Humanity First USA completed its rebuilding efforts in New Orleans, LA post-Hurricane Katrina by completing repairs to two schools and 5 prayer facilities earlier this year through the Qatar Katrina Grant. The $1.17 million contribution is just a part of the $100 million Qatar Katrina Fund that was established to provide direct cash assistance to people and institutions in most dire need in the wake of the storm. The Fund’s first phase of donations, committed in May 2006, served the rebuilding of homes, financial assistance to provide medical care, and university scholarships. The second phase of donations targeted the areas most devastated in Mississippi and Louisiana. Humanity First utilized this latest and final donation of Qatar to repair two schools and five prayer facilities serving the community in the area of New Orleans.
A reception was held today honoring the hard work and dedication provided by the volunteers who made this effort possible. These volunteers included: Geoffrey A. Hartnett of Mathes Brierre Architects for providing professional architectural services, Dr. Abdul H. Khan of the Jefferson Muslim Association, New Orleans for providing superior advisory services, Richard Crisler of Lemle & Kelleher, LLP for providing pro bono legal advice and services, Nudrat Salik of Humanity First USA for providing professional accounting services, Amjad M. Khan of Latham & Watkins, LLP for providing pro bono legal advice and services, and Bashiruddin Shams of Humanity First USA for providing superior leadership as Program Director of the rebuilding effort.
Humanity First USA also announced its commitment to continue support of post-Katrina affected New Orleans through its Our Kids, Our Future (OKOF) initiative. OKOF seeks to empower the community, school staff, and students of some of the most underserved schools districts across the country. In keeping with its tradition to support the creative potential of the children of New Orleans, Humanity First will be awarding 25 mini-grants to schools and teachers in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. Schools and eachers who are awarded grants will have to meet pre-established criteria and must submit proposals detailing the use of the grant money. Humanity First USA will also be holding a Walkathon in New Orleans area in the Fall of 2008 to raise additional funds for the New Orleans OKOF initiative.
Humanity First, USA, a 501(c) 3- registered charity, is the US chapter of Humanity First International, which was established in the early 1990's to restore disaster-stricken and under-developed and vulnerable communities around the globe. Humanity First USA is a leading non-profit relief organization whose board of directors, management team, and project staff running the day-to-day operations are all unpaid volunteers with diverse professional backgrounds including business, healthcare, and education sectors. All personal expenses are met by the volunteers to maximize the use of funds raised and donated for those in need. As of today Humanity First USA has expanded to 27 countries worldwide.
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.
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.