HOTLINE - week of September 27, 2010

Women in Kenya develop livelihoods; CWS continues flood assistance in Pakistan; plans for long-term recovery; CWS embraces global nutrition initiatives; U.S. emergencies: floods and fires; Speaking out on the Water for the World Act.

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Kenya--Through a CWS-supported livelihood program, Penina has begun her own small business, and she and her family are thriving.
Photo:  CWS


Penina lives with her family in the Mt. Elgon region. Last year, Penina heard about CWS’s Improved Livelihoods Program, which sponsored trainings on group formation.  

Penina and other women formed a group called chikhabi, or blessings, and learned about business management, credit, savings, and loan management through the program.  This was the beginning of a new life for Penina and her family.  

After the trainings were complete, each group member received a small loan to start a business.  With the loan, Penina began buying and selling maize, and her business quickly grew.  For the first time in her life, Penina is able to consistently provide for her family.  Everyday she and her family have two meals, and she has been able to send her three youngest children back to school, of which she is very proud.  Penina says she is thankful for the work of CWS and looks forward to great things ahead.

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Pakistan emergency

Church World Service is increasing the scope of its emergency flood response to meet the growing needs of affected families. As well as undertaking mobilizing new partners in Sindh and Punjab, CWS is continuing its food and non-food-item distributions and the operation of its mobile health units across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in Baluchistan.  

More than 91,200 people have received food and more than 75,000 have received non-food items.  CWS is also helping to supply emergency shelter and medical care.

CWS is also planning long-term recovery assistance that meets health and livelihood needs.  At three construction trades training centers, similar to the ones employed in recovery from the 2005 earthquake in northern Pakistan, some 900 men from Swat, Khairpur and Thatta districts will gain construction trades skills to increase their household income, while helping to rebuild their homes and communities.

In addition, 4,500 landless laborers will take part in a CWS cash-for-work program, and 4,500 land-owning farmers will receive seeds, tools and fertilizer through a voucher program.  Also, 300 families will receive livestock and training in livestock care and breeding, and 300 small business owners will receive cash grants so they can restock and repair their businesses.

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Global nutrition initiatives

The newly-announced UN Scaling Up Nutrition "SUN" Roadmap and the “1,000 Days: Change a Life, Change the Future” initiative to reduce child under-nutrition demonstrates how the world can save millions of children’s lives and the future of tomorrow’s generation, says CWS.  

“If we follow the path laid forward by the new SUN framework,” notes CWS Deputy Director and Head of Programs Maurice A. Bloem, “and if we all work together to focus on the first 1,000 days of life and the truly simple interventions that support infant and maternal health and nutritional well-being, chronic child malnutrition can become part of human history and not part of our future.”

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U.S. emergencies

Several midwestern states including Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin are experiencing severe flooding. Texas, Kentucky and Missouri have also seen recent flooding. In addition, parts of Colorado battled wild fires in recent weeks.

CWS continues work in long-term recovery organizing in flood-affected parts of Missouri.  CWS is also assessing damage from the recent Colorado fires.  In response to flooding in Texas, CWS has provided 60 CWS Baby Kits, 1,020 Hygiene Kits, 510 School Kits and 378 Emergency Clean-up Buckets to partners in Corpus Christi.

Additional CWS Emergency Clean-up Buckets are urgently needed. Instructions for how to assemble them is at

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One billion people worldwide lack clean water, making them vulnerable to illness--or even death. "Because it is critical for life and human dignity, access to water needs to be fully implemented as a fundamental human right," says John L. McCullough, executive director and CEO of CWS.

You can urge leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives to schedule a vote on the Water for the World Act at

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Your support for Church World Service work around the world and in the U.S. is urgently needed.


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