Executive Summary
September 2007
From the Executive Director
In many ways this latest trip to Serbia was like coming full circle. Accompanied this time by IOCC Chairman Alex Machaskee, I was gratified to see that a people who have endured so much are continuing to rebuild their lives. From computer training centers in Kraljevo to mobile medical units in Kragujevac made possible through Philanthropy of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and micro loan programs for small farmers in Sabac, IOCC’s Belgrade staff is keeping the momentum moving forward. As always, Kosovo felt particularly heart wrenching as we visited with the brothers of Visoki Decani Monastery. Still under 24-hour protection by United Nations peace-keepers, the brothers are a living testimony of true Christian love that seeks reconciliation with all people. We then toured the newly renovated winery that the brothers operate in the village of Velika Hoca. IOCC’s recent work to upgrade the winery promises to provide more economic opportunity and cooperation between Serb and Albanian grape farmers. It stands as a model of Kosovo’s potential. From Serbia it was on to the Republic of Georgia, another nation that was part of IOCC’s early years. IOCC is continuing its investment in Georgia with the rehabilitation of public schools, micro-lending programs to small entrepreneurs and farmers, and the creation of a model farm through the invitation of ILIA II, Patriarch-Catholicos. Finally, our meetings with IOCC field staff in both countries reminded me of how grateful I am for the many years and the many miles they have logged with IOCC. What could be more gratifying than to see our staff, tried and tested through times of war, lend their expertise to other nations? That was certainly the case with Nenad Prelevic, IOCC Program Manager for Serbia and Montenegro, who had just returned from Greece where he oversaw the distribution of 170 metric tons of animal feed to the farmers of the fire-ravaged Peloponnese. IOCC’s commitment to Serbia, Georgia, and now to Greece, is stronger than ever as we seek to give all that we have been given in service to others.

Yours in Christ

Constantine M. Triantafilou
Executive Director and CEO

Greece Wildfires
Authorities in the Peloponnese estimate that 500,000 total acres of forests and pasturelands were decimated by the August wildfires. IOCC responded by delivering 170 metric tons of animal feed to 800 small and subsistence farmers. IOCC was able to expand this relief operation through donations received from supporters, and through a recent gift by IOCC founder, John G. Rangos. Nenad Prelevic, IOCC Program Manager based in Belgrade, traveled to Greece last September to oversee the distribution’s expansion. “This was a big disaster for Greece and it most affected those who had the least,” says Prelevic. Click here to meet IOCC’s Greek Beneficiaries

Ethiopia: HIV/AIDS Program Extended Through 2011
IOCC Ethiopia’s successful HIV/AIDS program has been extended through 2011 with a $7.8 million grant by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The program’s activities will expand from 20 to 30 dioceses, and its implementing partner, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, will benefit through more comprehensive training for priests and administrators of the program.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: New Income-Generating Projects for Returnee Farmers
IOCC Bosnia-Herzegovina has launched a new program to provide milking machines and milking pails to 31 families who returned to their farms in the northwestern region of the country. IOCC had previously provided these same farmers with their heifers. Because the equipment will allow for a more sanitary collection of milk, the farmers will be able to continue supplying milk to a regional dairy. The program is made possible through support by the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia as well as the country’s Federal Ministry for Refugees and Displaced Persons.

Syria: Summer School for Iraqi Refugee Children
As part of its recently-expanded $1.98 million program in Syria, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM), IOCC recently concluded a project that engaged over 500 Iraqi refugee school children in summer school. In cooperation with the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, IOCC will provide school fees, uniforms, tutoring, vocational training, school kits donated by Church World Service (CWS), and a variety of non-food items to Iraqi refugee families and disadvantaged Syrians.

15th Anniversary
“We started supporting IOCC because it gave the Orthodox a chance to support humanitarian causes. As the Church we must support the needy. We especially appreciated that wherever IOCC worked, it worked through the Church. As Orthodox we should not be so parochial. IOCC expands our outlook. IOCC is about ALL the Orthodox working together, and we liked that.”

— John G. and Mary S. Gatsis, Des Plaines, IL
(IOCC Supporter Since 1992)


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