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Medical clinic in rural Guatemala.

Crucial care for remote communities

Medical care in remote Guatemala.

GUATEMALA – In Guatemala, healthcare can be difficult to obtain—especially for indigenous groups living in rural communities.

Descended from the Mayans, the Quiché people near Puerto Barrios struggle on a daily basis with poverty and widespread ailments such as skin infections.

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A special Operation Blessing project and gift of a bicycle change the life of a little girl in Peru

A bicycle for Brigith

A special Operation Blessing project and gift of a bicycle change the life of a little girl in Peru

PUNO, Peru – The youngest of five children, 12-year-old Brigith lives with her father in the highlands of Peru. She attends the San Juan of Machacmarca High School about an hour’s walk from her home—the closest school available to her.

But Brigith’s school was in such terrible condition, with classrooms threatening to collapse and only a handful beat up desks and chairs for all of the students, that her father was considering pulling her from the school and sending her to live with an older sibling in the city because he wanted her to have the best education. His job also kept him from taking Brigith to and from school, leaving her to walk the long distance across the mountainous terrain alone, vulnerable to wild animals along the way.

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A young boy is able to complete his education thanks to Operation Blessing partners

Tuition for Tankiso

A young boy is able to complete his education thanks to Operation Blessing partners

LESOTHO – When both of Tankiso’s* parents died, he and his four siblings went to live with their grandmother, but she was very sick and as the oldest he was now responsible for taking care of the family.

During his last years of high school, Tankiso had to take whatever jobs he could find so his younger siblings would have something to eat, but as a result, his grades became so low that he was told he would have to repeat grades 11 and 12 if he wanted to receive his diploma and qualify for any further education or vocational schools.

With a 40 percent unemployment rate in Lesotho, there are very few job opportunities for those who haven’t graduated high school, but Tankiso was determined to build a better future for himself and his siblings, so he diligently worked during odd jobs to raise the funds he needed to go back to school.

A young boy is able to complete his education thanks to Operation Blessing partners

After he had saved up as much as he could, Tankiso went to Faith Foundation, an Operation Blessing-supported organization aimed at helping vulnerable children out of poverty, and asked the program director for help with the remaining school supplies he needed but could not afford.

Thanks in part to OBI’s partnership, Faith Foundation was able to provide Tankiso with enough funds to cover all of his school costs so he could keep what he had earned to take care of his family and focus on his school work. Tankiso now has the opportunity to pursue a better life for his family.

This year, more than 100 vulnerable children in Lesotho received shoes, coats, backpacks and tuition to stay in school thanks to the generous support of Operation Blessing partners like you.

A young boy is able to complete his education thanks to Operation Blessing partners

*Name changed and photo not shown to protect identity

Operation Blessing returns to New Orleans to visit some of the projects OBI played a major role in ten years ago after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast

Returning to New Orleans 10 years after Hurricane Katrina

Operation Blessing returns to New Orleans to visit some of the projects OBI played a major role in ten years ago after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast

Having spent more than 2 years in the New Orleans area helping Katrina victims, Operation Blessing’s vice president of U.S. disaster relief & programs, Jody Gettys, returned to New Orleans to visit some of the projects OBI played a major role in ten years ago and catch up with some of those whose lives our teams touched.

I recently had the opportunity to go back to New Orleans and reconnect with some very dear people that we helped during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina who have become life-long friends and visit the some of the projects we worked on.

When I flew into the city, it looked so different! There was no longer an endless sea of “blue roofs” covering the ground. From the sky, the city looked like any other city in America, with pristine houses, yards and clear blue swimming pools, but in this city under those roofs are beautiful people who have so many stories to tell.

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A new safe water source brings hope to a young boy and his drought-stricken community in Brazil

Safe water for Adrian

A new safe water source brings hope to a young boy and his drought-stricken community in Brazil

BRAZIL – It is 10:00 in the morning and the heat is unbearable, the sky is completely clear and there has not been a single drop of rain in Adrian’s community in months.

For generations they have only had access to poor quality, salty water, but even so, water is very valuable to the 14-year-old and the rest of the region’s population as they experience one of the most severe droughts they’ve ever had.

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An Operation Blessing-supported food pantry helps a struggling family make ends meet

Hope for hungry families

An Operation Blessing-supported food pantry helps a struggling family make ends meet

PENNSYLVANIA – Dustin works hard to provide for his wife Mariah and 6-month-old son Zachary, putting in long hours to make ends meet.

But even working 10-hour shifts at a local warehouse and trying to cut expenses, Dustin and Mariah still struggled to come up with enough money to pay the bills and make sure baby Zachary had everything he needed.

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Safe drinking water for flood victims in Guatemala

Relief for disaster victims in village of Bongo

Safe drinking water for flood victims in Guatemala

GUATEMALA – Today as we spent the majority of our time in a community called Bongo that normally has a population of around 1,000 but now has a population of 1,600 because of the recent flooding. It is the closest community that wasn’t destroyed by the flood, so many families from the communities that were destroyed farther up the mountains have descended into this community.

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PackH2O water backpacks for flood victims

Water backpacks for flood victims

PackH2O water backpacks for flood victims

GUATEMALA – Today was a really great day where we were able to meet lots of needs, especially by distributing PackH2O water backpacks and chlorine solution that we produced. We had a training session with locals to teach them how to properly measure and dose liquid chlorine to ensure safe water. This came not a moment too soon, as we received a visit from the Ministry of Public Health just as we were finishing the training to test the water being distributed. The Guatemalan Ministry of Health water specialists were impressed with our testing equipment.

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Flood damage in Guatemala

OBI aids flood ravaged communities in Guatemala

Flood damage in Guatemala

OBI's international manager of water programs, John Bottoms, in Guatemala.John Bottoms, OBI’s international manager of water programs, is on the ground in Guatemala where flooding has devastated parts of the country.

GUATEMALA – Today was an eye-opening day for me as it was the first day we were able to get to ground zero of the flooding in Guatemala. I didn’t really understand the gravity of what had happened until I saw it face to face.

A landslide occurred around the top of one of the mountains and blocked of parts of the main river. A few hours later, a terrible downpour of rain took place and the river overflowed and ran down the side of the mountain carrying everything in its path. This happened around 2 a.m. and most people where in bed sleeping when their houses started going down the mountain.

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A water project brings hope to a little girl and her struggling community in Honduras

Safe water for Ariela

A water project brings hope to a little girl and her struggling community in Honduras

HONDURAS – Every day, 8-year-old Ariela goes to school in a makeshift classroom with black plastic tarps for walls. Due to the high temperatures of the region and the poor condition of the school, she and her classmates are often exposed to intense and draining heat, and are at risk of dehydration.

“Classes are from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., but the heat is so strong that even I cannot endure it sometimes,” said Ariela’s teacher. “The children ask me for permission to go drink water up to four times a day, and sometimes the smaller ones have to go home early because their bodies cannot stand the heat.”

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