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CWS Update November 2014

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 2014

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For Your Diary

25 November International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women and 16 days NoXcuses campaign

30 November—First Sunday of Advent and launch of 69th Christmas Appeal

1 December
World AIDS Day and West Papua Solidarity Day

3 December International Day for People with Disabilities

10 December
International Human Rights Day

Learning on the job, Jeannette teaches the youngest students in rural Haiti.

Build Hope For Tomorrow
Looking at Haiti from afar, it is easy to think earthquakes, grinding poverty, violence and political instability.  When Trish Murray International Programmes Coordinator visited in October, she was struck by committed people determined to make life better for everyone.  With only eight years of education, Jeannette is teaching the juniors with the help of CWS partner Institut Culturel Karl Lévêque.  Like the other untrained teachers at the school she is grateful for ICKL’s help —not least for the contribution to her small wages.

ICKL works as a truly Haitian NGO with a proud track record of strengthening poor communities to make change happen.  With the help of ICKL’s staff the people of Dauphin have worked out their own plan.  The first priority is the school and to help meet its operational cost they are installing a bakery.  Like all CWS partners, they use sharp  analysis and ingenuity to Build Hope for Tomorrow.
Christmas Appeal
On Sunday the season of Advent begins and CWS launches the 69th Christmas Appeal.  CWS has produced a variety of materials suitable for Advent worship and in-depth stories of communities being helped by your gifts to the Christmas Appeal.  Special thanks to Rev David Poultney of St John’s in the City Methodist Parish Nelson for the lectionary and worship materials and to church leaders for their endorsement.  If you need more appeal envelopes, service sheets or posters, please contact Emma on 0800 74 73 72.  We value your support.

Ebola Protection
The World Health Organisation reported 15,935 people infected with the Ebola virus leading with 5,689 deaths on 26 November.  In response to the US government pressure, the IMF is considering debt relief to West African countries so they have more funds for public health.  Churches and ACT Alliance members in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone continue to supply food and other items to families in quarantine, care for Ebola orphans and undertake community education.  General Secretary of the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone Ebun James DeKam asks, “Let us all continue to pray for God's blessings, courage and safety for those on the front line and for all of our efforts in this struggle to save lives.”  You can support the Ebola Response Appeal.
(Photo P Jusu United Methodist News Sierra Leone)

Sri Lanka: Helping Survivors
Monlar, National Christian Churches in Sri Lanka and Women’s Centre expressed concern for an estimated 200+ victims of the Badulla mudslide a month ago.  The slip occurred on a tea plantation, now heavily guarded by the military.  According to Monlar steps could have been taken to ensure the safety of tea pickers and their families when the danger was identified in 2005.  The groups are offering practical care to survivors, including orphaned children.  Monlar supported local plantation workers in their demands.  CWS is able pass on donations to help those affected.

South Sudan: Talks Fail
Almost a year after the outbreak of hostilities talks between warring President Salva Kiir and opponent Riek Machar are failing.  Another agreement earlier this month was immediately broken.  Many South Sudanese have lost trust in the talks but want an end to conflict that has forced 1.8 million people to flee.  Maridi Service Agency’s Peter Wadalla reports their state is calm.  “People are busy weeding the gardens and harvesting produce from their farms,” he said.

Gaza: Report in Numbers
DSPR reports staff doubled their efforts after the 50 day war.  Despite major obstacles the three clinics provided primary health care and medication to 7,956 families by the end of September.  There are 206 students enrolled in vocational training programmes with a more intensive schedule to catch up time lost.  75 out of 84 trainees graduated after sitting their exams late — financial or family needs were the main obstacles for those who did not graduate.  They are organising fun days, recreational trips and open days for 4090 children plus mothers and caregivers to provide psychosocial support.  During the crisis, DSPR delivered food to 789 families and 11070 bottles of water.  They have distributed food or stationery vouchers to 839 affected families, 350 hygiene kits, 100 new-born kits and 27 medical kits.  Determined to improve their work, DSPR has reported on lessons learned and identified priorities for “our on-going critical grim emergency situation”.  There is much to do with many people out of work and with no home.  The Gaza Appeal remains open.

Sri Lanka: Seed Caravan
Over 6 days in October, around 4,000 food producers marched for food sovereignty in Sri Lanka.  On the way they promoted eco friendly food production systems and the right of people to have safe and nutritious food in more than 20 cities.  Joined by other organisations including Monlar a key organiser, they marched into Colombo on World Food Day.  After the rally they submitted their demands for agrarian reform to the government.

New Internationalist
The New Internationalist catalogue offers books, presents and resources.  Or if you are tired of worn out perspectives on global issues, subscribe to their excellent magazine here.

UN Children’s Rights at 25
Earlier this month, the global community marked 25 years since the signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The need to protect children from violence and hunger must remain a priority.

Have you made your Christmas list?  Ask for Gifted!

About Update
Update provides news, information and stories.  Reproduction of items is encouraged with attribution to CWS.  Current and back issues are available