Samantha Wolthuis

Samantha (Sam) Wolthuis serves as Director of Disaster Response and International Operations at American Jewish World Service.

“We cannot stop working, it’s that simple” — Supporting India’s Most Vulnerable People Through the COVID Surge

When we launched an emergency campaign to respond to India’s unprecedented COVID-19 surge earlier this year, we were deeply moved by how generously and quickly the AJWS community responded. Our campaign this spring allowed us to write emergency grants to dozens of our partner organizations across the country, enabling them to support their communities by …

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COVID-19 Strikes All 18 Countries Where AJWS Works

COVID-19 has arrived in the countries where AJWS works—threatening the lives and livelihoods of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. There are now confirmed cases of COVID-19 in every single country that we serve, and though the official count is in the hundreds, there are likely thousands more unconfirmed cases due to lack of …

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Defending Human Rights During COVID-19

The world looks different each and every day when we wake up. We’re all aware of these drastic changes, because we’re living through them together: school closings, the shuttering of local businesses and restaurants, cancelled gatherings and, of course, the mounting statistics of reported cases and deaths caused by COVID-19. In the past few days, …

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Monsoon Season: A New Challenge for Rohingya Refugees

Since the Rohingya refugee crisis erupted in Burma last summer, forcing over 700,000 people to flee into Bangladesh to escape ethnic cleansing, the AJWS crisis response team has been hard at work. We’ve been facilitating humanitarian aid in Burma and Bangladesh, supporting our partners to document human rights abuses, and deploying both our advocacy team …

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4,700 New Refugees Every Day

As AJWS’s Director of Disaster Response and International Operations, I’m deeply alarmed that the global refugee crisis is continuing to escalate. More people were displaced worldwide in 2016 than any other year on record since World War II and its immediate aftermath.  Nearly 2 million of them are refugees who have fled a devastating situation …

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On the Ground in Nepal, Six Months Later

I recently returned from a three-week trip to Nepal, which was struck by two devastating earthquakes less than six months ago. Since the earthquake, AJWS has raised $2.5 million for Nepal. We funneled this support to grassroots organizations that were poised to respond in the hardest-hit, most vulnerable communities. Our grantees have worked to save lives and rebuild communities despite grave challenges.

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