19th World Congress on Disaster & Emergency Medicine
Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman - Gift of the Givers Foundation (South Africa)
Presentation Topic: The evolution of disaster response: the experience of Gift of the Givers, an African NGO.

Dr. Lahad

Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman is the Founder, Director, and Chairman of Gift of the Givers Foundation, established in August 1992. The Gift of the Givers Foundation is the largest disaster response non-governmental organization of African origin on the African continent.

Initially founded as a disaster response agency, the organization now manages 21 categories of projects which include: bursaries, agricultural self -sustainability, water provision, counselling and life skills services, entrepreneurship and job creation, establishment of primary health care clinics and medical support to hospitals, winter warmth and supply of new clothing and shoes, sports development, feeding schemes and food parcel distribution, supply of household and personal hygiene packs, educational support and toy distribution, provision of housing, and the care of the physically and mentally challenged, orphans, and the elderly .

In a 22-year period, Gift of the Givers Foundation has delivered R1.2 billion of aid to millions of people in 41 countries, with rural South Africans being the major beneficiaries of this collective amount. 

For more information about Give of the Givers Foundation, please visit - http://www.giftofthegivers.org/.

Dr. Mooli Lahad, PhD - Community Stress Prevention Centre (Israel)

Presentation Topic: 35 Years of Work toward Community resilience, and what have we learnt?

Dr. LahadProfessor Mooli Lahad has two PhDs, one in Psychology and the other in Human and Life Science. Prof. Lahad is a Senior Medical and Education Psychologist and a Professor of Psychology and Dramatherapy at Tel Hai College in the Upper Galilee in Israel and formerly at Roehampton University in England. He is the founder and president of the Community Stress Prevention Centre (CSPC), a non-governmental organization he established 35 years ago. The centre has over 40 professional staff and has given over 750,000 hours of training and over 75,000 hours of treatment to patients since its inception.

Professor Lahad is considered one of the world's leading experts on community and public behavior and coping with disasters. He served as a consultant to the Israeli National Security Council and to the Ministries of Health, Education, Welfare, Housing, Interior Security, and Defense, IDF, and the Home Front. Abroad, he served as a consultant to UNICEF during and after the Yugoslav War and the Turkish government after the 1999 earthquake. He was a member of the NATO Committee on Psychosocial Preparedness to Disasters.

Professor Lahad has authored or co-authored 33 books and many articles on the topics of communities under stress, community recovery and rehabilitation following disasters, coping with life-threatening situations, resiliency, and the integration of the art therapies in post-disaster treatment.

Professor Lahad is the recipient of three professional prizes: The Israeli Psychology Association - Bonner Prize for Outstanding Contributions to Education in Israel, The Adler Institute for the Welfare of the Child Prize - Tel Aviv University, and the Israeli Lottery Prize for Innovations in Medicine for developing telepsychology services.

For more about the Community Stress Prevention Centre (CSPC), please visit - http://www.eng.icspc.org/About.html.

Starry Sprenkle Hyppolite, PhD - J/P Haitian Relief Organization (Haiti)

Presentation Topic : Helping Haiti Home, J/P HRO and Others

Dr. Lahad

An environmental/plant biology professional educated in the University of California system, Starry started working on sustainable development in Haiti in 2005 in the Artibonite, where she created a reforestation and education program targeting vulnerable mountain communities, in partnership with the Integrated Community Services branch of Hospital Albert Schweitzer, Haiti. This program (HTRIP) is ongoing and has planted nearly two million trees, and was central to her PhD in Ecology, received in 2012 from UC Davis. Dr. Hyppolite was part of the 2010 Haiti earthquake response for the UN Early Recovery Program in the Artibonite Valley, and later worked for Christian Aid Haiti Program based in Port-au-Prince managing programs all over Haiti focused on health, livelihoods, housing, and disaster risk reduction. Since joining J/P HRO in 2013, she has worked closely with the Medical Program on streamlining and targeting service delivery and strengthening community health approaches, and the Community Development program on creating polyvalent community development agents and supporting WASH, DRR, and protection work. As the Director of Programs, she also has oversight on Relocations programs for Internally Displaced People from the 2010 earthquake and a vibrant Engineering and Construction program focused on urban redevelopment/re-planning and housing. Starry has given many guest lectures on post-earthquake development in Haiti, and looks to expand her teaching and academic experiences as much as possible. At the end of the day she highly values family time with her husband, a Haitian public health professional, and their two young children.

For more about J/P Haitian Relief Organization, please visit - http://jphro.org/.

Dr. Ilya Kovar, TD, MBBS, DRCOG, FRCPC, FAAP, FRCP, FRCPCH (United Kingdom)

Presentation Title: Presentation on Children in Conflict and Disasters

Dr. LahadDr. Kovar trained in Australia, United States (NIH-Fellow), Canada, and United Kingdom. He is a semi-retired senior London-based Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist. He is a retired Lt Colonel RAMC (V) with 20 years of service. Additionally, Dr. Kovar is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Perinatal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London. During the course of his career Dr. Kovar has been published widely. He has been an invited advisor to NHS, UK government departments (DOH, FCO, MOD), the United Nations (Bosnia), and international governments (DOH in China; parliamentary committee NSW, Australia). He has advised on strategic health service configuration, hospital development, change-management, UK Major Incident planning, and the operational policy and training of military on the needs of women and children caught in war and conflict. Dr. Kovar has been a Visiting Consultant to the British Military Hospital in Hong Kong and Gibraltar and a Visiting Professor in Serbia and Montenegro, Sudan, and Libya. He has a medical-legal practice with experience in United Kingdom, Ireland, United States, Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong.

His interest is in post-conflict reconstruction and the practical realities of care and mitigation of conflict on women and children, both individual and group.