HOTLINE - week of January 25, 2010

CWS continues to respond to emergency needs in quake-hit Haiti; Youth caregivers in parts of Africa becoming empowered

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Haiti girl at water faucet
Haiti--A girl in the Belair neighborhood of Port-au-Prince who survived Haiti's devastating January 12 earthquake enjoys safe water for the first time after a CWS-supported ACT Alliance member installed a water system for homeless families.
Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance

Haiti earthquake emergency

“We are thankful for our brothers and sisters in Christ who have not forgotten about us,” says Herode Guillaumettre, director of CWS partner Christian Center for Integrated Development. “We are still treating many of the injured and sick and we are feeding them and giving them water.”  

To help meet emergency needs, Church World Service is providing basic supplies for quake survivors.  Deliveries began within the first 24 hours.  Among supplies being provided in the CWS and ACT Alliance effort: CWS Kits and Blankets, medical supplies, food and water.    

Food and supply distribution points supported in part by CWS have been established in five sites, with the hub of the distribution network in Pétionville.  

CWS is also providing 60 medicine boxes to address the ongoing desperate medical needs of survivors in Port-au-Prince.  Each Interchurch Medical Assistance medicine box contains essential medicines and medical supplies to treat the routine ailments of about 1,000 adults and children for up to two months.

CWS-supported efforts as part of the larger Action by Churches Together Alliance also include construction of temporary water systems, providing water purification materials, tents and food packages.  Long-term CWS work will focus on food security in rural areas.

CWS is also expanding work with people with disabilities in Port-au-Prince, and helping to restore the operating capacity of partners Service Chretien d’Haiti and Christian Center for Integrated Development, whose buildings were damaged or destroyed.

Three trauma counselors and psycho-social care specialists are providing assistance for individuals, especially children, in Port-au-Prince.  Services will also be provided for aid workers who are suffering in the wake of the death, injuries, loss and tragedy.

Your support is urgently needed.  CWS is seeking cash donations and contributions of CWS Hygiene and Baby Care Kits. 

Visit www.churchworldservice.org to find out how you can help.

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Eastern and Southern Africa

“These achievements are not our achievements, but the achievements of the youth in the communities in which we work,” says Giving Hope’s Caroline Thuo Reggy.  

More than 10,000 youth caregiver households, 900 working groups, and 40,000 children are working with local partners in Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique, and becoming empowered through the CWS Giving Hope program.  

Youth-caregiver households (orphans and other youth caregivers) affected by HIV/AIDS and other challenges are managing their own and their families’ well-being.  Through the Giving Hope program, youth caregivers develop confidence in their own ideas and skills, develop new skills, and find strength by joining together with other youth in working groups.  

When asked what about the program is most meaningful to her, Reggy says, "To me, it's the transformation in the youth.  They come from a place where they seem lost, and they end up empowered."  Wendy Ochieng is one of the empowered, a teen whose parents--her father an orthopedic surgeon and her mother a teacher--died, leaving her to take care of three siblings.  Relatives took all of the family’s possessions, leaving them destitute.  

Ochieng began selling paraffin to support her family.  It gave them a meager income.  Then she met Josephine, her mentor in the Giving Hope program.  Josephine encouraged her to try raising chickens.  

Today, Ochieng has raised three flocks of chickens, is doing much better, and helping her siblings go to school. “Life is what you make it,” says Ochieng.

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