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CWS Update September 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

September 2014

Download as PDF or read the text below:

1 September— 4 October  Time for Creation resources

21 September International Day of Prayer for Peace

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

27 September CWS AGM and Supporters’ Council, Knox Hall, Christchurch

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

12-19 October Churches Week of Action on Food

13 October  International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction

16 OctoberWorld Food Day


 “CWS New Zealand’s financial support has done a tremendous work to improve the living conditions of many vulnerable orphans and vulnerable children and their caretakers.”  CCS

Uganda: Climate Preparedness
The Centre for Community Solidarity based in dry southwest of Uganda featured in the 2013 Christmas Appeal.  Prolonged drought has made life more difficult for isolated rural communities where children make long treks to collect poor quality river water.  Determined to help, CCS organises local groups of women caring for HIV and AIDS orphans and vulnerable children.  With help from the Christmas Appeal, CCS and the groups have built 25 rainwater tanks already with 10 more under construction.  A further 10 are planned by the end of 2014.  The women are trained to build and maintain the tanks, in HIV and AIDS prevention, and in hygiene and sanitation.  CCS distributed 240 piglets which will breed, and trained the women to care for them.  Seedlings of trees and plants will help them cope with the changed climate.  CCS is teaching them soil and water conservation measures for the banana plantations which provide food and income.  The women can now afford to send the children to primary school but no further.
Live Below the Line
Brave people throughout the land are preparing for a major hunger challenge from 6-10 October and they need your support to stop hunger!  They will spend no more than $11.25 for 5 days on food.  You donation will give Developers the resources they need to restore livelihoods.  Take a look.

Christmas Appeal 2014
Build Hope for Tomorrow is the theme of this year’s Christmas Appeal.  It will focus on partners recovering from war and natural disaster.  Resource kits have been sent to parishes and are available on request. 
Climate talks
Concerned to take action, the UN has invited world leaders to a Climate Summit in New York on 23 September.  Many people are pressing for urgent action including faith leaders.  The meeting will be preceded by an Interfaith Summit, organised by the World Council of Churches and Religions for 30 leaders committed to climate justice.  You may like to follow their lead and organise prayer and action in your place.  CWS partners are helping their communities adapt to disrupted seasons and recover from larger natural disasters.  We can support their efforts and push for more ambitious outcomes from negotiations.
FAO: World Hunger Falls
The UN reported an estimated 805 million or 1 in 9 people experience chronic hunger, a decline of more than 100 million over the last decade.  In sub-Saharan Africa hunger affects 1 in 4 while in Oceania it declined by only 1.7% although the actual number have increased.  The important role family farms play in eradicating hunger is getting greater recognition by the FAO.  Of at least 570 million farms more than 500 million can be considered family farms.   More than 475 million are less than 2 hectares in size.

Sri Lanka: Justice for Chamila
The Women’s Centre celebrated victory when a High Court judge found a hospital doctor guilty of murdering garment worker Chamila Dissanayake in 2007.  Chamila had come to work in the Free Trade Zones to help her poor rural family.  The Centre took up the case at the request of her father and saw the verdict was a victory in their campaign to stop violence against women. 

Malawi Consultation
CWS director Pauline McKay attended an international consultation on the relationship between churches and specialised ministries.  The meeting sharpened the understanding of diakonia the ministry of loving service, and agreed some practical steps to cooperate more effectively.

Spring Letter
To celebrate the beginning of spring, CWS sent a letter, We All Need Water and the Spring Appeal.  It includes a summary of the annual review.

Remember: Sarath and John
CWS remembers Sarath Fernando who passed away earlier this month.  Sarath had retired from Monlar in Sri Lanka but continued his rigorous critique of anti-people policies and advocacy for “regenerative agriculture”.  He visited Aotearoa in 2009.  He was a rigorous critic of the World Bank and milk industry including Fonterra’s practices in Sri Lanka as well as a proponent of better nutrition, smallholder agricultural policies and home gardens. 

We also remember John Ondawame who visited us in 2011.  John was an irrepressible advocate for the rights of West Papuans from exile in Vanuatu.

Middle East Appeals
CWS is grateful for support to its appeals for Gaza, Iraq and Syria.  In Gaza the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees is deeply engaged with families recovering after the 50 day war.  They are offering psychosocial help, medical care and basic relief but the needs are great.  A WCC delegation to Iraq warned of a huge unmet humanitarian need among Christians, Yazidis and Muslims displaced by the fighting.  They asked for greater protection and increased security.  In Jordan, DSPR ran a holiday programme for 160 children.  They spent time learning to hold dialogues, doing voluntary work, finding out how to learn at school and received stationery.  “My mother will be so happy when she knows I received a gift from DSPR.  I do not need to buy stationery.  I have it all,” says Syrian refugee, Nabila (12).  Please give if you can.

South Asia: Major Floods
Torrential rains and widespread flooding are devastating communities in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.  Over 2 million people have been displaced in Pakistan alone.  Church World Service Pakistan Afghanistan is delivering food relief and will distribute shelter kits and provide medical assistance to vulnerable communities.

UN: Debt Initiative
The UN passed a landmark resolution to establish a “multilateral legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring”.  As a long supporter of debt cancellation, CWS welcomes this move.

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