Africa at the Icon

Mar 12 2009

Africa at the ICON

ICON in the Gulch -- 600  12th Avenue South, Nashville TN

thursday, March 21 (21+)

From 7pm-9pm

Live Music, Drinks and Hors d'Oeuvres, and an African Wine Tasting tour -- $15 donation per pesron at the door, all of the above and FREE parking

100% of your donation benefits Ellie's Run for Africa thanks to our sponsors: Lipman, Tall Horse, and Icon in the Gulch

Presented by Ellie's Run for Africa

For more information, go to www.elliesrun.org/icon

March 7, 2009
FROM: CHARLIE MCCORMACK and CAROLYN MILES
Dear Board Members,
 
Just wanted to provide another update on the situation in Sudan:
 
- As per our earlier communication, all operations have been suspended under the revoking of our registration to work in the country in response to the ICC ruling on the President Al-Bashir as a war criminal
 
- The impact on humanitarian programs in Darfur will be very great - we were up to this week feeding close to 500,000 people, delivering medical care and supplies to tens of thousands, and managing large numbers of schools and health facilities in the displaced persons camps of West Darfur.  In all we have been reaching over 1 million people.  As one of our largest programs around the world, the number of children and family members impacted, staff employed, and assets under management for this program is very large.  At this point there are negotiations underway to try to move these programs under WFP and UN offices but it is doubtful the capacity will be there to continue the programs uninterrupted.  We are also speaking to Catholic Relief Services and World Vision as there have not been any faith-based agencies yet affected.
 
- We are working all channels both here in the US and in Sudan and the region on the impact of this action on the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and the reversal of the action.  The likelihood for significant unrest in the country will grow as the number of days passes without delivery of critical programs and services.  However, it appears this is purely a political decision made by the Government of Sudan and as such will be hard to reverse.
 
- We have made formal notice that we will appeal the decision of the government and asked for the reasons behind our expulsion.  We have 30 days to make a formal appeal but this does not seem to give us any protection to not go forward with the order to have all international staff leave the country and stop operations and close down our work. Our country director in Khartoum is working all available avenues to slowdown or stop these actions.
 
- While we continue to pursue a two-pronged strategy of cooperating with the government authorities in closing down our programs and pursuing re-entry, it appears we will have to remove our international staff and we expect they will begin leaving in the next two days.  We currently have 37 international staff in the country and they will intially be relocated to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.  Under the order, we would also be required to fire all 800+ local staff and pay significant severance under Sudanese labor law.
 
- There is a significant financial risk in the closing of this program and the possible seizure of agency and donor assets.  While the government has at this point not seized assets and only "taken stock" that remains a high risk.  In addition the cost of relocation, severance and redeployment of almost 1,000 staff will be significant.  While we are reviewing insurance policies it appears that some of these costs may not be recoverable.
 
Our staff in Khartoum, Addis and here in the US are working very hard to make the best decisions through this difficult situation. Any thoughts or advice you have, please do get in touch and we will keep you updated.  Our utmost concern is that of the impact of the closure of this program on the children and familes of Darfur and the significant worsening of an already horrible humanitarian situation.
 
 
Below is some additional background-
 
Basic facts from our Khartoum Country Director Halane Hussein:

How long have we been working in Sudan?

Save the Children USA has been working in Sudan for 25 years.  (Save the Children UK has been in Sudan for over 50 years.

Are we working in Darfur?

Up until March 5th - Yes, Save the Children USA received permission from the Sudanese government to enter the conflict ravaged region of Darfur, where a humanitarian crisis was unfolding in March 2004.  By the end of 2004 we were the only international aid agency simultaneously addressing the monthly food, water, shelter, health and protection needs of hundreds of thousands of displaced children and members of their families, especially women.

At the five-year anniversary of our initial deployment to West Darfur, Save the Children remained by the side of children and women still unable to return to their villages and communities because of the region’s instability and fluctuations in violence.  Many roads in Darfur are unsafe because of armed groups; the violence has also periodically affected Save the Children and our local staff directly. While Save the Save the Children remained vigilant to security conditions, we continued to provide a lifeline of food, clean water, nutrition interventions, basic and reproductive health care, protection and education programs to children and women in camps and communities throughout West Darfur up until late this week.

 

What were you doing in Sudan?

 

Save the Children USA was providing essential support to more than 1 million children and their families including food, clean water, nutritional interventions, basic and reproductive health care, protection and education programs for children and women in camps and communities throughout Sudan.  We don’t know what the outcome of these developments will be, but we do know that if we are forced to stop our work for any period the lives of hundreds of thousands of children could be at risk.

Will this have an impact on your work in Southern Sudan?

We don’t know what sort of impact this might have, but any break down in the peace agreement between northern and southern Sudan would have grave implications for children. It’s essential that aid agencies like Save the Children continue to be able to deliver life-saving assistance to children across the country.

What should the US government do?

The US government must explore every possible avenue to get the suspension requests revoked and ensure aid agencies like Save the Children are able to continue delivering essential aid in Sudan. It’s imperative that international attention urgently focus on Sudan and that world leaders come together now to unite behind finding a solution to this conflict.

Facts:

-          UN estimates 300,000 people have been killed during the six-year conflict in Darfur.

-          UN estimates 2.7 million people have been forced to flee their homes.

 INITIAL LETTER

MARCH 5, 2009

Dear Colleagues --

        As you all are probably aware from the news, the Government of Sudan has taken some action following the ICC ruling on President al-Bashir and in that connection, Save the Children received a letter last evening which revoked our registration to operate in the country.   CARE, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Doctors Without Boarders and the International Rescue Committee, among other NGOs, have also all been asked to leave.  All staff are safe and accounted for and we are currently relocating international staff back to Khartoum where we believe they will be processed to depart.  In addition, we're cooperating with the Government of Sudan in its requests related to reviewing all of SC/US' assets in the country.

        Our strategy will be to reenter Sudan and reestablish our work there as soon as possible, but at this point, all operations have been suspended.  It is unclear how long it will be until we are able to return.  In the meantime, we are not making any statements against the Sudanese Government -- all of our messages are focused on the humanitarian crisis that is being faced by children and their families.

        At present, the registration of Save the Children/Sweden has not been revoked in Sudan, and we are working with them to see how we might continue some of our operations through their efforts. 

        The Save the Children/US Crisis Management Team met today and will be meeting again tomorrow to assess the situation. Additional updates will be provided to the Board of Trustees as things develop.  Please don't hesitate to contact either of us if you have any questions.

 
Nashville, TN, March 5, 2009 - Officials from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), (Princeton, New Jersey) and Meharry Medical College today announced the establishment of a national health policy center at Meharry Medical College. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College aims to bring diversity of perspectives and collaborative approaches to national health policy discussions. The creation of the Center comes as the nation's ethnic and racial diversity is rapidly increasing, and will be guided by the principle that sound health policy must be grounded in the experience of the people it represents.


BY: CAROLE BARTOO

2/20/2009 - 

A unique meeting held here late last week was the first step in bringing Vanderbilt into a consortium of the highest-level international aid organizations working to control the spread of HIV.

Sten Vermund, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) hosted the consultative meeting with UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund) and its partners to examine programs meant to halt transmission of HIV from mothers to their infants in the world's poorest regions.

For more: go to -- http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/reporter/index.html?ID=7033

 

ONE Partners with CARE for "A Powerful Noise"

March 5, 6:30CT: Green Hills 16

Feb 26 2009

Please join ONE and our partners on Thursday, March 5 for a nationwide event featuring the acclaimed documentary “A Powerful Noise,” followed by a live broadcast of a town hall discussion with Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; actress and activist Natalie Portman; CARE president and CEO Dr. Helene Gayle; CARE advocate and Marie Claire contributing editor Christy Turlington Burns; and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.

Check out the ONE blog for more information and a link to buy tickets:

http://www.one.org/r?r=174&id=844-3960407-Xddd0ex&t=2

What: Film screening of the documentary "A Powerful Noise," followed by a live-broadcast town hall discussion

Who: ONE members in the area, plus Madeleine Albright, Natalie Portman, Dr. Helene Gayle, Christy Turlington Burns, Nicholas Kristof and more

Where: Green Hills 16
3815 Green Hills Village Dr
Nashville, TN 37215

When: Thursday, March 5, at 7:30PM ET/6:30PM CT/5:30PM PT

More info:

http://www.one.org/r?r=174&id=844-3960407-Xddd0ex&t=3

In honor of International Women's Day, ONE is working in partnership with CARE, the UN Commission on the Status of Women and others to present “A Powerful Noise.” This remarkable film takes you inside the lives of three women to witness their daily efforts to fight HIV/AIDS, champion girls’ education and provide economic opportunities for women. Weaving through locations in Vietnam, Mali and Bosnia, this inspiring documentary tells a tale of hope much larger than the sum of its parts.

The presentation will conclude with a live-broadcast panel of renowned advocates discussing how women, equipped with the proper resources, have the power to help families and entire communities escape poverty and change the world.

For info and tickets, please visit the ONE blog:

http://www.one.org/r?r=174&id=844-3960407-Xddd0ex&t=4

Hope to see you there!

Margaret McDonnell, ONE.org

The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) had the unique honor of hosting an international discussion of health care systems to halt the transmission of HIV from African mothers to their babies last week. Director Sten Vermund hosted members of UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS in a two-day workshop last week to determine the effectiveness of prevention programs in developing countries, the effects of early weaning on HIV-free child survival, and the effects of HIV programs on improving maternal care. This was a wonderful example of how Nashville's global health expertise, efforts, and relationships hold deep influence in the international community.

 Forum   Speakers   Schedule   Registration   Location  

Would you like to learn more about the global health projects taking place through the work of organizations right here in Tennessee? Join the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) on February 27th, 2009 at the Scarritt Bennett Center for the first annual Global Health Forum for Middle Tennessee. 

Sustainable projects involve many factors that overlap and affect one another. Teamwork and a strategic approach can make the difference in success. The 2009 Tennessee Global Health Forum is an opportunity for organizations from throughout the region to come together in an effort to combine forces and share our current projects.

Join us in learning effective approaches toward sustainability and exploring the potential for new partnerships.  Click on Forum, Speakers, Schedule, Registration and Location above for additional information.

Who should come?

Regional individuals/organizations involved in global health or related development.

Why should you come?

The Global Health Forum will provide the perfect setting for networking and collaboration between and among community groups. This setting will enable the identification of existing and evolving approaches to public health, facilitate a dialogue that encourages efficient use of resources and expertise, and allow groups to better promote themselves, their issues and Nashville itself. The Forum will also give VIGH the chance to formally introduce itself and to explain the Institute’s holistic approach to global health, its interest in creating partnerships for sustainability and its availability as a community resource and partner.

What will you take away?

The Global Health Forum will provide participants with new ideas/tools that can be put to work right away, the first steps toward a regional global health coalition, and the opportunity to use the Tennessee Global Health Database as a networking tool.

As you may know, Bill Gates is circulating his first annual letter about his work at the Gates Foundation. It provides candid insight into the Foundation’s work and their plans for the future, discussing the progress and shortcomings of initiatives in which they have invested time and resources. Read and download the full letter here.  This is the first in the series of letters Gates has committed to writing each year. 

Dear friends,

As we've come to know, Julianne Moore is one of Save the Children's most dedicated and passionate artist ambassadors, with visits to our sites in Kentucky and Tennessee, advocacy for kids affected by disasters and, of course, the incredibly successful Valentine's Day project, which is now its second year.

Starting with an amazing cover story in the new Redbook, Julianne is all over the media promoting the project, and we wanted to make sure you saw all of her terrific advocacy on our behalf. Also, check it this blog post she co-authored with me that was published today on the home page of The Huffington Post, one of the highest trafficked and most respected news and opinion sites: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-kennedy-shriver-and-julianne-moore/obamas-call-for-responsib_b_161367.html

Tune in to Fox and Friends tomorrow at 7:50AM EST and then The Today Show at 9:30AM. She will also appear on Access Hollywood this week. Last but certainly not least, she will appear on this Friday's installment of The View. I hope you have a chance to watch at least one of the interviews - - you will see is what a poised, thoughtful and dedicated advocate she is for all kids.

So tune in and, just as important, go to www.savethechildren.org to order your set of Valentines Day cards and get your kids engaged in helping other kids!

Warmly,

Mark K. Shriver

Vice President and Managing Director, US Programs

2000 L Street NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20036 USA

Phone: (202) 640-6627 Fax: (202) 640-6950

www.savethechildren.org/usa

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