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Archive for January, 2019

Honoring Sarah Blocher

Posted by worldorphanrelief on January 4, 2019

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Sarah at our storage facility

It is important for us to take a moment to honor our co-founder, Sarah Blocher. She is the true reason we are here saving lives.

When Sarah and I met I had just returned from Kyrgyzstan where I provided aid and hope to orphaned children. But at this point my work was nothing more than just a man with a dream. I had no real interest in creating an organization or encouraging anyone to join the cause. With a few weeks of discussion we turned my effort into a nonprofit corporation with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. She designed our letterhead, set up meetings, recruited volunteers, organized fundraising events, collected massive amounts of aid material, and initiated missions in Sierra Leone, Gilgit Baltistan, and Moldova. That is how we began.

It was Sarah’s drive to make the world a better place which turned my personal crusade to help the people into a charitable entity worthy of contributions and a great staff. Since then we have engaged in missions in 17 countries and delivered over $100,000 in aid material.

If you are looking for someone to thank for what we have done to make the world better, start with Sarah Blocher. Without her I would still be just a man with a dream.

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Congo Mission 1 Update

Posted by worldorphanrelief on January 3, 2019

After a long discussion this morning, Kate and I have begun planning our DR Congo mission. We will not, however, set our schedule until at least February.

Congo remains one of the most difficult countries in which to execute a mission. Customs and other complications make it almost impossible to ship goods to recipients, so we must escort our donations throughout the entire journey. Further, the POLMIL…and health…climate of the country makes scheduling a mission, especially to the east, very difficult unless within two weeks of departure.

This will be the 11th serious attempt by our charity to launch a DR Congo mission. Almost every time we have been waylaid by war and/or Ebola outbreaks. But we are tenacious and hope to finally have success this year! Updates to follow.

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Posted by worldorphanrelief on January 1, 2019

With the greatest apologies I must admit that I have not been diligent in maintaining this blog page. Most of our critical announcements are done through our Facebook page – The Fishermen International Aid and Relief Nonprofit – which was established by our co-founder, Sarah Blocher.

To get you up-to-date, in the time between our last post and the most recent Kate and I conducted a series of missions within Ukraine in January and February, followed by a mission to help handicapped children in Serbia (February) and visit orphaned children in La Romana, Dominican Republic (June). We took a break to strengthen our domestic operations for the remainder of the year. Now, as you have read, we are prepared to launch our most ambitious year to-date starting with UA Mission 9 (January) and Congo Mission 1 (March). A solo mission to Syria is planned for February but is not certain.

Alex Gowen,
Director, The Fishermen

Photos: Ukraine, Serbia, and Dominican Republic Missions earlier this year.

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Ukraine Mission 9 a Go!

Posted by worldorphanrelief on January 1, 2019

Kate DR 5

I am prepared to depart for Ukraine on January 14. This will be the first of several missions to UA for 2019. During this mission I will coordinate with Kate to plan missions to Syria, Congo, and one more destination to be determined. Together we will deliver badly-needed medical supplies to the Lysychansk Maternity Hospital, visit the Lysychansk State Medical College to drop off supplies and spend time with the students, and visit three children who we have agreed to assist with their surgical needs. We are still in need of funds to make this mission a success. If you wish to donate please contact us at We’d love to hear from you!

Photo: Kate and I delivering school supplies to the orphanage in La Romana, Dominican Republic. Taken by Kate during our June mission to the DR.

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Kate’s Performance Review

Posted by worldorphanrelief on January 1, 2019

As you know, Kate was legally appointed VP and co-director (as well as official photographer) of The Fishermen in August, 2017, and as such is our first recipient of a performance review. This is a very important position and must be taken seriously. People’s lives rely on what we do and many children around the world have but one voice – ours.

I created an extensive and detailed review to determine whether or not she qualified to remain in office. After careful consideration, however, I felt it more appropriate to limit my assessment to four critical questions:

1) Are we better off as an organization with Kate as VP and co-director? Yes.
2) Have we accomplished more with Kate as VP and co-director? Yes.
3) Does Kate represent the organization effectively? Yes.
4) Would Kate maintain the traditions of The Fishermen and command the organization properly in my absence? Yes.

So, I have concluded that Kate Mitchenko is a welcome and formidable addition to our team and shall continue as VP and co-director of The Fishermen. Her access to UN facilities via our organization and ability to represent us at the General Assembly and on missions remain intact. As with us all there is room for improvement, but no one can do the job better than her. Thank you, Kate, for your dedication…hard work…and desire to help us make this world a better place! In you I continue my life-long tradition of surrou

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