In this issue: Horn of Africa Crisis Appeal | Uncompromising Compassion for North Korea | Run to alleviate poverty | Peace and empowerment in the Philippines | New Experience Placements for 2011-12
In recent weeks our media has been flooded with images and stories from the Horn of Africa, depicting the humanitarian crisis that is threatening to affect over 11 million people.
Drought and severe food shortages have already caused a number of areas in Somalia to be categorised as being in famine, with communities in Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti suffering as well.
As part of a network of Australian faith-based NGO’s, UnitingWorld is responding to the crisis to support relief efforts at the Dadaab and Kakuma Refugee camps located in Kenya. These camps are receiving over 1,300 people daily and the struggle to provide immediate relief is constant. The camp was originally created to accommodate 90,000, but with over 400,000 now residing in or around it, there is great strain on basic necessities like water, sanitation and food distribution. Please consider supporting relief work. For more information, please visit:
There is another humanitarian crisis happening in our own region as well. As recently reported in the media, North Korea is also facing the affects of food shortages and some parts of the country are on the brink of famine.
It is within this context that UnitingWorld partners are providing care to some of the most vulnerable in Rason City.
The Rason City humanitarian project includes a hostel for orphaned children and a tuberculosis clinic and hospital. Through various networks, UnitingWorld has the opportunity to support those who are reaching out in compassion to the people of North Korea, because what North Korea needs most is not judgement or isolation, but compassion.
“Jesus in his solidarity with the marginal ones is ‘moved to compassion’. Compassion constitutes a radical form of criticism, for it announces that the hurt is to be taken seriously, that the hurt is not to be accepted as normal and natural, but is an abnormal and unacceptable condition for humanness.” Walter Brueggemann The Prophetic Imagination
You can read more about our Uncompromising Compassion appeal, including the story of Chung Ho a former orphan, on our website.
We run for our own health and fitness, so why not run for the greater good as well?
Recently Rob Lutton, Communications and Fundraising Manager wrote about the benefits of using social media to support worthy causes while participating in public events. You can read his blog by clicking here.
To this end staff and friends of UnitingWorld are using events such as Sydney’s City2Surf or Adelaide’s City-Bay Run to raise funds and awareness of UnitingWorld’s work to alleviate poverty.
To find out more about how you can use your fitness to support us visit: http://www.unitingworld.org.au/run-to-alleviate-poverty/
A number of UnitingWorld staff recently travelled to Mindanao in the Philippines to participate in a peacemaking workshop with marginalised communities.
Part of Young Ambassadors for Peace’s (YAP) focus is engaging with the Sabanen, a people group who have been forced from their land and faced generations of marginalisation from the rest of society.
These workshops will also help pave the way for a development project to assist the Sabanen in regaining sustainable livelihoods. The project will require considerable goodwill from the wider community and this workshop made significant steps to develop relationships and networks between key community members and the Sabanen.
Pray for Joy Balazo (Associate Director – Peacemaking), Geoff Dornan (International Programs Coordinator) and the International Programs Committee (IPC) of UnitingWorld as they finalise plans for this project.
To read reflections from staff who were there, visit UnitingWorld blogs by clicking here.
Part of connecting communities for life is the opportunity for people of the Uniting Church to connect and share life with our partners in Asia, the Pacific and Africa.
UnitingWorld facilitates relationships between church partners who request assistance and volunteers who are willing to work and experience the life of partners in practical ways.
A range of exciting new placements are now displayed on the UnitingWorld website and there are opportunities for anyone – young or old, skilled or unskilled!
Why not consider volunteering for a time. We need people who want to share the hope of Christ and learn more of what He is doing in His world. Our primary need is for people who will live in communities, sharing lives in a real, day-to-day way.
Visit the UnitingWorld Experience website to view all new available experience placements, by clicking here.