The CWS Blog

CWS and IOCC Collaborate to Bring “Help and Hope” to U.S. Disaster Survivors

Daniel Christopulos  |  July 23, 2014

To sit and listen to hard-working people who have just lost their homes and sometimes livelihoods to disaster is indeed humbling.  As they come to ask us for help, it helps us realize that, regardless of how faithful or hard working we might be, in the world we “will have tribulation” (John 16:33).  

As U.S. Country Representative for International Orthodox Christian Charities, a Church World Service partner, I often travel to disaster-affected communities and meet survivors. 

For example, during a visit last September to recently flood-ravaged Loveland, Colo., I met Matt.  He said he lived west of Loveland next to the Big Thompson River and told me his story.

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How a Micro-Loan is Changing Christopher’s Life

Julie Brumana  |  July 21, 2014

I had an amazing opportunity this fall to travel to East Africa with several other U.S.-based CWS staff colleagues to visit with CWS staff, partners, and projects throughout Kenya and Tanzania.

I met many people whose lives had been touched by their partnership with CWS. I met schoolchildren enjoying the benefit of desks, latrines and water as well as their parents who now have a voice in the education of their children. I met community leaders who showed us greenhouses, livestock and beehives which are providing food, income and hope to their communities. I met youth taking charge of their own futures by supporting one another and lifting up the inherent value each one possesses. And I met Christopher.

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CWS Committed to Continuing Support for the People of Fukushima

Yukiko Maki-Murakami  |  July 15, 2014

Three years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, CWS continues to support local partners working to help survivors. Yukiko Maki-Murakami, project officer for CWS Japan, visited Fukushima with one of our generous donors in May 2014 to see firsthand some results of CWS’s recovery work with survivors of the disaster.  Following are some of her impressions:

I regretted that due to my overseas assignment during the period it took me over three years to make my first visit to Fukushima after the nuclear power plant disaster.  When I heard the stories of actual victims, I felt ashamed of the superficial knowledge I had gained from secondhand reports.

I accompanied Eiichiro Kuwana of the Japanese American Association of New York.  The association was one of the donors to the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami project, which ended after three years.  Kuwana was very much interested in seeing and knowing the current situation and issues toward the recovery of Fukushima.

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Mehrabudin: We are not Alone in this Difficult Time

Kelli Siddiqui  |  July 10, 2014

“It was Friday, and I was out looking for daily work. I waited until around noon where laborers gather to find daily work. On that day, no one selected me for work so I returned to my village. This region is very hilly. As I passed a hill near my village, I saw a lot of people standing by where the landslide covered our village and homes. At first, I thought I was dreaming or my eyes were not working. Then, I realized it was not a dream.

“I could see from the upper part of the hill that there was a landslide and part of the village had also slid away. I could see in the valley a lot of mud where my home and children would have been. As I came closer, I could see people from our neighboring village removing dead bodies."

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In Northeastern Uganda, “the Diversity of the Team” is Making a Difference

Chris Herlinger  |  July 8, 2014

KAMPALA, Uganda – A telling moment as I finished up an assignment here in Uganda came not when I was in the impoverished Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda, the focus of my work, but here in the capital of Kampala.

Getting lunch at my hotel, I spoke to some fellow visitors and they asked me what had brought me to Uganda. When I told them I had been in Karamoja, one woman looked surprised and said, “Did you find food there?” When I asked another woman how people in Kampala perceive Karamoja, she replied without a beat, “Backwards.”

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Holistic View of Malnutrition Solutions Looks Beyond 2015

Rev. John L. McCullough  |  July 2, 2014

As original published on the 1,000 Days Nutrition Newsroom, June 25, 2014

There’s a saying amongst those humanitarians who respond to disasters as their professional focus.

“If you’ve seen one disaster … you’ve seen one disaster.”

No two disasters are alike. Disaster rips bare the tissue that makes up a community revealing all parts at once. The good traits of resilience, human connection and the natural tendency to help.  And, the bad – marginalization, once hidden, becomes more pronounced. Chronic problems usually unseen are often most visible when catastrophe knocks off the polish that makes it easy to ignore, and reveal the connections that work together to keep hunger and poverty systematized.

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Keep Vulnerable Migrant Children Out of Washington Politics

Rev. John L. McCullough  |  June 27, 2014

As originally published by The Hill, March 28, 2014, 3 pm

Our nation would rightfully be outraged if another country turned away 52,000 children seeking safety from violence, gang conscription, rape and drug wars. Yet, as this happens right now inside our own borders, some lawmakers have the audacity to use these innocent migrant children for their own partisan agenda. As neighbors, we have a moral obligation to support and protect these young sojourners from harm – whether it be extreme violence and desperation in making a dangerous journey – or the partisan abuse of their circumstances for political ends.

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