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CWS Update October 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.

October 2013

Download as PDF or read the text below

24 October—World Development Information Day - Read CWS Update!

8-13 November Michael Earle visiting parishes and contacts in Hawkes Bay - You can make an appointment with him.

19-29 November Michael visiting in Otago Southland - You can make an appointment with him.

19 November World Toilet Day— 2.5 billion people do not have a decent toilet. 

Order your Christmas Appeal resources now
It’s time to place Christmas Appeal orders.  CWS posters are in: Afrikaans, Chinese, Cook Island Maori, Fijian, Korean, Maori, Niuean, Samoan, Tongan.  Envelopes and service sheets are available.  All worship and other resources are available here.

Farmers rally for fairer policies

Sri Lanka: Eco-Agriculture plans
There is hope of some relief for frustrated Sri Lankan small  farmers  struggling with spiralling costs, agricultural policies focused on large enterprises and major weather events.  The Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR) has been pressing for agricultural policies that help these farmers (rallying in Dambulla against rising costs).  They have reached an agreement with the Department of Agriculture to develop a collaborative approach to ecological agriculture involving paddy, vegetable and fruit farming.

Coordinator, Chintaka Rajapakse says, “This did not come about suddenly, it was the result of an intense battle carried out over many years.”  MONLAR has helped many farmers produce more with fewer costly inputs using traditional techniques modified by scientific research.  Spreading this proven technology to vulnerable farmers will have a significant impact across the sector.  According to the UN, severe drought and two episodes of major flooding have affected 3.5—5 million Sri Lankans.  Drawing on sophisticated traditional water management practices will help.  Using “regenerative” techniques will lower costs. There is growing global recognition of the need for sustainable agriculture support to small farmers as a strategy to feed the world.

Gifted: Giving Made Simple
CWS makes giving easy through its Gifted scheme.  You choose the right gift for a friend or family member and we send the money to a partner making change happen.  Growing gardens, vocational training and healthcare are some of the options.  Please order a catalogue or browse on line - there are new e-cards on offer too.

Thanks to the Live Below the Liners
Congratulations to around 30 people who lived at the global poverty line for 5 days in September with CWS.  Together they raised more than $7,000 for the Women’s Development Resource Centre in South India.  Manohari Doss writes, “It really encourages us and the gypsy association to move forward in achieving their goal of living with dignity through their movement”.  The Tamil Nadu state government has now given the work order for building 15 houses under the Green house scheme.  WDRC is collecting information about gypsy school-aged children.  They plan to help with uniforms and materials as well as enrolling more in school. Their story is  featured in the latest Spring letter.  Manohari adds, “Thank you for all your concern and love with the target communities.”  You can still donate to the Spring Letter Appeal.

Syria Needs More Support
With winter fast approaching and the continuing conflict, the needs of displaced Syrians are only increasing.  Heating and accommodation have become greater priorities with the drop in temperature.   A Syrian woman responding to a winter parcel from CWS partner, the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees in Jordan, said “Thank God, still somebody cares”.  Conditions continue to deteriorate for those made homeless and they need more support.  Please pray for them and those who can help.  CWS is grateful for more than $60,000 in donations to the Syria Appeal so far.  Our partners need more to keep up vital practical and psychosocial support.  Prayer and resources for the Syria Appeal  are available.

Spotlight on Sri Lanka
Controversy is mounting over the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) to be held from 15-17 November.  The Canadian prime minister has said that he will boycott the meeting because of the government’s failure to investigate allegations of war crimes and human rights abuses following the end of the war in 2009.  To date Sri Lanka has done little to address concerns most recently highlighted by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.  Attacks on journalists, legal professionals (including judges), human rights defenders and others are worrying.  Protest marches, banners and black flags have been banned for the month of CHOGM.  CWS will write to John Key asking him to push for action on human rights and fair treatment of all its citizens.

ACT Alliance Accredited
The ACT Alliance has become the first international grouping to achieve standards of accountability set by the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) International.  CWS is an associate member.  HAP is leading the way in monitoring progress towards making sure the dignity and rights of people receiving humanitarian and development assistance are respected.

Global Hunger drops, but...
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reports that hunger has dropped by 26 million to 842 million people.  Sub-Saharan Africa has made only modest progress with one in four people undernourished.  A group of hunger researchers led by France Moore Lappé has critiqued the FAO approach saying it is too low.  They estimate 1.33 billion people are hungry. 

Seeds for Life
The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance of which CWS is a member has released a report on the need to increase agro biodiversity as one strategy to help eradicate hunger in the face of climate change.Street food beach style

Indian Fishing Communities Need Urgent Support
CWS has launched an appeal to raise $6,000 for the Social Need Education and Human Awareness to help them through the next few months.  SNEHA works with fishing and coastal communities to protect and promote women’s rights in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry .  Over 21,000 are involved in collectives of women supporting each other to get better working conditions and improved income, including through the development of their own small businesses.  SNEHA played a key role in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami.  Please mark donations: SNEHA Appeal.

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