Damascus, Kassah, Jaramana and Roukn Eddine areas. By providing a range of educational opportunities from traditional academic programs to vocational training we enable refugee children to return to school, thereby increasing their chances of finishing school. As we reach out to disadvantaged Syrian students along with Iraqis we will also help to ease any tensions between the two communities. Our many years of experience in assisting refugees and displaced persons in the Balkans should serve us well in our work with these new refugees in Syria.

Constantine M. Triantafilou
Executive Director and CEO

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Armenia: IOCC’s First Humanitarian Mission
IOCC has just completed its first humanitarian shipment to Armenia. The shipment of bed quilts worth $167,000 was delivered to the capital city of Yerevan through IOCC’s Gifts-In-Kind (GIK) program and will be distributed among orphanages and hospitals throughout the country. More than 70% of the beneficiaries will be children. Although this is the first time that IOCC has worked in Armenia, we are investigating further opportunities to do humanitarian work in cooperation with the Armenian Orthodox Church. The shipment of quilts was donated by Lutheran World Relief (LWR) and is being distributed by WCC Armenia Inter-Church Charitable Round Table Foundation (ART).

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Romania: Press Conference Highlights Achievements
IOCC Romania held a press conference in July to showcase two years of achievement in its HIV/AIDS and Family Violence program. His Beatitude Patriarch TEOCTIST, of blessed memory, primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church, participated in the press conference along with U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Taubman. IOCC Regional Director Mark Ohanian outlined the program’s achievements including the training of over 1,200 priests and 900 religion teachers in awareness, prevention and palliative care programs. Ohanian said that the Romanian Orthodox Church now has in place a sustainable network of skilled personnel to continue battling HIV/AIDS in a country that has one of the highest transmission rates in Europe.

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Bosnia-Herzegovina: NGO Fair Shows Civil Society Gains
IOCC Bosnia-Herzegovina held its 6th Annual NGO Fair in Banja Luka. Twenty-five NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) advocating such issues as the rights of the disabled, increasing civic activism among youth, promoting gender equality and educating women in health issues, displayed their wares at the fair which was attended by over 5,000. The fair is co-sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is part of IOCC’s comprehensive program to promote civil society in the country.

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Greece: IOCC Fundraising Concert
IOCC Greece held a fundraising concert in support of IOCC’s programs in Jerusalem and the West Bank. The concert was held on May 2 in the Municipal Theater of Athens and featured noted Greek composer, Hristos Nikolopoulos. Special guests included Eleni Sourani, former General Consul of Greece in Jerusalem and Samir Abou Ghazaleh, the Ambassador of the Diplomatic Representation of Palestine in Greece. Ms. Sourani spoke at the event and noted IOCC’s reputation for working in some of the most neglected areas of the West Bank and Gaza. IOCC Greece implements projects in the West Bank and the Republic of Georgia with European funding.

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15th Anniversary: Voices of Faithful Founders
VOICES of: FAITHFUL FOUNDERS
“IOCC does the work of the Lord. As an Orthodox Christian I really believe in that. I wasn’t looking for another position to have on my CV when I joined the IOCC board. I wanted IOCC to do what I could not as an individual. Today it has grown and it is truly international. Christ was an internationalist; He knew no boundaries when he said 'go ye into all the nations.' We have to continue to build IOCC up. We are well known now and the sky is the limit!”

— Dr. George J. Farha, IOCC Board Member Since 1995.

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IOCC Releases New Video: “VOICES”

IOCC has released its new video, “VOICES.” The 13-minute production includes original footage shot in Gaza/West Bank, southern Lebanon, the Balkans, Thailand, and Indonesia. The video features interviews with several IOCC beneficiaries and veteran staff and celebrates IOCC’s 15th anniversary with archival footage of the first humanitarian airlift to Russia in 1992.

Click here to see the video


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