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CWS Update August 2015

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 2015

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For Your Diary
1 September  Fast for the Climate
1 September—4 October Time for Creation
15 September International Day of Democracy
21 September International Day of Prayer for Peace
21- 27 September World Week of Prayer for Peace in Israel Palestine


South Sudan: Help Needed in Maridi
Maridi Service Agency is asking for funds to replace textbooks and furniture looted in the town’s schools during fighting in early June (pictured above).  According to the UN 35,000 people were displaced and much of the town destroyed.  Families were divided as women and children fled to neighbouring counties.  Wadalla Peter of Maridi Service Agency reports people have resumed cultivation and the UN has delivered emergency relief supplies. If you can help, please donate to the South Sudan Appeal or buy Footballs and Books through Gifted.

Writing the day before President Kiir finally signed the latest peace deal in South Sudan, Wadalla said hopes were very high.  The 20 month conflict with former deputy Riek Machar has cost thousands of lives and displaced 2.2 million people.  The South Sudan Council of Churches has been deeply involved in peace efforts.  In a statement, they called for an end to “this senseless war. It is unacceptable that people continue to kill and be killed while leaders argue over power, positions and percentages.”

Palestine: End the Blockade of Gaza
One year on from the end of the 51 day war, not one house has been fully rebuilt.  Aid agencies report only 5% of needed construction materials have been allowed into the territory, yet over 19,000 homes along with schools and hospitals were destroyed.  They are inviting people to support the campaign through an online petition.  In a separate statement agencies condemn the recent surge in demolitions on the West Bank.  You can help children in need of psychosocial care by supporting the Gaza Appeal.

Father’s Day Gifts
Put in your order for a Father’s Day that will help people who need it.  Ask for Books and Balls for South Sudanese children whose schools were looted in June or choose something else from GiftedE-cards work on the day - 6 September. Thanks!

Sri Lanka Elections
Our partners were relieved by election results earlier this month and are hopeful for improved relations between its citizens.  The results of the UN Human Rights Council investigation into war crimes are due out next month.  CWS partner Monlar expects to have more input into government policy and is planning a Seed and Food Sovereignty Caravan to promote the interests of farmers.

Sierra Leone After Effects
With the last Ebola patient walking out of quarantine, the country is hoping that 42 days will pass without new infections.  Lingering health problems are affecting some survivors and the local economy has suffered.
Haiti: Elections?
Voting in Haiti’s first elections for four years was problematic with a turnout of 18%.  Violence and the late opening of polling stations contributed to a poll that has all parties asking for improved procedures for the run-off in October.  Ahead of the vote, CWS partner ICKL prepared a People’s Programme with 8 peasant communities which included demands for better economic policies, improved education and health, no imports of used clothing, better roads and national security, no stealing of the country’s natural wealth, an end to the UN mission (MINUSTAH) and to the ‘political mess’.

Somalian Refugee ReportLWF Myanmar
Four years after large numbers of Somalians fled Al-Shabab fighters, ACT Alliance finally reported on assistance in Ethiopia.  They supplied drinking water and 625 latrine blocks for 35,000 refugees in Buramino camp as well as a primary school, and health and hygiene programme.  In other camps they grew and distributed 90,000 tree seedlings and have offered skill training to 120 people.  More refugees have arrived in the camps.  ACT Alliance reports the lack of communal collaboration and dependency among the refugees who had come from two decades of war, and the remoteness of the camp made operations challenging.

Floods through Asia
Widespread flooding in Afghanistan, India, Myanmar and Pakistan has claimed hundreds of lives and ruined livelihoods.  ACT Alliance members are responding with relief aid to already poor people struggling to survive after the devastating Cyclone Komen.

Photo: Chin state was badly hit.  Photo: LWF Myanmar

Roger Award
Nominations are now open for the worst transnational corporation.  

Rod Oram lectures
To mark 70 years since the first Christmas Appeal, prominent Anglican and journalist Rod Oram will speak at the Transitional Cathedral, Christchurch 6:30pm October 13 and St Matthew’s in the City, Auckland 5:30pm October 29. His topic: “How your Small Change makes Big Change”.  Plan to join us.

Staff changes
Special thanks to Lyn Jackson who retired last month.  She has served on the CWS Board, managed the database and answered many donor queries.  We welcome Nadine Wells to the position of Office Assistant.

About Update

Update provides news, information and stories.  Reproduction of items is encouraged with attribution to CWS.  Current and back issues are available