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CWS Update April 2014


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

April 2014

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22 April Earth Day
24 April Remember Rana Plaza victims
25 April World Malaria Day
3 May World Press Freedom
3-18 May Fair Trade Fortnight
10 May World Fair Trade Day
11 May Mother’s Day and time for A Fair Cuppa— new Worship resources will be available here.
15 May International Day of Families

Raging rivers swept away everything in their path, leaving people homeless, without food and water and widespread debris.  Photo: Uniting World

Solomon Islands Flash Floods
Labelled the worst natural disaster in the Solomon Islands, torrential rain and flash floods on April 3-5 affected 52,000 people in Honiara and Guadacanal province.  Communities like Koleasi lost everything.  CWS launched an appeal to help now and in the months ahead.  

Local churches were quick to help—one redirected its building fund into relief efforts.  Three United Church congregations are cooking the evening meal and holding evening prayers with three of 13 evacuation centres in Honiara.  Food is in short supply and many of the people have nowhere else to go.  One third of children were already chronically malnourished.  “I do ask you to pray for us that we can find the resilience we need to cope with what we face,” said Roman Catholic Archbishop Adrian Smith of Honiara.  Please support the Solomon Island Flood Appeal.

Fair Trade Fortnight
Highlight the good things of life in this year’s Fair Trade Fortnight from 3—18 May. CWS asks you to host A Fair Cuppa to promote products with the fairtrade label or branded Trade Aid.  It is an opportunity to raise funds for the Solomon Island Flood Appeal.  This year’s Fairtrade theme is “The Power of You”.  Trade Aid shops will host local events on 10 May for World Fair Trade Day.  

Bangladesh: One Year On

CWS partner the National Garment Workers Federation is demanding compensation for the families of the 1133 people killed and the 2500 injured in the Rana Plaza collapse.  The failure of the building on 24 April, 2013 has become a focal point of international action for safer working conditions and a living wage for factory workers.    Read more in our new report and support the Bangladesh Garment Workers Appeal

Military Spending Dips
The latest figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute show a small dip in global expenditure.  In 2013 it fell 1.9% to US$1.75 trillion from 2012, largely because of a drop in spending by Western countries.  China, Russia and Saudi Arabia showed the sharpest rises while the largest relative rise was in Africa which spent 8.3% more than the previous years.  

Tonga: Ama Takiloa Replants
CWS partner Ama Takiloa is concentrating on replanting gardens lost in January’s cyclone.  Most are sheltering in temporary housing or tents  after 80% of homes were badly damaged or destroyed.  They are dependent on outside help for water and food, so clearing the demonstration plots is a priority.  Now they are running short of seedlings.  Group leader Ofa says, “Women working together are doing their best to make living bearable in this current situation.”  Support the Tonga Appeal

South Sudan: Pray and Hope
CWS is greatly concerned by the deteriorating situation for the people of South Sudan caught in rising tensions.  Over 1 million people have been displaced.  ACT Alliance is providing urgently needed help but there is real fear of famine.  Farmers need to plant before next month’s rainy season and there is little sign of an end to the conflict.  Please pray for the people and peace.

The Climate
ACT Alliance is calling for support for developing countries to bypass carbon fuels and move rapidly toward technology that uses little to no carbon.  General Secretary John Nduna said, “We have the technology to promote green, sustainable development. Renewable energy, technology that uses energy efficiently and climate-friendly agriculture make it possible for countries to maintain – and improve – their standard of living without creating carbon emissions.”  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported carbon emissions have risen more than expected.  Poor people in the South are most likely to experience its harmful effects.

31 March: Receipts
CWS has posted all receipts for the year ending March 31.  If you need a duplicate, please contact Emma.   To claim your tax rebate download the IRD526 form here.  Please consider giving your tax refund back to CWS to help again.

Mothers Day Gifts
Flowers fade and chocolate is quickly eaten, but sending a girl in conflict torn South Sudan to school will last a lifetime.  Why not order a Mother’s Day gift that will give joy to a young girl and the satisfaction that you have helped someone in need of the opportunities you had.  Buy School for Girls or something from the Gifted basket.

Staff Changes
CWS wishes Michael Earle and Jacqui Ryan well as they leave the organisation.  They have both made a significant contribution in their time working as Church and Community staff.  Michael is beginning retirement and Jacqui is taking up a position as chaplain to Hospice Northshore.  All fieldwork related enquiries should be directed to the Christchurch office until further notice.

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