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CWS Update November 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.

Refugee children in a camp in South Sudan head off to school with their seats on their shoulders.  The continuing conflict in the country is contributing to an acute food shortage in much of South Sudan.    Photo: ACT Alliance/P Jeffrey

November 2015

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For Your Diary
25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women plus 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
28 November People's Climate March in your community.
29 November  Advent Sunday  Launch of 70th Christmas Appeal
30 November UN Climate Summit begins in Paris
1 December  Fast for the Climate
1 December World AIDS Day
1 December West Papua Solidarity Day
3 December International Day for People with Disabilities
10 December International Human Rights Day

Help Rebuild Lives
The young refugee from Sudan featured on this year’s Christmas Appeal poster offers us a glimpse of the determination of people who have crossed borders and navigated war zones to get to safety.  Carrying her seat on her shoulder, like others at the camp where she lives in South Sudan, she is off to her open air school.  An education is her best hope for the future in a country now desperately short of food and peace.

This Advent marks the 70th anniversary since the first Appeal was launched to help Greeks recover after World War II.  The importance of helping poor people, refugees and the victims of violence has been work we have done together as part of New Zealand churches.  Seventy years later the needs are as urgent as ever.  Please give generously to this year's Christmas Appeal so many more people can rebuild their lives.  

70 Year Messages to Share
CWS has been delighted to receive messages from many of our partners, John Nduna of ACT Alliance and Helen Clark of the United Nations Development Programme.  Together they make a moving tribute to the work that we have been doing together for 70 years and the strength of our local partnerships.  You can watch messages and a video of images over the period here. Rod Oram’s Address "How Small Change Makes Big Change" is now available.

Action for Climate Justice
ACT Alliance will have a delegation at the UN Climate Change talks in Paris beginning on 30 November.  They will be asking for greater commitments from governments to cut emissions and more funds to help poor people adapt to its effects.  In Aotearoa CWS is supporting thePeople’s Climate March in 34 cities and towns on 29 November.

Visit to Sri Lankan partners
In October, International Programmes Coordinator Trish Murray visited Monlar, Devasarana and the Women’s Centre.  All are hopeful about the new government and have had some input into policies.  Trish met Tamil women in the north of the country who spoke of horrific experiences during the 30 year war and five years in detention centres at its end.  They said it will take at least a generation to re-establish their communities and restore their farms.  All three partners have worked to improve relations between ethnic groups for many years.  Devasarana brought 50 Tamil families from Mannar in the north down to Kurunegala to meet Sinhala families, establishing good relationships.  The Sinhala families made a return trip to Mannar taking tree saplings and other items with them as gifts for Tamil families.  

Jordan: Refugee’s Health
In Jordan, DSPR held a second free medical day in Souf camp for Syrian and Palestinian refugees.  Four volunteer doctors, two pharmacists and four nurses from Jordan University Hospital saw 829 patients, giving free medicines where they could.  Refugees are struggling as resources for relief shrink.  The medical day was funded by your gifts to the CWS Syria Appeal with support from the New Zealand Government.  Thank you.

We remember Ossie
CWS was sad to hear of the loss of Ossie Fernandes from South India partner Human Rights and Advocacy Foundation.  Ossie played a leading role in training Dalit and tribal women to participate in local government.  His dedication to those he worked with will be missed.

Afghanistan/Pakistan Earthquake
CWS launched an appeal after October's magnitude 7.5 earthquake devastated parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Local partner Community World Service Asia has delivered food parcels for a month to 371 families and 871 winterisation kits.  In Sanghri village at 8,000 feet,100 families received help before the cold of winter sets in (pictured).  Mobile health clinics have already seen over 2,500 patients.

Pray for the Middle East
The ACT Palestine Forum invites you to join a Prayer Vigil on the 24th of every month.  Deeply worried about the spread of hostilities in Paris, Beirut and in Israel Palestine, theirs is a message of peace.  They ask you to join them in prayer for people in the region.  A new liturgy has been prepared.  You can contribute prayers, messages of solidarity and photos.  

Christmas Appeal 2015
We value your prayers and support.  Please help us make the 70th appeal count.  You can order envelopes, service sheets and posters.  Check out the many resources on the website.  

Simply Giving 
There is still time to order a gift that multiplies.  Give a card or e-card to someone on your list and to a family that needs food, healthcare or income.  Please order by December 15th to get them before Christmas.      

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