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Humanity First Teams with UVA Students on Peru Shelter Relief Initiative


An 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck the southern coast of Peru on August 15, 2007 causing more than 500 deaths and destroyed tens of thousands of homes.

Humanity First USA deployed a rapid response team to Peru on August 20, 2007, which provided earthquake victims with resources to help alleviate the suffering as there was, and continues to be, a serious shortage of food and shelter. The team visited and provided aid in the localities of Pisco, Chincha, and Ica.

Since the return of the 1st Assessment and Relief team to the United States, the UN donated $4,000,000 worth of tents to be distributed by an NGO called IMO. Thus, the board decided to try to fulfill unmet needs, to fill any holes that were inadvertently left open by larger organizations. In the process of making a second assessment, we were contacted by an eager volunteer who stated she "[was] committed to service-oriented work and most interested in volunteering for disaster relief in Peru."

We were fortunate to bring aboard Mai Alyschild, a retired Registered Nurse from California, fluent in Spanish, and with extensive international humanitarian work experience. Mai has a compassionate, professional approach to health care, where she readily inspires the trust and confidence of her patients. She has had the opportunity to work with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Los Medicos Voladores (The Flying Doctor), and Northwest Medical Teams International, with whom she went to the Tangi Saidan catchment area in Kabul, Afghanistan.

As the days go by, and different catastrophes occupy media coverage, the Peru Earthquake victims are left to fend for themselves. Again, Humanity First was fortunate enough to collaborate with a highly motivated group of volunteers. In the fall of 2007, Carter Cowden from a group called Alternative Spring Break - University of Virginia (ASB-UVA) contacted HF with the hope of traveling to Peru to provide shelter relief to the victims. HF committed not only to emergent disaster relief, but also to sustained redevelopment of communities, was eager to see this project through. On March 1, 15 ASB-UVA college students and an HF volunteer traveled to Guadeloupe, Peru to build 20 sustainable shelters, providing homes for over 100 people. HF provided financial support to build all the shelters, while ASB-UVA provided the labor of committed volunteers. The goal is to continue this collaboration with not only ASB-UVA, but also with the people of Guadeloupe, to continue rebuilding their devastated town, where 1000's are still homeless.


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Zaid White
Commented on Tuesday, 8th April 2008
This is a great story but where are the pics?!
Maham Mansoor
Commented on Tuesday, 15th April 2008
How can I get my school involved?
Aishah Malik
Commented on Tuesday, 22nd April 2008
The new website is amazing - it really highlights all the hard work that Humanity First USA has done. To everyone reading this comment I urge you to get involved with Humanity First and make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than yourselves. YOU can make a difference!
nadeem ahmad
Commented on Wednesday, 7th May 2008
May Allah give u power and strenth to serve mankind. Thanks
Brianna Pine-Bennett
Commented on Tuesday, 9th February 2010
I think if we work "TOGETHER" we save lifes.
naeem akram
Commented on Wednesday, 1st September 2010
jamat ahmadiyya muazaffar garh team workd heardly in the works of releif.and continew worked with open arms.


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Humanity First is registered in 43 countries across 6 continents, and has been working on human development projects and responding to disasters since 1994. These have included the earthquakes in Turkey, Pakistan, Japan and Iran, floods in Africa and Latin America, hurricanes (Katrina and Rita) , tornado's (Kansas) and wild fires (California) in the USA, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and conflicts in Eastern Europe.

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Since its inception and IRS registration in 2004, Humanity First has been focused on spending most of the raised funds on direct program related expenses. As a result, more than 90% of its funds are in that expense category. This is achieved through dedicated volunteers in its management, and program operation teams.

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