AWR 6003 Frank Teeuwen by Fp05N61


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MS:   This is ADRA’s World Radio, stories from the front lines of

      the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International’s

      fight against poverty and want.    During the next 30 minutes

      you will hear directly from ADRA workers who are creating

      long-term solutions for food security, economic

      development, primary health, disaster response and basic

      education, changing the world one life at a time.   I’m your

      ADRA’s World Radio host, Charles Mills.

      It’s Frank Teeuwen’s job to make sure that when there’s an

      emergency that affects the lives of innocent people

      anywhere in the world ADRA responds quickly and

      affectively.   Well, Frank totally earned his keep not long

      ago when the ground shook in Pakistan. I’ve asked Frank to

      join us here on ADRA’s World Radio to bring us a progress

      report on that heartbreaking situation.   Frank welcome to

      the program.

MS:   Thank you Charles.

MS:   Frank Teeuwen is bureau chief for emergency management at

      ADRA International with offices in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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      Pakistan is thousands of miles away, stretching between

      Afghanistan and India.    Frank it wasn’t the threat of

      terrorism or internal conflict that you got you on airplane

      recently.   You and ADRA were responding to a natural

      disaster of epic proportions.     Tell us about your visit and

      what you saw there.

MS:   First of all Pakistan of course is a fascinating country.

      The faces of the people, particularly the more elderly

      people are fascinating.    It’s just incredible.   The way

      they are dressed, their own personality is just fantastic.

      But, of course, of going to Pakistan was to visit the ADRA

      operations in Kashmir where on October 8th, last year, an

      earthquake struck and killed about 76,000 people and

      wounded about 87,000 people.     And, of course, there are

      three and a half million people or families homes. So it’s

      an enormous challenge.

      What I’ve found on the ground after taking a helicopter

      from the United Nations, from Islamabad was just

      destruction everywhere.

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MS:   When this earthquake struck they really are not prepared

      architecturally to deal with an earthquake, am I right?

MS:   That’s correct.   See these earthquake resistant buildings

      for lack of money, lack of maybe supervision, you know

      these buildings are not really built earthquake resistant.

      Now it’s interesting, to just give you a picture of the

      magnitude.   In Yamu (ph.), Kashmir, that is the Pakistan

      section there were about 979 schools, primary schools, high

      school.   You know how many are still standing today?

MS:   How many?

MS:   None.

MS:   Oh, my.

MS:   Then the district commissioner who we visited he was

      telling us about hospitals, clinics, basic health centers.

      There were about 74, 75 of those facilities.   You know how

      many are still standing today?

MS:   I’m afraid to ask?

MS:   None.

MS:   Oh, my.

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MS:   So it’s interesting that the government structures as far

      as facilities, children going to school, health care, those

      facilities are all gone.

MS:   Now I’ve been talking to people who have been there and

      they say that the basic buildings are brick and also the

      roof is brick so that when the house shakes or twists the

      roof falls down full of bricks.   Is that right?

MS:   That’s correct.   The structure of these houses, they are

      simple.    Now you talk, of course, about the huge buildings,

      the government buildings. Remember that thousands and

      thousands of school children died.   So it’s a serious

      situation.   And, of course, if the whole infrastructure is

      gone, you know where to start?    So one of the questions

      they have asked ADRA to do is to help them to rebuild the

      schools.   So children can go back to school, work at their

      future for a better future.

      And now they have tents where children go to school. And

      that’s of course not really conducive for education.

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MS:   Now this earthquake happened right as winter was coming

      along.    What did ADRA do right away to help them face the

      cold months ahead?

MS:   Well, it was a race against the clock.     When this happened,

      say on October 8th we all know that winter is about to start

      in mid December, lots of snow, not only at the high

      altitude but also in the valleys where most of the people

      live.    So far when I was there last week yes, there had

      been some snow but not very much that is still green.      So

      it is amazing that this year the winter has not come yet.

      Now this of course poses another problem, which is ahead of

      us, the rains are coming most of the time in mid March and

      we’re still expecting that, but if there are no snow in the

      mountains you know what is going to happen in the summer?

      It’s going to be a drought, because the water is just not

      there coming from Yamu, Kashmir down south.     It feeds the

      creeks, it feeds the rivers.     And with no snow on the

      grounds we might be facing another challenge.

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MS:   What do these people do for a living, I mean, they’re

      living in tents now, they were in houses, now they’re

      living in tents and they’re keeping warm with blankets and

      what not.   But what livelihood did most of these people

      have that is now missing?

MS:   Traditionally they are subsistent farmers and they also

      have cattle. Now a lot of these cattle also died.       And, of

      course, they had to leave the land.       And so at the present

      time they don’t have any income.    That’s why WFP (ph.) and

      other NGOs like ADRA, are feeding about three million

      people on a daily basis.    Just to feed all of these people,

      you know it’s a significant challenge.

MS:   Because they have nothing.    There is no way for them to

      make a living, there’s no way for them to provide for their

      family. They don’t have a house in which to go and protect

      themselves.   They are totally dependent on help that’s

      coming from the outside.    What is Pakistan itself doing to

      help its citizens?

MS:   The government of Pakistan has done a terrific job; there

      is no question about it.    Each family will get compensation

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      from the government for a start up.    But that is not enough

      to build a house again.   So at the moment ADRA is working

      on providing 1,500 shelters to the destitute families.

      There are a lot of poor families, particularly on the high


      So we are providing now kids with about ten corrugated

      sheets, nails, tools and we will do some supervision in

      collaboration with the government and the local

      authorities, we will help these 1,500 families to at least

      have a temporary shelter.   But the government has done

      remarkable well. And you need to understand that the

      military is very well organized, they are in charge of the

      operation; things are done very efficiently.   And it’s

      amazing to see that operation.

MS:   When the construction begins of the new houses and I assume

      that they will be designed differently when this

      construction begins will the people themselves be the


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MS:   They will be participating in the building. See we believe

      if you give people something and they don’t do anything in

      return you don’t really treat them with dignity.   It is

      their house so they should have an input. So we work

      together with the community in rebuilding their lives,

      rebuilding their livelihoods and making a new start in

      life.   We are building new shelters for the animals; we are

      getting animals.   We help them in getting this whole system

      set up again that has been destroyed.   (Music)

MS:   You have been working with ADRA projects for a number of

      years, have you gone back to a village that has been

      rebuilt using the system that you have in place, that you

      have prepared for Pakistan for the cities in Kashmir, have

      you gone back to a city or town to see how things are 10 or

      15 years after this very thing happened in that village?

MS:   In India after the earthquake in January 2001 we have been

      actively involved in building schools again.   See ADRA is

      not typically working for rebuilding houses, but in this

      case because there is a donor that has knocked on our

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      doors, a local donor that wants to support ADRA in

      providing houses …

MS:   This is local in Pakistan or local here in America?

MS:   No, it is an international NGO based in America, in Atlanta

      that has like other branches all around the world.        It’s

      Habitat for Humanity.

MS:   So the Habitat for Humanity organization is working in

      partnership with ADRA to actually rebuild houses.

MS:   Yes.   We will work with them and they work with us with the

      local communities to rebuild the houses.       Now that will be

      according to the code that has been established by the

      Pakistan government in collaboration with the experts. It’s

      going to be a very simple house. But it’s important that

      the foundation of course and the corners of the house.        And

      like many times the connections are not there.         So to make

      sure that that doesn’t happen again you need to have

      connections, you need the wall, the roof, you know make

      sure that this is in place.       And no short cuts.

MS:   Well, that is amazing. Here is ADRA International and other

      NGOs who are coming together to create a new hope, a new

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      world basically for these people who have everything taken

      away from them.   That is a very beautiful illustration of

      what we should be doing as a community.     Frank let me ask

      you this question.    I’ve asked others, I want to ask you,

      are we being more responsive as the years go by?      There

      have always been disasters, but there seems to be a

      different feeling or a different spirit about this relief

      work now then there has been 5, 10, 15 years ago.

MS:   You are absolutely right.    See typically and traditionally

      ADRA was not a first responder.      Because to be able to

      respond as quickly, within 24 hours, we have always left

      that more or less to other organizations, we’ve always been

      actively involved in the recovery, in the rehabilitation of

      a community.   And the trend is more and more that we be

      there on the ground within 24 hours. That is our strategy

      now and we are shifting to that strategy more and more.

      Why?   There are reasons for that.    First of all,

      governments, including the United States government, they

      want to be on the ground in that particular area within 24

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      hours, because people see these images on television and

      people want their governments to be there and use their tax

      money to provide immediate assistance to people that suffer

      so much.   So it is a trend really set by governments that

      if you’re not on the ground within 24 to 48 hours others

      will of course be on the ground and it will be much harder

      to get funds for the recovery phase.

MS:   Here is a situation where the media actually is a friend to

      relief work because it puts the images in front of the

      people. We’ve talked in the past how the media sometimes is

      forgetful and when the cameras move on the support for that

      particular disaster wanes.    But here we’re saying the media

      is actually helping make relief organizations and

      governments more responsive and that’s good news.

MS:   That’s good news.   See life for instance now as we speak

      Charles there is a famine developing in Africa again, you

      know like in Kenya where I was a couple of weeks ago, in

      northern Kenya three and a half million people face food

      shortages, serious food shortages. Now we don’t see that in

      the newspapers yet, a little report here and there, you

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      know a little article here and there, but not the massive

      media attention.

      That will come shortly when people start dying and when

      people see the images on television. Then the people say we

      need to respond.   And then, of course, money will be

      available to NGOs to respond in a massive way.   But it

      takes the media to draw the attention of the public, of the

      governments that something needs to be done to solve and

      meet the needs of people.    (Music)

MS:   We’ll return to ADRA’s World Radio in just a moment.    If

      you’d like to learn more about how ADRA meets the needs of

      millions around the globe, log onto    That’s

      www.a-d-r-a.o-r-g.    Here you’ll find amazing stories and

      heartwarming testimonials, highlighting the changes in

      people’s lives made possible by the work of this well

      respected organization.    See the faces behind the voices in

      this radio program and learn how you can play a part in

      ADRA’s outreach.   Or call 1-800-424-ADRA for more


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      We’ll repeat that web address and phone number again at the

      end of the show.    Thanks in advance for your support, and

      now back to ADRA’s World Radio.    (Music) We’re talking with

      Frank Teeuwen, he is the bureau chief for emergency

      management at ADRA International. He just got back just a

      few days ago from visiting the Pakistan situation in

      Kashmir where many, many people have died and many more

      people are homeless after the earthquake that took place in

      the fall of 2005.

      Frank you mentioned a helicopter ride at the beginning of

      the report in this program, but there is more to that

      chopper ride than we talked about.    You don’t like flying

      in helicopters I understand. Tell us about that journey

      from the U.N. headquarters out into the field.

MS:   Well, you’re quite correct, I don’t like helicopters.    Why?

      For a number of reasons.    Of course when it stops you go

      down right away … that’s what I’m told, I don’t have the

      experience, so don’t get any illusions there.    But I just

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      don’t feel this is the greatest place for me to be in a

      helicopter. I can think of other places.    And so, yes, I’ll

      use helicopters.   In Pakistan when you want to go to

      Kashmir you can go by car and I’m told the road was

      reasonable but it is very dangerous, you know you can have

      land slides, you can have a breakdown. There are all kinds

      of unexpected experiences that come your way. So it is

      safer I’m told, and statistically it’s true, Charles,

      statistically it is safer.

MS:   So you’ll go with that statistic.   (Laughter)

MS:   When I step in that helicopter then I remember the

      statistics, you know this is the safest way, you know

      Frank, come on, this is the best way to go.    So it’s only a

      33 minute ride.    I was lucky because two days a week it is

      a four-hour ride because they make the rounds and the last

      place they go to is Bog.   So I was lucky that both times it

      was the first stop.

      And it’s of course with all the NGOs and other U.N.

      personnel that is the best way to go.    There are 22 U.N.

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choppers in Kashmir. Now this was for passengers.     And it

ca be easily transformed into freight. But you need to

remember that these choppers they play an extremely

important role. They drop foods, they drop non-food items,

they are crucial in terrain like in Kashmir where people

live at the high altitudes.     So without the choppers we

could never, ever reach these people.

So the role of the choppers, the U.N. choppers they were

Russian helicopters with a Russian crew, they are playing a

very vital role.   And the U.N. is constantly looking for

donors to cover these costs.     If you want to make a quick

visit that is the way to go.     It’s safe, it’s quick, it’s

reliable.   So, yes, I always tell myself this is the best

way to go, because a landslide, I’ve been driving to

Kashmir in the past and it took us almost a day to get

there even from Islamabad from Musafarabad (ph.), because

of the road conditions.   So it was a reminder of what a

chopper ride is all about, yes.

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MS:   So the chopper was the lesser of the two evils as far as

      you’re concerned.

MS:   Absolutely.   And, of course, you had a … there was the

      other side of the coin here, you had a terrific view if you

      can use that word of all the damage that had been done,

      because it’s not that high that you fly, about 5,000 feet,

      but the ground of course there are ravines and high

      mountains that you have to pass, but in particular you saw

      the camps.    Now one of the things that we need to mention

      is that there are houses still standing, not all houses

      have been destroyed, and you have a lot of host families

      that have taken the refugees into their home, like it

      always happens in that kind of situation.

      So, yes, there are those millions of people homeless, but

      there are also, we need to pay gratitude to those host

      families that have taken in complete strangers, many times,

      of course, families.   But when I was working there somebody

      told me you know this is my host family. I was thinking to

      myself what would I do if there was an earthquake and my

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      house was still standing, would I take complete strangers

      into my house and provide them with food and provide them

      with a bed, provide them with a place to sleep?

      That question pops up in my mind, what would I do if my

      house was still standing, would I take 15 people in my

      house and give them a place to stay?

MS:   This has happened of course after Katrina here in this

      country, and with mixed results, and it works sometimes and

      sometimes it doesn’t.   It’s probably the same in Pakistan.

MS:   Absolutely.   Basically people are all the same.

MS:   We want to think that we would that it would be okay.    So

      we’ll just go with that thought.

MS:   Yes.   (Music)

MS:   Now you take the chopper ride, you come in and you see the

      ground, you see the rubble that is there, and you see the

      houses that are still standing, talk to us about the

      people, you mentioned at the beginning of the program that

      they have a beautiful countenance about them.   I understand

      that they are an independent type of people. How would you

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      describe the Kashmir people?      Are they warm and friendly?

      Do they smile a lot?   Tell us about the people.

MS:   You know there are few places where I’ve been where you

      feel at home.   And one of the places is in Kashmir.

      Everywhere you go at the end of the day I don’t know how

      many litters or gallons of tea I was served that day.      But

      everywhere you go you get tea, so people are very friendly

      and very open to visitors.     And, of course, the visitors

      have brought them a lot of good things in their misery.

      When you talk to people it’s always in their eyes that

      hope, you know there’s a tomorrow.      And, of course, they

      have had a tough life.

      You know Kashmir disputed between India and Pakistan; it’s

      not an area where it’s safe.      Many places is safe, but not

      some areas. And when you talk to people they’re looking to

      the future, looking to tomorrow.      Yes, there is a misery

      and there is a sorrow, but I was amazed that people don’t

      stop on October 8th, the world did not stop there for them.

      Yes, they did bury their loved ones, there are many people,

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      thousands of people injured and yes they have had a

      setback, but they are willing to start again and to build

      up that which has been destroyed.

MS:   Where does that kind of resilience come from?     Why are they

      the way they are?

MS:   I think because people are used to a tough life where

      things are not working and they have to make it work.      See

      if my life goes off, you know I can’t do this anymore.     I

      can’t wash my clothes and what shall I do in the evening, I

      can’t watch my favorite program in the evening. There,

      okay, this happened, it’s part of like, and, of course

      their whole lifestyle is different.      But I think there is a

      little bit more satisfaction with what they have.     And, of

      course, people say they don’t know our way of life, which

      is true.

      Although don’t be mistaken there they see our movies, they

      watch our movies.   So they know some, you know at least get

      a glimpse of our lifestyle.      But it seems to me that people

      and nature are more one and more focused on what is

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      possible and not what’s impossible.    I think they’re more

      realistic, their expectations maybe are lower.    Not as far

      as education is concerned for their children maybe and not

      as far as health care is concerned, but they know their


      Remember these people don’t live with a credit card so they

      only can buy if they have money. And if they have no money

      or they cannot trade for something else then they have to

      be satisfied with what they have.

MS:   Well, we have a lot to learn from those people I would say.

      We who are of the selfish society here in this country and

      other well developed countries, we have a lot to learn from

      those who are huddling in those tents waiting for the

      rebuilding of their lives.

MS:   Now don’t be mistaken Charles we are all materialistic,


MS:   Yes.

MS:   It’s not like their materialism is not important, yes, it

      is important because people want to have things, like we

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      want to have things, you know but I think they know more of

      the limitations.   Now people say yeah, but of course it is

      not available.   Everything is available.   If you want it,

      if you have the bucks you can buy everything. You may have

      to go to Musafarabad, you may have to Islamabad, but it is

      there.   But if you have no money then be happy with what

      you have.

      Apart from the academic (ph.) development we need to make

      sure that people learn skills.   Where do you find a good

      masoner (ph.), where do you find a good carpenter, those

      are the things that the world needs, I think also in these


MS:   So in the work of ADRA, in the reconstruction that ADRA

      does and in the educating the organization really centers

      on the basic education to learn that skill, to learn how to

      read and write, so that these people have the skills

      necessary to improve their life when opportunities arise.

      Is that what you’re saying?

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MS:   Correct.   And see of course what ADRA is really involved

      in, the groundwork, is how to improve the methodology of

      our agriculture.   That’s why we have vocational schools

      that we support so then people can start working on

      improving their skills. Adult education that people can

      read and write, that they do some basic math so they know

      what the value is of stuff and how to add, so that they

      aren’t going to be cheated.      So these are vocational skills

      that will take a person further.

MS:   Well, ADRA is facing challenges on all levels and I think

      that the work of ADRA in the past is an indicator of what

      it will do in the future.   I think ADRA is up to the task.

      Do you believe that too Frank Teeuwen?

MS:   Absolutely.   And you know what, like you said in the

      beginning we were always the second phase responder and now

      we see the trend, we are getting on the ground and getting

      ourselves better organized to be a first responder. And

      that I think our supporters who are praying for us who are

      also sharing with their finances to support the program, I

      think that’s what they would like others to do, to be there

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      for the people that are suffering, to alleviate some of the

      suffering and the pain that people go through when they

      lose loved ones, when they have to visit their loved ones

      in the hospitals, when they have lost their livelihood ADRA

      is there for them.

      And together, in consultation with them, we start building

      their lives again, one life at a time, but together we can

      make it better.

MS:   Frank Teeuwen is bureau chief for emergency management at

      ADRA International.     Frank it’s always a pleasure to talk

      to you and to have you share with us what you have seen and

      to learn the positive work of ADRA in some very negative

      situations in the world.    Please know that ADRA supporters

      everywhere are proud of the work that you and your office

      are doing and thank you for sharing your insights today.

      We’re glad you made it home safe and sound and don’t take

      any chopper rides this week, okay?

MS:   Not this weekend, no.

MS:   Okay.   Bye bye.

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MS:   Bye bye.

MS:   (Music) To learn more about today’s guest and this life

      changing Adventist Development and Relief Agency

      International project log onto    That’s www.a-

      d-r-a.o-r-g.   Or call 1-800-424-ADRA.    That’s 1-800-424-

      2372.   Discover the different ways you can partner with

      ADRA and become a vital part of this global ministry.    And

      please keep these men and women who are on the front lines

      every day in your thoughts and prayers.    Show your support

      as they continue changing the world one life at a time.


                            [END OF TAPE]


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