Supporting the Red Cross in Africa

Africa is currently facing a food crisis of unprecedented proportions.

According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS-NET), 70 million people across 45 countries will require food assistance in 2017. Famine was formally declared in parts of South Sudan by the UN in February 2017, and Nigeria and Somalia are also facing the risk of famine this year.

After years of droughts and conflicts, East Africa in particular is bearing the brunt, with 24 million people affected. Water shortages mean people are using unprotected water sources, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases, poor sanitation and hygiene. And the lack of access to health care has led to several epidemics across the region including measles, malaria and cholera.

In response to this, Ramboll has donated 66,172 EUR to the Danish Red Cross – with half being contributed by the Ramboll Foundation and half by employees. The money is enough for the Red Cross to feed 13,234 children or 2,206 families for a whole month or provide 6,931,252 litres of water to those in need.

The image above shows Abebech Ayanu and her family fetching water from the Red Cross water distribution truck.

Abebech Ayanu and her family have been severely affected by the drought. Their livestock have died, crops have failed and she mostly uses the water she receives to wash her children, albeit without soap as she can’t afford any.

“The drought affected my family, my children and my husband. My husband went to work on road construction as a labourer because there are no crops to cultivate. There is no rain and there is nothing to grow. Before, we used to sow maize but there has there has been no rain for more than a year, so this hasn’t been possible. My livestock have already died. My children are now starving and there is no water. This drought has severely affected my life.”

2015: UN Live Museum of Humanity

UN Live is a new global museum dedicated to engaging people, especially youth, around the values and work of the United Nations. It is created around a vision “to make UN values felt and relevant to the everyday lives of people around the world”. UN Live’s content will be based on the three pillars of the UN: Peace and Security, Development and Human Rights and created and curated to establish a global dialogue on the challenges and opportunities of our time.

UN Live will provide the opportunity for interactive and innovative learning, dialogue and collective action in relation to global challenges and opportunities. Due to the Ramboll Foundation’s support among others, UN Live is now developing as a truly global concept, with top-level backing in the UN system and broad support in Danish Society.

2014: Rebuilding Tacloban

The main project supported by the Ramboll UK Charity Task group – a group of Ramboll employees dedicated to help people in need around the world through pro bono work, fundraising or by volunteering their competencies –  2014 was Tacloban Streetlight.

Streetlight is an orphanage and school organization in Tacloban, the Philippines. When hurricane Haiyan decimated Tacloban, the Seawall community was hit hard, including the orphanage Streetlight. Jago Boase, an engineer on sabbatical from Ramboll, has been living on site to deliver the rebuilding and relocation of the orphanage.

The engineering works include the infrastructure for 100 new homes and the process is led by Jago and architect Alexander Furunes from WORKSHOP together with the children and staff of Streetlight. The rebuilding will focus on sustainable design, using local materials and practices. A key aspect of the project is to involve the community in the design and construction to ensure that they take ownership of the project and that principles of good design are passed on.

Image credit: Kathy Mueller, Canadian Red Cross