From Harm to Home – Spotlight on We Can Be Heroes Partner, International Rescue Committee

  • Aden arrives at the Hagadera Camp in Dadaab, Kenya, in August 2011 after being uprooted due to the drought. He weighs just 11 pounds.
  • Aden with his father in the IRC’s stabilization unit, where he is receiving intensive care from IRC doctors and nutritionists.
  • Aden on the road to recovery, with his father and IRC nutrition manager Sirat Amin in 2012. Sirat, like 99% of IRC staff at work in the Horn of Africa, is from the region.
  • Aden, fully recovered and weighing 26 1/2 pounds, with his father in July 2012.

In 2012, the We Can Be Heroes campaign helped the International Rescue Committee (IRC) serve over 1.3 million drought-affected people in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. Backed by funds raised through We Can Be Heroes, the IRC – one of the campaign’s three nonprofit partners – reached hundreds of thousands of mothers and children, treating acute malnutrition; vaccinating against life-threatening diseases; providing access to safe, clean water; and restoring livestock-based livelihoods in drought- stricken areas.

This lifesaving effort is exemplified by the story of Aden Abdallah Ibrahim, a baby who returned from the brink of starvation after being treated at the IRC’s clinic in Dadaab, Kenya.                                                        

In August 2011, three-year-old Aden arrived at the IRC’s health facility suffering from acute malnutrition; he weighed only 11 pounds.

The drought had forced Aden’s parents to uproot their four children and travel 25 days from Somalia to reach the Hagadera Camp in Dadaab, Kenya. Sadly, Aden’s mother did not survive the journey, leaving him and his siblings to be cared for by their father and grandmother.

Despite this tragedy, Aden was able to recover with the help of intensive care from IRC doctors and nutritionists. By July 2012, weighing 26 1/2 pounds, he had been discharged from the IRC’s care.

Aden’s father, Abdallah, is deeply grateful. Speaking to IRC staff who visited the family recently in their shelter in Dadaab, Abdallah said, “I would like to thank the IRC for reviving my child. I am very happy.”

There are many stories like Aden’s—and each demonstrate the remarkable strides that are taking place in the Horn of Africa with support from We Can Be Heroes. In 2013, the campaign will continue to support the IRC’s work, providing expert health care, increasing access to safe water and restoring livelihoods in the Horn of Africa. These efforts are not only combating the current crisis, they are helping to mitigate the effects of future droughts.

Please support the vital work of the IRC and We Can Be Heroes by giving today.