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Capacity for Help

As Humanitarian Engineering & Logistics Manager, I am involved with The UPS Foundation and its support of CARE, Red Cross, Good360 and MedShare. UPS’s logistics expertise assists the non-government organizations (NGOs) in three categories:  In-kind Transportation, Emergency In-kind Transportation and Capacity Building.

My responsibility pertains to the third category—Capacity Building. My job is done before a disaster happens and should make a positive impact on how an NGO functions during and after a disaster. We’re basically facilitating logistics, which is simply defined as the movement of goods, information and finances.

A good example:  United Nations High Council on Refugees (UNHCR), which oversees all UN-sponsored refugee camps. All the camps that it runs—even those with up to 500,000 people—are all using paper-based systems to track all food and non-food items (NFIs). I have been managing a software development project that will utilize Galaxy Note digital tablets to scan bar-coded family IDs of camp residents to accurately assign food and NFIs thus ensuring proper and equitable distribution. The electronic web-based option will also drastically reduce the amount of time needed to key in data while also providing better data accuracy.

UPS was chosen to accompany CARE representatives to Honduras, Sudan (Darfur) and Indonesia to gather information which ultimately led to 25 recommendations that would create the framework for CARE’s rebirth. Humanitarian work is an important centerpiece of The UPS Foundation’s work—important enough to allow me to be committed, on a full-time basis, to working on several of those 25 projects since 2008. Also, those 25 recommendations enabled CARE to develop a template for success to address several areas needing engineering and logistical support. Both key skilled areas where most NGOs are understaffed.

I have traveled to 18 countries in the last four years. In Sri Lanka, we were there just six months after a rebel group was turned back. My group told to stay on the main roads as the side roads had not been cleared of mines. Other countries I visited on behalf of The UPS Foundation’s NGO grants include Zimbabwe, Jordan, Bangladesh, Sudan (Darfur), Indonesia, Denmark, Netherlands, South Africa, Singapore, India and Thailand.

There are so many instances where our organized and methodical approach has been used to manage relief efforts taking place every day. I am proud to part of the UPS Logistics team helping to make a positive difference in the world.

Category: Caring for Communities
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