From typhoons to drought, some of the world’s poorest farmers are facing life’s challenges head on with the help of Christian World Service supporters.
The 2013 Christmas Appeal will be launched on December 1, Advent Sunday. The Appeal has been supported by New Zealand churches since 1945 and has helped tens of thousand of people improve their livelihoods.
This year’s Appeal highlights the need for water justice with the theme “Share Water, Share Life”.
One of the biggest challenges poor people face is water. From southern Uganda to inland Nicaragua, the supply is shrinking and putting huge pressure on rural people who have few options. Without safe water, crops die, people become ill and poverty increases.
The Appeal spotlights the work of five partners that are improving people’s lives through effective water management.
Mrs Siththamma and her family in rural Sri Lanka are facing significant challenges as the water runs low. They are now using a mix of new and old farming techniques to manage their minimal water supply to improve crop yields. It is enough to improve the family’s nutrition and earn enough for school and medicine. At a time when the government is focusing on large scale infra-structure development that is more likely to benefit big business, it is partners like MONLAR who are helping farmers survive.
The growth in ecological agriculture in many forms is one way of future proofing farmers as much as possible against climate change, the variability of weather and shrinking water tables. Other CWS partners are helping communities prepare for potential disaster like typhoon or tsunami.
Partners featured are based in Tonga, Palestine, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka and Uganda. The communities they work with are already seeing the effects of climate change and the overuse or contamination of resources like water. Large farming interests buying up land and access to water are also making life harder for them. They know more needs to be done so they can survive.
“The more support we can give our partners, the more people will be prepared for an uncertain future. There are no guarantees but CWS partners are building water tanks and systems that are already helping,” says Pauline McKay, National Director.
CWS is grateful to the Mission Team of the Diocese of Christchurch who have written and compiled much of the worship material.
All appeal resources including partner stories and worship resources can be downloaded from the website. More envelopes, service sheets and posters can be ordered from Emma.
27 November 2013