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CWS Update March 2013

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

March 2013

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22 March  World Water Day Weekly Lenten reflections are available

4 April International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

7 April  World Health Day Control your Blood Pressure

15 April  Global Day of Action on Military Spending

22 April  Earth 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. 
New tanks mean fresh water
Uganda Celebrates World Water Day
The Cente for Community Solidarity in dry Southwest Uganda is celebrating World Water Day on March 22 “with a big voice saying Thank you to CWS-New Zealand for your continued support and compassion for the cause.’  Coordinator Charles Rwabambari says this “would not have happened if CWS did not cooperate and support us to construct rainwater tanks that after the rain showers store safe water for Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s groups and their caretakers.” 

This year the UN sponsored World Water Day focuses on how cooperation over the management and sharing of water creates peace, prosperity and sustainable development. 

With your donations CCS has built around 500 tanks in the last four years, saving many hours of water carrying which can also be dangerous.  Health has improved as the children and their caregivers now drink safe, clean water and wash more frequently preventing many waterborne and skin diseases.  They are developing new income-generating opportunities, saving money together and lending to others within the group.  Instead of staying home to carry water, the orphans and vulnerable children are attending school more often and the groups are growing in trust and confidence.  Today they are dancing with joy for the gift of water.

Samoa Rebuilding
CWS is working with The Family Centre in Samoa to rebuild homes and provide support to those who lost food and shelter.  Your donations provided some of the resources to build this temporary home that is also constructed out of recycled material.  The house is built on stilts in preparedness for future flooding.  More funds are needed as crews continue to clear trees, rebuild houses and provide support to families who have lost crops and income. 

Tafaoimalo Loudeen Parsons of the Family Centre reported, “the extensive crop damages caused by Cyclone Evan have coincided with the deconstruction of the central agricultural market in Apia causing many farmers and agriculturalists to suffer a huge drop in income. This is having a double edged impact and deepening the economic blow of the December cyclone.  For many families in the urban area recovering from the on-going muddy conditions and on-going heavy rain is very challenging. I saw at first hand how the season’s heavy rains continue to delay the recovery of dryer, healthier housing conditions which is dispiriting.”

Donate to the Pacific Cyclone Appeal to help the recovery in Samoa and Fiji.

Pacific Churches Meet
Gathering in Honiara earlier in the month, the Pacific Conference of Churches at its 10th General Assembly resolved to support self-determination for Maohi Nui (Tahiti) and West Papua.  Compensation for victims of nuclear testing, education on seabed mining, arms control and an end to the stigmatism of people living with HIV AIDS are also priorities.  PCC will provide teachers in Chuuk to cover a shortage and continue to explore resettlement for communities affected by climate change. 

Ellerslie Winner
Congratulations to Holly Griffin who won the dinner kindly donated by Rossendale restaurant at Christchurch’s Ellerslie Flower Show.  A special thanks to the wonderful team of volunteers who cared for plants, shopping and even a puppy in return for a gold coin donation.

Sri Lanka: Human Rights
The UN Human Rights Council considered the human rights situation in Sri Lanka as part of its review process, raising questions about the lack of progress to resolve abuses at the end of the war between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam that ended four years ago.  CWS is writing to the New Zealand government asking it to  look into human rights.  Outspoken human rights lawyer Lakshan Dias has spoken publicly about continuing intimidation by security forces and others report the shrinking of democratic space.

Arms Control and Nuclear Ban
UN organised meetings continue on an Arms Trade Treaty and impact of nuclear weapons.  This month diplomats are meeting in New York on Arms and have met in Oslo on nuclear weapons
Gifted for Mothers
It is not to early to find something special for the women in your life.  Mother’s Day is on 12 May and our Gifted catalogue offers gifts that can make the world of difference for girls and women who need practical help.

EKTA Appeal
Thanks to those who have contributed to our $2000 appeal for EKTA’s campaign to make Madurai a safer place for women and girls.  Meeting on International Women’s Day they affirmed their commitment never to endorse discrimination and violence against women. 

Please donate to the EKTA Appeal in South India.

CWS staff visits
Please contact church coordinator Michael Earle if you would like to hear about CWS and have ideas for raising funds for the vital work our partners do.

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