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TUT's Adventurers Club
January 2011’s 'Gifts From the Universe' Project:
International Medical Corps
Saving lives and relieving suffering around the world!
The Emergence of a New Kind of Humanitarian Agency
International Medical Corps is a global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through health care training and relief and development programs.
The establishment of International Medical Corps in 1984 was a development that had global significance, not because it added another name to the pool of international relief agencies, but because it boldly declared the emergence of a new kind of relief agency. By providing health care through training, International Medical Corps challenged and changed the very definition of relief.
Its mission is to improve the quality of life through health interventions and related activities that build local capacity in underserved communities worldwide, by offering training and health care to local populations and medical assistance to people at highest risk. With the flexibility to respond rapidly to emergency situations, International Medical Corps rehabilitates devastated health care systems and helps bring them back to self-reliance.
IMC Foundation History
International Medical Corps was founded by Dr. Robert Simon, who, as a young emergency-room physician at UCLA Medical Center, was moved to take action after reading of the tragic plight of the Afghan people as a result of the 1979 Soviet invasion and subsequent occupation. All but 200 of the country’s 1,500 doctors had been executed, imprisoned, or exiled, and all relief agencies had been ordered out of the country, leaving ill and injured civilians, pregnant women, and developing children with essentially nowhere to turn for basic health care.
Simon began making trips to Afghanistan to provide medical assistance directly to civilians. But he also saw that the problem was much too big for one person to tackle, and he spent much of the summer of 1984 contacting international humanitarian agencies about setting up operations in Afghanistan. To his dismay, each explained that their mandates did not allow them to work in the country. So in September 1984, he founded International Medical Corps, knowing that it would need to take a different approach to relief.
In 1986 Nancy A. Aossey joined International Medical Corps as President & CEO and has led the organization since. With her dedication and involvement, by 1990, International Medical Corps had graduated more than 200 medics who helped establish 57 clinics and 10 hospitals in 18 provinces throughout rural Afghanistan—serving more than 50,000 patients per month.
International Medical Corps has gone on to provide life-saving care in more than 50 countries worldwide, responding to nearly every emergency in the last two decades. It deploys quickly in emergencies and then stays on to teach life-saving skills so that people locally can become self-reliant. Its training assures continuity and a new level of care for those impacted by conflict, tragedy, and extreme poverty. Medical Corps has responded to the world’s most devastating man-made and natural disasters, including famine in Somalia, ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the Rwandan genocide, and atrocities against children in Sierra Leone. More recently, International Medical Corps was a first responder after the 2004 tsunami in southeast Asia, the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, and Hurricane Katrina. It is among the dwindling number of humanitarian agencies still working in Darfur and Iraq.
To learn more about International Medical Corps, please visit their website:
As part of our TUT's Adventurers Club mission, we have chosen International Medical Corps as our adoptive organization for the month. To reach our collaborative goal of support for them, please donate a dollar or more now at the link below.