Albania + 5 more

CWS Hotline - 21/06/1999

News and Press Release
Originally published
Ethnic Albanians begin their return home.
Kosovo -- "As peace gains a foothold, the crisis here changes but continues," cautions Vitali Vorona, Church World Service representative in the Balkans.

On the roads into Kosovo, scenes of joy are tempered with the harsh reality of homes destroyed, family members lost, and lives changed forever.

In the weeks and months ahead nearly 1,000,000 ethnic Albanians will attempt to return to their homes and communities
in Kosovo. Having survived the worst humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II, these families face an uncertain

As the Kosovo crisis developed, thanks to congregations, groups, and individuals across the U.S., Church World Service was one of the first relief agencies on the scene. Working with a network of church agencies worldwide, CWS provided tents, blankets and bedding, "Gift of the Heart" Recovery Kits, medicine, medical supplies, baby food, and other essentials.

Now we're assisting refugees who remain encamped in Bosnia, and providing medicine in Macedonia and seeds and tools to sorely stretched host families in Albania.

Nurturing the recovery as families return to Kosovo, CWS is joining hands and hearts with ecumenical partners to help provide food, blankets, tools for rebuilding, agricultural and water system rehabilitation, demining assistance, and support for community dialogue.

Please help to fill this historic, long-prayed-for homecoming with hope by

  • Making a contribution
  • Supporting your congregation's TOOLS OF HOPE or Blanket Offering
  • Assembling Gift of the Heart Kits and Praying for a lasting peace and for the families of Kosovo as they work to rebuild their homes and their lives
Families in China receive emergency and development assistance.

China -- Church World Service partner, the Amity Foundation, is helping to alleviate the despair of families recovering from 1998's summer flooding, which damaged or destroyed 18 million homes and some 53 million acres of farmland. In one six-member family, the elderly, paralyzed patriarch considered killing himself out of desperation, until the gift of 130 pounds of rice through Amity encouraged him to live. He was reminded of the goodness in other people. CWS is helping to support rehabilitation efforts in Jiangxi, Fujian and Hunan provinces, where Amity is providing food, bedding, and medicines, as well as rehabilitation assistance for home and school reconstruction and water and irrigation system recovery.

CWS is also assisting other Amity projects. This past year, CWS provided funds for the building of triple-purpose fodder tanks in an area where there is little land available for cultivation and the soil is not rich. The fodder is made from
crop straw and plant leaves, providing sufficient fodder any time of the year. Amity is helping to build 5,000 fodder tanks in five townships.

In Luliang prefecture, a mountainous area which suffers from soil erosion and lack of water resources, CWS is helping Amity build water catchment systems for 14,000 families. The catchment system will allow rainwater to be stored efficiently during the rainy season. The system uses concrete on the roofs and courtyards of the village houses to form water-collecting surfaces and to collect sedimented and filtered rainwater in underground tanks.

In the past year, CWS has provided more than $250,000 to assist Amity with emergency and development projects in China.

Pakistani cyclone survivors continue to receive recovery assistance.

Pakistan -- CWS staff in Pakistan provided some 2,020 vulnerable families in cyclone-devastated Sindh Province with
food packages, shelter materials and malaria medicine.

Your prayers and support make possible these and other life sustaining programs. Gifts may be made through your local church, or directly to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN

46515. To make a credit card contribution, please call 1-800-297-1516, ext. 222, or visit the CWS website at For information about CWS/CROP community events in your area, please call your regional office at 1-888-297-2767. For information about free loan videos, please call your regional office or the Elkhart office at 1-800-297-1516, e-mail to: To receive the Hotline via e-mail, please send your e-mail address to