In Sri Lanka, Women’s Centre staff and volunteers distribute supplies to factory workers, days before they were sent home for the curfew. Photo: Shramika Ekala
A bi-monthly news bulletin exploring development, global justice and the work of CWS. An alternative to mainstream media sources. Past issues can be read here
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Safe Water for Morisia
Thank you for supporting the 2019 Christmas Appeal, Give Water, the essence of survival. Watch Morisia wash her hands safely in this short clip from Uganda. She is testing a new foot-operated handwashing station designed and made by the Centre for Community Solidarity.
When news of the Coronavirus reached CCS, staff intensified their handwashing awareness campaign. Through their 25 local associations, they passed on news of the virus and advised on the best ways to protect their communities.
Overnight, they have reported Uganda has gone into curfew for 14 days and people are not to leave their homes. Fortunately, CCS was able to build 40 new rainwater tanks for families affected by HIV and AIDS ahead of the outbreak. Our hope is that those people with rainwater tanks will be able to share some of their precious water with those who have none.
The poorest communities have few resources to stop COVID 19. UNICEF and the World Health Organisation say 3 billion people do not have basic handwashing facilities including water and soap.
Getting the Message to Garment Workers
CWS made an emergency grant to the National Garment Workers Federation in Bangladesh for their awareness raising campaign among many of the 4.2 million people who make clothes. The workers live and work in very crowded conditions and their employers have shown no interest in protecting their health. Through their strong membership the Federation will get the message out before the virus spreads.
CWS and COVID
As COVID 19 spreads around the globe, CWS is committed to work with our partners and colleagues in the ACT Alliance to protect the health and human rights of the most vulnerable people.
Staff are working from home. They can be contacted by phone and email. Jordyn will answer calls to 0800 74 73 72 and emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations by direct deposit and through the website are being processed. End of the year receipts for Regular Givers will be available shortly. If you need a receipt emailed, please call her.
You can claim a tax rebate for donations made on or before March 31, available from April 1.
Your generous support means our partners can get help to people.
In Sri Lanka
Days before the country went into curfew, the Women’s Centre (pictured right) distributed emergency food to factory workers.
SEEP (Social Empowerment and Education Programme) reports they closed two days early to visit the 38 communities with whom they work. They took resources and information about self-protection to the villages reaching Taukei and Indo-Fijians. They are now working from home.
CEPAD is carrying regular reports through its radio station. Director Dámaris Albuquerque says at 8pm they are praying for each of their partners (for us on Saturday, March 28): “May God protect you and your countrymen/women and guide us all through these uncertain times”.
In South Sudan
Wadalla Peter from Maridi Service Association says there is a high level of panic in South Sudan. There are confirmed COVID19 cases in surrounding countries—and probably no test kits in the country. The borders have been closed but most of the 1.5 million people internally displaced who often live in crowded camps will not be able to self isolate.
He is following infection rates in Aotearoa New Zealand and praying for our protection.
MSA wants to help displaced people fleeing conflict. If you can, please donate to the South Sudan Appeal.
In the Middle East
The Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees says people are very worried and frightened. Staff are working from home, except in Gaza where the three Primary Health Care Centres are operating with extra safety precautions. All countries have closed their borders leaving 50,000 Palestinian workers in Israel living in poor conditions for the duration. Food will run out and people die. Please pray for us all.
CWS Update provides news, information, and stories. Reproduction of items is encouraged with attribution to CWS. Current and back issues are available.