CWS Hotline - 16 Feb 2009: Indonesia, Zimbabwe, OPT
In the four-plus years since the catastrophic 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Church World Service has worked in partnership to lay the foundation for long-term recovery.
CWS provided seeds, tools, bicycles, pedicabs and fishing boats to assist some 2,400 people to recover their livelihoods; more than 200 houses have been built; some 43,000 people are benefiting from water supplies and the construction/ rehabilitation of latrines, wells, and boreholes; some 7,450 people have received nutrition education and help; and 5,000 children have received vital psychosocial care.
Now our goal is to improve community resilience in Aceh Province and Nias Island, both in communities where CWS has worked since 2004, and in new communities where there are unmet needs. Focus is on continuing rehabilitation with 7,700 families in 24 villages in Aceh and 23 villages in Nias, now through June 2010.
CWS projects will include water and sanitation--the construction of family or community sanitation facilities in at least 18 villages (latrines, septic tanks and drainage), and construction of wells and boreholes or other water supply systems. CWS will also help to establish or strengthen community water organizations and promote health and hygiene activities. Peer education on HIV and AIDS is also planned.
Through the CWS program, participants will be able to strengthen their family livelihoods (in part via support for small businesses); improve the health and nutrition of children and mothers; and improve the capacity of their communities to provide a safe and healthy educational environment--water and sanitation facilities and improved hygiene practices--for their children.
Almost a year after disputed elections in Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as prime minister on February 11 in a long-awaited power-sharing agreement with President Robert Mugabe.
Tsvangirai vows to salvage the economy of Zimbabwe, where more than 90 percent of Zimbabwean workers are unemployed, some six million need food aid, and more than 3,500 people have died from a cholera epidemic.
Responding to the critical economic situation in Zimbabwe, CWS partner Christian Care is providing monthly food rations of maize, cooking oil and beans for some 26,900 people in Gutu and Mwenezi Districts, Masvingo Province. And, in Zvishavane District, conservation farming training and provision of maize and fertilizer is assisting 900 rural households.
The air strikes and the shooting have stopped, but like many people in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Suhaila Tarazi can't quite believe that the violence has ended.
At the Al Ahli Arab Hospital, where she is director, life is slowly returning to what passes as normal in a health facility where, because of Israel's blockade, supplies are always short. The 50-bed hospital is supported in part by CWS and other members of the Action by Churches Together International alliance.
Dr. Tarazi remains undaunted. "Our philosophy is to provide health care without discrimination of religion, gender, political affiliation and social class," she says. "All patients are equal. That's the church's mission, to help the needy without differences."
In response to the humanitarian situation in Gaza this year, CWS is helping to support the transport of food, powdered milk, and blankets for displaced people, and medical supplies and bedding for Gaza clinics and the Al Ahli Arab Hospital.