By Jerry Carnill President & CEO Extreme Response International
I’d like to share a personal experience that shook me to my core, an event so powerful that I think about it often. During my first visit to Malawi I met with potential Extreme Response partners. Malawi was in the midst of severe drought and famine, and people were suffering greatly. One day we were walking in an area that was experiencing intense hardship and I noticed a fragile-looking women struggling as she walked toward us.
Then she simply dropped. She fell straight to the ground and did not move. She died right before my eyes! She was malnourished – unable to find enough food to eat – and her body finally gave up. It was an experience that changed my life!
That day I realized that a lack of food, nutrition, and medical care was killing people who could be saved. I knew that ER needed to play a larger role in helping save people in Africa. I knew we had the desire, will and passion to do it. We just lacked the resources.
While we’ve been working in Africa for 13 years, this year we began strategically investing more resources – people, time, and funds – specifically to change the lives of women and children living at risk.
This summer we set up a temporary Africa Regional office and have begun sending staff to South Africa as they raise support. Our staff will lead volunteer “Extreme Teams” to run kids clubs, provide medical care, conduct training, and do construction and maintenance. We’re also excited to begin construction of an ER workspace in partnership with Living Hope near Cape Town.
ER also will bring on an African Regional Director to provide local leadership and build relationships with our partners throughout Africa. This role is vital to our future plans for Africa. For now, I am filling this role on an interim basis.
But we cannot do it alone.
Would you considering joining us by making a donation? This year we want to increase our impact in Africa, while continuing to help in other countries.
Here are just a few ways we’ll create that impact:
…We’ll bring in work teams to teach, train, feed and encourage people.
…We’ll celebrate Christmas in children’s homes, squatter communities, and slums by bringing food, gifts, and the Christmas story.
There are two easy ways to contribute. You can send a donation to our international headquarters at P.O. Box 345 Snellville, GA 30078-0345 or our Canadian Office at P.O. Box 1013, Simcoe On N3Y 5B3. Or, visit http://www.extremeresponse.org/take-action/make-a-donation.
On behalf of our staff, interns, partners and volunteers around the world, thank you for helping “the least of these”. Please contact me to discuss any of our work or relationships. I would love to share the ways we are changing lives and how you can make a difference!
P.S. We’ve just posted a 90-second video that will help demonstrate our vision for helping people 2015.