There is an old proverb that says, "Give a man a fish and you have fed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime." Knowledge is power, and the bridge to a better life. It can lift a child from illiteracy, give a man the job skills he needs to support his family, and provide a woman with the capacity to keep her children safe and healthy.
Empowering people through education is one of the most transformative ways that IOCC has been able to put your support to work. Along with your generous gifts to provide emergency relief and assistance to vulnerable people around the world impacted by natural disaster or manmade upheavals, IOCC also puts your faith in action to provide these survivors with the tools and resources they need to rebuild their lives, to plant the seeds for a better future.
In Syria, IOCC is providing thousands of Iraqi war refugees with vocational training and literacy courses to help them secure jobs and a means to support themselves and their families. In Ethiopia, where one million people are afflicted by podoconiosis, a disease that causes severe swelling to feet and legs, IOCC is distributing shoes and providing basic foot hygiene instruction to treat and prevent this painful condition. Working in conjunction with the Romanian Orthodox church, IOCC shipped 18,000 school kits to the Romanian capital city of Bucharest for the new school year. These kits were distributed to disadvantaged children, giving them the tools they need to succeed in school. For children in Haiti, IOCC has worked with local partners to construct schools, ensuring that the children have access to a safe and welcome place where they can learn and grow into productive adults.
These are just some of the success stories you will find in this issue of News & Needs. As we come to the close of 2011 and prepare to welcome 2012, all of us at IOCC send our sincere wishes for a blessed holiday season and hope that the abundance of Christ's love showers you and your family with a new year full of health, happiness and peace
Constantine M. Triantafilou
Executive Director & CEO