A young Syrian refugee loves school. Her teacher asks a question and she raises her hand to answer the maths problem. Seated at her desk with others, there is no sign of the fears she has left at the school door. She wants to learn and enjoys playing with her new friends in Lebanon where her family has taken shelter.
Inside, she carries stories of violence and pain from the time the war came to her home. Focusing on the lesson helps her forget about the tent that is her home and the hardships her family has endured. Like every refugee, she is looking for safety and a future.
At CWS we know our future is bound up with others. We have a responsibility to our neighbour in need. When climate change, the plight of refugees and threats of violence are global issues, we choose to take action.
In large and small communities, there are people working to a different agenda. Where there is poverty, they see a way out. When disaster strikes, they rally their knowledge and international expertise to help. Our local partners are on the job. They know who needs help first, regardless of race, religion or where they are from. CWS works with them because we know they treat people with respect and are determined they have food, water, dignity and justice.
Read more about the 2017 Christmas Appeal on the dedicated website.
Your gift to the Christmas Appeal will make sure our local partners can continue to lead people out of the misery and despair of poverty with new skills, a better income, and a more secure future. People will not have to face the future alone but will find the strength that comes from communities working together.
The CWS Christmas Appeal has been a tradition in New Zealand churches since 1945 when the first Christmas Bowl appeal was launched to raise funds for post war reconstruction in Europe.
Chris Nichol writes on the 70th anniversary.
Watch 70 years of history: