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CWS Update April 2017

A monthly news bulletin exploring development, global justice and the work of CWS. An alternative to mainstream media sources. Past issues can be read here

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For Your Diary

 24 April Remember victims of Rana Plaza, Bangladesh

25 April Second anniversary of Nepal Earthquake

1 May  International Workers Day

3 May World Press Freedom Day

8— 16 May Benny Wenda from West Papua tours NZ

13 May World Fair Trade Day (Fair Trade Fortnight is now 4—17 August)

14 May Mother’s Day— choose an ethical gift.

16—20 June Join Operation Refugee


Displaced women carry sorghum distributed by ACT Alliance in South Sudan’s Lol State.  5,000 families fled drought and conflict but were stopped from crossing the border.  ACT Alliance is helping them stay alive as they wait in limbo.  Photo: ACT/Paul Jeffrey

Global Day of Prayer to End Famine

Famine is threatening more than 20 million people in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen with starvation.  Ethiopia, Kenya and Northern Uganda are also experiencing severe drought.  People are dying and they need help now. CWS asks churches to support the World Council of Churches and All Africa Conference of Churches’ Day of Prayer to End Famine on 21 May and a collection for the South Sudan Appeal.  Prayer and other resources will be available in May.  CWS partner the Maridi Service Agency and ACT Alliance are responding with food, water, sanitation, healthcare and livelihood support across the affected countries.  If you can, please make a donation so we can get emergency aid to more people now.

“May our prayers invoke the grace of God, and mobilise people to bring about peace and an end to hunger and violence!”
Rev. Dr Olav Fyske Tveit (WCC) and Rev. Dr André Karamaga (AACC)(

Join Operation Refugee
Operation Refugee 2017 is a great opportunity to stand with Syrian refugees.  The challenge is to live on refugee rations for five days from 16-20 June.  Operation Refugee Lite is a two day challenge for students.  Eat plain food and raise funds so Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon can have food, education, medical care and support.  DSPR gives Syrian refugees the help they want and need.  Sign up as an individual or a team, or sponsor someone who is on the challenge.  Talk it over with David Lawson

Bangladesh: Rana Plaza
24 April CWS partner the National Garment Workers Federation marked the fourth anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building that claimed the lives of 1,138 factory workers  and injured over 2,500 more.  50 orphans lit lamps and offered prayers in memory of their parents. Declaring no tolerance for a repeat of the disaster, speakers asked for compensation for the loss of earnings and medical support.                 

Ecuador: Thank you
A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck off the coast of Ecuador on 16 April 2016 damaging two of the poorest provinces and affecting 387,000 people.  Aftershocks continued for months afterwards.  Thanks to your donations, CWS sent $1,744 for immediate relief.  According to the final report from ACT Alliance, the 1,850 families  who received water, sanitation, hygiene and psychosocial support were thankful for the support.  The ACT appeal provided 800 families with technical support on their homes, and 360 people were trained in new techniques to build back better.  48 trained leaders provided psychosocial care and their communities say they feel safer and are taking part in decision making. Cash grants were a rapid way of involving families in their own recovery programme.

At the end of the humanitarian programme in Ecuador, ACT Alliance made cash grants to 400 vulnerable families to help restore livelihoods —17% were people with disabilities. Photo: ACT Alliance

Haiti: Six months Report
After Hurricane Matthew, Haiti is very much in need of further support.  Many people are living in makeshift shelters and facing often acute food shortages.  The World Food Programme is ending emergency operations but says 1.55 million are short of food.  CWS partner ICKL was highly critical of new president Jovenel Moïse and the government’s interest in delivering economic policies that will benefit its citizens.  Thanks to your generosity, CWS sent $28,176 last year and is preparing to send a second grant.  If you can, please help Haitians replace lost animals and crops through the Haiti Hurricane Appeal.

World Bank: John Nduna Makes the Case for People
At a roundtable meeting convened by the World Bank, ACT Alliance’s John Nduna highlighted the necessity of a human rights based response to the needs of migrant and displaced peoples and the eradication of poverty.  World Bank president Jim Yong Kim said faith based organisation are key players in efforts to end extreme poverty.

Murray McCully’s Legacy
Terence Wood Research fellow at Australian National University gives his perspective at the end of his term as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Global Military Spending
In 2016, world military expenditure totalled an estimated US$1,686 billion, an increase of 0.4%.  New Zealand military spending also rose.

New Staff member
Welcome to Pam Fayen who has taken on the office/database manager role for a year while Emma Gondwe is on parental leave. 

Just what Mum needs
Chickens, seeds, baby health?  Gifted has something good for Mother’s Day on May 16.  Choose an ethical gift that multiplies good

About Update
Update provides news, information and stories.  Reproduction of items is encouraged with attribution to CWS.  Current and back issues are available