As we enter a new year, the situation in Darfur remains very serious. The Church World Service-supported ACT humanitarian program in Darfur began in 2004, to assist families displaced by violence between the government and various rebel factions, and remains one of the largest humanitarian programs in South and West Darfur, assisting some 350,000 people.
The cornerstone of the CWS-supported program in Darfur remains the delivery of life-saving services to displaced families and to the communities hosting them.
In 2009, CWS-supported efforts provided assistance to people in South and West Darfur. Nearly 168,000 people gained access to water through 38 water systems; 173,965 people had access to health care in ten health facilities; 29,206 displaced families received non-food items; three schools were built, nine rehabilitated and one vocational center established; 20,151 malnourished people were fed at nutrition centers; young people in South and West Darfur took part in a "sports for peace" program; a grassroots peacebuilding initiative was developed through the training of 190 community-based organization members in peacebuilding, conflict resolution and reconciliation; 22 microfinance groups were formed; and 14 women's committees worked on adult education and literacy programs.
This year, efforts are focusing on nutrition and feeding centers for the displaced; additional water and sanitation projects; psycho-social assistance; increased peacebuilding and protection efforts; and community empowerment projects. Highlights include support for seven feeding clinics and four nutrition centers, and the ongoing construction of educational facilities.
Get your congregation or group together this year to assemble CWS Kits! CWS Hygiene Kits, School Kits, Baby Care Kits and CWS Emergency Clean-up Buckets are in great demand. For example, this past year we provided 18,000 CWS Hygiene Kits in Syria to assist families who had fled conflict in Iraq. And, in the U.S., 2,520 Hygiene Kits and 510 Baby Care Kits went to the Maryville Armory, in North Dakota, to assist area families facing emergency situations. Visit www.churchworldservice.org/kits for more details.