Who We Are is What We Do:

IT REALLY IS SIMPLE – WE FIND PEOPLE IN DIRE NEED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD WHOSE HUMANITARIAN NEEDS ARE NOT BEING MET AND WE DO ALL WE CAN TO MEET THOSE NEEDS AND BE WITH THOSE PEOPLE IN THEIR SUFFERING AND HEALING.

People are suffering throughout the world every day due to natural and man-made disasters that also make it difficult to reach them with aid. These areas that we serve are characterized by life threatening situations such as unstable natural environments or hostile war and postwar situations. These are the “hot-spots” of the world, the danger zones where people are seeking a refuge and the means to survive. We do whatever it takes to reach these people and establish for them a refuge of food, medical attention, and education and training that meets their urgent humanitarian needs in a sustainable, life-valuing way.

As Global Refuge, our mission is to provide an emergency lifeline to victims of disease, war, and disaster.

How We Do This by Being Who We Are:

Global Refuge is all about people and relationships that are life-empowering to everyone. We accomplish our mission through relationships we establish with the indigenous and local people. This enables us to learn of and meet the urgent humanitarian needs that occur in crisis and survival environments and that result from impending health threats, what we call “The 5″,
implement our TRAIN-TREAT-EDUCATE model to train and equip leaders among those we are serving. This empowers them to break free from the cycles of suffering and to continue meeting their own needs in a sustainable manner, with Global Refuge as a resource and even if we cannot be physically present.

To serve in this way, we are an international, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), which allows us to work independently of political constraints and bureaucracy that otherwise limit foreign entry and aid in many parts of our world. Global Refuge assumes full responsibility of the risk this can involve and it ensures that your support and financial contribution goes directly to meeting the needs of the suffering and valuing the sanctity of their lives without bias and for the sole reason that they exist.

 
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The 5

GRI has worked for more than 10 years, in areas of displacement, providing health and other services to those affected by war and disaster. After looking at the largest burdens on these populations, we have decided that we cannot deny the fact that the majority of deaths in displacement come from just 5 causes. We have dedicated ourselves to the life-long goal of reducing the burden of these diseases and will not stop until they no longer kill people who are defenseless against them.

MALNUTRITION
The Problem

Worldwide, malnutrition affects one in three people and each of its major forms dwarfs most other diseases globally (WHO, 2000). Malnutrition affects all age groups, but it is especially common among the poor and those with inadequate access to health education and to clean water and good sanitation. Displacement further complicates nutrition as there is very little access to clean water, good sanitation and balanced food stocks. Malnutrition is commonly found as a confounding part of the other five causes of death we list, and can make it nearly impossible for people to recover from those infections. It is one of the 5 top causes of death among displaced people.

What We Do About It

Interventions that contribute to preventing and treating malnutrition include :

  • Improved water supply, sanitation and hygiene.
  • Treatment of underlying diseases that may cause deficiencies.
  • Improved access, by displaced people, to adequate amounts of healthy food.
  • Sanitation and food security training and education.

 

CHOLERA

The Problem

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It has a short incubation period, from less than one day to five days, and produces an enterotoxin that causes a copious, painless, watery diarrhoea that can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not promptly given. Vomiting also occurs in most patients. Massive displacement of IDPs or refugees to overcrowded settings, where the provision of potable water and sanitation is challenging, constitutes also a major concern. Cholera is an extremely virulent disease that affects both children and adults. Unlike other diarrhoeal diseases, it can kill healthy adults within hours. 

What We Do About It

Interventions that contribute to preventing and treating Cholera include :

  • Provision of safe water, proper sanitation, and food safety are critical for preventing occurrences.
  • Efficient treatment resides in prompt rehydration through the administration of oral rehydration salts (ORS) or intravenous fluids, depending of the severity of cases.
  • ORS can successfully treat 80% of cholera cases.
  • Proper training of local staff to handle prevention and case management for outbreaks in displaced populations.

 

PNEUMONIA
The Problem

Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children worldwide. It kills an estimated 1.6 million children every year – more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Pneumonia can be caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi, all of which are highly available in at risk populations affected by war. Pneumonia can be prevented by immunization, adequate nutrition and by addressing environmental factors. It can be treated with antibiotics, but less than 20% of children with pneumonia receive the antibiotics they need. Pneumonia, in conflict and disaster settings, is typically opportunistic on other illnesses. People with HIV/AIDS, TB, Malnutrition and more are usually killed by Pneumonia.

What We Do About It

Interventions that contribute to preventing and treating Pneumonia include :

  • Antibiotics are very critical in treating Pneumonia cases. GRI provides these drugs at no cost to the patient.
  • Sufficient education for early recognition of the disease.
  • Provision of proper treatment for underlying causes that may lead to Pneumonia.
  • Proper training of local staff to handle prevention and case management for outbreaks in displaced populations.

 

SHIGELLOSIS (DYSENTERY)
The Problem

Dysentery was very common in the western world, but very rarely threatens lives in the US and Europe any longer. However, it is a major cause of death in displacement, especially in children and immunocompromised people. Like Pneumonia, dysentery can easily be treated with very cheap antibiotics and hyrdration. However, many of the people affected by Dysentery don’t have access to these drugs. Ninety-nine percent of infections caused by Shigella occur in developing countries, and the majority of cases (~70%), and of deaths (~60%), occur among children less than five years of age. Less than one percent of cases are treated in hospital.

What We Do About It

Interventions that contribute to preventing and treating Dysentery include :

  • Antibiotics are very critical in treating Dysentery cases. GRI provides these drugs at no cost to the patient.
  • Sufficient education for early recognition of the disease.
  • Management of hydration and IV therapy can make recovery much easier.
  • Proper training of local staff to handle prevention and case management for outbreaks in displaced populations.

 

MALARIA
The Problem

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. If not treated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs. In 2008, Malaria caused nearly one million deaths, mostly among African children. In many parts of the world, the parasites have developed resistance to a number of Malaria medicines. Displaced people are extremely vulnerable to Malaria as immunities are greatly affected by the climate and areas where people live. When a non-immune population is displaced to a high malaria area in the midst of conflict, nearly all people could be infected in just a short time. In areas where Malaria drugs are not available (typically displaced areas), up to 90% of infected people can die.

What We Do About It

Interventions that contribute to preventing and treating Malaria include :

  • Anti-malarials are crucial to treating cases of moderate and severe Malaria. GRI provides these drugs at no cost to the patient.
  • Sufficient education for early recognition of the disease.
  • Provision of treated mosquito nets for populations that don’t have access to them.
  • Proper training of local staff to handle prevention and case management for outbreaks in displaced populations.
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Brian McNeely founded Global Refuge in 2001 after a trip to the Thailand/Burma border. This trip granted Brian access to refugees and internally displaced people who had been at war for almost 50 years. He saw their intense needs, the lack of outside help and could not forget it upon returning to the US. He was compelled to help.

At that time Brian was leading a successful College coaching career that had spanned over 20 years. Brian began his coaching career in Junior Colleges in Kansas and then went on to coach in the Big Sky, Big 10 and Big 12 conferences with over 50 of his former players having played in the NFL.

After seeing the dire needs in Burma and meeting with varying non-profit leaders, Brian ventured into social entrepreneurship, creating a for-profit company to benefit the non-profit, Global Refuge, which provides emergency holistic health care to displaced populations around the world. The Vector M Group, a collection of technology companies that provide information and consulting to both the public and private sector, has allowed Brian to work as a sports consultant to players and universities; which included the funding for the construction of an 83 million dollar football stadium at Florida Atlantic University.

Brian completed his undergraduate work at Wichita State University (KS) and earned his master’s degree in sports management at the United States Sports Academy (AL). McNeely has been married to his wife, Elaine, for 36 years and they have three children. “When you see atrocities in the world you are only given two choices; you respond or you ignore it. There is nothing in between.”

Jaden has been with Global Refuge since its beginning in 2001. His passion is to serve people by reducing the high mortality diseases that plague displaced populations. Jaden has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies & Arabic Language from Indiana University where he also studied Mandarin Chinese. He studied Epidemiology at Columbia University (NY) and has a post-graduate certificate in Global Health from University of Manchester (UK).

Jaden has spent significant time in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and East Africa and led GRI’s disaster response for Cyclone Nargis in Burma in 2008. Armed with these skills and his international experience, he coordinates all rapid assessments after disasters and prior to initiating new programs. He also directs our international programs; working closely with our country directors in our projects abroad. His work through Global Refuge translates contribution into action and makes it possible for us to alleviate the suffering of thousands of refugees.

Working from our headquarters in Arvada, Colorado, Jaden and his wife Michelle live in Denver with their dog Kona.