LOVE ARMY FOR SOMALIA
$2,702,750 of $2.7M goal
**ATTENTION. WE ARE LOOKING FOR 2000 PEOPLE FOR A NEW PROJECT FOR SOMALIA! CLICK HERE TO SEE: https://www.gofundme.com/LoveArmyVillage
The full story of this movement: For years we've been wanting to put the privilege of having an audience into ACTION and when we saw the famine happening in Somalia, we thought we had to do something.
Our first instinct was to google how to fly from New York to Somalia. We saw that Turkish Airlines was the only airlines flying there. So we asked ourself what if we could convince Turkish Airlines to let us use one of their flights to Somalia? And fill it with food!
One shipment - providing immediate relief for an immediate need.
That's how it all began
and within 24 hours we made this idea public
It became a movement called LOVE ARMY FOR SOMALIA
After a couple of hours, Turkish Airlines approached us with a positive answer !!
And they made available for us a full cargo flight that can fly 60 tons of food.
This first victory proved us how much power doesn't mean much individually, but has the potential to move mountains when we UNITE!
That's why we decided to raise money all together and started this GoFundMe page 2 months ago.
Because we didn't even have the time to create an official charity, Ben Stiller has generously let us use his charity STILLER FOUNDATION in order to receive and manage the funds. This means U.S. DONORS ARE ABLE TO WRITE THIS DONATION OFF THEIR TAXES if they wish.
To get that tax receipt please email firstname.lastname@example.org after your donation.
In 21 hours we raised 1 million dollars. Way enough to buy the 60 tons of food.
So we used our flight and bought 60 tons of special food for malnourished babies named PLUMPY'SUP.
That is the product.
And that is what the 60 tons we bought look like:
Then we took the flight to Somalia to make sure the food was being given to the people in need!
Buying those 60 tons of food has cost us exactly 155,938 Euro. About 166,371 USD. Which means we still had so much more to spend.
So we decided to use the remaining fund to buy food locally. To support the Somali economy!!
We teamed up with an NGO in Somalia called American refugee committee, run only by Somalis. They became the best partner we could have dreamed of. Because they are from here, knew exactly what was needed, and understand this country.
This is the food we buy here and distribute:
- Milk powder
- And cooking oil
And here are some pictures from our food deliveries:
There is a huge misunderstanding that a country in "famine" doesn't have food. The truth is Somalia has plenty of food in its store & markets. The problem is the drought has killed all the animals which often were the only source of income for the people. So without income, people are not able to buy food.
The world needs to support Somalis with food & water until the drought is over. Until new animals are bought again and food can grow again!
For water, we've learned from multiple NGOs on the ground, that the most efficient thing to do is get water trucks to be delivered. Each water truck is about $250 and about 10,000 liters.
Here is a picture of the trucks.
SO FAR, WE'VE DISTRIBUTED OVER 1000! TONS OF FOOD, ALL BOUGHT LOCALLY.
AND OVER 3 MILLION LITERS OF WATER!
AND OF COURSE THE 60 TONS OF BABY FOOD.
This mission, because of all of you, is way more successful than any of us individually could have ever dreamed. But things in Somalia are getting worst and worst, and in many places, people are on the verge of dying from either cholera or severe diarrhea. There is no time to lose. And we need more help.
That is why, now that we have 3 months of experience of execution on the ground with ARC, and that we are confident that what we are doing is actually having an impact and saving lives, we've decided to push the goal of this campaign to 2,7 million dollars.
Just like to our first donors, the promise to you all is full transparency. Funds are handled by the Stiller Foundation, and at the end of the mission, we will publish online all the receipts so you will know where every single dollar went.
Also, because of all the people that are here with us in Somalia to document the mission, we will be consistently posting updates on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, so you can all see first hand the successes of YOUR mission. And also the struggles sometimes that we have to go through.
Here is a video from a french YouTuber "Le Grand JD" that joined us in Somalia and spent 1 week with us (with English subtitles)
We know this is possible to reach the $2.7 million. And if it is then we must. If we all make an extra effort to give, even just a little bit, we will get there.
For those of you that can not give anymore, please talk to your friends/family or think of a creative way, if you look for it you will find a way!!
Congrats to all of you for saving lives.
PS: more pictures from the last 2 months:
That day our truck broke... wasn't the easiest day :)
They wanted to help with the water delivery :) young but strong!!!!
Finally, we will leave you with a picture we were hesitant to share...
When we arrived in this village the little girl on the left vas very dehydrated... and needed urgent help. Just next to her.. stand the cutest smile we found here.
Those kids live in one of the villages the most hit by the drought, they are both malnourished (can confirm that after carrying them), many people have already died in his village.
But, and it's a big BUT, you can see the smile on the boy's face... one of the most precious smiles we've ever seen. May this give us all hope that this is not too late and we can still save as many people as we can. We must.
This mission relief for Somalia is built like a puzzle, with thousands of people bringing their own pieces to make it work. People that refuse to be complicit of this tragedy. We don't have to let those people die. We can act today. Join us today and play your part.
We hope all of you Generals of the LOVE ARMY are feeling amazing !!
So much has happened over the last month since our last email. Are you readyyyy for an update??
➡️ Our Love Army mission has distributed so far 2.8 MILLION LITERS OF WATER AND OVER 600 TONS OF FOOD! (You read it right! On our way to 800 tons now!!). That’s more than 45,000 people that have been helped by our movement so far!
➡️ If you remember 2 months ago when it all started we were dreaming of sending a Turkish Airlines Cargo flight. A cargo flight is 60 tons… 600 tons delivered means we’ve already exceeded 10 times our initial goal !!!
➡️ The most exciting news is we’ve found an idea that will take this relief to a whole new level and maybe even get close to bringing an ending to this horrible famine. If not to everybody then at least to as many people as we can. Maybe this seems naïve to read this, but this is our goal. We can not wait to share with you this vision and plan. We need at least 3 weeks of testing before we can say more.
➡️ Now for the not so happy part: we are seeing more and more young children dying from cholera and severe diarrhea here… Some villages we go to have lost up to 20 people over the last month, mostly young kids. News around the world are still ignoring the situation but things in Somalia are truly getting worst.
➡️ We want to double up our operations and effort now while a majority of people are still relatively healthy. If the world waits for people to be severely sick to react it will be too late. Here is how you can help:
- We’ve changed the homepage of our GoFundMe campaign to include the entire story of this mission. With many pictures/videos of the mission. This means you can use it to share the entire mission and campaign, https://www.gofundme.com/LOVEARMYFORSOMALIA, with people that may not have heard of it yet!!
➡️ We are counting on you.. Let’s not stop here!!
PS: You will find attached to this update 2 videos summarizing our efforts so far. The first is from one of the best french-speaking Youtubers « Le Grand JD » that came with us for a week to document our deliveries and the situation. (His video has English subtitles). The second video is from Casey Neistat!
Sending love & light to all of you powerful Generals.
LET’S KEEP GOING!
➡️ First, you may have not noticed but we are about to cross 2,5 Million dollars on the GoFundMe !!! This is incredible.
➡️ Second, we’ve learned a massive lesson in Somalia: Importing food is NOT the smartest way to help a country! Supporting the local economy is. From experts advising us and from talking directly to the people here in Somalia: the best way to help is to buy the food from small local businesses here!!! It makes sense, if we shipped tons of food like we initially wanted to, what would happen to the small businesses in Somalia that are already selling this food? Those business owners are supporting their families & employees families !!
Helping should be before anything EMPOWERING those facing adversity. We are not an NGO. For us poverty isn't an "industry". We want to think outside the box! For this, HUMILITY is needed! :)
➡️ We still had a HUGE Turkish Airlines flight to use !!! So we filled it with 60 tonnes of emergency malnourished baby food (PLUMPY’SUP) that we couldn’t find locally. The 60 tonnes arrived safe in Somalia and is being distributed by our local friends at ARC.
➡️ Now the AMAZING news is those 60 tonnes of baby emergency food cost us exactly 155,938 Euro !!!! About 166,371 USD. Which means after distributing those 60 tonnes of emergency food we still have over 2.3 Million dollars to spend (and growing!!)
➡️ So we started buying locally ! And we distributed so far 60 extra tonnes of food and 90,000 litters of water by delivering water trucks. The total money spent here on this food & water is 62,928 dollars! (as you can see, much much cheaper than if we imported it from another country!!)
➡️ We are keeping the receipts of everything we are buying and will find a way to make all of them public for you at the end of the mission (probably on a website with the receipts and the pictures of the missions)
➡️ WHAT’S NEXT? We are looking for ways to be able to send food & water in zones that are currently non-reachable by any NGO because considered too dangerous (controlled by Al-Shabaab). We’ve met with 2 incredible somali born initiative named « Caawi Walaal » and « Abaaraha » . Teaming up with Somali born initiatives, and « supersizing » their work with the Love Army movement might be the best way to help Somalis! Plus everyone at CAAWI WALAAL and ABAARAHA is a volunteer like us. No salary, no wasting money. We are excited to explore this new way of helping and will tell you more very soon!!
➡️ Most importantly, we don’t want to stop here. We see all of your tweets and messages saying you are all willing to help. We are thinking how we can use all the collective energy to take this movement to a whole new level and help even more people. What if we…. hmmmm… we will tell you soon :)
MUCH LOVE TO ALL OF YOU INCREDIBLE GENERALS. WE KNOW FOR MANY OF YOU THIS IS THE FIRST TIME EVER YOU ARE DONATING MONEY! WE HOPE YOU ARE PROUD OF YOURSELF WHEN YOU SEE THE IMAGES WE SHARE AND THE MISSION COMING TOGETHER.
LET’S KEEP GOING LOVE ARMY.
PS: For more images of our mission you can follow @Chakabars on Instagram or @JeromeJarre on Twitter. We’ve been posting almost daily from Somalia.
It is crazy to think 10 days ago this was still just an idea.
We want to take all of you on this journey with us. For you to see the fruits of your work.
The cargo flight full of PlumpyNut (emergency food for malnourished baby) is rescheduled in a couple days
To not waste any time, we've decided to come and take you with us to Somalia !! We are teaming up with a local NGO there with whom we are going to be able to buy 60 tons of food locally and distribute it right away while waiting for the cargo flight!
We also have scheduled the delivery of 90,000 liters of water as a start. In water trucks. We negotiated a really good price at 0.013 cents per liter.
It may seem like a lot of water but we can assure you it is a tiny tiny drop compared to the needs there.
We are excited to send you all soon updates directly from Somalia. Our hope is this trip will also help you put a name and a face on those people that you are all helping.
We are thankful for all your support and we will try to keep all 83,900 of you in our heart during the entire trip.
PS: our flights were offered by Turkish Airlines and our hotel/food/all expense there will be covered directly from our pocket. Like we promised 100% of the money raised will be spent on food & water solutions.
PS2: Truely appreciate everyone sending ideas and past experiences in the "humanitarian" field. We are trying to read as many tweets/comments as we can to hear all of your inputs. If we keep co-creating together, we will bring solutions in a way never done in the past!
PS3: some of you have expressed concern for our safety in Somalia, please know that we are being very mindful and also that the storyline of Africa being a dangerous place is a deformed story based on fear, we won't let it affect our mission. We have our hearts full of your energy and we will keep advancing in Love.
Sending light back to all of you Love Army Generals.
PS4: we've been listening to this song called LOVE ARMY the entire flight! Mabe you guys will like it as much as we do... :)
We are seeing a lot of press coverage now making it all about celebrities. Do not let the media steal this victory of the people and change the storyline of what happened: we all came together, young people, older people. It was never about how much money someone has, or how famous, or where are they from. It was about PEOPLE WHO CARE UNITING That's why it worked.
Every general of this Love Army played a role. From the school kid that decided to skip a meal to give 5$ to some celebrities that donated $25,000 everybody's gifts made a difference.
UPDATE ON THE MISSION:
- we are learning from multiple experienced NGOs that sending tonnes of rice/flour/sugar/oil is not the best thing to do. It can crash the local market price and hurt the small businesses there. Plus babies are not able to eat rice.
- Instead of buying from Istanbul we will get small NGOs on the ground to buy food directly in Somalia. We will constantly be checking that everything we give to those NGOs is spent on food & water
- However, WE HAVE A FULL TURKISH AIRLINES CARGO FLIGHT TO FILL WITH FOOD !!! (woohoo!) So we've decided to use that space (60 Tonnes) to fly special food for malnourished babies. The name of the food is PLUMPY'NUT. You can google it and learn from it. We visited the Edesia factory yesterday in Rhode Island in NYC and were so impressed with their work. They are the perfect partners for us because they have the best food to save a kid from malnutrition. After 6 weeks with one plumpy'nut a day the kid is transformed and healthy again. A 6 weeks supply of plumpy'nut costs 50$.
- As of today water is still the largest issue and cause of disease in Somalia. We will allocate half of the fund into water. Some short term water solutions is buying water trucks on the ground (the cost is $250 for 2000 liters which provide water for 100 families for a day). We will get those trucks going while we work on longer term sustainable water solutions.
A big thank you from the heart to everyone that is believing in us and donated.
While we can be excited of this cargo airplane and this 2 million dollars that will go 100% to feed and give water to Somalians, PLEASE ALL REMEMBER THAT THIS IS A DROP IN THE OCEAN. And we need governments, big corporations, large NGOs, the UN, AND ALL THE PEOPLE THAT CARE to play their role, at their scale, with their ressources. If us all individuals can help the world, so can they.
Love to all of you beautiful human beings. We will update you with pictures/videos taken from our friends on the ground. Count on us to make every dollar given count.
We've been heads down working on the execution of the mission so please feel free to have a little celebration dance for all of us (you included!!) And let's keep helping.
Talk to you all soon.
Please help my daughter if you are in the position to. She has given to this cause as well. She has a heart made of gold. She's on go fund me: Carli's Road To Recovery she is dying of stage IV cancer- the treatments aren't working ans we are in such dire need. Her name is Carli Dutton. - mama Detwiler
I was born and raised in Africa and i know how it feels to have no any i mean any option to get FOOD or WATER some have to travel MILES for water in hot weather and unsafe environment. Thanks God for making people like these generous guys who have no relatives or friend in Somali but decided to HELP them MAY GOD BLESS ALL HELPING MAY GOD HELP SOMALI AND IT's PEOPLE.
I have donated some money. What you are doing is great and we need to do this to save lives right now But we also need to change things in the long run. I've been thinking about this for a log time. With the technologies we have nowadays I think it is possible to change those people's lives. We are a throw-away-society on this side of the world and on the other side they have nothing. Over there, the sun is shining almost all year round why don't we send over some solar panels to give them electricity, with the electricity they can other things. they can pump water, they can filter the water. We can change the world if only we want to...
If u have not plz Donte to them because I have and u can as well to save people's lives . In 2 mins you can raise money and save people's life's if you don't want to donate a lot then just done a little plz help those people that are living with difficult lives Thanks you