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CWS Update October 2015

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

October 2015

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Ama Takiloa members in Makaunga, Tonga show off lettuces grown in their Demonstration Garden.  Their gardening was so successful that they have established an Extension Demonstration plot.  With El Nino likely to bring drought to Tonga this summer, investing in food will be more important than ever. 

For Your Diary

11– 18 October Churches’ Week of Action on Food
29 October —5:30 pm Rod Oram “How Small Change Makes Big Change” at St Matthew in the City Auckland.  All welcome.  RSVP now.
1 November  Fast for the Climate
14 – 18  November Methodist Conference

Fight Hunger with Food

Ahead of World Food Day the Food and Agricultural Organisation reported a decline in the numbers of undernourished people.  It estimated 795 million people are hungry, down 167 million over the last decade.  On World Food Day (16 October), the FAO called for more investment in social protection in rural areas where nearly 80% of poor people are found.   It urged support for over 500 million small family farms to help eliminate hunger.  Many CWS partners work with small farmers to improve their return and family nutrition.  Monlar in Sri Lanka is one partner that has strengthened relationships with government policymakers in an effort to promote more sustainable farming practice for smallholders and promote food sovereignty.

Sparks in the Stubble 
In Christchurch, Rod Oram was intent on lighting a few sparks at the Transitional Cathedral.  Despite the magnitude of current crises ranging from ecological disasters to war in Syria, he expressed his belief that by making small change, big change will happen.  At the well-supported gathering to celebrate 70 years of service, National Director Pauline McKay and retired Bishop David Coles recalled the first Christmas Appeal in 1945.  Rod Oram will speak in Auckland at St Matthew in the City at 5:30pm, 29 October.  Please join us.  RSVP for catering.

Refugee Update
ACT Alliance continues to help record numbers of refugees reaching Europe with food, shelter and other assistance.  The UNHCR reported over 643,000 people had arrived via the Mediterranean.  Syrians see no hope at home.  Refugees are worried borders will close in Europe.  Please pray for them and support the Syria Appeal

Last month DSPR Jordan ran more training for trainers’ (refugee volunteers) workshops promoting girls’ education and support for mothers as well as 2 children's forums, 5 life skills workshops for young people and one free medical day in Souf camp.  They provided food and hygiene coupons to 220 Iraqi families.

Climate Negotiations
ACT Alliance along with 153 religious leaders from different faith groups handed over a statement to Christina Figueres, executive director of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change ahead of  final negotiations in Bonn this week.  The declaration calls for a fair and ambitious agreement, cuts in emissions, financial support and ecological stewardship.

World Disasters Report
The Red Cross reported 317 natural disasters affecting almost 107 million people in 94 countries last year.  87% of these disasters were climate related.  The report highlighted the effectiveness of local groups in the first response although often underfunded. 

Caring: Our Common Home
Caritas has released its inaugural overview of environmental issues facing people in Oceania or the Pacific: Caring for our Common Home.

Palestine/Israel: Peace Please
Concerned about growing violence, the ACT Palestine Forum asks the global community to hold to the vision of peace that is fading from their land.  In writing to CWS last week, DSPR’s Bernard Sabella underlined the need to address the root causes or the situation will only worsen.  Zack Sabella reflects on events. 

New Internationalist
For an in-depth look at global issues, CWS recommends the award-winning New Internationalist magazine.  They also sell calendars, books on topical issues and recycled products. 

Philippines: Typhoons
Two years on from Typhoon Haiyan, National Council of Churches in the Philippines and Developers have reported back on their achievements.  They focused on vulnerable communities, and are supporting people needing help to rebuild homes and livelihoods.

Supporters’ Council
CWS supporters (those who have made a financial contribution in the last two years) are invited to the annual Supporters’ Council.  The meeting is on Saturday, 21 November at 10 am – 1 pm with lunch provided at St Andrew’s on the Terrace, 30 The Terrace, Wellington.  Nominations are open for a Supporter’s Council position on the Board. RSVP by November 13 to Emma at 03 3669 274.

Christmas Appeal
Please help us make our 70th appeal count.  Leaflets and posters are available for order from Emma.  Other resources are being added to the website

Giving made Simple
Choose a gift and multiply the good.  Give once to someone on your list and to family that needs to grow food or income.  Ask for a catalogue or order cards and e-cards online.

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.

About Update

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