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Colombia Mission 1 a Go!

Posted by worldorphanrelief on February 28, 2019

Tickets purchased and departure set for March 16.  I will be in-country for roughly two weeks and will spend as much time as possible with the refugee children of Venezuela.  Updates to follow!

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A Message from the Director of The Fishermen

Posted by worldorphanrelief on February 23, 2019

My style of executing a mission is quintessentially American – I fly in, do my work, and then leave…I always leave. In doing so, I leave behind the people for who I care, the friends who truly care about me, and families who I love.

So…after my mission to Colombia I will work on extending my time overseas. The typical duration of my missions is roughly 2 weeks. I will work towards extending this to 1 month. Doing so will increase the impact of my work and foster closer relations with the people.

 

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A Bit More Background on the Need for my Upcoming Mission to Colombia

Posted by worldorphanrelief on February 23, 2019

The below link will get you up-to-speed on why our mission is critical.  Though it may seem like a last-minute endeavor, we have been working on this plan for over two years.  We are glad that it is finally coming to fruition.

Here’s Why Colombia Opened Its Arms to Venezuelan Migrants—Until Now

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Colombia Mission 1 a Go!

Posted by worldorphanrelief on February 14, 2019

VE 2

By the end of this month I will be wheels-up for our second mission in the Western Hemisphere, this time to Colombia.  Our goal is to provide aid to Venezuelan refugees and assess the overall situation first-hand.

Currently, there are over 1 million refugees from Venezuela in Colombia, in addition to the 7.7 million Colombian IDPs (displaced during the strife with FARC).  Though The Fishermen is a small ECOSOC member, we have a responsibility to address issues such as this, especially when the affected are our neighbors.

This will be a fact-finding mission which will result in the production of a report on the conditions of orphaned children specifically.  It will be made pubic as quickly as possible.  Time in-country will be approximately 1 week.

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UN Reclassification Update

Posted by worldorphanrelief on February 12, 2019

We just received an email from the 2019 Regular Session of the Committee on NGOs in regard to our request to change our charity’s status from Special Consultative Status to Consultative Status. A decision on our request has been delayed until May.

If granted, we will have the ability to address the General Assembly directly, thus giving orphaned children and refugees a stronger voice for their needs. We would also have greater access to information and field services.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!!! In the meantime we will continue doing as much  possible for children and refugees around the world!

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The Ebola Orphans of Congo

Posted by worldorphanrelief on February 11, 2019

In late July/August, Kate and I will be attempt our first mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo.  We have been friends to the people of the DRC since 2012 and have delivered approximately $30,000 of medical aid, but this will be the first manned expedition.

As opposed to our original plans to tour North and South Kivu – an area which remains rife with conflict and complex IDP concerns – we plan to limit our activities to Kikwit and the surrounding communities.  This area is typically overlooked by aid agencies – a deficiency we wish to address.

DRC Ebola 9 2018

However, there is another issue which needs addressing – children who have been orphaned by the recent outbreaks of the Ebola virus. According to the latest reports by UNICEF there are over 400 children who have been orphaned by Ebola, but few aid agencies have responded to the call for their care. Many of these children are stigmatized and subsequently abandoned. Since orphaned children are our primary focus we must attempt to assist however possible.
When we travel to Congo this summer we will try to visit orphanages caring for these children. Our goal is to provide aid and attention, as well as compile a special report on their mental/physical condition as well as quality of care. This report will be presented to the UN.

			

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Colombia Mission 1 a Go!

Posted by worldorphanrelief on February 10, 2019

I will be traveling to Colombia to help Venezuelan refugees at the end of February or beginning of March.  This will be a 1 week fact-finding excursion.  I will also help a family obtain refugee status to enter the United States.  This will be the beginning of many visits to Colombia to help the people of Venezuela.

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Ukraine Mission 9 a Success!

Posted by worldorphanrelief on February 10, 2019

Though we faced health complications and harsh weather, Kate and I completed all of our goals for UA Mission 9.  We met with Dasha in Kyiv and are continuing the planning of a benefit concert and art auction to help pay for her rehabilitation.  We also met with the mother of Nicola, who is currently recovering from surgery to correct her spina bifida and resultant hydrocephalus, and launched a GoFundMe campaign to help the family afford her rehabilitation regimen.  We also delivered $10,000 of medical equipment and surgical instruments to the Lysychansk Maternity Hospital, and visited the Lysychansk State Medical College to lecture to the students.  We were not able to visit Misha this visit as my sickness would have been dangerous to his health, but he and his family stays in our hearts and efforts.

Though it was a very short mission and there was much more which could have been accomplished, we are very happy with the results of our efforts.  We are already planning UA Mission 10, which is projected to launch in April.

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Honoring Sarah Blocher

Posted by worldorphanrelief on January 4, 2019

Sarah 3 7520

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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