HOTLINE - week of December 27, 2010

CWS continues to assist flood-affected families in Pakistan; Supporting people with disabilities in Haiti; Displaced young people in Georgia find hope for the future through CWS-supported program; End-of-Year giving with CWS

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Two girls in Pakistan
Two girls who, with their family, are recovering from devastating floods that began in July.
Photo: CWS


Families in Pakistan continue their long path toward recovery after the devastating floods that inundated one-fifth of the country and affected some 18 million people.

"Now with the winter season approaching and temperatures dropping below zero in the evenings… we are getting a big load of respiratory tract infection cases," says CWS health specialist Dr. Qamar Zaman, based at the CWS offices in Mansehra, Pakistan. "This is especially the case among children who are most vulnerable because they are living where there is no proper heating available--if they have any shelter at all.

"We fear that if no timely interventions are made, we are going to see pneumonia cases, which eventually could lead to high infant and child mortality," Qamar says.

"CWS has equipped its health units in Kohistan… province with essential medicine… Our female health staff and doctors are also conducting health education sessions on the prevention of respiratory tract infections to keep the numbers at a minimum."

Qamar also explains that food security remains an issue. "CWS is introducing livelihood programs for people and is planning to distribute cows… in the worst-hit areas." Qamar says that children affected by the floods desperately need milk. "It's almost impossible for the family to purchase milk from the market because of the extreme poverty," Qamar explains. "We give first priority to widows and women with children in the worst-hit areas."

CWS is providing food for more than 91,000 people. And, more than 100,000 people are receiving emergency and preventive care through CWS mobile health units and CWS-managed health facilities. CWS is also providing shelter kits and construction trades training, cash-for-work projects and grants to help in the recovery effort.

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CWS continues to assist some of the most vulnerable people in Haiti--those with disabilities--after the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake.

Through the CWS program, people with disabilities have gained access to services, psychosocial support, trauma counseling and tools or working capital to recover their jobs and incomes.

Kenise Diovan’s son, Kenisen, was born 22 days before the earthquake. Her home collapsed and her infant son’s injuries meant he had to have one of his legs amputated.

"I lost all I possessed; I used to cry all the time, as I was overcome with grief. But one day I met a couple of program staff who counseled me often and encouraged me to participate in a CWS-supported program for people with disabilities.

"I found help, and with the use of a grant from the program I was able to start selling things," says Diovan. "Today I have the means to live decently with my child. Thank you very much, and I pray this program continues in Haiti."

CWS continues to address emergency and recovery needs in the wake of the earthquake, and support the work of agricultural cooperatives in northwest Haiti. As part of cholera prevention and mitigation, CWS is providing CWS Hygiene Kits and water purification supplies in the Artibonite and Northwest regions, and in areas in and around Port-au-Prince. CWS and its partners are also providing education on good hygiene practices.

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Kesareli Levani, 17, comes from a village in the Tskhinvali region of Georgia, formerly a part of the Soviet Union. "Before and during the first days of the August war in 2008, everything seemed so far away from us until the Russian soldiers came to our village, where they bombed houses… Many people were killed. It was a miracle that we survived," says Levani.

"We escaped from the village late at night." Levani’s family stayed briefly in a tent camp and then moved on to Tbilisi, Georgia, where Levani and his brother are now attending school.

"Not long ago I learned about the Tbilisi Youth House and the After-War Healing program. It was a unique chance for me and my brother," Levani continues. The CWS-supported Tbilisi Youth House Foundation provides tutorial help and psychological assistance for young people displaced by conflict.

"I want to become a lawyer," explains Levani. "Today, with the help of this program my dreams seem more real. The people at the [CWS-supported] Youth House have given me hope and belief for tomorrow."

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Year-end giving

Your year-end gift to CWS--no matter the size--is more important than ever, meeting emergency needs and helping hungry children and families help themselves. Please donate now. Thank you for your generosity.

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CWS wishes you and yours a safe and happy New Year and looks forward to bringing help and hope into the lives of many in 2011 and beyond!

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


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