Who are we?
The Chad Relief Foundation (CRF) was initiated in April, 2007 by a group of people in Santa Barbara, California dedicated to improving the lives and prospects of the people of south Chad , with particular attention to the 90,000 refugees from the Central African Republic living in camps outside of Goré, Maro and Haraze. These are the forgotten refugees for whom there is no media attention, celebrity presence or geopolitical significance. CRF provides a model of how a few concerned citizens in a very rich country can materially affect the lives of thousands of people in a very poor country.
Board Members: The CRF Board is composed of lawyers, academics, and business and health care professionals. Board members have had experience in relief and development efforts in Chad, the Sudan, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, India, Senegal, Kenya, Turkey and Louisiana . Volunteers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and Australia have supported the Board's efforts.
Funding: CRF is funded entirely by private individuals, foundations, and businesses. CRF's entire budget supports specific projects in south Chad .
Partners: CRF's relief efforts in Chad are accomplished in partnership with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNICEF, CARE International, ACRA, COOPI, Mentor, Vitamin Angels, Direct Relief International, the Association des Guides du Tchad, the Centre de Support en Santé Internationale, AmeriCares, Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and local organizations.
Administration and Fund-raising: CRF limits administration and fund raising expenses to a bare minimum. The only fund raising expenses are bank charges, printing and postage. CRF has no paid staff.
What do we do?
Philosophy and Action: The United Nations relief effort is designed, because of financial constraints, to maintain only a minimum level of shelter, nutrition, education and health. Beyond this level of relief is a wide range of assistance (the unfulfilled wish list of every NGO on the spot) which defines CRF objectives.
CRF projects have provided wheelchair/tricycles for more than 75 physically disabled people in the camps and surrounding area; a shelter, well and latrine at a border crossing where refugees awaiting transport to the camps had been camping in the bush; a secondary school for children living in two refugee camps and 10 nearby villages; a sports facility at that school and in two other camps and two local villages; solar power for six rural health centers; oxen and plow sets for groups of farmers; long-lasting impregnated mosquito nets, a program to raise awareness about the rights of women and children; Vitamin A dosages for 23,000 children under the age of 6; the revitalization of schools in the Goré and Haraze areas; the construction of 605 houses for vulnerable refugees fleeing the CAR coup of 2013; and over $259,000 of medicines and medical equipment to district hospitals and refugee health centers.
How do we do it?
Evaluation missions: CRF Board members regularly visit south Chad at their own expense (except for graduate students); the first eleven missions took place in September, 2007, March and October, 2008, February, 2009, January and October, 2010, May 2011, February 2012, March/April 2013, May 2014 and April 2015. The Board members consult about short and long-term needs with the refugees and their representatives, the NGOs that operate in the refugee camps, and government officials in the area. On their return to the US, the Board establishes relief and development priorities and determines money raising strategies to finance the designated projects.
Project implementation: Once a project has been selected, the focus shifts to issues of procurement, transportation, training in operation and maintenance if required, oversight and audit. Projects are carried out by officials of NGOs in south Chad whom we know and trust. To date, only minimal NGO administrative costs have been underwritten. CRF Board members travel to Chad (at their own cost) to assure that projects are implemented as planned .
Why are we doing it?
The sad reality is that the “forgotten refugees” of south Chad live in desperate poverty. Many are malnourished –- chronic hunger is a virtually universal complaint -- many have serious health problems such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS. They live in tents and mud huts that leak, without electricity, paved roads, and few sources of income. There are only rudimentary medical resources, extremely limited recreational facilities and only a small proportion of girls attend school. The camps provide potable drinking water and limited sanitation facilities, but these are often underutilized .
An even sadder reality is that young Chadian children die needlessly. Chad has one of the highest child mortality rates in all of Africa. One out of five children will not reach the age of five. Malnutrition, malaria, and infectious respiratory diseases are the principle threats. In almost every case, these killers are preventable. Immunization, better nutrition, and simple procedures for health monitoring and treatment can –- effectively and inexpensively -- revolutionize the long-term outlook for these children.
At CRF we are convinced that improvements on all of these fronts can and will be made when people of good will organize themselves to make it happen.
How much does it cost?
Cost of completed projects (cash) $572,443
Value of donated medicines $259,063