2017 Impact Report

 

2018-03-12 07.31.48

 

2017
Impact Report

 

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With your support, NEF is building knowledge, strengthening voices, and creating economic opportunity for those who need it most

THANK YOU.

 


Letter from the President

To Our Supporters:

Last year, I had the opportunity to travel extensively to visit with people whose lives have been impacted by NEF. I listened to their unique dreams and ambitions for their futures, many of which have been derailed by war, oppression, climate extremes and other obstacles most of us cannot fathom. However, because of your support, we’ve been able to help them develop the skills and access the tools they need to improve their lives while preserving their dignity and most importantly, their hope.

Recently, in Darfur’s Nuba Mountains, I was overwhelmed and uplifted to see firsthand the depth of need and the impact of NEF’s work in some of the most isolated, war-torn communities imaginable. Simple yet effective interventions such as new wells, pumps, water storage, and basic latrines are saving countless lives and improving the quality of life for so many. NEF’s work in Darfur which is made possible because of donors like you, exemplifies our ability to mobilize communities to address their most basic needs in the midst and in the wake of crisis.

While encouraged by the progress we are making, I know that our work is far from done. In 2018, NEF will continue to help people develop skills and access resources to rebuild their lives. We cannot do it alone. To increase our ability to independently deliver responsive services in the changing landscape of humanitarian assistance, we have launched a Recovery and Resilience Fund. With your support we can create a long-term and flexible foundation to deliver life-saving programs and life-affirming assistance. It is my hope that the impact demonstrated in this report once again proves NEF to be an effective and worthy partner for your own efforts to make a positive change in the world.

With sincere gratitude,
Charles Benjamin


 
Near East Foundation

The Near East Foundation helps build more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities in the Middle East and Africa through education, community organizing, and economic development.

We Work Where the World Needs Us Most

  • Armenia

  • Jordan

  • Lebanon

  • Mali

  • Morocco

  • Palestine

  • Senegal

  • Sudan

  • Syria

 

 


 

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To learn more about how you can make your impact, contact Director of Donor Engagement, Andrea Crowley, acrowley@neareast.org, (315) 428-8670.

 


 

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Our vision is to help people and communities move beyond survival by providing them with resources to achieve a better future. Here’s how

  • Building Economic and Social Resilience through Sustainable Livelihoods
    NEF promotes the economic independence and social resilience of vulnerable populations with a focus on women, refugees, and youth through entrepreneurship, microfinance, and peer networks that provide business mentoring and social support.
  • Improving Food Security through Natural Resource Management
    NEF supports smallholder farmers and other natural resource-dependent populations through initiatives that improve food security, increase income, and facilitate adaptation in order to develop local capacity and infrastructure that ensures communities have tools necessary to manage agricultural and natural resources sustainably in the long-term.
  • Peacebuilding Through Economic Development
    NEF implements highly effective initiatives that help reduce poverty and promote sustainable economic development in conflict and post-conflict areas. Focusing on core livelihood issues, NEF helps populations find mutual interests and benefit through economic cooperation.

 


DSC_0186In 2017, NEF directly
benefited the lives of
over 1,600,000 people. 

 

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682

people participated in peacebuilding activities

youth train flip@2x

1,078

youth participated in activities on life skills, financial literacy, and positive coping strategies

 moneybagblue@2x

2,102

businesses launched or expanded

trainingdgAR@2x

2,432

people trained in financial literacy, business management, and vocational trades

leafdig@2x

790,424

people are more resilient to climate change

 waterdgAR@2x

1,081,509

people have benefitted from improved access to safe water


Investing in Community Resilience

In the unpredictable environment of the Sahel, Malian and Senegalese communities are facing increasingly critical challenges due to recurring climate extremes—including prolonged droughts and devastating flooding. The negative impacts on crops and livestock have left entire communities struggling to recover. In 2017, NEF and its partners continued to increase food security and economic growth in the region through locally-led interventions. These include establishing cereal banks and water basins for grain and water storage, building wells, improving irrigation systems, planting water efficient crops, and teaching techniques for soil and water conservation. By linking communities most in need with locally-controlled investment funds, NEF is helping to embed inclusive planning and finance mechanisms into local and national government.

 


“Our village has been here for 72 years, and we have always had to walk to access water. Now we have easy access to it right in our village.”

-Arama, Sama Village Chief


 

IMG_7536VILLAGE OF SAMA, MALI

Sama Village Chief, Garçon Arama, needed sustainable solutions to address the harsh conditions his people were facing due to the lack of an adequate water source in the village. To gather water needed for their crops, livestock, and homes, villagers­—often women and children—had to embark on a long and dangerous journey daily to the nearest water source miles away. To make matters worse, the time spent gathering water was time spent away from tending to crops, gardens, and livestock­—worsening the conditions and livelihoods of the people of Sama.

To address the situation, NEF worked with the community to install a natural water collection basin with a filter system that flows into secondary basins for watering crops and livestock as well as to a public standpipe for drinking water. Because the whole community was committed to this investment, the peoople of Sama are now safer, healthier, and generating more food and income through gardening and healthy livestock.

Photo Credit: IED Afrique, Lancelot Soumelong Ehode

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1,878

people in Mali and Senegal are more food secure, thanks to your support.

 


Restoring Livelihoods in Times of Crisis

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Over 13 million people are now displaced from their homes due to the ongoing war in Syria, including over 5 million displaced outside of Syria in neighboring countries. In 2017, NEF responded to the growing needs of families who have been affected by this ongoing crisis in Jordan and Lebanon. For Syrian and Iraqi refugees, the struggle to gain their footing and rebuild their life begins the minute they enter their host country and continues for many years after. It is in this complex landscape that NEF is working to provide both vulnerable host community families and refugee families with safe and sustainable opportunities to adapt, recover, and earn an income in order to achieve economic stability.

 


Over three-quarters of Syrian refugees in Lebanon now live on less than $4 per day, and nearly 90% of refugee households are in debt.


 

DSC_0447 (1) copyIMAN, LEBANON

Like so many Syrian families whose homes have been destroyed, Iman and her husband, Ahmed, were forced to leave their home in Syria and flee to Lebanon with their four children. Their fifth child, a beautiful little girl named Joumana, was born in the informal settlement where they now reside. It is the only life she has ever known.

Iman and Ahmed found themselves in a country they did not know, reeling from the trauma of watching their home become a war zone, racking up debt, and relying solely on humanitarian assistance to care for their family. Neither could find work, Ahmed was badly injured due to enduring shrapnel in his leg from a bomb, and Iman had severe back problems that temporarily disabled her mobility.

To help Iman and her family get back on their feet, NEF provided her with business development training and a small start-up grant to open a falafel stand, which she and her husband now run together. This small kiosk within the settlement community has become a hub for more than just food but also of friendship, laughter, and healing.

Iman and Ahmed are now financially stable. Since starting their stand, they have paid down their debt and are working to save in order to expand their business. They are able to provide for their children who Iman says are, “smiling for the first time in a long time. They have hope.”

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1,878

women in Lebanon and Jordan received business development training, thanks to your support.

 


Building Brighter Futures

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NEF works with young people whose options are limited by lack of schooling, high unemployment rates, lack of credit, and in some cases refugee status. In Morocco, where young people account for 44 percent of the working age population, over half are out of school and out of work. Entrepreneurship is rarely encouraged, and risks are high for those that pursue their own businesses. The result is unemployed and disenfranchised youth who feel that the system has let them down. To address this, NEF has been working to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship among Moroccan youth, providing training, coaching, and mentoring, creating support networks, and awarding grants to youth with viable business plans.

 


“The project has had a big impact on me, not just financially, but also on my family.”

-Jalal, Morocco


 

9X1A0071JALAL, MOROCCO

Only a few years ago, Jalal was a young man selling his art to tourists and making barely enough to get by. After getting married and the arrival of his first child, he knew that he had to make something more of his talents. He met with NEF’s Empowering Youth Through Entrepreneurship project staff and says, “That was the meeting that changed my life.”

Like many young people in Morocco, Jalal did not know how to start his own business, especially in the non-traditional field of metal art sculpture. He had no money to invest and needed guidance on how to manage a small business. With training, coaching, connection to business networks, and a grant through NEF and its partners, Jalal now runs a successful shop where he produces and sells his art. He has been invited to display his work at regional and national exhibitions.

For Jalal and many others, the opportunity to start a business and build a future is also cultivating young leaders in Morocco. Sharing that the project inspired him to become an activist for youth causes, Jalal now leads a local entrepreneurship association and is an active member of an equal opportunity advocacy organization.

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3,000

youth have been reached by activities that support the spirit of entrepreneurship, thanks to your support.

 


Turning Empowerment into Progress

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In dire times, women in rural Sudan are looked to as a source of hope and resilience, within the community. Despite this, their efforts to contribute financially are not prioritized or supported. This leaves them struggling to earn a steady income and to provide food for their families. While women make up the majority of those working in the non-wood forest product sector in Sudan, their lack of access, knowledge, and formal organization has meant they receive far less than the market price for their products. By providing training on new techniques for production and harvesting, NEF not only helps women increase their income but also avoid degradation of natural resources. Progress for women is leading to progress for entire communities, emphasizing the crucial role women play in local economies.

 


In Sudan, women make up 72% of those involved with non-wood forest products but earn 80% less than men in the sector.


 

IMG_1069 (1)FATIMA, SUDAN

Fatima is the chairperson of her village’s women’s association. “I realized that the only economic resource exclusively under the control of women in the village was non-wood forest products,” says Fatima. These include gum arabic, desert dates, honey, sider, baobab, and other local fruits. She added, “I thought that, if the women of my village managed to unite, they could increase their income and gain respect from their husbands and other men.”

NEF has helped Fatima and the women’s association upgrade their non-wood forest products through screening, sorting, improving storage and packing, and taking measures to prevent insect infestations. Along with formal packaging and branding, these measures have resulted in a higher price for their goods. By assisting the association to establish improved linkages with wholesalers, NEF has given them access to a wider market to sell their produce.

“Today, every woman from the association says they derive substantial revenues from it,” explains Fatima. She has also seen attitudes and behaviors related to deforestation change. Moreover, the men in her village support the association by providing additional areas for planting. The village chief has said, “The future of the community is now in the hands of the women.” 

moneybag@2x

5,573

people have benefited from the activities of 13 women’s associations established,
thanks to your support.

 


Building Peace Through Economic Cooperation

Conflict is a significant cause of poverty in many of the communities where NEF works. Whether it is active warfare or competition over resources and land, the consequences can be devastating and recovery can take years. From Sudan to Palestine, where conflict can flare up at a moments notice, NEF continues to promote dialogue and reconciliation among groups in conflict by presenting opportunities for shared economic benefit.

To establish an environment that promotes peace, NEF identifies opportunities for interaction between opposing groups that focus on common concerns and mutual benefits. NEF facilitates this type of grassroots economic cooperation through value chain development, collaborative natural resource management, and economic reintegration of internally displaced people.

 


“I saw this as a real opportunity to make may dream comes true”

-Sulaiman, Palestine


 

SULAIMAN

Sulaiman, a Palestinian husband and father, worked for years on various farms in the Jordan Valley where he was raised. “I didn’t have access to the knowledge or resources to do what I actually wanted to do when I finished school,” he says. His dream was to create and run his own agribusiness.

In the West Bank, NEF works with young Palestinian and Israeli women and men to start joint cross-border agricultural businesses. The aim is to provide opportunities for market expansion, knowledge sharing, and ultimately, mutual understanding between the two groups.

“I saw this as a real opportunity to make my dream come true,” says Sulaiman. Despite skepticism from friends and family, he decided to participate in NEF’s cross-border business development training inside Israel.

There, he met a young Israeli farmer named Walid who also wanted to launch his own agribusiness. Sulaiman and Walid joined forces to invest in a date processing plant in the West Bank with plans to access markets in both Israel and Palestine. By the end of the first training, Sulaiman felt he had benefited greatly saying, “I learned what I needed to start my business.”

Together, Sulaiman and Walid submitted a business plan, which was approved and selected to receive a start-up grant. They used the grant to build a drying facility, a warehouse, and to purchase equipment. When Sulaiman’s friends and family come to visit the business, he describes the pride he feels, saying, “they can’t hide their admiration for what we have built together.”

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30

cross-border businesses have launched, thanks to your support.


 

A Trusted Vehicle for you Philanthropy for over 100 Years

COST EFFECTIVE PROGRAMS 94percentbox
NEF’s programs achieve maximum impact with low overhead costs and the highest efficiency in international economic development.

CHARITY NAVIGATOR
NEF’s commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.

GLOBAL GIVING
In 2017, NEF was recognized as a vetted member of the GlobalGiving community for being a trusted partner and change-maker in the world.

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU
NEF is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau meeting the highest standards for ethics and accountability to ensure confident charitable giving.

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Financial Summary

FINANCIAL REPORT—FISCAL YEAR 2017 (July 2016 – June 2017)

 

Statement of Financial Position at June 30, 2017

ASSETS

Cash and Equivalents 2,641,258
Grants and Contracts Receivable 541,675
Accounts and Loans Receivable 1,434,511
Investments (at fair value) 5,480,311
Prepaid Expenses 52,796                
Property and Equipment (net) 139,497
 Total $10,290,048

LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS

Accounts Payable & Accrued Expenses 925,334
Deferred Revenue 3,260,000               
 Total Net Assets $4,185,334
Unrestricted 2,455,140
Temporarily Restricted 37,785  
Permanently Restricted 3,611,789
 Total Net Assets $6,104,714 
 Total                               $10,290,048

 

Statement of Activities Year ended June 30, 2017

REVENUES AND OTHER SUPPORT

Contributions 857,068
Government 12,994,961
Private Grants 226,171
In Kind Contributions 201,260
Investment Income 516,882
Other Income 404,975
 Total $15,201,317

EXPENSES

Program Services 13,921,393
Management and General 719,275
Fundraising 147,752
Non Operating Expenses 231,793
  $15,020,213
 Net Surplus/(Deficit) $181,104

 

NEF Board of Directors

U.S. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Robert J. Solomon, Chairman
  • Johnson Garrett, Vice Chairman
  • Haig Mardikian, Secretary
  • Matthew Quigley, Treasurer
  • Charles Benjamin, Ph.D., President
  • Carol B. Aslanian
  • Charles Bird
  • Nina Bogosian Quigley
  • Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Ph.D.
  • Randa El-Sayed Haffar
  • Mona Eraiba
  • Alexander S. Ghiso
  • Jeff Habib
  • Yezan Haddadin
  • Linda K. Jacobs, Ph.D.
  • Shant Mardirossian
  • Amr Nosseir
  • William Sullivan

U.K. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Anthony R. Williams, Chairman
  • Anthony G. Williams
  • Robert Brown
  • Linda K. Jacobs, Ph.D.
  • Johnson Garrett

ACADEMIC COUNCIL

  • John Kerr, Ph.D.
  • John McPeak, Ph.D.
  • Thomas Mullins
  • Juliet Sorensen, J.D.
  • Michaela Walsh

HONORARY BOARD

  • Shahnaz Batmanghelidj
  • Amir Farman-Farma
  • John Goelet
  • John Grammer
  • Ronald Miller
  • David Mize
  • Richard Robarts (in Memoriam)
  • Anthony Williams
  • Tarek Younes

PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL

  • H.E. Andre Azoulay
  • Ian Bremmer
  • Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian
  • Vartan Gregorian, Ph.D.
  • Ambassador Richard W. Murphy
  • Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan
  • James B. Steinberg
  • Ambassador Frank G. Wisner

Institutional Funders

  • Big Lottery Fund
  • Bogosian Quigley Foundation
  • Cherie Blair Foundation
  • City and Guilds Group
  • Comic Relief UK
  • Dodge Foundation
  • European Union
  • Global Giving
  • Government of the Netherlands
  • MEDAIR (SDC)
  • Oak Foundation
  • RAIN Foundation
  • Rangoonwala Foundation
  • Trafigura Foundation
  • U.K. Department of International Development
  • U.N. Development Program
  • US Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • USAID Office of Food for Peace
  • USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance
  • U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
  • U.S. Middle East Partnership Initiative
  • World Bank/CIM (CARE Maroc)Partners

Partners

  • Al-Farooq Charitable Society for Orphans
  • al Hadatha Association
    Foundation
  • Al Qadesyeh Female Youth Center
  • alAmana Microfinance
  • Arcenciel
  • AMAPPE
  • Association d’Appui de Developpment Integre
  • Buisra Youth Center
  • Ein Al-Bida Female Youth Center
  • Galilee International Management Institute
  • Gegharkunik Chamber of Commerce/Industry
  • Gharandal Youth Center
  • Halima Association for Women
  • Hand in Hand for Development and Peace, Sudan
  • Innovations Environnement Développement Afrique
  • International Institute for Environment and Development
  • Jordanian Ministry for Youth
  • Jordanian National Forum for Women
  • Majales El Kheir for Peace and Development
  • Org. for Voluntary Humanitarian Assistance Program
  • Palestinian Center for Agriculture Research and Dev.
  • Peres Center for Peace
  • Qawafel Al Khair
  • Réseau Marocain de l’Economie Sociale et Solidaire
  • Sahab Society for Social Development
  • Sudanese Organization for Humanitarian Aid
  • Sudanese Red Crescent Society
  • Syracuse University
  • Tafila Female Youth Center
  • Tichka Association
  • Women’s Support Centre (Armenia)
  • Working Women Society
  • Youth Society for Self-Development

Thank you to the community of generous donors that allow NEF to make our mark on the world.

This year we received gifts from nearly 400 people and foundations from all walks of life, a wide array of ethnic and religious backgrounds, and far reachng geographies. We are grateful for each and every donation recieved and hope that you will continue to support NEF long into the future.

 

Thank You to Our Donors

$50,000 and above

  • Linda K. Jacobs
  • Matthew Quigley and Nina Bogosian

$10,000–$49,999

  • Armenian Assembly of America, Inc.
  • Armenian General Benevolent Union
  • Carol B. Aslanian
  • Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation, Inc.
  • Elmer & Mamdouha Bobst Foundation
  • Mona Eraiba
  • Alexander and Luz Maria Ghiso
  • Global Giving Foundation
  • Jeff Habib and Jessica Lowrey
  • Yezan and May Haddadin
  • Haig and Connie Mardikian
  • Shant and Christine Mardirossian
  • Abe and Mary Jo Moses (in Memorium)
  • Amr Nosseir and Mary Gustafson
  • Robert and Nancy Solomon

$2,500–$9,999

  • Karen Bedrosian-Richardson
  • Charles and Tracy Bird
  • William and Lauren Burke
  • Russell and Judy Carson
  • Columbia University Armenian Center
  • Dadourian Foundation (United Armenian Charities)
  • Wesley and Susan Hayden
  • Ronald and Susan Miller
  • Geoffrey A. Thompson
  • Tarek and Samantha Younes

$500–$2,499

  • Mary Ellen Abdella
  • Anita Anserian
  • Armenian Missionary Association of America, Inc
  • Ara Astourian
  • Robert Avakian
  • Stephen and Laura Avakian
  • Bagdig and Ani Baghdassarian
  • Charles Benjamin and Jennifer Abdella
  • Michael Brody
  • Martin and Aviva Budd
  • Grace Bulkeley
  • Thomas and Carolyn Cassilly
  • Sona I. Degann
  • Mark Rutherford and Melissa Dodge
  • Ahmad El-Hindi
  • Anthony and Elizabeth Enders
  • Stephen Ferrari
  • Nazareth and Nila Festekjian
  • James Fleming
  • Herbert and Claire Floyd
  • Stephanie Gamble
  • Arnold and Dianne Gazarian
  • Golden State Bank
  • Dr. Vartan Gregorian
  • Iago Lowe Hale
  • Susanne Hand and David Kinsey
  • Allan and Michelle Hoover
  • Souren A. Israelyan
  • Diron Jebejian and Andrea Montalbano
  • Herant and Stina Katchadourian
  • Ann Zwicker Kerr
  • John Kerr and Kimberly Rae Chung
  • Arman and Taline Kuyumjian
  • Richard and Barbara Boyajian Lacy
  • Richard and Leora Linhart
  • Jacob Loomis
  • Peter and Jessie Maeck
  • Melissa Hyman and Andrew Milstein
  • Diana and Charles Mkhitarian
  • Dennis and Susan Mooradian
  • Robert and Susan Morgenthau
  • Karim Mostafa
  • Julia Norman and Thomas Mullins
  • Mark Nappi
  • Samuel S. Rea
  • Richard and Dee Robarts
  • Alexander Robarts and Miran Yoon-Robarts
  • Carol Saunders
  • Gillian Sorensen
  • Stephen Philibosian Foundation
  • Harold and Louise Talbot
  • The Armenian Prelacy
  • The Fullgraf Foundation
  • The Gamble Foundation
  • The Greene-Milstein Family Foundation
  • Ascensina Tookmanian
  • Edward and Catherine Topham
  • Kevork and Pamela Toroyan
  • Jeanette Wagner
  • Eric Widmer and Meera Viswanathan
  • The Honorable Frank G. Wisner
  • Mohamed S. Younes

 

Up to $499

  • Abbey of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity
  • Charles and Jeanine Adanalian
  • Ignatius Agnello
  • Mari Kirkor Agopian
  • Constantinos Agouridis
  • Adrienne Alexanian
  • Ara Apelian
  • Rana Arabi
  • Alice Arapshian
  • Arpine Aroyan
  • Victoria Ashton
  • Edward and Eleonore Aslanian
  • Gohar Atamian
  • Gennaro and Marilyn Avolio
  • Vahram Aynilian
  • Marie and Migirdich Azadian
  • Karine Azizyan
  • Arthur and Susan Aznavorian
  • Pauline Babikian
  • Susan P. Bachelder
  • Kelley Badishkanian
  • Arsho Baghsarian
  • Anny Bakalian
  • Jamie Baldwin
  • Tiffany Baldwin
  • Magda G. Baligh
  • Ron Street and Carmen Bambach
  • Susan V. Barba
  • Janine Barikian
  • Pauline and Armen Barooshian
  • Raphael Barsamian
  • Arman and Maria Bedonian
  • Lucy Berkowitz
  • Catherine Bertini
  • Nvair Kadian Beylerian
  • Samuel and Nancy Billard
  • David M. Bloch
  • Michael Bobelian
  • Barbara Boghosian
  • Doris Boghosian
  • Edward Boladian
  • Jane Bollinger
  • Andrew Bonanno
  • Alan Bozian
  • Farrell Brickhouse and Beverly Peterson
  • Wyatt Brothers
  • George and Catherine Browning
  • Marion Browning
  • Marilyn Isler Brunger
  • Joanna and Mike Buboltz
  • Peter Buchanan-Smith
  • Justin R. Burruto
  • Arevig Caprielian
  • Sharon A. Chekijian
  • Larry Cohn
  • Community Church of East Williston
  • Mary Ellen Connell
  • Shannon Connelly
  • Steve and Elizabeth Cox
  • Stephen Craxton
  • Robert and Lorraine Damerjian
  • Suzy Davidkhanian
  • Susan Schaefer Davis
  • Dimitra DeFotis
  • Papken and Clair Der Torossian
  • Virginia Deranian
  • Peter DiCola
  • Marguerite Dilimetin
  • The Honorable Edward P. Djerejian
  • Cornelia Dodge
  • Edward S. Dorian
  • John Doumanian
  • Heratch O. Doumanian
  • Anthony Draye
  • George and Renee Dunham
  • Dr. and Mrs. George Dermksian
  • Erin Eckert
  • Marjorie Egarian and James Appleton
  • Kathleen Eisele
  • Michelle Ekizian
  • Lorre Eng
  • Sukru Saman and Iris Erguder
  • Sandra Eskin
  • Daniel Evans
  • Ramsey and Michelle Farah
  • Zachary Farrar
  • GJ Fass
  • Keith and Margaret Ferguson
  • Debra Ferman
  • First Congregational Church of Branford
  • Eva Kechejian Floyd
  • First Congregational Church of Branford
  • Eva Kechejian Floyd
  • Carol Foley
  • Angela W. Fower
  • Donna A. Friedman
  • Natalie Gabrelian
  • Carmen Gaddini
  • Sergio and Lee Galvis
  • Nicholas Garuccio
  • Rita Gehrenbeck and Nancy Gehrenbeck-Miller
  • Alison A. Geist
  • Hampartsum and Marie Ghazarossian
  • Antreas E. Ghazarossian
  • Halina Gosniowski
  • Sam and Sarah Gousen
  • Joseph L. Grabill
  • Joel and Wendy Greenberg
  • Sallie L. Greenfield
  • William and Jean Griswold
  • Helen Gugel
  • Carmen and Edward Gulbenkian
  • Mazen Haddad
  • Arlene Hajinlian
  • Michael and Mary Halloran
  • Ms. Susanne Hand and Mr. David Kinsey
  • Yusuf Hannun and Lina Obeid
  • Sona Haratunian
  • Nareg and Anahit Hartounian
  • Lawrence Haslbauer
  • Zabel Hatem
  • George H. Hauser Jr.
  • Annette Hayrapetian
  • Kim Hekimian
  • Robert J. Helander
  • Hariklia Heristanidis
  • Margaret Herman
  • Jean Herskovits
  • Charles and Kathleen Hinkaty
  • Seth H. Hollander
  • Margaret Hoover and John Avlon
  • Greg Hoover
  • Miriam Horn
  • Lois and Gill Houghton
  • Linda Hugle
  • Kerry Ikone
  • Margaret Jessup
  • Marina Jitechian
  • Bob Johns
  • Sandra Jonke
  • Sheri Jordan
  • Therese Joyce
  • Stephen Judge
  • Velma Kahn
  • Mary Kalemkerian
  • Lucine Karjian
  • Lynne A. Kassabian
  • Adrine Katchadurian
  • Richard Kazanjian
  • Berj Kazanjian
  • Claire Kedeshian
  • Leo Keoshian
  • Pearl Khachadoorian
  • Sofiya Khachatryan
  • Gary and Ani Khachian
  • Sana Khan
  • James J. Killerlane
  • Sung Hee Kim
  • Margaret Kinne
  • Tania Kleckner
  • Hagop and Eranica Kouyoumdjian
  • Louis Kriesberg
  • Robert and Joan Kroll
  • Weldon and Patricia Kruger
  • Derek Kruizenga
  • Arthur Kubikian
  • James F. Lawrence
  • Joyce Linde
  • Mr. Gary Livent
  • John Lysohir
  • Joseph and Jeanne Malikian
  • Stephen and Leslie Malott
  • Garcia Mangassarian
  • Kathryn Manuelian
  • Shiraz Mardirossian and Stefne Lynch
  • Annie Mardirossian
  • Hovhanes Mardirossian
  • Haig and Melanie Mardirossian
  • Vahe Mardirossian
  • Malvina Mardirosyan
  • Susan Markarian
  • Lise Martin
  • Artur Martirosyan
  • Mark Mason
  • Mr. Harry and Janice Mazadoorian
  • Brian Mazmanian
  • Merze Mazmanian
  • Alicia McElhone
  • Dikran Meguerditchian
  • David Melian
  • Asieh Melikian
  • Vialeta Melikyan
  • Barbara Merguerian
  • Harry and Juliette Milian
  • Brian and Nuria Miller
  • Eric and Mary Miller
  • Keith and Ashley Miller
  • Karen Minasian
  • Lucine Minassian
  • Anoush Miridjanian
  • David Mkrtchian
  • Sato Moughalian
  • Christine Nagorski
  • Sebouh and Michelle Nahabedian
  • Sarah Najarian
  • Artemis Nazarian
  • Linda Munguia Nease
  • Deanna Neiers
  • Sarkis and Adriana Nercessian
  • Sarkis and Adriana Nercessian
  • Jennifer Nersesian
  • Marie Nevins
  • Phillip and Sonia Newmark
  • Alexandra M. Nichols
  • Robert Nigro
  • Rosalind Ocampo
  • Dan and Jeanne Olson
  • Nini Ordoubadi
  • Arsine and Vahe Oshagan
  • Mr. and Mrs. Victor Oundjian
  • George and Nelly Oundjian
  • Dawn Papalian
  • Dennis and Mary Papazian
  • Mary and Dorothy Papazian
  • Harry Parsekian
  • Noubar Pechdimaljian
  • Mario and Marion Pellegrino
  • Susan Penn
  • Larry Peters
  • Victor and Pearlmarie Peters
  • Grant and Lucy Petrosyan
  • Carl Pforzheimer
  • Aida and Michael Pisani
  • Holly Pittman and Gary Hatfield
  • John Poochigian
  • Reverend John Post and Gloria Post
  • James J. Povlich
  • Steven Randazzo
  • Carolyn Rapkievian
  • Marla Rice-Evans
  • Christopher Rile
  • Jean E. Roberts
  • Douglas J. Rogers
  • Susan Malfa and Jonathan Rose
  • Lisa Ruggeri and Robert Rosenberg
  • Joan Rothermel
  • David Russell
  • Robert and Linda Ruth
  • Cindy Salik
  • Stephen Sarafian and Marisa Atamian-Sarafian
  • Richard and Nora Sarajian
  • Ken Sarajian
  • Nadine Sarkissian
  • James and Betty Schmitt
  • Aram and Hasma Serverian
  • Troy and Annie Setrakian
  • Lara Setrakian
  • Robert and Silva Setrakian
  • Armen and Brenda Shahinian
  • Kristin and Brendan Sheehan
  • Elizabeth Sheehan
  • Mary-Ann Sievert
  • Mackenzie Singh
  • Cynthia E. Smith
  • Alan Sokolow
  • Lisa Stepanian
  • Zaven and Gladys Tachdjian
  • Harold Takooshian
  • Cassandra Tavukciyan
  • Thomas Taylor
  • Christine Tchorbajian
  • Sarah Teale
  • Barbara Tellalian
  • Anahit Ter-Stepanian
  • Ms. Anoush Terjanian
  • Nanor Terjanian
  • Serop J. Terterian
  • Robert W. Thabit
  • Sosi Toomajanian
  • Judy M. Torrison
  • Amelia Trail
  • Robert and Sona Viola
  • Magdalini Vonderlinden
  • Michaela Walsh
  • Louis J. Wassermann
  • Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Whartenby
  • Roger and Susan Whitaker
  • Carolyn M. Wilhelm
  • Amy Williamson
  • Kenneth S. Winer
  • Jim Wright
  • Christine Yackel
  • Migirdic and Susan Yigitkurt
  • Malcolm and Cheryl Ann Young
  • John and Katherine Yurista
  • Silva Zadourian
  • Charlene Zartarian
  • Helene Zindarsian

 


A Special Thank You

A special thank you to Syracuse University for enabling NEF to draw upon the talent and creative energy of the academic community to help address critical challenges while training a new generation of leaders who will guide the future of social and economic development worldwide.


US HEADQUARTERS
110 West Fayette Street, Suite 710
Syracuse, NY 13202
United States

UK HEADQUARTERS
32-36 Loman Street
London SE1 0EH
United Kingdom

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Call for 2018 summer interns!

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Every year, some of the most talented students from around the world apply for an internship with the Near East Foundation (NEF). Being a small organization with a large portfolio of work, our internships offer a unique experience that allows students to immerse themselves in the many aspects of international development work.

For 100 years, NEF has worked to build more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities in the Middle East and Africa through education, governance, and economic development initiatives. Working through a network of country offices and local partners, NEF currently has approximately 190 staff members and programs in nine countries: Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, Senegal, Syria, and Sudan. Driven by the local needs in the areas we work, our programs provide communities in the world’s toughest places with the tools and support they need to transform their own lives.

The Near East Foundation (NEF) is offering paid or per-credit internships in its Syracuse headquarters for the 2018 summer term. Based on qualifications, the interns will be placed in one of the following departments: Program Development, Program Support/Monitoring and Evaluation, Communications, Fundraising Development, or our Historical Initiative. All open internship positions are detailed below. Summer internships will start on May 21, 2018, and run through August 17, 2018. Our internships require a commitment of 15 hours per week (maximum of 20 hours per week) during the summer term.

Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with NEF’s goals and mission prior to applying by visiting www.neareast.org, checking out our Facebook page, following us on Twitter (@NearEastFdn), and/or signing up to receive our newsletter at www.neareast.org/ get-involved/. For application instructions, please see each posting below. For consideration, applicatios must be received by Friday, April 13, 2018. All applicants will be contacted with a decision on or before Monday, May 7, 2018.

Fundraising Development Intern (one position)

The Near East Foundation’s Fundraising Development team is looking for a research and reporting intern. S/he is an organized and systematic individual who can (1) research corporate and   foundation grants, individual prospects, funding pipelines, and relevant fundraising events and provide their findings in a clear, organized, and timely manner; (2) assist with data entry and reporting; (3) assist with communication and development tasks as needed including copy editing and producing original content; (4) has a working knowledge of online research and social media; (5) assist with mailing and distribution of print and online communications materials as needed. Knowledge of the international development sector is a plus. The position is open to graduate and undergraduate students.

To apply, please send a complete PDF file consisting of: (1) a one-page cover letter; (2) a one-page resume; (3) a list of 3 references to internships@neareast.org

Media Intern – Design and Communication (one position)

The Near East Foundation’s Communications team is looking for a Design and Communications intern. S/he is a dynamic, creative, and organized individual who supports core marketing and communications functions by designing web based and print marketing materials as well as written content when needed. S/he is attentive to details and willing to learn while engaging and interacting with confidence with office staff at Headquarters and overseas.

The selected intern is open to a graduate student or a rising university senior in a related field with an excellent track record.  S/he has the ability to (1) assist with design and distribution of print and digital communications materials using Adobe Creative Suite; (2) support all social media efforts; (3) assist with developing web content; (4) Log and organize NEF’s media library. Knowledge of the international development sector and fluency in French or Arabic is a plus (not required).

To apply, please send a complete file consisting of: (1) a one-page cover letter; (2) a one-page resume; (3) a list of 3 references; (4) if available, 2 to 3 examples of graphic design pieces you’ve created to internships@neareast.org

Program Development and Research Intern (two positions)

 The Program Development and Research Intern is a dynamic, organized, and a systematic individual who supports programmatic research needs by playing a key role in managing, retrieving and communicating relevant information in a timely manner. S/he is attentive to details, possesses excellent analytical skills, and discretion. S/he is willing to learn while engaging and confidently interacting with office staff at Headquarters and overseas. S/he will support the program development unit.

The selected intern is a graduate or undergraduate student in a related field with an excellent academic record. S/he has the potential to (1) perform effective and timely research to support NEF’s strategy and mission, including but not limited to supporting program development; (2) utilize accurate research methods (including properly citing sources) and creating effective reference tools and (3) support special projects and contribute to proposal writing efforts, as assigned.

The selected intern possesses (1) strong research skills and ability to effectively analyze written material for relevance, clarity, and coherence; (2) strong writing skills and editing abilities; and, (3) strong computer skills including document formatting and chart, graph and spreadsheet creation.

Firm understanding of and familiarity with Africa and the Middle East as well as language competency in French and/or Arabic are a plus. The position is open to graduate and undergraduate students.

To apply, please send a complete file consisting of: (1) cover letter (2) resume (3) official transcripts (4) two writing samples (5) a list of 3 references to: internships@neareast.org

Program Support Intern (two positions)

The Program Support Intern is a dynamic, organized, and systematic individual who supports program efforts by collecting field data, support M&E functions and writing and editing of reports.  S/he is attentive to details, possesses excellent analytical skills, time management, discretion and confidentiality. S/he is willing to learn while engaging and interact with confidence with office staff at Headquarters and overseas.

The identified intern is a graduate or undergraduate student in a related field with an excellent academic record. S/he has the potential to (1) assist staff in developing reports for diverse audiences including Donors and prospective Donors; (2) provide desk research; (3) edit documents as directed; (3) provide research support to ongoing program and (6) support special projects as assigned.

The selected Intern possesses: (1) strong research skills and ability to effectively analyze written material for relevance, clarity and coherence; (2) strong writing skills and editing abilities and (3) strong computer skills including document formatting, chart, graph and spreadsheet creation. Firm understanding of and familiarity with Africa and the Middle East as well as language competency in French and/or Arabic are a plus.

To apply, please send a complete file consisting of: (1) cover letter (2) resume (3) official transcripts, (4) two writing samples (5) a list of 3 references to: internships@neareast.org

Near East Relief Historical Society Intern (one position)

NERHS is seeking an intern who can join us for the summer internship term (June -August 2018) with the possibility to extend their internship through the academic year (August 2018 – May of 2019). Those who are  only able to begin in the fall for a 2018-2019 academic internship will still be considered and are encouraged to apply. Our internships require a commitment of 10 – 15 hours per week (ability to do closer to 15 is preferred). Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the NERHS online museum by visiting neareastmuseum.com and checking out the NERHS Facebook page (www.facebook.com/NearEastReliefHS).

The NERHS intern will oversee the development and management of the Near East Relief Digital Museum and its corresponding Facebook presence. This will include developing new research content, inventorying and logging materials awaiting publication to the site, processing new materials and collections that are received, and sharing updates and news with NERHS constituents. Candidates should be data-driven, organized, and systematic individuals who have a passion for history, and bringing it to life through storytelling.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Manage the back-end of the Near East Relief Digital Museum (includes uploading and cataloging content, manage SEO, google analytics, keyword searches etc.).
  • Research Data Asset Management (DAMs) platforms for best practices to incorporate into our platform (word press).
  • Near East Relief materials appear on other sources (Library of Congress, DPLA etc.). The intern would need to find where else other NER materials exist, and embed them into the NER digital museum website.
  • Work with a web developer to add a searchable “Resources” section to neareastmuseum.com to allow for the upload of books, reports, and papers in .pdf e-reader format with functionality to filter by topic.
  • Conduct primary source research on the history of Near East Relief (1915-1930) and Near East Foundation using the NEF’s archival collection.
  • Develop website content using existing historical content.
  • Manage the Near East Relief Historical Society NERHS Facebook page.

The position is open to graduate and undergraduate students. To apply please send a single pdf file consisting of: (1) a one-page cover letter; (2) a one-page resume; (3) a list of 2 references to internships@neareast.org. 

Questions? Email internships@neareast.org

 

Increasing access to clean water in Sudan

group photo at NEF  water point

As the Sudanese people return home, they find conditions much worse than when they left. To make matters worse, an influx of internally displaced people (IDPs) in communities across Sudan has placed a drain on the already overstretched resources available.

Basic infrastructure—most notably water and sanitation infrastructure—has either been destroyed or the existing infrastructure has suffered from a lack of maintenance because of inaccessibility due to the conflict. A lack of parts, tools, and trained mechanics, as well as actual damage from rebel activities, has put many hand pumps out of order, or destroyed them completely, and severely reduced the amount of water available to both the local community, including the returnees, and the IDP population. At the same time, a serious lack of latrines and hygiene puts communities at high risk of water borne disease.

To respond to this crisis, NEF’s teams in South Kordofan and Central Darfur are helping to reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality of nearly 100,000 people by improving their access to clean water, and education on hygiene and sanitation best practices. Working within local communities, NEF has mobilized Water and Sanitation Committees (WSCs) and Subcommittees across seven village clusters (Abassiya, Rashad, Abu Karshola, Um Dukhun, Nertiti, Golo, and Rokero). WSCs are trained on best approaches to sanitation and hygiene, and on how to identify and prioritize infrastructure improvements—from water pumps to latrines. To further ensure the sustainability of the project, NEF helps to train and employ local craftspeople and artisans to manufacture and/or rehabilitate water pumps and latrines throughout the villages.

Asmaa Dawood_WASH-SKS

Asmaa Dawood, one of the Sudanese women who attended the hand pump mechanics training, was impressed by the value of what she learned. She also commented that this was the first time women in her village were included in such a training.

“We have benefitted a lot from this training. We received knowledge on hand pump mechanics so that we— including women—can respond when hand pumps are broken. We are really thankful to NEF for the good service that has been delivered to our community!”

As of last month, NEF has helped identify 1,720 beneficiaries to receive new latrines, and 85 artisans to help construct them—more than 50 percent have been completed. Furthermore, the WSCs have distributed 1,500 hygiene kits, which include hygiene and sanitation education materials. These efforts have so far benefitted over 50,000 people.

NEF’s water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) work in Sudan is funded and supported by USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

Hygeine kit distribution in Golo
Hygeine kit distribution in Golo.
Local artisans at work fabricating latrine slabs
Local artisans at work fabricating latrine slabs.
Hygeine and sanitation education for school children
Hygeine and sanitation education for school children.

Addressing the long-term impact of the refugee crisis

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As conflict in Syria and Iraq displaces thousands, NEF continues to address the protracted refugee crisis in Jordan and Lebanon. Humanitarian aid remains largely focused on immediate and short-term needs, providing little to no support for the long-term impact this crisis will have on affected communities.

With an eye toward the future, NEF is providing solutions that will support both the displaced and affected host communities through inclusive opportunities that enable conflict-affected individuals to earn a living and build resilience against future shocks. In practice, this includes strengthening the capacity of both refugee and host communities to recover from crisis and emerge from poverty through business and economic development, employability training, vocational training, financial literacy and financial/start-up assistance, social networking, and on-going mentoring and coaching for new entrepreneurs. As both women and youth are known to be the most vulnerable during times of conflict, NEF’s work in both Jordan and Lebanon has a focus on adolescents and women headed households.

NEF partners with local civil society organizations (CSOs) to provide these and other services at hubs known as Siraj Centers. In Arabic, the word “Siraj” means lantern—with the connotation of a beacon of light and hope. The aptly named centers offer individuals a safe environment to receive training, information, guidance, and coordinated referrals to other service providers.

NEF in Jordan

Strengthening economic and social resilience
Recent activities in Jordan include multiple four-day business development trainings for 455 participants in four areas of Jordan—South Amman, East Amman, Irbid, and Zarqa. A total of 64 workshops have been held in these four locations since March of 2017. The goal of these trainings is to support business creation and income generation, which will positively contribute to the local economy.

Capacity Building
To establish a sustainable framework for continued livelihoods efforts supported by the local community, NEF held an “Ideation and Innovation” workshop to establish a network of local “Master Trainers.” In May, 24 Master Trainers (of Jordanian, Iraqi, and Syrian nationalities) received the necessary training to train others on how to transform their ideas into tangible businesses, perform strategic planning, implement best business practices, and monitor their business’ progress.

Youth Training
Limited opportunities, isolation, and tension contribute to a sense of despair and hopelessness among  refugees and poor Jordanians. To address this, NEF trained 334 adolescents (52 Iraqis, 79 Jordanians, and 203 Syrians) in financial literacy tailored toward supporting self-development through financial management skills. The training sessions also strive to contribute to social interaction and harmony between Jordanians and Iraqi and Syrian refugees, thereby promoting mutual respect and social cohesion. 


To date NEF’s efforts in Jordan have directly benefited 7,960 refugees and Jordanians and indirectly benefitted the lives of 39,800.

Last month, a bazaar was held in Zarqa where project participants had the opportunity to display and sell their products.

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NEF in Lebanon

Strengthening economic and social resilience
NEF and its partners have conducted 43 business development trainings for over 1000 Lebanese and Syrian men and women. Additional training sessions covering life skills such as household budgeting and savings were also provided. 209 grant recipients have commenced business operations, either through providing services or selling products.

Vocational Training
Over 370 Lebanese and Syrians received vocational training (300 women, 70 men) related to the type of business plan they had selected. Vocational training topics spanned such industries as food production, tailoring, hairdressing, aesthetics and make-up, book keeping, handicrafts. 

Capacity Building
NEF has helped to increase the capacity of 34 civil society organizations (CSOs) to provide high quality and expanded services. Staff members from each CSO are now able to conduct business development trainings, business coaching, business networking, as well as financial literacy training for adolescents. Additionally, CSO’s have improved their ability to respond to protection incidents and provide appropriate referrals. In May, NEF met with CSO staff members and volunteers to significantly improve and systemize the process of participant data collection and monitoring participant’s progress—this effort will make it possible for NEF and its partners determine the success rate of these services, and make adjustments for improvements as needed.

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Khayriye (top right photo) was one of the first few women trained in the Minieh center. She has now purchased a sewing machine and completed a six-day vocational training on tailoring. Khayriye thanked NEF and Hadatha saying, “This project was a great opportunity for me.”

To date, NEF’s efforts in Lebanon have directly benefited 3,050 refugees and Lebanese and indirectly benefitted the lives of 12,200.

NEF’s work with displaced and host communities in Jordan and Lebanon is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development’ Bureau of Populations, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), the Dodge Foundation, and City & Guilds Group.

 

Join us for a special screening of They Shall Not Perish in Syracuse, NY!

The Near East Foundation, Syracuse University’s Newhouse Center for Global Engagement and Middle Eastern Studies Program present an exclusive screening of They Shall Not Perish: The Story of Near East Relief

refugees walking with logos across

Friday, September 8th  |  5:30 – 7:30pm 

Hergenhan Auditorium (Newhouse School)
215 University Pl, Syracuse, NY 13210

 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
(this event is free to attend, registration is requested due to limited seating)

Produced by NEF Board Member Shant Mardirossian and award-winning director George Billard, the documentary details the unprecedented humanitarian efforts of thousands of Americans who saved a generation of orphans and refugees during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and in the aftermath of the crisis that came to be known as the Armenian Genocide. The film teaches us the amazing role ordinary citizens can play in responding to humanitarian crises. Watch the trailer by clicking here.

Following the screening, Ken Harper, Director of the Newhouse Center for Global Engagement, will moderate a panel discussion with the filmmakers, Shant Mardirossian and George Billard, Near East Foundation President, Charles Benjamin, Interfaith Works CEO Beth Broadway, and Armenian-American author and historian Peter Balakian. The discussion will focus on lessons learned from the film and current efforts to support refugees and other marginalized populations in Syracuse and around the world.  Please read more about our panelists below.

The work that the Near East Foundation started a century ago continues to be reflected in its work today as the humanitarian crisis unfolds in the Middle East. NEF’s local teams are working on the ground, side by side, with Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan and Lebanon helping them to gain economic independence and achieve self-sufficiency, primarily though entrepreneurship, vocational training, and livelihoods support. 

NEF entered into a strategic partnership with Syracuse University almost a decade ago, which opened the door to a new collaboration with both the Maxwell School’s Middle Eastern Studies Program and the Newhouse Center for Global Engagement, an organization dedicated to bringing knowledge to the world through storytelling, collaboration, and innovation.  

Parking is available at the Sheraton Hotel Parking Garage (corner of University Ave and Waverly) and the Crouse Hospital Parking Garage (corner of S. Crouse Ave and Waverly).

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For media inquiries or other questions about the screening please contact Communications and Development Officer Andrea Crowley at acrowley@neareast.org. Follow updates on the event on Facebook and Twitter. 

 

ABOUT THE PANELISTS

Shant Mardirossian                           Executive Producer

 


 

Shant Mardirossian is the Executive Producer of They Shall Not Perish: The Story of Near East Relief. In his professional life, Mr. Mardirossian is a Partner and the Chief Operating Officer at a leading U.S. middle-market private equity firm. He is a graduate of the Lubin School of Business at Pace University and holds a B.B.A. in Public Accounting and an M.B.A. with dual concentration in Investment Management and Strategic Management. His grandparents were all survivors of the Armenian Genocide and his paternal grandmother sought refuge in an American orphanage. They were the inspiration for the film.


George Billard
Writer, Director & Producer

 

 


George Billard is an award-winning producer, writer, director and cinematographer. To date he has helmed productions in over forty countries. His work includes commercials, television, documentaries and film. In addition to They Shall Not Perish, he is currently in production on Amateur, a documentary film about amateur cagefighters in New York, and They Call Me Killer, a documentary about an unusual state executioner. His original screenplay, Dispossessed, was awarded the Grand Prize for Best Screenplay at the 2015 Rhode Island International Film Festival.

Charlie Benjamin (1)

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Charles Benjamin
President, Near East Foundation

 

 


 

Dr. Benjamin has over 25 years of experience in international development, with extensive experience in community development and natural resources management throughout the Middle East and Africa. He began his affiliation with the Near East Foundation in 1993 as Country Director in Morocco. After leaving Morocco, Dr. Benjamin was Senior Manager for a large international development consulting firm and a Professor of International Environment Issues and Development at Williams College. Dr. Benjamin became NEF’s President in 2010. Dr. Benjamin holds a PhD from the University of Michigan with a focus on decentralization and local institutional development in West Africa. He is a published author in the areas of natural resource management and policy.

peter balakian

Peter Balakian
Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor in Humanities, department of English, Colgate University

 

 


 

Peter Balakian is the 2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner for poetry and author. His books of prose include Black Dog of Fate, which won the 1998 PEN/Martha Albrand Prize for the Art of the Memoir, and was a best book of the year for the New York Times, the LA Times, and Publisher’s Weekly. The Burning Tigris: Armenian Genocide and America’s Response won the 2005 Raphael Lemkin Prize and was a New York Times Notable Book and New York Times Best Seller. Balakian is the recipient of many awards, prizes and civic citations including a Movses Horenatis Medal from the Republic of Armenia, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and The Sependlove Prize for Social Justice, Tolerance, and Diplomacy. He has appeared widely on national television and radio. He is a Professor of English and the Director of Creative Writing at Colgate University.

BethBroadwayHeadshot-Crop-75da71fe

 

 

 

 

 

Beth Broadway
CEO and President, Interfaith Works

 

 

 


 

Beth A. Broadway is President/CEO of InterFaith Works (IFW), a nonprofit organization that affirms the dignity of each person and every faith community. IFW is one of the largest refugee resettlement agencies in New York State and has undertaken this work for over 35 years. Prior to becoming president, Ms. Broadway led the Community Wide Dialogue to End Racism (CWD), a program of InterFaith Works, in Syracuse. There, she designed and facilitated the Leadership Classroom, a project of the Central New York Community Foundation, which provides training for neighborhood leaders to develop projects that improve neighborhoods and engages neighborhood residents in their community. Some of her awards include: NYS Woman of Distinction for Senator Dave Valesky; Peace Award, Peace Action of Central New York; Diversity Achievers Award, YWCA of CNY and the Human Rights Award, Human Rights Commission of Syracuse/Onondaga County.

Ken Harper

 

 

 

 

 

Moderated by: Ken Harper
Associate professor and director of the Newhouse Center for Global Engagement at Syracuse University

 


 

Ken Harper is an award-winning designer, professor, photojournalist and media educator. He has worked as a multimedia designer and producer for The Rocky Mountain News, MSNBC.com, New York Life, Bausch & Lomb and various nonprofit organizations including the United Nations, the Bahá’í Faith, The Electronic Intifada and Aidchild. Currently, Harper is an associate professor and director of the Newhouse Center for Global Engagement at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Harper’s role in the Center stems from his long history in working internationally and he is now sharing that passion by bringing the classroom into the world and the world into the classroom. Harper holds a master’s degree from Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication and an undergraduate degree in photojournalism from Western Kentucky University.

 

2017 -2018 Internship Applications With NEF Are Now Open!

Brittany Wait, Jennifer Swanson and Christine Rushtion get a picture with Nahed Kayed on his tractor, as per request.

Every year, some of the most talented students from around the world apply for an internship with the Near East Foundation (NEF). Being a small organization with a large portfolio of work, our internships offer a unique experience that allow students to immerse themselves in the many aspects of international development work.

For 100 years, NEF has worked to build more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities in the Middle East and Africa through education, governance, and economic development initiatives. Working through a network of country offices and local partners, NEF currently has approximately 125 staff members and programs in eight countries: Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, Senegal, and Sudan. Driven by the local needs in the areas we work, our programs provide communities in the world’s toughest places with the tools and support they need to transform their own lives.

NEF is offering paid or per-credit internships in its Syracuse headquarters for the 2017-2018 academic term. Internships will start on September 6, 2017 and run until April 27, 2018. Our internships require a commitment of 10 – 15 hours/week.

For application instructions, please see each posting below. All applications must be received by Friday, August 11, 2017 and all applicants will be contacted with a decision on or before August 21, 2017.

Communications Intern – Near East Relief Digital Museum (one position)

The communications internship is geared towards students with experience researching and writing content on historical materials. The right intern will have a passion for history and bringing it to life through story-telling. This position will specifically be working on NEF’s Near East Relief Digital Museum website: www.neareastmuseum.com

The candidate we are looking for is a research driven, organized, and creative individual who will: (1) conduct primary source research on the history of Near East Relief (1915-1930) and Near East Foundation using the NEF’s archival collection, (2) develop website content using existing historical content (available online in our dropbox), and (3) manage the Near East Relief Historical Society NERHS Facebook page The position is open to graduate and undergraduate students.

To apply please send a complete file consisting of: (1) a one-page cover letter; (2) a one-page resume; (3) a list of 2 references to internships@neareast.org.

Program Development and Research Intern (2 positions)

The Program Development and Research Intern is a dynamic, organized, and systematic individual who supports programmatic research needs by playing a key role in managing, retrieving and communicating relevant information in a timely manner. S/he is attentive to details, possesses excellent analytical skills, and discretion.

S/he is willing to learn while engaging and confidently interacting with office staff at Headquarters and overseas. S/he will support the program development unit. The selected intern is a graduate or undergraduate student in a related field with an excellent academic record. S/he has the potential to (1) perform effective and timely research to support NEF’s strategy and mission, including but not limited to supporting program development; (2) create clear and concise research summary reports that utilize accurate research methods (including properly citing sources); (3) proactively support NEF’s mission and Program Development team objectives through engagement in internal coordination and as-needed tasks; (4) exhibit flexibility, open communication and a commitment to learning and professional growth; and (5) support special projects as assigned.

The selected intern possesses: (1) strong research skills and ability to effectively analyze written material for relevance, clarity, and coherence; (2) strong writing skills and editing abilities; and, (3) strong computer skills including document formatting and chart, graph and spreadsheet creation. Firm understanding of and familiarity with Africa and the Middle East as well as language competency in French and/or Arabic are a plus. The position is open to graduate and undergraduate students. To apply, please send a complete file consisting of: (1) cover letter (2) resume (3) official transcripts (4) two writing samples (5) a list of 3 references to: internships@neareast.org.

 

Database Intern (one position)

The database development internship is geared towards students with experience working on website development and management. This position will specifically be working on NEF’s Near East Relief Digital Museum website: http://neareastmuseum.com/

The candidate is a data driven, organized, and systematic individual who will:

• Manage the back-end of the Near East Relief Digital Museum (includes uploading and cataloging content, manage SEO, google analytics, keyword searches etc.)

• Research Data Asset Management (DAMs) platforms for best practices to incorporate into our platform (word press)

• Near East Relief materials appear on other sources (Library of Congress, DPLA etc.). The intern would need to find where else other NER materials exist, and embed them into the NER digital museum website. 

The position is open to graduate and undergraduate students. To apply please send a complete file consisting of: (1) a one-page cover letter; (2) a one-page resume; (3) a list of 2 references to internships@neareast.org.

All interested applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with NEF’s goals and mission prior to applying by visiting www.neareast.org, checking out our Facebook page, following us on Twitter (@NearEastFdn), and/or signing up for our newsletter at www.neareast.org/get-involved/.

 

They Shall Not Perish Premieres to Sold Out Audience

They Shall Not Perish Premiere (New York)

Click on the photo above to see photos from the event, to view the full gallery of photos, click here and use password armenia

On April 8, the Near East Foundation hosted the official premiere of They Shall Not Perish: The Story of Near East Relief at the Times Center in New York City to a sold-out audience of over 550 people. Esteemed guests including UN Ambassador to Armenia, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, and members of the Armenian Diocese, as well as actors from the film including Victor Garber and Andrea Martin were on hand to celebrate the event.

The long-awaited documentary tells the story of the Near East Foundation, previously known as Near East Relief, at the turn of the twentieth century after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, when a group of American businessmen and philanthropists rallied the nation to save a generation of Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian orphans following the Armenian Genocide.

Narrated by six-time Emmy-nominated actor Victor Garber, the film is set against a mix of historical footage and archival photographs, and utilizes contemporary interviews from leading academic experts to illustrate the sequence of events leading up to the Genocide, and the unprecedented relief efforts of American citizens that followed—which led to the largest humanitarian response in history up to that time. The letters of American officials, relief workers, and orphans are brought to life through the voices of leading actors—Michael Aronov, Kathleen Chalfant, Dariush Kashani, Andrea Martin, Ron Rifkin, Tony Shalhoub, and Kara Vedder—taking the audience on a journey from the depths of cruelty to the triumphs of survival and goodwill.

The screening was followed by a thought-provoking panel discussion with the filmmakers, Shant Mardirossian and George Billard, who touched on the historical significance of America’s relief efforts reflected in the film. “Today, as we confront an exploding refugee crisis, it’s imperative that we consider the humanitarian consequences when formulating U.S. foreign policy,” said Billard. The panel also featured expert historians who contributed to the film including Pulitzer Prize winning author Peter Balakian, Carnegie Scholar Susan B. Harper, and Taner Akçam, who recently made headlines with his discovery of evidence proving that the Armenian Genocide was premeditated by the Turkish government.

Executive Producer Mardirossian, inspired by his grandparents’ escape and survival during the Genocide, says he produced this film “not just to remember those we lost in the Genocide, but to shed light on an important chapter of American history when ordinary citizens stood together against a great injustice and saved the lives of 132,000 orphans.” During his remarks, he emphasized that all Americans, and most importantly our younger generations, should choose to be up-standers instead of bystanders.

The work that the Near East Foundation started a century ago continues to be reflected in its work today as the humanitarian crisis unfolds in the Middle East. NEF’s local teams are working on the ground, side by side, with Syrian (including many Syrian-Armenian) and Iraqi refugees in Jordan and Lebanon helping them to gain economic independence and achieve self-sufficiency, primarily though entrepreneurship, vocational training, and livelihoods support.

In a call to action, NEF President Charles Benjamin, asked the audience to be inspired “by the heroic men and women who responded to a crisis over 100 years ago and the impact they made in the lives of so many—by simply doing what they could—saving a generation of lives and futures that would have otherwise been lost.” 

To support the Near East Foundation’s current work with refugee families in Lebanon and Jordan please click here.

The Near East Foundation’s new educational partnership with Facing History and Ourselves was also formally announced at the premiere. The partnership between NEF and Facing History bridges the gap between our history and present day, and will help call attention to what society can do to help give vulnerable populations a voice so that history’s mistakes are not repeated. Facing History and Ourselves will help bring the lessons from the film to classrooms across America. 

The event was made possible by the following sponsors: Armenian General Benevolent Union, Armenian Assembly of America, The Armenian Center at Columbia University, Bob and Nancy Solomon, the Dadourian Foundation, Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation, Armenian Missionary Association of America, the Armenian Prelacy, Golden State Bank, and the Jebejian Family. 

To view the full gallery of photos, click here and use password: armenia.

They Shall Not Perish: The Story of Near East Relief is distributed by the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) and is being broadcast on public television stations nationwide beginning April 1, 2017, including upcoming distribution on May 16th on Philadelphia public tv, June 2 on Maryland pubic TV. Since the premiere, the film was screened at San Jose University (as a part of Dr. Mary Papazian’s inaugural celebrations) and Bergen Community College. The documentary will be screened in Yerevan, Armenia on May 30th as a part of the Aurora Prize Ceremonies and on May 31st at the Naregatsi Art Center. More information on the film, upcoming screenings and public TV distributions, and resources can be found at www.theyshallnotperish.com.   

 

New Documentary Chronicles Heroic American Response to Refugee Crisis During the Armenian Genocide

They Shall Not Perish Premieres on Screen in New York City April 8, On National Public Television Beginning April 1

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New York, NY – On April 8, 2017 the Near East Foundation (NEF) will host the official film premiere of They Shall Not Perish: The Story of Near East Relief at the Times Center. Produced by NEF Board Member Shant Mardirossian and award-winning director George Billard, the documentary details the unprecedented humanitarian efforts of thousands of Americans who saved a generation of orphans and refugees during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and in the aftermath of the crisis that came to be known as the Armenian Genocide.

The one-hour documentary film features the stories of individuals who witnessed the Genocide and of the American people who rallied their country to provide the largest non-governmental humanitarian response undertaken up until that time. Motivated by nothing but a moral sense of duty, these men and women—among them industrialists, ambassadors, missionaries, teachers, nurses, admen, and Presidents—helped bring care and comfort to millions of suffering Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian refugees in extremely harrowing environments.

Narrated by six-time Emmy-nominated actor Victor Garber, the film is set against a mix of historical footage and archival photographs, and utilizes contemporary interviews from leading academic experts such as Taner Akçam, Peter Balakian, Susan Harper, John Cooper, Dr. Martin Deranian, and Keith David Watenpaugh. In addition, the letters of American officials, relief workers, and orphans are brought to life through the voices of leading actors—Michael Aronov, Kathleen Chalfant, Dariush Kashani, Andrea Martin, Ron Rifkin, Tony Shalhoub, and Kara Vedder—taking the audience on a journey from the depths of cruelty to the triumphs of survival.

Executive Producer Shant Mardirossian, inspired by his grandparents’ escape and survival during the genocide, says he produced this film “not just to remember those we lost in the genocide, but to shed light on an important chapter of American history when ordinary citizens stood together against a great injustice and saved the lives of 132,000 orphans.”

These historic rescue efforts led to the formation of what is known today as the Near East Foundation. The work that started over a century ago continues to be reflected in NEF’s work today, particularly, current programs that focus on improving the lives of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.

With a focus on an often forgotten yet important chapter in American history, They Shall Not Perish challenges the notion of what values a nation should aspire to demonstrate, and raises the question of when and if humanitarian concerns should override strategic national interests. “Today, as we confront an exploding refugee crisis, it’s imperative that we consider the humanitarian consequences when formulating U.S. foreign policy,” says the film’s director, producer, and writer George Billard.

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The premiere event on April 8th will offer two screenings, at 2:00pm and 5:00pm, both followed by a Q&A and panel discussion with the filmmakers and documentary contributors. In addition to the panel, the evening showing will conclude with a cocktail reception catered by Great Performances. For more information on the premiere and to purchase tickets, visit www.neareast.org/theyshallnotperish.

In conjunction with the premiere, The Near East Foundation’s educational partner Facing History and Ourselves will help bring the lessons learned from the film to classrooms across America. While NEF remains committed to implementing economic-development programs today to ensure a better tomorrow, Facing History similarly strives for a world shaped by caring and knowledge rather than prejudice and bigotry by inspiring students to think critically and make informed, ethical decisions. As we experience the biggest refugee crisis since WWII, we hope that this partnership will call attention to what society can do to help vulnerable populations, and the measures that can be taken to prevent similar atrocities from happening in the future. The partnership will be formally announced at the film premiere.

The documentary will also be distributed by the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA), and broadcast on public television stations nationwide beginning April 1, 2017. More information on the film, screenings, and resources can be found at www.theyshallnotperish.com.

For media inquiries or questions about the event, please contact Communications and Development Officer Andrea Crowley at acrowley@neareast.org or (315) 428-8670.

 

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Empowering Women for Over a Century – International Women’s Day 2017

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Today, on International Women’s Day, we celebrate women and girls and how supporting their advancement positively impacts our society and our future. 

As women assume increasing economic responsibility throughout the Middle East and Africa, they continue to face hurdles not confronted by men. Women must overcome social barriers, limited job skills, a lack of experience in business management, and restricted access to capital. In partnership with local community organizations, NEF aims to improve the economic independence and social resilience of vulnerable women (including rural and urban poor, heads of households, widows, refugees, and victims of domestic violence) through entrepreneurship, microcredit, and peer networks that provide business mentoring and social support.

Donate today to support NEF’s initiatives to economically empower women and girls.

Watch the videos below to see NEF’s work to support women in action:

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Empowering Women in Lebanon

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Gardening in Tiécouaré: Women take the Lead

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Empowering Women in Armenia

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NEF Partners: Khadija, West Bank

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NEF Partners: Lutfiyeh, Jordan

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 Dalia: Displaced from Iraq since 2007

 

Key stakeholders meet to discuss GBV issues in Armenia

IMG_0687 copyNEF UK and GCCI gather key stakeholders to discuss the important role they play in protecting against gender-based violence and advancing gender equality and the rights of survivors of gender-based violence in Armenia

NEF UK and the Gegharkunik Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) organized a special event that included a presentation and exhibition on Advancing Gender Equality and the Rights of Survivors of Gender-Based Violence in Armenia, a project financed by the European Union and implemented by NEF UK and GCCI.

The event, held on January 18 2017 at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel in Yerevan from 14:00 to 18:00, provided an opportunity to explore the role of Armenian civil society organizations, private sector organizations, and government agencies in promoting women’s rights and gender equality among vulnerable groups of women through the delivery of economic development programs.

Ms. Line Urban, a representative from the European Union (EU) delegation to Armenia, gave opening remarks at the event where she emphasized the important role the program has played in advocating for gender equality in Armenia. NEF UK and GCCI highlighted the impact of the EU-supported project and showcased an exhibition of project beneficiary business products and services. Attendees were also able to hear directly from beneficiaries who shared the successes they have achieved through the project.

The event helped attendees to identify the primary causes of gender-based violence in Armenia, what role they can play in the prevention of gender-based violence, and how their organizations can help support the economic stability of survivors in the future. The key findings of the three working groups (government agencies, civil society organizations, and victims of gender-based violence) were shared and discussed among participants at the end of the event.

The project is being implemented in Yerevan, Syunik, and Lori regions in partnership with the Women’s Support Centre, Women’s Resource Centre, Goris Women’s Development Resource Centre Foundation, and Spitak Helsinki Group.

Since its launch in January 2015, the two-year project has helped 230 survivors of gender-based violence gain increased employability, small business skills, and establish small businesses. Seventy women received vocational training in various specializations, 130 received financial support to start their small businesses, 80 developed career development plans, and 50 women found employment in the labour market.

The project has helped build a commitment toward preventing gender-based violence and promoting gender equality among community leaders and employers. The partner community organizations have strengthened their cooperation and signed agreements with regional agencies in Armenia, aiming to create referral mechanisms for victims of gender-based violence.

Although the project ends on January 20 2017, NEF UK and its partners hope to find opportunities to continue this work, as it is highly impactful and required. Project’s learning, lessons and recommendations will be presented at an event in Yerevan in March 2017.