International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)
In response to a need expressed by members of our Orthodox Christian community, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) was established in 1992 as the official international humanitarian relief and development agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA). IOCC is now an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, the successor to SCOBA.
Since its inception in 1992, IOCC and its partners have provided more than $600 million in relief and self-help programs to people in more than 60 countries. IOCC, in the spirit of Christ’s love, offers emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide, without discrimination, and strengthens the capacity of the Orthodox Church to so respond. Current programs focus on emergency relief, agriculture and food security, education, health, water and sanitation, and economic opportunity in places including Syria, Greece, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, the Balkans, and the United States.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
IOCC provide life-saving and life-sustaining support in response to emergencies.
IOCC provide self-fulfilling and sustainable opportunities for people to improve their lives.
IOCC is guided in its initiatives by a relationship based model of collaboration with the Orthodox Church and its humanitarian organizations, other ecumenical entities and networks, and local organizations in order to increase effectiveness, build mutual capacity, and nurture accountability, transparency, and trust.
Work in Ethiopia began by combatting the HIV/AIDS epidemic, expanding to improve access to water, food, education, and jobs, and to treat podoconiosis.
Prevention and treatment of podoconiosis
This debilitating but preventable foot condition afflicts three million Ethiopians and threatens the health of 35 million more. With the support of our donors, we’re responding with a successful prevention and treatment program that is being adopted as a model by other nations also trying to eradicate this neglected disease.
IOCC has also provided shoemaker training to young men formerly working as street vendors. They produce much needed custom footwear for sufferers of podoconiosis and simultaneously earn a steady income they can use to return to college or to start a family.
Combatting the HIV/AIDS epidemic
IOCC is delivering HIV/AIDS awareness messages over coffee as a way to help curb the spread of an epidemic that has orphaned 900,000 Ethiopian children. The ritual of preparing and serving coffee and snacks to guests is a symbol of hospitality and fellowship. Working in partnership with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Development and Inter Church Aid Commission (EOC-DICAC). IOCC has reached more than 370,000 women and 361,000 male partners with its HIV/AIDS prevention message since 2009, and screened nearly 22,000 pregnant mothers and 12,000 male partners for HIV.
Expanding to improve access to water, food, education, and jobs
IOCC is helping to bring mobility and a better quality of life to people with disabilities and their families by improving access to high quality mobility services. The program provides ready access to wheelchair assembly parts and job training for production workers, physiotherapists and wheelchair recipients, which in turn will benefit the lives of 2,900 wheelchair users, including 750 children. IOCC also partnered with local organizations run by people with disabilities to provide start-up capital for their small businesses and trained 750 people in basic business skills.
Learn More at https://www.iocc.org/