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CWS Update May 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

May 2016

Download as PDF  or read the text below:

For Your Diary

23—24 World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul, Turkey

5 June—World Environment Day—Go Wild for Life

16—20 June— Operation Refugee—Sign up or support us.

26 June—Refugee Sunday - ”I cry aloud to God” Worship resources available early June

20 June—World Refugee Day

3 July—Refugee Sunday (Anglican tradition) “Peace to this House" Worship resources available early June

ACT/P Jeffrey

A young Syrian refugee makes a new life in Jordan’s Za’atari Refugee camp.  Set up in July 2012, Za’atari now shelters 79,396 people.  Photo: ACT Alliance/Paul Jeffrey

Operation Refugee
There is nothing like a challenge with a purpose.  CWS is looking for 100 people willing to give refugee families in Jordan and Lebanon a hand.  They need food, education and medicine.  By signing up to Operation Refugee you can keep hope alive for families short of food, education, medical care and fearful of the future.  The more funds raised the more refugee families can be helped.

The Operation Refugee challenge is to live on refugee rations from 16-20 June and raise funds for Syrian Refugees.  CWS will send participants the rations, recipes and fundraising tips.  Will you join us to get help to refugees in the Middle East?  Please register now or encourage someone you know with the promise of sponsorship.  

Refugee Sunday Worship Resources
In Syria conflict continues to rip the land and its people apart.  Faced with only destruction, families and communities have sought refuge and hope across the border.  Neighbouring countries (Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey) are sheltering 4,844,111 people—most outside refugee camps.  Since April 2011, 1,004,345 have applied for asylum in Europe - numbers include repeat applications in different countries -slightly more than 10% of those who left Syria.  CWS is preparing Worship Resources for Refugee Sunday available at the beginning of June.  We will ask again for your support to the Syria Appeal ahead of World Refugee Day.  Please pray for peace and protection for Syrians.


More than 10 million Ethiopians are in danger from widespread drought.  ACT Alliance is helping with food, water, sanitation and more.  Photo: ACT/J Odé

The first World Humanitarian Summit opens in Istanbul, Turkey on May 23.  Governments, United Nations officials and Nongovernmental Organisations will explore ways to address the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time.  In the preparatory document, Agenda for Humanity, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon identified five core responsibilities: prevent and end conflict, respect international rules of law, leave no one behind, working differently to end need and invest in humanity. 

According to the UN, 125 million people in 37 countries are affected by the crisis—more than 60 million people are displaced.  Conflict is the main driver—80% of costs are to meet the needs of people affected by war.

Natural disasters are expected to increase as climate change causes more severe weather patterns and rising water levels displace many more communities.  Christian Aid in a new report ACT Now or Pay Later says more than 1 billion people will be exposed to coastal flooding by 2060.  ACT Alliance will participate in the meetings. 

CWS has written to Foreign Minister Murray McCully and other MPs encouraging deliverable outcomes and asking for support to increase aid levels from the current 0.27% of Gross National Income.

Pacific Islands submerged
The Solomon Islands has lost five uninhabited islands due to rising sea levels according to scientists.  Large areas of land have disappeared on six others, forcing people from two of them to relocate.  CWS supports increased action for climate justice.

West Papua visitor
Rev Socratez Sofyan Yoman president of the Baptist Church in West Papua spoke about what is happening for the indigenous people of West Papua under Indonesian rule.  As a church leader he spends a lot of time talking to people who are losing access to their own lands and livelihoods.  After 53 years of occupation, West Papua’s 250 tribes, are being displaced by boat and plane loads of Indonesian migrants.  He noted Indonesians run shopping malls while West Papuans sell food from the footpath. 

Socratez cited widespread human rights violations that show West Papua is not part of Indonesia.  Papuans are denied freedom of speech, are beaten and killed, and are treated differently under Indonesian law.  West Papuans raising the Morning Star flag are imprisoned for 10 –15 years.  Read We will lose Everything, the report from a fact finding mission of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane.  Large scale mining is destroying the land and waterways of its people. 

He  asked New Zealanders for prayers and solidarity. CWS partner the Pacific Conference of Churches is supporting their bid for reinstatement on the UN Decolonisation list. 

Please consider writing to the Minister of Foreign Affairs urging New Zealand to support third party mediated peaceful negotiations between the Indonesian government and the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.   

Tonga: Autumn Story
Ama Takiloa are weaving their way to a better future.   Thank you for supporting their work.  Read their story: Sharing the Secrets of Success. 

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