NALA's New Branch in San Diego
We are excited to announce that NALA Foundation USA has launched in San Diego! The director of the San Diego branch, Yaron Lief, brings a wealth of experience in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) solutions in humanitarian contexts. He was inspired to start the branch after taking part in an advocacy visit by NALA’s CEO Michal Bruck in San Diego in 2019. A few months later, Yaron joined the NALA team on a scoping trip to Bench Sheko Zone in southern Ethiopia. During this trip, he visited local schools and assessed their WASH needs, while proposing quick fixes and innovative solutions to address the problems he saw. Following that trip, he set his mind to opening the American office.
On December 8, 2020, NALA Foundation USA was officially incorporated in San Diego and launched a Facebook page. They have already recruited a manager Janese Cassel, Board President Yosef Condiotti and Vice President Aviva Angel, and a team of 10 volunteers who meet weekly. The main goals for the new branch are to provide support to NALA in fundraising, public relations, and research and development related to WASH. They also plan to work collaboratively with local Jewish community organizations through internships and awareness-raising.
The team at NALA Foundation USA is enthusiastic about creating content and educating the community on NALA's work. Hashaw Elkins, head of development in San Diego, stated, "I am excited to work with NALA toward the elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in some of the most underserved regions of the world. Good health is a necessary precursor to addressing the dilemma of poverty. Healthy children learn more readily. Local economies are more productive. Women bear healthier babies. Every area of society benefits from healthy communities and healthy citizens. I truly look forward to supporting NALA as we expand to meet our mission of eradicating these diseases of poverty."