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
November December 2016
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For Your Diary
1 December—World AIDS Day + WCC prayer service
1 December—West Papua Flag Day
3 December - International Day for People with Disabilities
10 December - International Human Rights Day
25 December - Christmas Day
23 December CWS office closes at noon.
4 January CWS office reopens.
You can order Christmas Appeal resources here.
A Message for You
Thank you for your generous support in 2016. Your donations give us hope that families will have food and dignity. Your prayers and messages show our shared concern for the world. Our partners are working hard to make hope real through food, water, education and healthcare. Working together, we can make a world we can all live in.
May you have a warm and happy Christmas, firm in the knowledge that you have shared with others in need and worked to make peace in families and communities around the world. With all good wishes for 2017. Pauline, Emma, Nadine, David, Trish and Gillian.
Give Us Hope against HIV
Winnie wants to stop the spread of AIDS in South Sudan. Bright and determined, she leads a group working on sexual health and HIV/AIDS at Maridi High School. The group started by CWS partner, Maridi Service Agency (MSA), runs educational campaigns and supports young women students. They are teaching their peers how to protect themselves against disease and early pregnancy, the leading reasons that young women quit school.
Winnie is grateful for a scholarship for female students funded by Gifted and the Christmas Appeal. Find her story and four others highlighting the work we do together to make hope real.
December 1 is World AIDS Day—a day to remember those who have lost their lives and to redouble our efforts to stop it spreading. Over 1 million people die each year from AIDS and 37 million are living with HIV. Everyday 5,600 people contract HIV—more than 230 every hour. The World Council of Churches has prepared a prayer service and is running a campaign to promote testing for HIV.
Please support the 2016 Christmas Appeal so Winnie and MSA can keep up their lifesaving work.
Peace in the Pacific
General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches Rev François Pihaatae recently spoke in Auckland on critical regional issues for CWS. From Maohi Nui (Tahiti) he is very familiar with the legacy of nuclear testing: according to its Social Insurance Fund 7,400 people have cancers as a result of 193 nuclear tests - the French government compensated only 2 people.
François drew attention to the need for climate justice and spoke of the possibility of West Papua disappearing under Indonesian domination. In his presentation he encouraged religious leaders to take the lead in protecting the environment and ending violence by promoting a Pacific ecological framework.
Haiti: Hurricane and Election
One month after Hurricane Matthew destroyed large areas of Haiti, partner Institut Culturel Karl Lévêque (ICKL) visited the community of Dauphin where CWS helps fund the local school. It took staff 2 hours in a 4x4 to drive the 12 km hilly track from Verettes. Laden with cholera tablets and oral serum, they met with 7 organisations which had received no relief aid. The mood was desolate. Peasant farmers told ICKL they had lost gardens and livestock. Bees had destroyed their millet crop. Cholera had resurfaced although no one had died and a nasty virus was killing their pigs. ICKL said although the help they could offer was limited, the peasants were grateful for their presence.
Results of Haiti’s elections postponed because of the Hurricane, were announced this week, giving Jovenel Moise 55.67% enough to avoid a run off. The results are being challenged by other candidates and on the streets.
Gifted: Goats and Sheep
On Palestine’s West Bank Ibtissam is grateful for two pregnant ewes, trees and 12 laying hens from DSPR. Her husband was killed by Israeli forces but now her hopes are growing. “I have learnt there is still good in life,” she says. (Photo: DSPR)
Thanks to those who buy Gifted. Order now for Christmas.
ACT Alliance members reported on last month’s COP22 climate talks following up the Paris Agreement. Small steps were made but the biggest were from the Climate Vulnerable Forum. These 47 countries most affected by climate change agreed to change to 100% renewable energy sources as soon as possible and to review their national plans by 2020. The next round of negotiations will be in November 2017 and chaired by Fiji. CWS will continue campaigning for climate justice in 2017.
WCC: Report on Iraq and Syria
In a new report: The Protection Needs of Minorities from Syria and Iraq the World Council of Churches and Norwegian Church Aid say the removal of Islamic State alone will not secure the safety of minority communities. Inter-communal power struggles are likely to further threaten them. 70% of Iraq’s Christians have fled the country already. 85% of Yezidis want to leave Kurdistan.
16 Days against Violence
From 25 November to 10 December take action against gender based violence in a global church campaign. Buying School for Girls in South Sudan (see Winnie’s story) is one way to show your support. A number of CWS’s partners including the Women’s Centre in Sri Lanka (right) are demanding an end to violence against women.
Jordan: Support for Refugees
DSPR Jordan conducted 29 workshops involving 1,180 refugees in October thanks to your donations to the Syria Appeal and matching government funds. 1500 food parcels, dignity kits (for women) and infants’ kits were also distributed.
The Christchurch based Staffing Committee is looking for new members with human resources expertise. It is a subcommittee of the CWS Board.
Christmas: Give Us Hope
Stories of the five featured partners, information about CWS and worship resources are available. The stories are a snapshot of the work we do. Please contact Emma if you need posters, service sheets or envelopes. Please make a gift of hope today.
Update provides news, information and stories. Reproduction of items is encouraged with attribution to CWS. Current and back issues are available.