A monthly news bulletin that takes a look at development issues, provides analysis of global justice issues and keeps you updated with the work of CWS. An alternative to mainstream media sources. Past issues can be read here
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FOR YOUR DIARY
1 March World Day of Prayer
8 March International Women’s Day Support the Women’s Day appeal for EKTA (see below). We want to raise $2,000 for their V-Day expenses so they have funds for the next stage. If you would like to contribute, please send a cheque or donate through our website.
22 March World Water Day
Now available: Share Your Blessings—Harvest Lent Resources including reflections by John Bluck, retired Anglican Bishop of Waiapu and Kate Day, worship resources and ideas for a Harvest market.
India: One Billion Rising
EKTA is one of many local groups active in the new global campaign to end violence against women and girls, One Billion Rising. EKTA has been at the forefront of activity in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. The local committee prepared for the global day of action with banners, handbills, public meetings and a mobile van for outreach.
V-Day was celebrated on 14 February with speeches, dance, a human chain and the release of 1,000 balloons. The energising event encouraged people to speak out to stop violence. At the rally EKTA launched a report as part of the Safe Madurai campaign, calling for improvements to the Periyar Bus Stand after a city survey by college students found the partly unlit bus stand especially dangerous.
In a speech at the public rally EKTA director, Bimla Chandrasekar said, “Enough is enough. We do not want to lose our ‘brave hearts’ and human resources”. She referred to one of the Indian names for the young woman recently raped and murdered in Delhi.
The global movement is reenergising concern for the safety of women and girls. According to the UN one in three women or girls will be a victim of violence. In 2008 it launched an initiative to increase public awareness and the political will to prevent and end all types of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world.
Samoa: Recovery continues
Local people are working to repair and rebuild homes damaged by December’s Cyclone Evan under the auspices of CWS partner, the Family Centre. Pastoral teams were able to visit 781 people in the worst hit areas. High levels of flooding early this year has contributed to the damage.
The Samoan government has declared the emergency phase over but there are concerns about the future. Rural families have less produce to sell because of crop damage and the costs of repairs and food mean families have less income for schooling and other expenses. Help is needed for those families facing these and other challenges. Please continue to pray for the recovery effort.
Donate to the Pacific Cyclone Appeal to help the recovery in Samoa and Fiji.
South Sudan: Peace Award
CWS congratulates Bishop Paride Taban who has been awarded this year’s UN Sergio Vieira de Mello Peace Award. A founder of the Sudan Council of Churches and a strong advocate for human rights and peace, he set up a peace village in his retirement.
People from different faiths and tribes have made their home in Kuron village in one of the most neglected and isolated parts of the country amidst warring tribes. From this base Bishop Paride continues his peacemaking work and advocates for new opportunities for South Sudanese. He visited New Zealand in 2001 as part of a delegation of the then New Sudan Council of Churches.
Darfur: Ten Years On
It is ten years since CWS launched the first appeal for Darfur. Although no longer supported by CWS, ACT Alliance member, Norwegian Church Aid continues to provide vital humanitarian assistance to nearly half a million people. Without this help, the people would find it even harder to survive. Also funded by Caritas, the joint programme provides food, water and healthcare for some of the 2.3 million people internally
World Water Day
“Water, water everywhere but only if we share” is the slogan for this year’s World Water Day on March 22. Access to adequate clean and safe water is an issue of growing importance for people everywhere. This year the UN is focussing on the pivotal role cooperating around water can play in development. Whether it is local people managing water rights or governments agreeing to share water more equitably from one river, cooperation provides a pivotal mechanism for easing tensions and for managing a scarce resource. The Ecumenical Water Network has compiled reflections for each week for the annual Seven Weeks of Water.
CWS continues to be concerned about the situation in Mali forcing 167,782 people to find refuge in neighbouring countries and displacing more than 250,000 internally. The situation after French intervention remains volatile with the likelihood of small scale attacks and no immediate prospect of peace negotiations that would address the underlying concerns. ACT Alliance members are stepping up humanitarian assistance while working to rebuild trust between communities, encouraging more inclusive politics and equitable development across the country and ensuring participation in peace-building and reconciliation processes. John Nduna of the ACT Alliance has called for increased humanitarian support and safe passage for those providing assistance from the international community in a region still recovering from a major food crisis.
Update provides news, information and stories. Reproduction of items is encouraged with attribution from CWS. The current and back issues are available.