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Mercy Corps works to save and improve lives in some of the most impoverished places on earth. Since Mercy Corps was founded in 1979, the NGO has worked in war-torn and poverty-ridden countries to turn crises into opportunities. 95% of their staff are local residents working in nations like Somalia, Afghanistan, the Congo and Iraq.

The countries in which Mercy Corps works have several things in common. Usually children’s lives are at risk, women’s education is ignored, and there is little chance for economic growth. Mercy Corps helps to provide and build food security and create educational and economic opportunities. Their method is to listen to the locals and prioritize urgent needs first. They look at long-term and innovative solutions that bring systemic change.  Through taking responsible risks and thinking big, Mercy Corps is able to help large  numbers of individuals.

Mercy Corps believes communities work best when they work for their own growth and change. They believe local markets provide sustainable recovery and good governance is the foundation to success. They focus their work on places in transition either from conflict, natural disasters, or political upheaval. They start with emergency relief and move to long-term goals to create communities that can withstand future shocks.

To get involved with Mercy Corps, check out their website at www.mercycorps.org.  They have lots of opportunities from donating money to fundraising to attending events or visiting their office in Portland. They also have a list of open positions and offer internships for those interested in a longer or more permanent position.

It is evident that Mercy Corps is making a difference in some of the toughest places on earth. Lives are being saved and communities are being changed through the work Mercy Corps does.

– Amanda Kloeppel
Source: Mercy Corps