Mercy Corps
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A Closer Look at Development: Mercy Corps

In our ‘A Closer Look’ series, we highlight an organization which puts high value on aid or the development of vulnerable locations and communities. Today, we highlight Mercy Corps, based in Portland, Oregon. We are honored to shed light on the remarkable and priceless work this organization has been doing for many years: helping people in need around the globe.

Mercy Corps, from faith-based to nonsectarian

The core value of this amazing organization is to help communities to turn crisis into opportunity, demonstrating adaptiveness, timelessness, and innovation. Since 1979, Mercy Corps has been helping the most vulnerable people, grappling with the toughest hardships.

Dan O’Neill responded to refugees fleeing the Cambodian ‘Killing Fields’, by founding the ‘Save the Refugee Fund’, which later became Mercy Corps. The foundations of this humanitarian aid organization lay in the journey O’Neill took to discover the true roots of his faith. He vowed to keep on with a daily journey to record his travel and learning, and with few exceptions, he has kept that pledge to this very day. O’Neill’s religious mission shifted in 1994 when he hired Neil Keny-Guyer to be CEO. ” he proved to be the right leader for the next two decades”, O’Neill says in the Seattle Times. “It was Neal who convinced us it was time for Mercy Corps to shift from being a faith-based to a nonsectarian organization — still embracing the moral imperative to help people but from under a bigger tent.”

““The world is full of suffering. But it is also full of the overcoming of it.” ”

Helen Keller

The journey of O'Neill and his organization has come a long way since 1979, getting international recognition for their quick response and cost-effective programs around the world. In the past four decades, they have touched communities in 107 countries, delivered more than a billion dollars in relief and assistance for food, shelter, water, healthcare and many more developmental pillars. As of 2017, this organization can help more than 19 million people every single year, to recover from hardship, form coalitions and to find their own path out of poverty.

"Friends often asked me how I handled the repeated exposure to the carnage of war and disaster", O'Neill says. "I explained that the emotional pain could be used as fuel to increase our determination to save and improve lives. If only it were that easy. I periodically recall the words of Helen Keller, 'The world is full of suffering. But it is also full of the overcoming of it.'"

Raptim is honored to serve humanitarian aid workers who develop programs to strengthen civil society and improve living standards. We fully support Mercy Corps in their sustainable effort. They don't simply hand out food, build a school or immunize a child. This is not enough in vulnerable locations that are facing conflicts or economic changes because a few weeks of conflict can undo years of extensive humanitarian work. That is why they work side by side with communities to make changes that last, initiating sustainable programs and solutions to the problems that the community faces. Their program leaders speak the local language and know the culture.

Our bond with Mercy Corps is strong and as any compassionate organization that helps vulnerable people, whether in small or large gestures, has our full appreciation. Be sure to browse through our daily updated News & Community section if you want to learn more about other organizations that inspire us, our vision and our goals as a travel management company.