Honoring Everyday Humanitarians
September 03, 2021 at 06:40 AM EDT
SOURCE: FedEx CorporationDESCRIPTION:
In honor of World Humanitarian Day, FedEx asked the humanitarian relief agencies we work with year-round to send stories about one of their aid workers so we could honor them by spotlighting their work.
Through the FedEx Cares “Delivering for Good” initiative, we lend our global network and unparalleled logistics expertise to organizations with mission-critical needs and help communities before, during and after crises. Through collaboration with the organizations below, FedEx can deliver hope and new possibilities to communities around the world.
Ian Anderson, Director of Emergency Disaster Services, The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army exists to meet human need wherever, whenever, and however they can. They assess the needs of each community in which they serve and build local programs designed to offer immediate relief, short-term care, and long-term recovery.
Ian Anderson serves as the Director of Emergency Disaster Services for the Intermountain Division in The Salvation Army USA Western Territory. He coordinates disaster relief efforts across one of the largest geographical divisions in the country, which includes Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and eastern Montana. With an Executive Master’s Degree in Emergency Management from Georgetown University, Ian has been deploying to both domestic and international catastrophic incidents for The Salvation Army since 2008. Always looking for new approaches in disaster response, Ian was the primary designer for the Denver and Colorado Springs emergency services van, funded by FedEx.
“The long-standing partnership with FedEx Cares has allowed The Salvation Army to meet the unique needs of the communities it serves. The Sprinter Canteen that we designed and built was the final missing piece to our fleet in the Intermountain Division. The vehicle is flexible, nimble, and allows us to fill any gap at the disaster site. The vehicle has been instrumental since we received it, responding to many disasters from wildfires to the Table Mesa Shooting, feeding first responders, investigators, and survivors. From serving thousands of meals to distributing clean-up kits, to supporting evacuees at disaster assistance centers, the FedEx Sprinter Van allows The Salvation Army to better serve our hurting communities while being better stewards of our donated resources.” -- Ian Anderson, Emergency Services Director, Intermountain Division
Jessica Mahan, Engineer, Water Mission
Water Mission is a nonprofit, Christian engineering organization that designs, builds and implements safe water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions for people in developing countries and disaster areas. They empower communities to encourage ownership and sustainability of safe water solutions.
Jessica Mahan has been on the Water Mission team for five years serving as an engineer. Jessica supports Water Mission’s Country Programs and Disaster Response efforts where she always answers the call to serve. “(We) have one of the best jobs,” Mahan says. “We get to support our technical staff and safe water, sanitation, and hygiene projects around the world.” In Jessica’s job, every day is different. During a disaster response, she’s on site installing and operating water treatment equipment. “And always doing water quality testing,” she adds. “We are constantly making sure our water is safe.” Mahan studied chemical engineering in college, hoping to use the knowledge to help others. After turning down a corporate engineering job and doing ministry at a local church, she found Water Mission. Jessica has been a key player in the response to the flooding in Mozambique and more recently in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas where she installed and operated multiple reverse osmosis water purification units. The units include a 30,000 gallon per day containerized unit serving the residents of the impacted area on Abaco Island.
Sabahat Mushtaq, Gender-Based Violence Officer, International Medical Corps
International Medical Corps is a global, nonprofit, humanitarian aid organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering by providing emergency medical services, as well as training and development programs, to those affected by disaster, disease, or conflict.
“I feel devastated when I come across a woman who is held back simply because of her gender,” says Sabahat Mushtaq, a gender-based violence (GBV) officer with International Medical Corps in Pakistan since 2018. In Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan, prolonged displacement has exacerbated GBV and continues to restrict the lives of women and girls. The marginal status of refugees, compounded by persistent discriminatory attitudes in Pakistan toward women, significantly affects women’s access to assistance and protection. As a woman, Sabahat thinks that it is imperative to stand up for women’s rights. Her role as a GBV officer enables her to discuss women’s empowerment, spread awareness and create lasting change. She helps women and girls build resilience by providing mental health support, facilitating gender-support groups and holding awareness sessions with community leaders, religious scholars, elders and other men and women about harmful traditional practices and their effects.
With FedEx’s support, Sabahat and International Medical Corps’ team in Pakistan are moving forward to assist in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where nearly 800,000 Afghan refugees reside. A recent vaccine-hesitancy survey conducted by International Medical Corp found that 58% of women had not heard about the COVID-19 vaccine, compared with 28% of men — just one example of the gender inequalities that Sabahat combats.
Dr. David Callaway, U.S. Navy Veteran and Clinician, Team Rubicon
Team Rubicon serves communities by mobilizing veterans to continue their service, leveraging their skills and experience to help people prepare, respond, and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises.
Dr. David Callaway is a U.S. Navy veteran and experienced clinician with a history of working in the international affairs space. Dr. Callaway serves as Team Rubicon’s Chief Medical Officer and has played a critical role seeking out opportunities for the organization to serve communities both domestically and abroad. Under his guidance, Team Rubicon is scaling its medical impact and developing new capabilities that support access to healthcare lifelines. Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Callaway has been integral in moving the organization into a COVID safe posture, allowing volunteers to continue to serve in the field while protecting each other, the communities they serve and the communities they return to. When the vaccines became available, Dr. Callaway led Team Rubicon in its vaccination distribution effort as well as encouraged vaccination acceptance. To date, these efforts have led to 1.6 million vaccinations across 110 cities. Dr. Callaway’s expertise has made him the voice of authority on the vaccine across Team Rubicon’s socials channels, town halls (both hosted and through partners) and across press opportunities.
Throughout his career, he’s demonstrated innovative leadership at the World Economic Forum, the Truman National Security Project, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a Professor of Emergency Medicine at Atrium Health in Charlotte, NC where he is the Enterprise Chief of Crisis Operations and Sustainability.
Luis David Rodriguez, Emergency Response Specialist, Direct Relief
Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies – without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay..
For Luis David Rodriguez, a career in humanitarian work wasn’t part of his plan. “I had no previous experience in disaster response,” said Rodriguez, who was a college baseball coach and holds a Masters degree in Sports Medicine. But in 2017, an opportunity presented itself. Hurricane Maria hit his home island of Puerto Rico, precipitating the largest blackout in U.S. history, and bringing widespread devastation to communities across the island. Rodriguez was living in Miami at the time, where a community of Puerto Rican immigrants had settled. “Everyone that was Puerto Rican...wanted to help in some way," he remembers. When he came across a position working with Direct Relief—a humanitarian aid non-profit responding to the disaster--he “jumped on it.” Within weeks, Rodriguez was driving across the island to provide humanitarian assistance to rural health care facilities and individuals in need of electricity, water, and food.
Since responding to Hurricane Maria, Rodriguez has been leading Direct Relief’s work to increase the island’s resiliency to future disasters. He’s helped health centers migrate to renewable energy sources, bolstering their energy independence. He’s been instrumental in securing pharmaceutical refrigerators and back-up generators, which can help prevent vaccines from spoiling during an electrical outage. In addition, Rodriguez has helped pre-position emergency medical supplies for use during a disaster. While the work can be demanding—he has traveled to dozens of remote health centers in Puerto Rico--it’s also brought him closer to home. “I’ve come to learn more about my island now,” said Rodriguez. “I’m really super grateful.”
Dr. Agustina Boehringer, Chief Medical Officer, Heart to Heart International
Heart to Heart International improves healthcare access in the U.S. and around the world by distributing resources, conducting training, engaging volunteers and responding to disasters.
Before joining Heart to Heart International (HHI) as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Agustina Boehringer devoted almost four years as a volunteer on the organization’s Disaster Response Team. She deployed domestically and internationally, providing vital medical care to people impacted by disasters. In 2021, Dr. Boehringer’s role changed from volunteer to full-time staff, and now she oversees the day-to-day management of HHI’s clinical operations, including COVID-19 vaccination clinics and disaster responses. Most recently, Dr. Boehringer headed up medical teams after the 2020 hurricanes in Honduras and led a separate group to Papua New Guinea earlier this year providing COVID-19 training for on-site medical staff. Dr. Boehringer’s compassionate and dedicated direction helps guide the organization toward its vision of a healthier world for all.
Dr. Joseph Prewitt Diaz, American Red Cross, Disaster Mental Health Volunteer
The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
Dr. Joseph Prewitt Diaz is a pioneer in the field of disaster mental health with decades of international and domestic field experience following disasters. In his time with the American Red Cross he has supported 52 domestic deployments across the US. Internationally, he has worked in 29 different countries with the organization. Originally from Puerto Rico, Dr. Prewitt Diaz is a highly-accredited educational psychologist with degrees from the University of Puerto Rico, the University of Connecticut, and the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. His long and accomplished career led him to a unique role supporting vulnerable communities dealing with the pandemic.
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