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Volume 9, No. 2FALL 2006

Message from the Executive Director

Photo: Linda Shaker Berbari

In the many years that I have worked in the field of development and humanitarian aid, I have found that most people don’t want a handout; they want a way to live with dignity. Self-sufficiency is a means to dignity. It is the gift of God to live in such a way that you are productive, independent and able to help others. It is what makes us bearers of the image of God.

Nothing is more gratifying for me than to see an IOCC program achieve its highest objective and empower people to become self-sufficient. This issue of News and Needs highlights five locations, each in very different and pivotal points in their histories.

On the Indonesian island of Nias and in the West Bank village of Taybeh, beneficiaries are learning new livelihood skills, taking initiative, and, ultimately, taking control of their lives. In Zimbabwe and the Gaza Strip, a very different reality: the brink of economic and social collapse brings an urgent call for emergency medical aid and the hope that the meeting of basic needs will provide an opening for future development programs.

Photo: Linda Shaker Berbari

And finally, Lebanon. A nation that just a few months ago had been enjoying economic revival and political reform, was plunged into a cross border conflict that has brought widespread destruction to hundreds of towns and villages. Because IOCC had been there since 2001, building an integrated network of cooperation between public schools, municipalities and churches throughout Lebanon, we had resources and capabilities that made us one of the best positioned humanitarian organizations. You will learn how our IOCC Beirut staff, literally overnight, converted our long term USDA-funded education and feeding program into a platform for delivery of emergency aid and shelter. The public schools, where our staff had formerly fed and taught nutrition and environmental lessons to low-income students, were transformed into makeshift shelters for tens of thousands of displaced families from the besieged villages of Southern Lebanon. The Beirut staff accomplished all this while they themselves suffered from the fuel, food, and power shortages caused by the war. Our Beirut program coordinator, Linda Shaker Berbari, was 8-1/2 months pregnant at the outset of the crisis, managing our relief efforts through long and tiring days. Her brave actions mirror our own determination as an organization. When the war ends in Lebanon, IOCC will continue to be there, helping others help themselves.

Yours In Christ,

Constantine M. Triantafilou
Executive Director

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From Development to Emergency Relief in Lebanon

Message from the Executive Director

Critical Gaza Medical Support Provided by Greek MFA Gift

Indonesia’s Unexpected Tsunami Benefits

Zimbabwe Crisis Spotlighted Through $1.5 Million Medical Aid

Taking the Initiative at Taybeh

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