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Living on a Minefield outlines a new strategy for local democracy in Fiji. Mining has the potential to divide communities, destroy livelihoods, and undermine village life. Our partner SEEP (Social Empowerment and Education Programme) wants communities to have good information and processes so rural Fijians can have a say in the future. They have been pioneering Mai democracy, an inclusive process building on their traditional culture. Waqa and Elena are keen to share what they have learned and practised in their village with others.
Read the Autumn Story to find out how you can help build democracy in Fiji.
Time for the Tea Pickers examines life on Sri Lanka’s tea estates where workers live and work in conditions close to slavery. Their children are often malnourished and have few opportunities. Our partner Monlar is playing a leading role in the One Thousand Movement which has already achieved a higher award rate for all tea pickers this year. Their demands for better wages, the opportunity to grow their own food, and agricultural policy to meet the needs of small farmers, will help more people out of grinding poverty.
Read the Summer Story to find out how you can help Sri Lanka’s tea pickers
Give us a Fair Go A few years ago Nyombi and Mugere were living on the streets. Their parents had died from HIV and AIDS. Shocked to find them begging, Kyomugisha took them back to her home. The girls collected water from the river – a 5-kilometre trek and did their best to help. Now the family has a rainwater tank at home thanks to CWS partner the Centre for Community Solidarity. The sisters are clean, healthy and can catch up on their primary schooling. With one year to go, Nyombi wants to make the most of the opportunity made possible by the tank. She plans to work on motorcycles. Read the Spring Story to find out how a $366 investment is life changing, and our summary review of last year.
Sangeetha has spent most of her life in the forest. She depends on its rich resources to provide a living for her family, but they are rapidly shrinking as others take from the forest. Sangeetha knows the forest cannot support her children and she is determined they have an education, starting with Jivitha, the oldest. The Women Development Resource Centre is helping them Create a New Path for the Future on their own terms. In Tonga, Ama Takiloa is assisting families to repair rainwater tanks and reestablish gardens lost in Cyclone Gita.
Find out how our partners are Creating Climate Hope in places where people are facing major challenges. Unpredictable weather patterns are causing crops to fail. More intense storms are costing lives, homes, and livelihoods. Our partners are working hard to teach new skills, installing rainwater harvesting systems and other coping mechanisms. They are working on community-level plans and taking the message to global negotiations. Climate change is a tough issue facing us all.
We celebrate the harvest in the Summer Story, Give Us Our Daily Bread. We want to end hunger. Young farmers like Donis in Nicaragua grow enough food to feed their extended families and meet their other needs. CEPAD trained Donis in new agro-ecological approaches and gave him the tools, seeds, and plants he needed. He is teaching other small farmers these techniques which are the best available. Other partners are lobbying for greater investment in small farmers.
The only story where hear about South Sudan is the tragedy of hunger and war. In the Spring Story, We Will Not Lose Hope, CWS highlights the work of a community of hope. In the quieter west, the Maridi Service Agency is working hard to make peace a reality. Education is their focus, so in addition to their existing work, they are training mothers with children to run small businesses and grow gardens. With some startup capital, they will be able to feed their families and begin to build a new life. In a country crumbling from within, MSA is determined to work for peace. You can also read our summary annual review for 2016-7.
The War Refused to Leave Us tells the story of Fatima, a refugee from Syria. She has faced many difficulties since she left her home with her children. Her involvement with CWS partner the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees has changed her life. They have provided practical help with food and non-food items thanks to your donations. But for Fatima, it is the opportunity to become a health trainer that has turned her into a confident woman leading a group of other Syrian women.
Give Girls a Fair Go At 14, Pooni is glad to be back home. She has spent the last 18 months working long hours in a woollen factory. She wanted to help her poor family, but the conditions were unbearable. The Women Development Resouce Centre made sure she was paid and persuaded her family to let her return to school. Campaigning against the Sumangali scheme, a form of bonded labour is part of the work they do with some of the poorest communities.
We have Plans
Topist from South Uganda is grateful that her family of six HIV and AIDS orphans is clean and healthy. Thanks to CWS donors and the Centre for Community Solidarity, she is now the proud owner of a water tank. The local group of caregivers of HIV and AIDS orphans to which she belongs has big plans to improve their income. They have already begun making the bricks and building a set of shops in the rural area. Read the Summer Story 2017.
Determined to Live
Charlito is a happy farmer. With help from Developers he has replanted some of the crops he lost in Typhoon Haiyan three years ago. Like Mary Jean featured in the Spring Story, he has worked hard, determined to help his family and community back on their feet. In the Aklan province 3,061 homes with shiny new corrugated iron roofs are a visible sign of your help. Now they need more help to secure their livelihood for the future. They need help to replace lost crops and livestock, build a farmer’s market and train for the future. Read the Spring Story 2016.
The Long Road Home
When International Programmes Coordinator Trish Murray visited Sri Lanka last year, our partner Devasarana took her to meet a small community of returned refugees in the war-ravaged north of the country. One of the women she met was Vasanta who is proving the cornerstone of rebuilding efforts. Devasarana is working with small peasant farmers to break down decades of fear between the majority Sinhala and Tamil communities at the grassroots. Using the low cost ecological farming skills developed over many years, they are teaching Tamils new techniques as well as sharing the seeds and plants they had brought with them. Together they are forging a new future from the ground up. Read the Winter Story 2016.
Share the Secrets of Success
In the village of Talihau you can find women members of Ama Takiloa weaving in the community hall for part of the day. They are making fine mats to sell so they can pay school fees and medical costs as well as meet church and other obligations. The income is vital for the villages who live in Tonga’s Vava’u group. There is plenty of time to talk and plan. Their latest venture is to sell coconut drinks, papaya and other local foods to tourists from the cruise ships and yachts visiting the island’s beautiful harbours. Read the Autumn Story 2016.
Give A Lifeline
Jacenta in the pink cardigan wants to share her story. She lost both parents to AIDS and now lives with her grandmother. A new water tank has changed the family’s fortunes. In Lebanon, Syrian refugees have learnt how to to survive with the help of DSPR Read how your support helps two partners Give a Lifeline to people with nowhere else to go. Read the Summer Story 2016.
A Thousand Acts of Peace
Refugees are making dangerous journeys from Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea and other countries, desperate for safety and a better future for their families. While they grab the headlines, many more are sheltering in Jordan and Lebanon where CWS partner DSPR is making peace happen – one family at a time. Read the Spring Story 2015.
There is Much to Do
A year ago Nour was a victim of the war in Gaza. Left with shrapnel in her brain and severe trauma, she has found each day a struggle in her devastated community. Although she has a lot of pain, she can now smile thanks to the psycho-social support provided by DSPR Gaza. Like SAND Trust in South India, they are giving children the skills to cope with events beyond their control. Read the Winter Story 2015.
Many Hands Make Things Happen
In Haiti’s rugged hills, two boys are attending to their school lessons. CWS has helped fund their new school building, equipment and teacher salaries. The community now has a grain mill to contribute to its costs thanks to CWS partner ICKL. In Vanuatu local people are rebuilding. Read the Autumn Story for 2015.
Look out for Each Other
Hermalinda was excited to share her first crop of 40 avocados with her community – a fruit none of them could afford to buy. In war ravaged South Sudan, Mr Arnesto saved hours of hand digging when Maridi Service Agency ploughed his land. At harvest time we give thanks for food to eat and to share. Read Hermalinda and Mr Arnesto’s stories in the Summer Story for 2015.
We all Need Water
Read the 2014 Spring Story for 2014 . Spring showers are a welcome reminder of the importance of water for life. During war water is often in short supply with long term consequences. Find out why how CWS partners are supplying water to communities and how two parishes organised a Musicathon to help. You can also read the Summary Annual Report.
Bringing People Together
Read the 2014 Winter Story. Sana and Rebecca are two women who live half a world away from each other. Sana has been forced to take shelter in Jordan and Rebecca is painstakingly rebuilding her life after last year’s super typhoon in the Philippines. They are not alone as CWS partners are doing their best to help. Will you be part of the story?
Read the 2014 Autumn Story to find “Strength in Community”. Bangladeshi workers and their families wait for compensation after the collapse of Rana Plaza. They make our clothes in unsafe factories and poor conditions. In Tamil Nadu, South India Neythal is campaigning for the fisherfolk, caught between the coast and the sea with nowhere to go.
Read the 2014 Summer Story “When there is no Harvest” to find out how Filipinos are helping each other after last year’s super typhoon. In Southwest Uganda the people are running out of water with the changing climate. Water tanks are therefore that much more important.
Read the Spring Story 2013 to see the difference CWS partners make in South Sudan and South India – “Working with the Hope Experts”.
Read the Winter Story 2013 to see how long term partnership brings good news to so many people – “The good news in the bad news”.
Autumn 2013 – CWS Getting Results! CWS partner EKTA is determined to make the South Indian city Madurai safe for women. Part of the global One Billion Rising movement they have pledge to edge violence against girls and women. The World Council of Churches is working on a Greed Line, highlighted by Asia Secretary Kim Dong Sung on his visit. Richard Randerson offers an Easter reflection, Haitian partner ICKL reports and new resources for Make Food Fair.
Read the Spring Summer @world. Landgrabbing is stripping communities of their livelihoods. CWS partner Neythal is a member of a network working to maintain Tamil Nadu’s coast for the fisherfolk who depend on it. Food justice is a focus for CWS and for partners facing the high costs of growing food. Michael Earle, Church and Donor Relations Coordinator reports on six months in the job.
The Winter Story – “I know what it’s like to be a human being”. CWS partners give new hope to communities.
Autumn 2012 – Back Home with CWS New office, new editor, remembering Christchurch earthquakes, Claudette Habesch from Caritas Jerusalem and the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR).
Spring Summer 2011 – Meeting the Challenge Food for All: CWS rebuilds and responds to the Horn of Africa Crisis. It focuses on the right to food plus more on the gift of water. The achievement of one family picking up the challenge to live below the line (on less than $2.25 a day for food) for 5 days.
Autumn 2011 – The Emergency is Us: CWS responds to the Christchurch earthquake and builds hopes and homes in Haiti. Working to rebuild lives and livelihoods in Cambodia and buzzing bees in Uganda plus CWS supporters work for fair trade.
Spring/Summer 2010 – Sowing seeds of Hope: Hunger and peacebuilding in Sri Lanka as CWS helps Tamils returning home establish low cost organic gardens. Plus Pakistan flooding crisis, CWS helps Dalit children into school, a Gazan art exhibition and our annual report.
Winter 2010 – Back to Basics: How CWS is helping to revitalise farming in Zimbabwe and Tonga by returning to, and improving on, traditional organic practises. Also includes updates on rebuilding in post-tsunami Samoa and post-earthquake Haiti, a world cup focus on football, malaria in the spotlight, and Fair Trade Fortnight.
Autumn 2010 – Surviving Haiti’s heartbreak: profiles CWS support for Haiti and the incredible community resilence that is helping the country rebuild, the gift of clean safe water, fair trade bananas reach New Zealand, New Zealands young people take action against poverty and more.
Spring 2009 Tapping into hope: Safe water brings new life in Uganda, urbanisation in the spotlight, climate change resettlement – dilemmas facing the Pacific, state of the world’s water, CWS joins global alliance, and the CWS Annual Report 2008-2009
Autumn 2009 Coping with a changing climate: special issue on climate change and the environment featuring mangrove recovery in the Phillippines, increasing natural disasters and how poor people will be impacted the most. Also how CWS partners responded in Gaza, a profile of the new director, and progress on banning cluster munitions.
Spring/Summer 2008 Conflict, peace and compassion: CWS responses to a world in crisis including young people building peace, women in Sri Lanka overcoming economic violence, humanitarian aid for the Philippines, Zimbabwe and Burma and ways YOU can help take action against poverty
Winter 2008 Special issue on the global food crisis: How poor communities are surviving.Also features the Burma Cyclone, Fair Trade and International Year of the Potato.
Island life under threat: How Solomon Island women are protecting their forests. Also includes spotlight on sanitation and the campaign to ban cluster munitions.
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