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CWS Update August 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

August 2014

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 ACT Anne Alling
Iraqi families find shelter at a church in Babil, Durok       Photo: ACT/Anne Alling

1 September— 4 October  Time for Creation resources

4-8 September  Pauline attends International Consultation on Churches and Specialised Ministries in Malawi

7 September Father’s Day – choose Gifted

15 September International Day of Democracy

21 September International Day of Prayer for Peace

21-27 World Week of Prayer for Peace in Israel Palestine

6-10 October Live Below the Line   Please sign up or sponsor someone who is doing the challenge.

Iraq: "We fear for the Women"

Record numbers of Christians, Muslims and Yazidis have been forced from their homes by the Islamic State forces.  The targeting of these communities has been brutal and many have fled with nothing.  The UN estimates 1.8 million people have been displaced but numbers are difficult to measure in the constantly changing situation.  People are finding shelter in schools, community halls, churches and mosques or in four tent settlements set up by the UN.  Most are dependent on food assistance and their presence is putting huge pressure on hosting communities.  ACT Alliance members are working through longstanding local partners to provide life-saving relief: shelter, food, water, non-food items, hygiene kits and protection measures.  So far assistance is well short of people’s needs.   

ACT Alliance with Muslim and Christian organisations issued an “urgent call to stop the horrific suffering in Iraq”.  The World Council of Churches asked the UN Human Rights Council to increase humanitarian support, make a binding resolution to cut funds to Islamic State and undertake an urgent human rights mission.  The UN has agreed to send a fact finding mission to Iraq.

We ask for prayers for all those who can help.  Please support the Iraq Appeal.
  
Vote for People
The election season is the time to raise the issues that matter in our country and world.  This year Pauline McKay has contributed “New Zealand as Global Neighbour” to the Gospel Manifesto.  The Council for International Development of which CWS is a member highlights political party positions on aid related matters.  ComVoices (including CID) have prepared a pre-election briefing on issues of concern to the community sector.

Live Below the Line
CWS is inviting support for Live Below the Line to increase awareness about the grinding poverty experienced by 1.2 billion of the world’s people.  Signing up to live on $2.25 for five days from 6-10 October is a real challenge, and those who are doing it deserve generous sponsorship to help in the Philippines.  Tet Naraval from Developers says, “In just one passing storm, thousands of families lost their very means of subsistence and their properties that took years for them – through sweat and blood – to build… When you give, you will be helping restore their lives with dignity. Together, let us bring back optimism in the people’s lives and be alongside them in their fight against poverty.”  Contact Grace to find out more.

Gaza: Ceasefire Welcome
The longer term ceasefire agreement means residents of Gaza are assessing what needs to be done.  UN schools will operate double shifts when term begins on 14 September - some schools are sheltering 58,217 homeless people.  Teachers and counsellors are planning two weeks of psychosocial activities.  The three maternal health clinics run by CWS partner DSPR report a high level of demand for treatment of malnourishment,  trauma, and infectious diseases.  Every person has been affected by the hostilities, and staff struggling with their own situation are reaching out to people who have experienced unimaginable trauma.  DSPR is helping with food and other relief items.  Much more is needed.  Please continue to pray for a long term, just peace  and if you can, support the Gaza Appeal.

UN: New Development Goals
Negotiations continue to replace the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.  The MDG approach has helped halve the number of people without safe water.  One of the biggest failures is in sanitation where 14 years later 2.5 billion lack improved facilities—only a 7% improvement.  The new Sustainable Development Goals will frame international efforts to “Leave No One Behind” once agreed at the UN General Assembly in 2015.

PNG: Pacific Churches meet 
The plight of West Papuans was high on the agenda for those at a week long Wansolwara Dance (one people of the Pacific)  in Madang.  “It is about time we young people start questioning our Pacific leaders and our communities on where they stand with regards to support the cry of West Papuans...they have cried for too long, it is unjust if we all sit back and watch our brothers and sisters from this Wansolwara being killed and abused, and their land and identity taken away from them,” said spokesperson Josaia Osborne.  

Nicaragua: Crippling DroughtCEPAD
Evelio in San Francisco Libre is desperately hoping for relief from bitter drought that has taken crops and animals alike.  In the last few days CWS partner CEPAD reports rain has begun to fall.  There is hope for a second planting to enable families to get through the El Nino weather pattern.  CEPAD-trained farmers have been able to make use of the little water available but many have lost crops and animals.  They will need help to get through the harsh climate and to re-establish livelihoods.

Sri Lanka: Regenerate Land
CWS partner Monlar has prepared “An Appeal to Heal the Earth and Save Humanity”.  It begins, “We who have lived all these generations through the generosity of the earth, promise to be kind to the earth and to people who suffer the pain of the destruction of the earth.  We promise to stop killing the earth by exploiting it destructively.”

Wellington Musicathon
Congratulations to St John’s in the City and St Andrew’s on the Terrace, Wellington who raised over $17,000 by playing music for 24 hours.  They raised funds for the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees to provide families and communities with water on Palestine’s West Bank.  Contact CWS to find out about Direct Partners.
 
Arms Trade Treaty Ratified
CWS welcomes the New Zealand Government’s ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty, regulating the global flow of conventional arms.  Five more nations need to ratify it before it comes into force.

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