HOTLINE - week of January 11, 2010

CWS responding in wake of earthquake in Haiti; CWS continues assisting displaced families in Darfur, Sudan; Providing rice for pre-schoolers in Vietnam; CWS Kits in great demand

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Updated January 15, 2010

People react as a woman collapses  
Haiti--People react as a woman collapses on a street after a major earthquake struck Port-au-Prince.
Photo: REUTERS/Reuters TV, courtesy

Haiti earthquake

“Church World Service is immediately deploying relief assistance and is committed to be part of the long-term recovery effort,” says CWS Executive Director and CEO John L. McCullough, speaking about CWS response in the wake of the Jan. 12 earthquake that reduced much of  Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, to rubble.  “We have a long established relationship with Haiti and with regional humanitarian partners… participating in relief and development work, including agricultural and construction projects…”

CWS’s Don Tatlock is coordinating CWS efforts in Haiti, and is in contact with longtime partners in Haiti, including local partners Service Chretien d’Haiti, SKDE (Sant Kretyen Pou Developman Entegre) and the Ecumenical Foundation for Peace and Justice. 

House of Hope, a program of the Ecumenical Foundation for Peace and Justice, is a day school CWS supports in Port-au-Prince.  Preliminary information indicates the building is damaged.  Staff are trying to determine the safety of other staff and the children. 

CWS is sending funds to local partners in Haiti as we continue to assess the situation. In addition, CWS partner in the Dominican Republic, SSID (Social Services for the Dominican Churches), is sending pre-positioned CWS Kits and Blankets from its warehouse in the capital, Santo Domingo, to Haiti. 

CWS-supported efforts will include the construction of temporary water systems, providing water purification supplies, tents and food packages.

CWS is pressing members of the U.S. government to grant Temporary Protected Status to Haitians, allowing them to remain in the United States for at least 18  months as part of a comprehensive response to the humanitarian crisis. 

Your support is urgently needed.  Visit to find out how you can help.

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Darfur, Sudan

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.

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In Muong Te district, Lai Chau province--one of the poorest districts in Vietnam--915 ethnic minority pre-schoolers, whose families cannot afford to send food along to school with their children, are receiving a rice meal at school with the help of Church World Service.

The Vietnamese government provides school food for grades 1 through 5, but not for pre-schoolers.  The rice-at-school is important for the ethnic minority kids, both nutritionally and for their educational future.  Having grown up learning the local dialect language at home, they need the head start pre-school offers in learning Vietnamese, the standard language in schools.

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CWS Kits

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 for more details.

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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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