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Posts from October 2019

3rd round of Gaza elders material distribution
By: Mike Merryman-Lotze
Published: October 18, 2019

When I was in Gaza last month, I traveled to Rafah to meet some of the people who benefit from AFSC’s elder support program, which provides modest assistance to impoverished elderly residents of Gaza.  While many organizations provide assistance to people in Gaza, AFSC is the only group that provides for the specific needs of the elderly. 

More than half of Gaza’s two million residents are food insecure, and over 80% of the population relies on international assistance to survive....

By: Andy Myers
Published: October 17, 2019

I’ve seen documentaries completely change people. From vowing to never go to SeaWorld again to forming organizations dedicated to cleaning up coal ash - there's something about spending an hour or two in a dark room that completely transforms someone when the lights turn on. I've been at Working Films for about 8 years. The organization is dedicated to using documentaries to advance social justice and I've seen the power these films can have on galvanizing audiences and changing the conversation. It brings stories up close and personal in...

Christina Zaldivar and her husband, Jorge, at an ICE check-in
By: Christina Zaldivar
Published: October 15, 2019

I know many people who have spent years – sometimes most of their lives – in the U.S. who have faced the prospect of returning to the countries of their birth, whether through deportation or because they had no other options for their family to live safely in the U.S. 

To help people make the process as simple and safe as possible, AFSC created a new online guide: “Crossing South: Resources for people returning to Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.” The guide offers information on getting affairs in order before leaving the U.S., safety tips upon...

Luis Paiz Bekker, AFSC Latin America and Caribbean regional director
Published: October 15, 2019

Q: What drew you to AFSC? 

A: I’ve had the privilege of working with indigenous peoples in several countries. When I was studying to become a physician, I struggled with the western approach that often views these communities as the problem instead of recognizing their strengths and skills and learning from them. I recognized early on the need to decolonize our thinking.  

When I read AFSC’s mission, it was the first time I saw an organization write about a decolonizing approach to its work. People are seen as equals. We’re not in a powerful position and helping those who...

By: Peniel Ibe
Published: October 11, 2019

The rule would have denied immigrants green cards for using food assistance or Medicaid.  

On Oct. 11, just four days before the Trump administration's cruel “public charge” immigration policy was due to be implemented, a New York court blocked the policy from going into effect. This policy would have essentially punished immigrants and their families for using certain public benefits, like Medicaid or SNAP (food stamps). The court only issued a preliminary injunction - meaning there are still legal battles ahead of us, and the rule may still be implemented if the final ruling is...