Mercy Corps is a non-sectarian development organization dedicated to alleviating suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people build secure, productive, and just communities. Mercy Corps focuses on four strategic program areas:
Emergency Relief: Mercy Corps will provide critical financial, technical and material aid support to survivors of the disaster. This includes provision of shelter, food, water, sanitation and health care to displaced populations. Emergency relief will be provided in coordination with the efforts of other relief organizations.
Community Mobilization: Participation of local communities in their own recovery and rebuilding process is critical for the long term success and sustainability of a program. This is also critical in overcoming psychosocial trauma and beginning to rebuild the bonds of community. Mercy Corps will work with local groups to support their own rebuilding and recovery process in geographic areas where this is possible.
Psychosocial Programs: The effect of a disaster like Hurricane Katrina can have a lasting traumatic impact on the survivors, especially children. Children in particular are vulnerable to trauma, as it is more difficult for them to make sense of what happened. Mercy Corps will support psychosocial programs that help the survivors overcome their trauma, with a special emphasis on children. We will work with schools, daycare centers, childrens service agencies and other local groups to provide appropriate psychosocial support to children. We will focus on activities that restore healthy activities and routines for children, as well as ways to engage the children themselves in the planning and implementation of programs.
Economic Recovery: Mercy Corps will work with local groups to help poor families rebuild their livelihoods. These programs will include helping people rebuild their businesses, create employment and earn income. The quicker families can get back on their feet economically and become independent, the quicker their communities will get back to normal.
St. Bernard Neighborhood Computer Technology Lab Mercy Corps supports neighborhood revitalization programs in the area surrounding the former St. Bernard Housing Development. After the devastation of the 7th Ward during Hurricane Katrina, there is a need to reinstitute the pre-Katrina technology lab. This lab will serve the community by providing GED preparatory lessons as well as youth-focused computer literacy after-school courses. Further, this computer lab will serve as an academic and social resource for disadvantaged children who participate in Camp ACEs summer camp program. The Union provided $10,000 specifically for this project, in addition to the $42,000 for Mercy Corps general relief fund.
Mercy Corps is also a URJ partner in Tsunami Relief and Sudan Relief. For more information on Mercy Corps, please visit their Website at www.mercycorps.org.