The Words of the Winings Family

Report on Activities of the International Relief and Friendship Foundation (IRFF)

Kathy Winings, Executive Director, IRFF
IRFF International Headquarters
October 20, 1999

This is a progress report on the status of three projects for which IRFF has received worldwide donations. I apologize profusely for not having given a progress report until now but with only me in the HQ office running the network, I simply didn't think about it - hoping to put a report together with photos.

This report covers the three projects of: North Korea, Honduras, and Kosovo.

1. North Korea:

IRFF received tremendous support for the North Korean famine project - "Food for Children." We sent a small shipment of high carbohydrate food to North Korea via a mixed shipment that was given to the World Food Programme. This was just a small initial shipment. Also, photos were not allowed by the DPRK government. The main shipment of Fish Powder is still under preparation. IRFF was given 10 tons of Powder, received our visas, then had those visas taken away because of political reasons between the US and the DPRK in NY.

As a result of waiting for new visas, the Fish donation was cancelled by ISA. IRFF has vigorously pursued the reinstatement of that donation. It was reinstated around November 1998. However, we have yet to hear from ISA as to when we can pick up the donation. Meanwhile, IRFF is now looking into purchasing pharmaceuticals for the hospitals in case the Fish Powder does not materialize. The donated funds are still in the North Korean account and will be reserved only for that project. We are speaking with another US agency to work together on this effort. We have been given assurances of visas from another DPRK embassy outside of the US.

IRFF is also seeking guarantees that this shipment will be monitored and given directly to those hospitals most in need. To that end, IRFF is talking with officials of the UN and other organizations in the DPRK to see that those guarantees are in place.

2. Honduras:

Due to Hurricane Mitch, Honduras experienced tremendous damage and devastation. Again, IRFF received tremendous support from people around the world. That project has already begun and the money was used to purchase building supplies. The first team of trained professionals already went through specific training and went to begin construction of a clinic on the island of Guanaja on the Atlantic side of Honduras. This island was deemed most in need because the Hurricane sat over that island for more than 10 hours. All homes were lost. Therefore, the long range plan is to construct 100 homes as well as the clinic.

IRFF is working with a long-time friends - Christian Disaster Response. This is a reputable and serious humanitarian agency which has partnered with IRFF in the past. The monies collected helped to purchase the first shipment of building supplies. In addition, the comfort kits were used for that island region as well. IRFF thanks all of you who gave so generously.

Photos will be forthcoming from Christian Disaster Response.

The next step in that project will be to sponsor a volunteer team of teens who will take part in the construction project.

3. Kosovo:

IRFF conducted a project - "Reaching Out to Kosovo" which collected comfort kits and monetary donations. When we finally received all the donations, it became clear that the ethnic Albanians were going to be able to return to Kosovo. Therefore, IRFF held onto the supplies until that process was begun.

At this moment, the monetary donations are destined to purchase pharmaceuticals that will be used in a hospital in Pristina. I was hoping to go to Kosovo soon, but USAID reports and UNHCR reports indicate that it is may not be good to travel to that region. Therefore, IRFF is in negotiation with the International Medical Corps and another medical non-profit to assess which pharmaceuticals are most needed and to send the shipment to that organization. Pharmaceuticals will probably be purchased in Europe to lessen the cost of transportation.

Again, all financial contributions for that project are in that account waiting for the direction as to which pharmaceuticals will be most needed. If I travel to that region, I will take photos. If not, in order to save money, I will seek to obtain photos from the medical agency.

Again, thank you for your patience in waiting for this updated report. I will try to also contact various agencies and individuals who gave to send this same report. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at: Kathy Winings <>.

Dr. Kathy Winings
Executive Director 

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