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Ebola: The Day That Changed Everything

And then there was the day in late spring that changed everything – the day a woman, a stranger, came to the home of Cecilia Babyoh, a nurse in the eastern Sierra Leone district of Kailahun.

The woman was sick, and she was referred to Babyoh. Babyoh treated her, there in her home, and then took her to a community health center. There was no talk of Ebola then; rumors and myths about the deadly virus were still to come. So Babyoh didn’t think – not at first – that her life might be in danger from doing her job. 

Hard Truths in Nonprofit Storytelling

 
I lay face-down in the gravel, thrusting my cell and wallet behind me. I won’t look at them. There is shouting. When the men first approached, yelling at us to get down on the ground, I thought they were warning against danger. Perhaps it was more police action, like the tear gas that had been tossed at protesting students days before, those continuing unrest begun in May after an unmanageable hike in their university fees.
 

Ebola Spread through Myth and Fear

The world is facing the largest-ever Ebola outbreak as the deadly virus punches its way across three Western African countries, spread through contact with an infected person’s blood or other bodily fluids. But that is not the only way the disease is transferred from one person to another.

Mozambique’s Coconut Graveyards

Orlando Albinho spent much of his 40 years collecting coconuts from the tops of leafy palm trees and selling them in the local market or to nearby factories that made soap and oil from the dried white flesh.

Three years ago, everything changed.

The Human Side of Ebola

 
An Ebola outbreak unprecedented in terms of its deadliness and its geographic reach has been sweeping through West Africa, hitting Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. According to the World Health Organization, over 800 people have so far been infected and more than 500 have died, with the numbers steadily climbing. Initial flu-like symptoms develop quickly into vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes internal and external bleeding. There is no vaccination and the mortality rate can be up to 90%. 
 

Stanford ‘Extreme’ Students Unveil Innovations to Address Neglected Global Health Issue

Last month, students at Stanford University’s Design for Extreme Affordability unveiled a set of innovative products and processes they developed to address some of the most pressing issues facing the world’s poorest citizens.

5 NGO blogging myths, debunked

When it comes to web content, NGOs are competing with cat videos. So when staff are already strapped for time, fundraising inhibits risk-taking and authenticity, and immediate returns on investment in communications are hard to come by, it’s hard for NGOs to fully realize that blogging can be a central part of building brand identity and achieving an organization’s mission.

These sentiments were shared by the over 65 NGO communications staff in attendance at our session at the 2014 InterAction Forum, “Why are most NGOs’ blogs so bad?”

Connecting Efforts to Protect Children and Empower Women Economically

We walked to the Tuesday market in Lusaka, Zambia and I stopped to buy some avocados. The woman who sold them had a horribly disfigured face that made it hard for her to speak. When she handed me my change she struggled to grip the money with her twisted and lame arm.

After we walked away I asked my Zambian friend who accompanied me if he thought her injuries were the result of a cooking accident, a common cause of injury for women in Africa. He said no. Her boyfriend’s wife had doused her with acid.

Conflict and Late Rains Drives Thousands from their Homes in Somalia

Shukri Sheikh Ali thought this year would be different. It was to be a time of rebuilding, of recovering, of returning home. Instead, she is starting over once again from scratch, her land thirsty for rain and her village emptied by conflict as Somalia once again faces the threat of a cascading and critical food shortage.

U.S. NGOs investing to help children reach their 5th birthday

In 2015, InterAction’s member NGOs will spend over $450 million in private, nongovernmental funds on child health and survival, a substantial increase over this year’s spending. These dollars will allow children around the world to reach their fifth birthdays and lead healthy, productive lives. Having worked for years to advance the wellbeing of children, I know firsthand why these investments are so critical.

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