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CWS October Update

October 2012

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CWS Regional Forums
Find out more about the Christmas Appeal. Contact CWS or follow link for details:

Dunedin Oct. 30, 5:30 – 7pm All Saints; Oct.31, 10:30 – 12 noon, Knox
Wellington Nov 6, 10:30am – 12 noon and 5:30 – 7pm, St John’s in the City Presbyterian.
Napier Nov.13, 5:30 – 7pm, St Paul’s Presbyterian.
Taradale Nov. 15, 10:30 am – 12 noon, All Saints Anglican.
Whangarei Nov.20, 10 am – 12 noon, St John’s Cooperating.
Auckland Nov. 21, 10 am – 12 noon, Lynfield Community Church; Nov.21, 7-9 pm, St Paul’s Methodist, Remuera;Nov.22, 10am -12 noon, St John the Baptist Anglican: Nov.22, 1:30 - 3:30pm, Trinity Methodist, Pakuranga.
Tauranga Nov. 23, 5:30 – 8:30 pm at Wesley.
Hamilton Nov. 24, 10 am – 1 pm Chartwell Cooperating Parish

Plantation workers march for their land and dignity

We want our Lands Back!

The Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (Monlar) has made food sovereignty a priority. They work with poor peasant farmers to grow more and better food using improved agro-ecological methods. Land is critical to their future development. Tamil workers brought from India to work in the rubber, coffee and tea plantations are extremely poor, living in small one room dwellings. With their own land, they would have food and opportunity.

Monlar reports, “The Government has also declared its intention to distribute land in the plantations that is kept uncultivated or underutilised. The land is to be broken up into two acre plots and distributed. It is not clear whether this land will be sold to private buyers or given to plantation worker families

“Monlar has demanded that this land should be given to plantation people and to landless families, and with guidance and assistance to transform this land into agroforestry and ecological agriculture. However, the plan of the government is likely to differ from our proposals. So, it has become necessary to initiate a very large campaign to get this plan altered….

“It is primarily necessary to ensure that plantation people are offered full opportunities to become dignified citizens of the country by providing the possibilities of owning land, building their own housing, having full opportunities of education and access to other livelihoods, improved nutrition and health facilities.

“Secondly, it is very important to adopt methods of conservation in the hill country since it is the main source of water for the whole country. Preventing soil erosion is another essential need.” Support Monlar’s efforts through this year’s Christmas Appeal.

Give a Gift that lasts
Giving is at the heart of Christmas. This year choose from CWS’s Gifted catalogue to make sure that your gift counts twice—once for your friend or loved one and once for a community project that helps people out of poverty.

Christmas Appeal Resources
The 2012 Christmas Appeal tells stories of CWS partners working to save land and livelihoods. Our partners need all the help they can get in dealing with multiples challenges. For copies of the resources, to ask for a speaker or offers of new fundraising opportunities please contact Mandla at 03 3669 274.

We can feed the World
The Food and Agriculture Organisation’s latest report, The State of Food Insecurity, estimates 870 million people are chronically hungry, one in eight people. Global efforts to reduce hunger have declined since 2007/8. The FAO argues with renewed efforts the world can reach the UN Millennium Development Goal of halving malnourishment. Investment in agriculture especially in women smallholders will be most effective in reducing extreme poverty.

The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance of which CWS is a member provides a strong case in its new report, Nourishing the World: Scaling up Agroecology. The report gives numerous examples of the successful use of agro-ecological methods building on traditional knowledge and existing best practice. Such an approach followed by many CWS partners offers a sustainable future for many poor communities.

Vote Palestine
The Palestinian Authority has announced that it will be seeking admission to the UN as a non-member state around November 29. Those interested might like to write to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Murray McCully asking the New Zealand Government to support their request.

South Sudan Agreement
CWS partner, the Maridi Service Agency was relieved with the progress on the dispute between Sudan and South Sudan. Coordinator Wadalla Peter reports, “Indeed everybody was happy when the two presidents reached these agreements on security and economic issues.
We believe that the agreements will help rescue the economic difficulties South Sudan is currently facing. We hope the agreements will be honoured and respected by the two Governments. President Bashir from yesterday has already opened the border for trading between the two countries. This seems to be a good beginning towards honouring the agreements.”

This month the South Sudanese government has ordered the resumption of oil production. The two governments agreed on a demilitarized buffer zone but fighting continues in the Nuba mountains and South Kordofan.

Live Below the Line
Thanks to the 32 people who lived on $2.25 for five days and for those who sponsored them. Archbishop David Moxon reports on his experience:

"Living on $2.25 per day as part of the below the line project straight away introduced you to the experience of hunger, because you aren't getting the roughage and the filling, as well as the protein that you normally need to function well on. To live below the line means you have to plan to live on bulk rice, lentils and only one or two vege portions or say one egg for the week. There are sensations of light headedness, a little dizziness and a little confusion at times, especially after the first three or four days. You are a little more on edge and don't make the best decisions all the time.

“This experience made me realise what hunger can do, even for a short time, as well as how richly a number of us live most of the time. The week strengthened my resolve to be part of hunger relief and aid agency fundraising in the future having actually felt what it was like, as well as a wakeup call to the fact that to many New Zealand school children share a similar experience as we have learned from the recent child poverty research here. It is a privilege to be associated with your Christian World Service mission.”

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