VENEZUELA - Some 100,000 people remain living in shelters, and many more are staying with family and friends, following the devastating flash floods and mudslides that killed more than 15,000 people in mid-December. Relief and recovery needs from the disaster are challenging the Venezuelan government, which is already facing increases in unemployment and inflation, reports Paul Jeffrey, who is in Venezuela on behalf of CWS and Action by Churches Together (ACT). "There's a new permeability in the government to participation by popular organizations and non-governmental organizations," says Launem Silva, a volunteer with CWS partner, Centro de Educación Popular "Exeario Sosa Lujan" (CEPEXSOL).
CWS has provided Health Kits and Baby Kits, along with $20,000 for blankets and mattresses for evacuees being assisted by our partners, CEPEXSOL in Barquisimeto, and Caracas-based Asociación Civil Paz y Vida. With the help of our Honduras-based partner, the Christian Commission for Development (CCD), CWS has also provided materials and pastoral care, and assisted in the development of an ecumenical disaster response committee with our partners in Venezuela.
CWS assists victims of China earthquakes
CHINA - Relief and recovery efforts continue for survivors of two January 14 earthquakes in southwest China's Yunnan Province. Long-time CWS partner, the Amity Foundation, is responding to the situation, and is distributing shelter materials and cotton quilts to vulnerable, homeless families exposed to the freezing winter temperatures. Already, 3,000 cotton quilts and wind- and water-proof tarp cloth were distributed in late January. "These relief materials are life-saving materials," said one disaster survivor. "Some of the weak, the old, and the young might have died of the cold if it had not been for these quilts and cloth."
CWS is providing $50,000 in Blanket Funds, and is seeking $80,000 to support needs in the area.
"Gift of the Heart" Kits arrive in Turkey
TURKEY - A second shipment of CWS "Gift of the Heart" Health and Baby Kits, valued at $100,500, arrived in Turkey as relief and recovery efforts continue following two devastating earthquakes in August and September of last year.
Alan "Mick" McCain, a United Church of Christ missioner who has been assisting our partners in Turkey, reports that the kits "came through in apple pie order." Says McCain, "I was particularly glad to be present when we distributed the health kits and layettes because I had so recently been in churches where women's groups were assembling them..."
CWS has been working with Action by Churches Together (ACT) and the Christian Churches in Turkey Steering Committee for Disaster Relief to help provide bedding, winterized tents fitted with heating stoves, tarps, food, sanitation facilities, and other supplies to families in affected areas.
Drought and famine in Kenya
KENYA - Church World Service is seeking $100,000 to assist with food relief efforts in Kenya, where thousands of people are at risk of starvation. Severe drought has caused famine throughout the country, most seriously affecting the Turkana district in northwestern Kenya. CWS is helping to support the emergency efforts of local partners, including the National Council of Churches of Kenya.
CWS provides Blankets
CWS BLANKETS - CWS is providing 100 Blankets to the Park Place Christian Church in Wichita Falls, Texas, for distribution in the Reynosa area of Mexico during an upcoming mission trip.
Your prayers and support make possible these and other life sustaining programs. For information on the contents of Gift of the Heart Kits, please click on the link or call your Church World Service/CROP Regional Office toll-free at 1-888-CWS-CROP, that's 1-888-297-2767.
Financial contributions may be sent through your local church, or directly to:
Church World Service
28606 Phillips St.
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 On-line Giving Page
For information about free loan videos, please call your regional office or the Elkhart office at 1-800-297-1516, e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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