New Orleans, LA. Orphans International Worldwide’s Indonesian “Tsunami Docs,” wearing traditional Moslem head covering, were present as they passed through New York to return to Jakarta after volunteering in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. The United Nations Singers performed, and diplomats spoke from a variety of countries.
The airlines that have assisted Orphans International Worldwide include Air France, sponsor of the benefit; China Airlines (Taipei); Singapore Airlines which has assisted with flying staff via Indonesia, as well as American Airlines which has assisted OI in Haiti.
“I began Orphans International Worldwide from my New York home four years ago. Today we are building projects on regions spread out across four continents, including the Pacific Islands, Central America, the Caribbean, South America, and Europe,” I stated.
“We could not have done this without the assistance of the international airline industry and that is why we are recognizing their humanitarian assistance,” I said. “This is why we feel so strongly about presenting our World of Appreciation Award to these airlines,” he adds. “Our budget last year was under $80,000, this year $250,000. Thank you all so much for your support!”
Orphans International has received bi-partisan support from civil and government officials such as former president Bill Clinton, Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, and Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Charlie Rangel.
Diplomats from The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Peru, Taiwan, The Philippines, Togo, and Venezuela attended the event.
The Orphans International Worldwide (OI) Sumatera Tsunami Medical Team volunteered to come to the U.S and help assist refugees left in Katrina’s wake.
The English-speaking doctors believe their expertise in natural disaster relief on a massive scale, especially their experience in dealing with water-borne diseases, will be an addition to the recovery effort. It is highly unusual for developing nation medical teams to offer assistance within the U.S. Orphans International Worldwide operates a home for Tsunami orphans in Aceh.
These Indonesian physicians were coordinated by American doctors affiliated with Orphans International Worldwide, based in New York.
Orphans International Worldwide has also opened an orphanage for children who lost their parents to another hurricane in Gonaives, Haiti. The Indonesian Tsunami Medical Team includes Dr. Luigi, Dr. Cut Fonna Syefarra, Dr. Vini Fardhdiani, and Dr. Rainy Fathiyah.
New Orleans is a city that is situated in a basin which filled like a bowl when the hurricane struck, as happened in Banda Aceh. This type of disaster was very similar to what the Orphans International Sumatera Tsunami Medical Team experienced in Indonesia.
According to the Center for Disease Control, natural disasters contribute to the spread of many serious water-borne diseases, especially since water supplies and sewage systems have been disrupted. Diarrheal diseases, due to bacteria, parasites or hepatitis A can occur.
Because of the tremendous loss of life, serious injuries, missing and separated families, and destruction of whole areas, our team recognized the situation they encountered had much in common with Tsunami ravaged Aceh, Indonesia.
Orphans International is a non-partisan, interfaith organization incorporated in New York in 2002 under the umbrella of Orphans International Worldwide, also based in New York. In Indonesia, the Acehenese Ministry of Social Affairs recently recognized Orphans International Worldwide’s work with tsunami orphans along with UNICEF and Save the Children.
OIWW’s mission is “Raising Global Citizens” and OI’s children remain in their native countries to become educated to their fullest potential and then help move their countries forward; OIWW does not place children for adoption in America.
Projects are running in both Sumatera and Sulawesi in Indonesia; another project opened this year in Haiti. Projects in formation include Togo, the Philippines, Ghana, and Guyana. Plans include the possibility of working with AIDS orphans in both China and India.
Each OIWW campus is working towards full programming for the orphaned children and the village community with classes for English, computer science, and a strong emphasis on the arts.
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