Author Archive

HelpAge and HI Launch New Inclusion Standards for Humanitarian Response

On March 15, 2018, Hilton Prize Coalition members HelpAge International in partnership with Humanity & Inclusion co-hosted an event in Washington D.C. entitled “Putting Inclusion into Practice.” The event marked the U.S. launch of the Humanitarian Inclusion Standards for Older People and People with Disabilities. The standards, which have been developed by the Age and Disability Capacity Program and funded by the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID), consist of nine key inclusion standards and seven sector-specific standards, designed to work in conjunction with the Sphere Humanitarian Standards and the Core Humanitarian Standard for Quality of Life.

During the event, attendees heard remarks from Kate Bunting, CEO of HelpAge US, Jeff Meer, U.S. Executive Director of Humanity & Inclusion, and a panel of humanitarian response experts. Each speaker discussed the importance of inclusion in their respective organizations and how they are bringing purposeful inclusion practices to not just their programs, but to their whole organization.

Each speaker echoed the same sentiment that, as we look to the future, inclusion needs to be more focused and not an added step in the process, but a key piece built into humanitarian response.

The panel consisted of experts in humanitarian response.

View and download the humanitarian inclusion standards for older people and people with disabilities.

(All photos courtesy of HelpAge International US)

About The Hilton Prize Coalition
The Hilton Prize Coalition is an independent alliance of the 22 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the Fellows Program, the Collaborative Models Program and the Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat, Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact prizecoalition@charity.org. Follow the Hilton Prize Coalition on Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

Coalition Member Spotlight: Heifer International

In recognition of World Water Day, March 22, the Hilton Prize Coalition shines a spotlight on member Heifer International, focusing on the importance of clean water for livestock as well as for humans. Heifer’s initiatives affirm that healthy animals and healthy livestock practices lead to healthier people and communities.

Daily life of communities ahead of the digging of a well which will provide water for over 3,000 families in Linguere, Senegal. Feb. 2018 (Photo by Xaume Olleros/Heifer International)

For nearly 75 years, Heifer International has partnered with communities around the world to strengthen sustainable livelihoods and advance local economies. Heifer was awarded the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 2004 for working to end hunger and poverty, while caring for the earth through training in environmentally sound agricultural practices.

Through its signature Passing on the Gift® practice, Heifer seeks to advance and raise awareness of food security and nutrition, women’s empowerment and others. Heifer’s extensive partnerships, sound monitoring and evaluation practices and innovative programs around the world make the organization a leader in sustainable development with the goal of lifting farmers to living incomes.

Heifer offers sustainable development by leading a livestock revolution. Livestock provides nutritional and financial stability for small-scale farmers by producing goods to consume and sell. Healthy livestock help ensure economic security, empowering famers to take charge of their futures. Heifer works with communities to understand the needs and to identify the animals and farming methods that are most appropriate for the environment.

To achieve sustainable development, Heifer offers training and education in caring for animals. As part of the Hilton Prize Coalition Storytelling Program, Heifer’s president and chief executive officer Pierre Ferrari explains in this interview how clean water, nutrition, and proper care significantly impact livestock, and how the relationship between livestock health and human health has positive effects on the community. Clean water, nutrients and proper care contribute to healthier animals, which increases their benefit to small-scale farmers. Without proper care for livestock, humans’ health and well-being may be put at risk. Heifer’s initiatives affirm that healthy animals, and healthy livestock practices, lead to healthier people.

WATCH THE VIDEO

In the same interview, Ferrari recounts a story of Nepalese farmers who had been raising goats for centuries. They were initially skeptical of the changes Heifer was introducing. To address this, Heifer proposed a competition between those who followed the traditional way of raising goats and those who took advantage of Heifer’s trainings. After one year, the goats raised with Heifer’s methods showed a significant growth over their counterparts, proving the importance of proper care and nutrition to livestock.

Improved animal and resource management is one of Heifer’s 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development. The Cornerstones incorporate Heifer’s values-based principles to teach holistic community development, including improving the environment, gender and family focus, and sustainability and self-reliance. Heifer equips local leaders with the tools to improve their communities and develop sustainable economies.

(Photos courtesy of Heifer International)

About The Hilton Prize Coalition
The Hilton Prize Coalition is an independent alliance of the 22 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the Fellows Program, the Collaborative Models Program and the Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat, Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact prizecoalition@charity.org. Follow the Hilton Prize Coalition on Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

Comics, Witchcraft and Produce – International Women’s Day 2018

International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 8, 2018, with people of all genders showing support for women’s rights and appreciating their contributions to history. This year’s theme, #PressforProgress, encourages the global movement for gender equality. While positive developments are being made, the programs taking effect in different parts of the world reveal just how much progress is still needed.

Hilton Prize Coalition members are empowering women by changing the society around them. Programs that include community involvement have shown progress in expanding women’s roles in their community. As groups #PressforProgress, the focus is on encouraging communities to acknowledge the rights of women and come together to close the gender gap. Here is a glimpse of what several Laureates have been doing.

In Lebanon, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has produced an interactive comic book to instruct female refugees on how to handle dangerous situations. The comic book follows Hala, a Syrian refugee who encounters conflicts on her way to work. At checkpoint, Hala must decide whether to give the guard her number or find another way to work. If she takes another route, she may then encounter harassers or get lost in a foreign city. Hala’s story touches on issues that refugee women may relate to, or perhaps have experienced firsthand. The comic books are made available in women’s centers that provide counseling and other services to female Syrian refugees. The books are read in group settings to encourage discussion and allow women to share their own experience. Through their collective knowledge, the community of women grows stronger as they support each other. Together, they are better equipped to handle the dangerous situations that refugees may face.

Landesa’s “Girls Project” helps insure the rights of girls in West Bengal, India. The program seeks to change perceptions in a society that views girls as a burden. The first step of the program is to change the girls’ views of themselves. Through peer-leaders, girls are educated on their property rights, so that they will be prepared to make claims to their land and inheritance. The program also encourages girls grow “kitchen gardens.” The gardens may contribute food for their tables or serve as an additional source of income, helping families recognize the value that the girls can offer.
The second component of the Girl’s Project is to educate boys on women’s rights. Through Landesa’s curriculum, boys are sensitized to the vulnerabilities of girls, and acknowledge the benefit of their connection with land. With support from their communities, girls will be able to achieve economic and social empowerment. The Girls Program has reached more than 1,000 villages, resulting in more girls with assets in their names, and less child brides.

Young women and girls are not the only ones who face threats from their society. Elderly women are often targets for discrimination due to their age and sex. Even in the twenty-first century, accusations of witchcraft may force women to leave their communities or face harassment and death. HelpAge works with communities in Tanzania, where it is estimated that a thousand people are killed each year due to witchcraft accusations. The accused, who are mostly older women, are scapegoats for hardships that befall the community, such as disease or famine. Women who outlive their husbands may be targeted in order to dismiss their land rights or inheritance claims. HelpAge works with local NGO partners to educate the community and provide support to the accused women. By training village committee members in women’s rights, the organizations strengthen the justice system and support laws to protect widows. Community members are also taught about HIV and other illnesses, which are often blamed on witchcraft. For those who have been accused, houses and other resources are provided to help women who have been threatened or isolated by their community.

While there are many hurdles, progress is being made to lessen gender inequality. In “Prepared to Lead,” a video clip from the Hilton Prize Coalition’s “Leading Thoughts” Storytelling Program series, the president and CEO of Heifer International” describes the organization’s efforts to educate and empower women. Given the opportunity, female leaders are stepping forward to make their communities safer and stronger.

Across the Hilton Prize Coalition, the theme of International Women’s Day continues through the year, as do efforts to #PressforProgress in communities, both locally and globally.

About The Hilton Prize Coalition
The Hilton Prize Coalition is an independent alliance of the 22 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the Fellows Program, the Collaborative Models Program and the Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat, Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact prizecoalition@charity.org. Follow the Hilton Prize Coalition on Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

HPC Fellow: Catalina López Montero, Casa Alianza Mexico

Catalina López Montero is a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow with Casa Alianza Mexico (CAM), the name by which Covenant House is known in Mexico. In this post, Catalina describes the way CAM developed a comprehensive model of caring for homeless migrant young people. Catalina is a Social Work Professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico with a specialization in Youth Intervention Models.

Behind the Scenes of Caring for Migrant Children in Mexico
by Catalina López Montero

During my time as a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow at Casa Alianza Mexico (CAM) in Mexico City, I had the great opportunity to research, document and archive their 20+ year history of working with migrant children and adolescents. Importantly, this gave me the opportunity to interview many migrant youth and understand migration from their direct perspective, from young people who are forced, for different reasons, to abandon their places of origin, even at the expense of their very own lives. Within this global phenomenon I found CAM to be an institution that understands how migrant children and adolescents are victims of a serious problem—social abandonment—and how addressing this humanitarian problem requires an integrated model of care, completely different from the social welfare handouts approach found among many Mexican institutions and NGOs.

CAM’s model of care for migrants has evolved methodologically over the years, through a continuous effort of reflection, evaluation and adjustment in order to remain responsive to migration’s changing socio-political environment. CAM’s work with migrants began in the early 1990s with their Street Outreach efforts, a core pillar of their work with migrants that remains key to this day. When unaccompanied migrant children arrive to Mexico from Central America and other countries, many of them find themselves on the streets, and like their Mexican peers, are without any identifying personal documents.

In the beginning, CAM’s street educators began working with migrants without even knowing they were foreigners. Through the personalized care they provided, the staff began to discover how there were many unaccompanied migrant children in Mexico City, and that it was necessary to create specialized strategies to care for them. For example, the staff needed to contact consular authorities, coordinate repatriations with other Covenant Houses in Central America and to start to understand the children’s journeys in order to identify what each child wanted and needed to help them reestablish their lives.

In the early years, CAM was one of the few organizations working with child migrants living on the streets of Mexico City even before the government was involved, but its network has grown and changed over the years to involve other entities, including the Mexican government. To this day, CAM’s continuous work and monitoring of the status of migrant children has won recognition from government agencies such as the Mexican National Institute of Migration, with whom they have been working for more than ten years; in 2006, the agency declared CAM an official child migratory station. In CAM’s shelter, migrant children and adolescents wait to obtain refugee status while they reside in an environment that guarantees the protection of their human rights and the development of their full potential.

As a university professor and social worker by profession, I have had the opportunity to work with many civil society organizations who care for children and adolescents working or living “on the street” – a name given to those who spent most of their day in this place; an important note on the name is how CAM recognizes that children are not “from the street,” because the streets have never been an acceptable place for any child to live.

There are many different models of care for vulnerable youth populations, but never have I come across such a comprehensive model like that of CAM’s, one so respectful of the human dignity of each person, nor one so committed to what happens to the children throughout their stay from the moment their street educators make the very first contact, inviting these children to think about an opportunity to leave the streets, and changing their lives by encouraging them to live in a new, safe, reliable home along with other peers, while always respecting their decision-making capacity.

During my fellowship I was amazed at CAM’s great commitment to their children and youth not only when they are living in their shelters, but also throughout the process of transitioning to an independent life. CAM provides them with the skills they need to take care of themselves in order to achieve emotional and financial stability, and the confidence of knowing they will have the support of an institution like CAM, who is like family to them.

Without a doubt, I have respect and admiration for the work done by Covenant House in Mexico on behalf of migrant children and adolescents. They have awakened in many children the certainty of a better life and dream, not just the American dream.

Casa Alianza Mexico, opening doors for homeless children…

(Photos courtesy of Covenant House)

About The Hilton Prize Coalition
The Hilton Prize Coalition is an independent alliance of the 22 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the Fellows Program, the Collaborative Models Program and the Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat, Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact prizecoalition@charity.org. Follow the Hilton Prize Coalition on Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

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