TIKKUN OLAM IS BASED ON ACTS OF KINDNESS TO PERFECT OR REPAIR THE WORLD. THE CADENA FOUNDATION HELPS JEWISH VOLUNTEERS AND DONORS PRACTICE TIKKUN OLAM BY PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO PEOPLE IN NEED ALL AROUND THE WORLD. NOW, THE CADENA FOUNDATION COMES TO MIAMI TO HELP US HELP OTHERS.
Ten years ago, Hurricane Stan devastated the State of Chiapas, Mexico. Unfortunately, many people were killed and thousands were left hopeless and without food, clothes or other bare necessities needed to survive. Five young Jewish men volunteered to take and deliver the food, clothes, and medicines collected by community members and Jewish institutions alike, directly, hand-in-hand to the families in despair. Everyone back home was able to certify that the aid effectively reached those who needed it most. The community realized that by helping others we were also helping ourselves. The need to create an organization targeting issues of natural disaster was born and Cadena was brought to life.
Since that day, Cadena’s mission is to reduce the vulnerability of the population living in constant risk, creating a culture of prevention and inclusion. Cadena has served as a collection and distribution vehicle for all humanitarian aid originated from Jewish congregations, schools, businesses, corporations and other institutions to help anyone and everyone, without distinction, who have been affected by the increasing number of worldwide natural disasters.
What has kept Cadena growing for over 10 years is the more than 1700 volunteers of all ages, which include students and professionals in collaboration with private and institutional sponsors, who decided to come together, shoulder to shoulder, to make a difference. Cadena today is an ambassador of the United Nations, serving as official spokesperson in resilience strategies, and an active participant in the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit. Also, Cadena is the only Jewish Latin-American member of the Start Network, the largest humanitarian group of leading non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The goal is not only to implement Cadena’s mission in people’s daily lives, but most importantly, to introduce it into the school system, by teaching children and young adults how helping others should become part of their daily routine. Society has learned that children that start doing what is right at young age, reduce the chance of allowing themselves to do wrong at a later age.
Its volunteers have helped and impacted more than 500,000 people throughout the world.
In order to get the children involved, Cadena has partnered with schools, universities, JCCs, Maccabi programs, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and other organizations. The aim is to implement programs with the goal of creating a better world for our children, but also better children for our world.
The Cadena Foundation today has reached its 100th mission, and its volunteers have helped and impacted more than 500,000 people throughout the world. They have made a difference by distributing more than 1,000 tons of food and medicine, and 1,500 potable water filters. They have clothed 225,000 people, conducted 7,600 medical consultations and 2,500 dental procedures. Most of the missions are lead by an Israeli-trained rescue team of doctors, psychologists and social workers who are also joined by Enzo, first search and rescue dog. A life-locator equipment created with Israeli technology, which detects people who are still alive under debris, has also recently been added to the resources they use on the field.
Some of the international missions include the earthquakes in Haiti (2010), Turkey (2012), Nepal (2015) and Ecuador (2016). They also attended Kenya’s hunger crisis (2012), the typhoons in Indonesia (2013) and Vanuatu (2015), the fires in Chile (2014) and the floods in Guatemala (2015).
Despite their active participation in missions worldwide, all of the human and financial resources for these missions have been provided solely by the Jewish communities, and by private and institutional sponsors from Mexico. For this reason, and in order to increase their reach to help more people internationally, Cadena launched its global expansion program in 2015 by establishing offices in Miami, Panama and Guatemala. Their goal is to open Cadena Foundation offices in every Latin American country where there is a need, as well as in other cities in the United States and other countries around the world where there is an active and strong Jewish community. This growth plan will be managed from their hub office in Miami. The goal is to create a strong network of humanitarian aid and strengthen their ability to respond more efficiently and reach more people in times of need.
At JW, we extend an open invitation to you, your family, and friends to get involved with the Cadena Foundation. Consider investing some of your valuable time and resources to help Cadena to continue helping those less fortunate and to bring some light into their future.
“Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe” (Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5).