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Volume 6, No. 3WINTER 2003

Message from the Executive Director

An Ethiopian man collects water from a water source in the northern Tigray region of Ethiopia, where IOCC is expanding its agriculture and vocational training projects. The projects, which aim to make Ethiopians more self-sufficient, will create jobs and improve agricultural productivity in 10 towns and rural areas in northern Ethiopia. Photo: Nicholas Chakos-IOCC

A blind, elderly man sitting alone on the border in the middle of the night with his bag in his lap.

A 10-year-girl living in a refugee shelter on her own without anyone in her family to care for her.

An 8-year-old child with ragged clothes sitting in a classroom learning how to read.

These snapshots of people I’ve met remind me that IOCC is first and foremost about people in need.

In this issue of News & Needs, these people tell their own stories. Gathered by IOCC field staff, these stories demonstrate IOCC’s commitment to partnering with people in need to improve their lives — both during an emergency and after.

I trust that as you read these accounts, you will gain a greater understanding of the needs present in the various countries where IOCC works, of the hardships faced by the people living in these countries and of the victories they achieve in the process of rebuilding their lives.

More importantly, these are the faces of people you are helping through your ongoing support of IOCC — farmers, entrepreneurs, school children, community organizers and others. I trust you will feel the hope and gratitude that I felt as I read these stories.

For each one of the people included here, there are thousands more like them who are working, with your help, to overcome tremendous obstacles in the countries where they live. These are not just individuals; they are individuals who are part of a community. IOCC’s mission is to help individual people by strengthening and working through their local communities. As our own Orthodox theology teaches us, God is a community of persons — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — and the Church is called to be a community of healing on earth.

You are part of that community, and IOCC offers you a way to answer that call. As we prepare for the Feast of the Nativity, let us all strive to realize the promise of peace on earth announced by the angels.

Thank you for all your prayers and support over the past year.

In Christ,

Constantine M. Triantafilou
Executive Director

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Making a real
difference in the
lives of children

Message from
the Executive Director

Making the
unimaginable possible

IOCC aiding in the journey to self-sufficiency in former Yugoslavia:
Bosnian refugees 'were determined to return'

IOCC aiding in the journey to self-sufficiency in former Yugoslavia:
Entrepreneurs have
'a clear vision'
for the future

'Imagine the joy' of dreams realized

Meals, school supplies making a difference for Lebanese children

The will to help others

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