Greetings from MCC Canada executive director
Where we work
Because of your generosity, Farah* and her family have food to eat.
Without the food baskets Farah* and her siblings receive through an MCC partner in Syria, they wouldn’t have enough food to survive.
The price of fuel and the fluctuating global economy are causing food prices in Syria to climb even more dangerously out of reach for so many.
Farah’s parents had to flee Al Raqqa because of the dangers of the ongoing conflict in Syria. Her father tries to bring in money for the family by collecting cardboard boxes and selling them to a factory for recycling. Her mother is trying to raise and care for all her siblings and some of their cousins who live with them. She tends a small garden to grow a few vegetables for the family to eat. But what she can produce is far from enough food for so many hungry stomachs.
If not for your generous gifts, Farah* and her family would have almost no chance.
But with your support, and funding through MCC’s account at Canadian Foodgrains Bank, an MCC partner in Syria distributes monthly food baskets to thousands of families like Farah’s every month. A basket for one family costs $65 per month. Your support helps families like Farah’s every day.
“Knowing that a food parcel is always delivered makes such a difference in our lives.”- A recipient of food in Syria
* Names have been changed or omitted for security purposes.
Food program highlights
Your gifts fed vulnerable Haitians like Pierre after a devastating earthquake.
The sun was barely in the sky when Pierre Hérorol felt the earth shake beneath his feet. The 7.2 magnitude earthquake devastated much of southern Haiti and was the deadliest disaster on the planet in 2021. Thousands were killed, injured or left without safe shelter. They lost their means to earn money to buy food or medicine. But thanks to you, Pierre’s story didn’t end there.
Your support meant MCC partners in Haiti could distribute canned turkey meat and relief kits to Pierre and other vulnerable people, pregnant women, people with disabilities or those whose homes had been destroyed. One can of turkey costs around $6.50 and contains about half the minimum daily calorie requirement for someone in an emergency situation. With damaged roads and widespread flooding, that turkey was the only substantial food many survivors could find for days.
At a time when every moment mattered, you ensured that MCC responded quickly with life-saving relief.
“Thank you for not leaving us alone. We’ve felt very alone these last days…hoping someone would not forget us.”- A woman who received food in Haiti
Relief program highlights
Thanks to your kindness, Tchana and her classmates can access the education they deserve.
Tchana Atiaribou has a lot of factors working against her dream of being a teacher. Burkina Faso has some of the lowest rates of female students on the planet. She was only in Grade 1 when her mother died. And she lives far from her school with no way to easily and safely travel the long distance to get there.
But your kindness is helping her overcome those challenges. Thanks to your support, an MCC partner in Burkina Faso provides Tchana and many other students like her the resources they need to access a good education. Your donations fund enrollment in school or work apprenticeships, medical checkups, food, hygiene items and counselling. And thanks to the bikes they loan, Tchana doesn’t have to walk the total 30 km route every day.
Tchana says she wants to be a teacher, a reality that would be impossible without the help she’s receiving because of you. One bike costs $112 and that investment will carry many students to and from school.
“Because my school is paid for, I have school supplies and a school outfit. I have fewer problems, my teacher encourages me often, she is a second mother to me.”- Rouamba Noelie, a student supported by Song Kibsé in Burkina Faso
Education program highlights
Because of you, Teofilo’s crops can survive even when no rain falls.
Farming in Potosí, Bolivia, at 12,000 ft of elevation, isn’t easy. But it at least used to be consistent. Farmers there knew when to expect rain and when it would be dry. Now, due to the disruptions of climate change, the once consistent precipitation has become unreliable. Where light rain once fell daily, farmers experience weeks of drought interrupted by the kind of driving rain that can scatter seedlings.
The thousands who make their homes high in the mountains rely on their crops to survive. But this way of life is in danger as they can no longer rely on the weather. Thanks to your donations, they now have the necessary tools to adapt.
MCC partner PRODII is working in places like Potosí to find creative and effective solutions to collect and maintain their water supply in the challenging mountain environments. Using a system of reservoirs and water collection, farmers in Potosí are ensuring their water supply remains more constant.
Because of your generosity, the farmers of Potosí are equipped to adapt to their changing climate.
“This used to be only rocks, but with the knowledge I’ve acquired, I’ve turned it into a garden. Before this, nothing grew, but we’ve turned rocky land into cultivable land.”- Teofilo Colque, a community leader in Potosí, Bolivia
Water program highlights
Your donations are keeping Nirmala’s family healthy.
In Nepal’s Dhading District, many villages have very limited access to safe water and
clean bathroom facilities. Every year more than 800,000 people, including children, die from diarrhea caused by dirty water or unsafe hygiene practices. Nirmala did what she could to keep her family safe, but she was limited without additional resources and education.
But now, your support has given her the tools and training she needs. Providing water to a home like Nirmala’s costs around $390. Your gifts helped MCC’s local partner build essential infrastructure like handwashing stations, latrines and taps for clean drinking water. They also provide training for people like Nirmala so they can keep their families healthy. The checklist she now has on her wall reminds her how to purify water correctly and has other tips like
Since the project began, the rates of diarrhea in the area for children under five have decreased by 50%. That amazing result is because of your support.
“The partner’s local knowledge, combined with strong technical capacity for infrastructure construction, has led to a very effective project and significantly healthier communities,” says Luke Jantzi, MCC representative for Nepal.
Health program highlights
Peace & Justice
Your donations are advocating to give everyone access to vaccines, including Margaret Amuai and her women's health group in Nairobi, Kenya.
When the first vaccines were announced during the COVID-19 pandemic, it quickly became clear that the wealthiest countries were the ones with priority access to the life-saving technology. But because of your generosity, MCC has been a powerful leader in advocating for Canada’s government to pursue global vaccine equity.
MCC’s Peace & Justice office recognized that globally we have enough vaccines and vaccine manufacturing capacity to ensure that everyone can be vaccinated. What was missing was coordinated global political will. While some countries, including Canada, have committed to dose sharing and increasing global health funding, there is still no resourced global vaccination plan.
The Peace & Justice Office has also lent its advocacy expertise to Love My Neighbour, a multifaith organization dedicated to ensuring everyone has access to vaccines, regardless of wealth.
Your support means moving everyday Canadians and our government’s highest powers to recognize how vital it is to ensure that vaccines are available to everyone everywhere.
“Making sure people have access to vaccines everywhere, no matter their citizenship, is exactly the kind of thing we want to lend our experience and voice to support.”- Anna Vogt, co-director of MCC Canada's Peace & Justice Office
Peace and Justice program highlights
Because you gave to MCC, Khalil and his family have safety and security.
When Reanna Teske started chatting online with Khalil al Hamadi, she had no idea how they would change each other’s lives.
Khalil was living with his wife, Nadeen al Zoubi, and their children in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. They’d fled their home in Syria during the war. Some 80,000 refugees call Zaatari home today, despite the incredibly tough conditions. Emergency food, water and medical care barely sustain the people who live there.
But Reanna happened to see Khalil talking about his experience on Facebook and struck up a conversation. They chatted every day for nearly two years and forged a friendship that led Reanna to form a group to sponsor the family for resettlement in Canada.
Because of your gifts, MCC could provide Reanna and her group the support they needed to navigate the logistics of the sponsorship process. But perhaps more importantly, it meant that Khalil and his family landed in a new country with a loving community already waiting for them.
To this day, Reanna, Khalil and their families remain close. “I think that’s been one of the biggest surprises, these fast friendships and these really close friendships that have become like family,” says Reanna.
“Thank you to MCC for giving my whole life hope again. And then to give me and my kids and my family and Nadeen a new life in Canada.”- Khalil Al Hamadi
Migration program highlights
Ukraine crisis — first response
In the midst of war, your support provided emergency food and shelter to people in need.
Nurses Olena,* Tetiana and Tetiana help at the medical station set up by MCC partner St. Clement Centre. The centre has expanded its services to provide emergency humanitarian assistance, including food, hygiene supplies and medical treatment. A doctor, pharmacist and nurses work as part of the team. (Photo courtesy of St. Clement Centre)
Svetlykh*, 70 years old, lives alone on a small pension in a village* in the Nikopol district. MCC’s partner, New Life Charitable Fund, has a team of 30 volunteers and about seven staff who distribute food packages to Svetlykh and others. New Life
is helping internally displaced and transient people who plan to travel further and seek safety in western Ukraine. (Photo courtesy of New Life)
Staff and volunteers of MCC partner Charitable Foundation Uman Help Center prepare food for vulnerable and internally displaced people. Uman provides MCC hygiene kits and relief kits as well as food and housing assistance to vulnerable residents in the Uman Cherkasy region. They also provide humanitarian supplies and ready-to-eat meals to people evacuated from other locations. (Photo courtesy of Uman)
“We are preparing food every day — you have given to our hands something that we can provide to other people.”- Pavel*, director of KECB
*The names of people pictured and some locations have been shortened or omitted for security. Reporting on this page only reflects MCC’s response until the end of March 2022.
Global Service Learning
You are providing young adults like Sarah opportunities for growth and service.
Sarah Janzen knew that spending a year in a new country and context would be full of the unexpected. But, with MCC’s Serving and Learning Together program (SALT), she was able to practice adapting to the situation when she went from her home in Winnipeg, Man., to Beirut, Lebanon — a city in the middle of multiple crises.
“This year has often required changing my expectations: about the availability of resources, the electricity schedule, government involvement and what I’ll do or learn or experience,” she says. “I’m also learning that no matter how much you change your expectations, there is always a place for hope.”
The SALT program celebrated its 40th anniversary last year. Since 1981, more than 1,300 SALTers have served in 58 countries. They have walked alongside local communities, and have learned about themselves and the world around them.
After SALT, Sarah wants to continue working in the non-profit world. “I hope that the variety of work and experiences from this year will continue to remind me that my actions make a difference and that I can tackle whatever comes my way.”
Your support brings relief in times of crisis.
The situation in Cuba was incredibly dire when a shipment of MCC relief kits and canned food arrived. The ongoing pandemic and U.S. trade embargo created a period of immense scarcity. Store shelves were sitting empty in much of the country and people were unable to get the resources they needed.
“People had told me they haven’t had an egg or any kind of meat for six months,” says Bonnie Klassen, MCC area director for South America, Mexico and Cuba. “They were out of toothpaste, so they were brushing their teeth with soap.”
But your caring support meant that people like Clara Rodríguez got the food and hygiene items they desperately needed. Nearly 20,000 kg of supplies including relief kits, hygiene kits and canned chicken — collected and packed by MCC volunteers — were distributed by MCC partners in Cuba.
“We give thanks to God… that this blessing [of boxes of canned meat] could arrive in our hands to bless so many families.”- Pastor Jesus Gabriel Acosta, Cuba
Material resources shipped last year
MCC Thrift shops
Celebrating 50 years of supporting MCC’s work in relief, development and peace.
A grassroots legacy
In 1972, in Altona, Man., Susan Giesbrecht, Linie Friesen, Selma Loewen and Sara Stoesz opened up the very first MCC Thrift shop. None of them thought the shop would even last the year. “It grew much beyond what I, or any of the four of us, thought it would grow into,” says Giesbrecht, now 93 years old.
Before the shop opened, MCC used to ship secondhand clothes all over the world.
Eventually, leadership determined the money spent on shipping would be better spent buying supplies locally. That’s when the enterprising women came up with the idea to turn used clothing into money.
From the humble, grassroots beginnings, MCC Thrift has grown into a thriving network of 86 shops across Canada and the U.S. Since 1972, these shops have donated more than $305 million to the work of MCC.
Proceeds from the shops support MCC projects internationally and here at home. When you purchase dishes at your local MCC Thrift shop, you also help provide
emergency food for people fleeing conflict in places like Ukraine. When you donate books to an MCC Thrift shop, you’re helping to provide reading material to students in places like Rwanda. And when you pick up gently used furniture, you’re helping provide support to newcomers in Canada. Each time you shop, donate or volunteer with MCC Thrift, you help make the world a better place.
Helping the planet
Shopping at MCC Thrift also helps the planet by keeping gently used items out of landfills and reducing the amount of materials used to create new things. As much as possible, MCC Thrift shops work to resell, recycle or upcycle items to reduce waste. In 2020, 1,908 people took the Thrift First pledge and committed to try and shop for secondhand clothes before buying any new items. If each person who signed up bought even three items secondhand instead of new, that would have kept more than 5,700 pieces of clothing out of the landfill!
Together with our volunteers, communities and customers, we are working to create a more sustainable future.
“Thrift volunteers and staff are making significant contributions in their communities and in the lives of people around the world. This anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate and thank them for all that they do.”- Scott D. Campbell, MCC Canada director of development