IsraAID provides lifesaving emergency relief

To learn more about CBJ’s connection to IsraAID, click here.

IsraAID provides lifesaving emergency relief for populations affected by natural disasters, epidemics and post-conflict situations. Since 2001, IsraAID has become synonymous with rapid response to humanitarian crises, with our medical teams, search and rescue units, water engineers and post trauma mental experts leading international responses to global emergencies. As of 2017, IsraAID has responded to humanitarian crises in 43 countries, and currently has programs in 20.

The girl, just two years old, was shivering when Yotam pulled her out of the water and wrapped her in a survival blanket. She, and everyone, in the flimsy, overcrowded raft had travelled all the way from Syria. She was too young to recognize the Israeli flag on her rescuer’s shirt, but her father recognized it. “My worst enemy became my biggest supporter,” he said when he saw it.

Yotam Polizer is the Co-CEO of IsraAID, a nonprofit, Israeli-based NGO that brings humanitarian aid to places in crisis. As he explains, Israelis have had far too much experience with trauma, but they can share what they’ve learned from that experience. IsraAID’s work with Syrian refugees is especially sensational. But their work in Japan, Kenya, Haiti, Iraq, Sierra Leone, Nepal, and thirty other countries is equally important.

Violence in South Sudan has created 20 million refugees, many of them children with no adults to protect them. The Kalobeyei refugee camp in Kenya houses over 180,000, in a space designed for 70,000. It is a miserable place for anyone and for children, it is a nightmare. IsraAID has built a child-safe space in Kalobeyei, where children can play, learn, and receive therapy to begin an emotional recovery.

The child-safe space is at capacity, and new refugee children arrive every day. So IsraAID has plans to open a second child-safe space in another neighborhood of the camp. That’s where we come in. CBJ has committed to raise $15,000 to pay for water and soap stations in the new child-safe space.

We hope you will help us. Donations can be made online. We are planning several small parlor meetings in private homes, at which an IsraAID representative will speak and guests will be asked to contribute. If you would like to host or attend a parlor meeting, please email me or Amy Keer. Several CBJ members who are physicians are planning to visit Kalobeyei and volunteer in the camp for a few weeks in 2018. If you are a physician or dentist and would like to volunteer in Kenya, email me or Sarith Honigstein. Finally, if you have other ideas for how you’d like to be involved in supporting IsraAID’s work, Amy or I would love to hear from you.