HOTLINE - week of May 10, 2010
Children returning to school in Haiti; CWS supporting displaced people in Pakistan; CWS helping U.S. communities as they recover from spring storms and flooding
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A student in école Sainte Croix in Léogâne, Haiti, where CWS is helping students return to class.
Photo: Maria Havala/ACT
Masséd Dimy, a teacher at école Saint Esprit in the city of Darbonne, was at work on January 12 when the earthquake hit. Together with his students, he managed to run out of the school building before it collapsed. All of them survived.
“I felt very stressed afterwards, but now I’m feeling much better. My only fear is that there will be a new earthquake which is even stronger than the previous one,” Mr. Dimy tells us.
Both teachers and students have received psycho-social support to cope with the fears the quake caused. Discussions have helped them to understand what happened and to handle their traumas.
With support from the CWS-supported ACT Alliance, five of the largest schools in the areas of Léogâne, Grand Goave and Petit Goave are now up and running in tents.
In école Saint-Esprit, seven tents put up in the school playground started operating three weeks ago and are now hosting several hundred students from kindergarten to secondary school, with more returning to school each day.
Being one of the few schools now operating again, école Sainte Croix is open to all children in the area, including students from surrounding schools that were destroyed.
The biggest concern is the heat which cannot be avoided at this time of the year. Shade netting has been installed to provide some relief, but students will have to study through the hot summer months to catch up with their peers in the rest of the country.
ACT is working to have 30 target schools fully operational with access to clean drinking water, sanitation facilities and a school feeding program within the next six months. Eventually, the aim is to reconstruct all 30 schools in the area, and maybe build even more.
Church World Service continues to respond to humanitarian needs in around the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan (NWFP) following a 2009 military offensive by the Pakistani government that displaced more than 2 million people. While many of the displaced have returned to their homes, some internally displaced people (IDPs) have yet to reach home because of security fears.
CWS has been responding to the immediate needs of the IDPs, providing emergency shelter, food and other non-food items, water, sanitation and hygiene, and health services.
Now, CWS is assisting returnees and other community members regain their livelihoods, educational opportunities, and access to primary health care services.
Five hundred of the most vulnerable families are reviving, rehabilitating and strengthening their animal husbandry knowledge and access to veterinary services--helping increase milk production and provide a sustainable source of income. Honey bee management training and support for young women as they start small businesses focused on food processing are also helping provide a steady source of income for some of those who need it the most.
CWS will repair and equip three schools for female students in the Swat Valley, helping some 600 girls gain access to an improved quality education. School-based disaster preparedness will be part of the curriculum.
And, two CWS-supported health units will provide health services to some 70,000 people.
For more on these efforts, please visit www.churchworldservice.org/news
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After tornadoes and prolific rains hit the southern U.S., damage was most severe in Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Mississippi. CWS Emergency Response Specialists have been in contact with disaster recovery personnel in all affected areas. CWS expects to work with long-term recovery partners in multiple states and has sent various CWS Kits to partners in the region. In all cases, CWS expects to provide emergency response grants to nascent long-term recovery groups and material resources as needed.
Your support for Church World Service work around the world and in the U.S. is urgently needed.