UU Service Committee (UUSC), the Social Action Side of UUA

From Carly Cronon, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, via Bill Butler, a strong advocate of UUSC: In situations of dire humanitarian crisis, UUSC looks to fulfill unmet needs and support overlooked communities, with long-term recovery a primary goal.  Often, the communities UUSC supports are overlooked because they are physically remote, or because they were marginalized within their societies even before the natural or human-made crisis struck.  Now, turning our attention to the growing famine crisis in several East African countries, UUSC is following this same model to support relief aid for women, children, and individuals in rural and hard-to-reach areas.

UUSC is fortunate to be working with two reliable partners from past projects who are well positioned to respond to the present crisis in struggling areas.  Here are details on our famine relief partners, supported by UUSC’s emergency relief aid:

1) Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP), located in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, has been one of UUSC’s women’s rights and water access partners in past years.  Dar Es Salaam has not yet declared a state of emergency, a pre-requisite for the mobilization of international aid, so communities are left to deal with this issue alone.  Stepping in to fill this void, TGNP, with UUSC’s help, is responding to the famine through immediate humanitarian aid and long-term economic empowerment for at-risk communities, with a particular focus on supporting women-led households and poor families.

2) In 2008, UUSC began supporting our partner SoilFarm Multi-Culture Group’s (SFMG) project Hope in Crops, a community-led initiative that promotes food security through planting and harvesting drought-resistant crops.  With this year’s sharp increases in food insecurity, crop failure, and malnutrition – and sparse government subsidies that do not reach remote interior areas of the country – SFMG has stepped in to help others through creating five food donation centers.  In these centers, with help from UUSC, SFMG is distributing surplus crops planted through Hope in Crops that have withstood recent extreme conditions.

For more information, go here.


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