Our latest news
“I thought it worthwhile to introduce myself as the new Director of CWS, where I’m excited to share with you in our vision of a world where inclusion and diversity are respected, where human dignity, justice, access to food and housing are non-negotiables, and where we focus on proactively stewarding care for the environment and planet….”
Let’s Stand Up for the Ocean
Fish workers on the coast of Tamil Nadu, South India are facing troubles on many fronts. Many have already been forced to move inland to make way for huge power plants and industries like large-scale shrimp farms. Women like Muthamizh selvi are determined to stay on the coast. The business skills she learned from our partner the Legal Aid to Women Trust have been life-saving. She tells her story in Let’s Stand Up for the Ocean. Watch the video. If you can please support our Ocean Appeal so more women can start small businesses and protect their coast.
Don’t Subsidise Pollution
CWS has joined the new campaign, Don’t Subsidise Pollution. We want to end free carbon credits for heavy industries like those producing steel, cement and fertiliser. In 2021 these credits were worth $600 million a year in foregone revenue to the Crown. Together these industries produce 10% of Aotearoa’s emissions. Replacing this subsidy with a loan could assist industries to decarbonise and create new jobs. A Carbon Border Mechanism could protect domestic producers from high polluting overseas competitors. Please sign the petition.
Lebanon: DSPR Centre damaged
At the end of July, the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR) Centre at the Ein El-Hilweh Refugee Camp was hit by rocket fire. The building and its contents were badly damaged in the attack. At the Centre, DSPR Lebanon ran music and educational programmes for children and students including preparing Syrian secondary students for the Brevet and Baccalaureat exams. Each year DSPR organises a trip to Damascus for students to sit the exams in Syria and their return to Lebanon – the only such programme available to refugees in Lebanon.
During the long hot summer, DSPR has organised programmes for some of the children living in the refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon. The children enjoyed the opportunity to play and create as well as go on field trips. Special thanks for your gift of Fun Days which supported these programmes.
Libya and Morocco
CWS asks you to pray for people affected by the major earthquake in Morocco on September 8 and Storm Daniel in Libya two days later. Thousands of people lost their lives when two dams on the Derna river burst, causing catastrophic flooding. A government minister reported that 25% of the city Derna had been washed out to sea. ACT Alliance is responding with medical support, emergency shelter, sanitary and hygiene kits, water, and tools and equipment for search and rescue efforts. It is planning cash assistance and psychosocial support in the weeks and months ahead.
Strengthening Local Government in South India
In Tamil Nadu, the Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation (HRF) is working to increase the participation of socially excluded communities in local government. Panchayat or village councils make decisions that can improve the community, from installing a street light to providing food rations during the pandemic. HRF trains and supports Dalit (formerly known as untouchables) and Tribal or indigenous Panchayat presidents and representatives, especially women.
Over the last year, it worked with 426 elected representatives, distributing informational booklets, running training programmes, monitoring meetings, and investigating abuses. After 3 1/2 years of delayed elections, the new state government finally held local elections for the Panchayat and Gram Sabha (made up of village members over 18 years old).
Village residents applied for 16,527 entitlements to government services including ration cards, land and house title deeds. Staff worked closely with 84 villages on developing disaster vulnerability and social equity maps. Participants marked the vulnerable areas, the vulnerable people and the assembly points as well as services, in case of disaster. The social equity maps showed where critical infrastructure like the electrical substation, main water controls, access roads, bus stops, and caste-prohibited areas were located. Gaps in services were also recorded. Both maps will assist Panchayat and Gram Sabha in their planning. Thank you for your support that helped make this possible.
Share Food this Christmas
Sri Lankan, Somawathie shares her story about the elephants that visit her garden in this year’s Christmas Appeal. She grows enough food to support herself, but with climate change and an economic crisis, can she continue?
CWS is preparing worship resources and other materials for services and groups through Advent and Christmas. The resources feature five of our partners, including Monlar, the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform. Posters and appeal envelopes can be ordered online or by contacting Jordyn on 0800 74 73 72.
Please pray for this year’s Christmas Appeal as we work together to share God’s love for the world. More information will follow shortly.
Thank you Bernard
CWS acknowledged the retirement of Dr Bernard Sabella, executive secretary of our oldest partner, the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees based in East Jerusalem. International Programmes Coordinator Rob Wayne sent the following message to Bernard on our behalf: