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CWS Update September 2016

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

September 2015

Download as PDF or read the text below:

ACT Alliance members in Hungary distributed food and water to exhausted refugees along Hungary’s M1 highway.  Photo: ACT/K Tamas

For Your Diary
1 September—4 October Time for Creation
21- 27 September World Week of Prayer for Peace in Israel Palestine
1 October  Fast for the Climate
11– 18 October Churches’ Week of Action on Food
13 October -  6:30 pm  Rod Oram Transitional Cathedral, Christchurch
13 October International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction
16 October World Food Day
29 October—5:30 pm Rod Oram St Matthew’s in the City Auckland

Refugees Help is at Hand
In Europe ACT Alliance members are providing food, water, blankets, shelter, psycho social care and support to many refugees arriving by land or sea.  They are assisting some of the people who have fled  conflict in Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Libya and more.  CWS partner the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees is providing relief assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, made more urgent because of cuts in UN food parcels for refugee families.  Falling UN funding is making it tougher for families pushing many more to risk the journey to Europe.

DSPR urgently needs more funds to help.  DSPR Jordan distributed food and hygiene vouchers to 220 Iraqi families after finding 98% needed food, 85% lived in unhealthy conditions, 41% needed clothes and 21% of children were out of school.  The nearest public schools are filled with Syrian children.  In August they provided medical care to 1670 Iraqi refugees in three health days as well as Palestinian and Syrian families.  Much more is needed.  If you can please give to the Syria Appeal— $75 will provide a hygiene pack, $90 will provide food for a family of 6.

CWS asks Government to do more for Refugees
CWS is supporting the campaign to Double the Quota of refugees coming into Aotearoa New Zealand plus increased funding for humanitarian aid in the region.  The decision to resettle 600 Syrian refugees is the first step, but as a member of the Security Council, New Zealand needs to do more

Christmas Appeal
A young Sudanese refugee walking to school with her seat on her shoulder is the focus for this year’s Christmas Appeal.  It has been a devastating year for many people and we are appealing for help to rebuild lives.  Worship resources will be available shortly.  The order form is available now.  Resources will be posted to churches next week.  Please help us make our 70th appeal count!

Anton Marcus Visit
CWS welcomed Anton Marcus patron of the Women’s Centre and joint secretary of the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union earlier this month.  He spoke of their work with workers to improve working and living conditions in Sri Lanka’s Free Trade Zones as well as build understanding between Tamil and Sinhala workers during and after the bitter civil war.  Anton noted roads and other infrastructure were being built but factory workers were not yet paid a living wage. 


South Sudan: Prayer Request
When a fuel truck overturned 16 miles from Maridi town, locals rushed to collect some of the 31,000 litres of leaking petrol.  A soldier disbursed the crowd with a gunshot that exploded the tanker and claimed 196 lives, including whole families.  175 people were hospitalised in Maridi and Juba with serious burns.  Those involved or who lost family are traumatised.  Coming after weeks of conflict in June, Maridi Service Agency’s Wadalla Peter says there is no psychosocial help available.  He has humbly requested “your prayers for the poor and innocent people of MARIDI who have undergone a lot of bad moments within a short time.”  One of the consequences of the June conflict, was that people spent more time digging in their gardens so they are hoping for good crops.

New Sustainable Agenda
On 25 September the global community will commit to a new Sustainable Development agenda.  The UN will launch 17 new goals with 169 targets.  The top goal is to eradicate extreme poverty.  Every country will pledge to work towards the goals for the next 15 years.  The World Council of Churches is supporting the multi-faith “Moral Imperative to End Extreme Poverty” and Prayer for Everyone.

Remember: Edric Baker
CWS gives thanks for the life of Edric Baker, who died 2 September in Bangladesh.   A medical doctor, Edric set up a hospital and medical services in Kailakuri by training local people to deliver the services.  CWS helped fund this work for some years.  We remember him for his deep compassion and commitment to a people-focused, interfaith community.

Climate Justice: We have Faith
Climate justice supporters are currently cycling through Southern Africa collecting signatures on an ACT Alliance initiated climate justice petition.  If you support them, please sign it.


Supporters’ Council
CWS supporters (those who have made a financial contribution in the last two years) are invited to the annual Supporters’ Council for a report back and to consider nominations to the CWS Board.  The meeting is on Saturday, 21 November at 10 am – 1pm with lunch provided at St Andrew’s on the Terrace (Conference rooms 1 and 2), 30 The Terrace, Wellington.  Attendees are welcome to stay on to observe the AGM of the CWS Board.  RSVP by November 13 to Emma at 03 3669 274 or

Rod Oram lectures
To mark 70 years since the first Christmas Appeal, prominent Anglican and journalist Rod Oram will speak at the Transitional Cathedral, Christchurch 6:30pm October 13 and St Matthew’s in the City, Auckland 5:30pm October 29. His topic: “How your Small Change makes Big Change”.  Please join us.

About Update

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