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CWS Update April 2016

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 2016

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For Your Diary

24 April Remember Rana Plaza Victims

3 May World Press Freedom Day

8 May Asia SundayKorea: Towards Unity in the Bond of Peace

8 May Mother’s Day—Celebrate mothers with a gift to help refugee mothers and babies in Jordan

14 May World Fair Trade Day— Visit your local Trade Aid shop or host A Fair Cuppa.

15 May International Day of Families—Family, healthy lives and a Sustainable Future

Stonemason Bhagwati Tamang has been teaching others how to build and learning new methods to build stronger homes.  Photo: ACT Alliance/Paul Jeffrey

The Slow Rebuild in Nepal
On 25 April, 2015 a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal, followed by many aftershocks including a 7.3 on 12 May.  Thanks to your generous donations, CWS sent $102,822.40 for relief efforts through ACT Alliance Nepal (Action by Churches Together).  Funds were designated for food security, water and sanitation, shelter and psycho-social support.  With more than 600,000 homes destroyed, the difficult terrain, political challenges and the overwhelming scale of relief efforts, rebuilding has barely begun.  Read our Report from Nepal to find out what has been achieved and watch video clips from Nepal.  If you can help again, with the rebuild please donate to the Nepal Appeal

Operation Refugee
Operation Refugee is a new challenge for people serious about helping refugees.  We are looking for 100 people willing to live on the same rations as a Syrian refugee from 16-20 June.  CWS will provide the rations minus rice and participants find sponsors.  We aim to raise $50,000 to get more food, education and medical relief to refugees struggling to survive in Jordan and Lebanon.  Please register now or encourage someone you know with the promise of sponsorship.

 A young boy in Savulotu was happy to receive a kindergarten pack delivered by SEEP volunteers.

Fiji: First Response
SEEP (Social Empowerment Education Programme) reported on the $15,000 sent for relief suppliesafter Cyclone Winston.  Director Chantelle Khan reports 60% of the communities with whom they are working were affected.  SEEP volunteers and staff distributed food, hygiene kits and building tools to 300 households in Bua and 150 in Ra provinces, and helped with repairs.  SEEP provided five chainsaws, first aid materials and clothing from St John’s and 200 packs for kindergarten students.  They took time to listen to people’s stories—many are traumatised by their experiences.  Thanks for supporting the Fiji Appeal.

Ecuador Appeal
CWS launched an appeal in response to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Northern Ecuador that claimed  654 lives and left 350,000 people in need of assistance across 6 provinces.  ACT Alliance is helping 6,000 families with food, water, hygiene kits, non-food items and psychosocial help.  In addition they will assist 100 families with temporary shelter.  Donations to the Ecuador Appeal will help those who need it most.

Japan Appeal
Japan’s Kumamotu prefecture rattled with earthquakes and aftershocks reaching 7.3 in magnitude.  Our partner Church World Service Japan asked for help to assist the local YMCA in hosting evacuees, provide relief and support.  If you can help, please donate to the Japan Appeal.

UN Humanitarian Summit
ACT Alliance members attending the first global summit in Istanbul, Turkey from 23/24 May will advocate for progress in putting people at the heart of the humanitarian agenda.  Much more needs to be done to promote reconciliation, strengthen local communities and prepare for disasters they say. 

Bangladesh: Rana Plaza
The collapse of the Rana Plaza factory on the outskirts of Dhaka in 2013 left 1,134 garment workers dead and many more injured.  Thanks to your donations, our partner the National Garment Workers Federation of Bangladesh has been able to assist them and campaign for better work conditions.  The Clean Clothes campaign reports  USD 18.5 million has been paid to 868 families of deceased and missing workers and 2,027 injured survivors. Some progress has been made but many factories are still not safe, garment workers poorly paid and workers cannot join unions. A new study found there are many subcontracting factories employing nearly 3 million workers where safety has not improved at all.

Vanuatu Riskiest Place
According to the World Risk Report 2015, Vanuatu faces the highest risk of disaster.  The writers argue if a country with a high level of vulnerability is hit by an extreme natural event, there is a high likelihood that it will turn into a disaster.
West Papua Visitor
Rev Socratez Sofyan Yeoman, the president of the Baptist Church in West Papua is touring the North and South Islands from 9—20 May.  He will report on human rights and other issues confronting the indigenous people in their land.  West Papua is one of the priorities for the Pacific Conference of Churches.  Check here for more details of his itinerary. 

Mother’s Day Gifts
Make a link with refugee mothers for Mother’s Day this year.  Support the Well Baby Clinic in Jordan by purchasing Baby and Mother Health to provide ante– and post-natal care.  There are plenty of good gifts to choose from in Gifted.  Order now for a card or go for an e-card for a last minute gift.

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