Working behind closed doors of private households, domestic workers are shielded from public view and attention and most are unprotected by national legislation. International Labour Organisation (ILO) says at least 52 million people around the world – mainly women -are employed as domestic workers. Between the mid-1990s and 2010, there was an increase of more than 19 million domestic workers worldwide. Many migrate to other countries to find work. However, many domestic workers experience poor working conditions and insufficient legal protection. Only 10% of all domestic workers are covered by general labour legislation to the same extent as other workers. About 29.9% are completely excluded from national labour legislation. The precarious legal status of migrant domestic workers and their lack of knowledge of the local language and laws, make them especially vulnerable to abusive practices, such as physical and sexual violence, psychological abuse, non-payment of wages, debt bondage and abusive living and working conditions. [ILO]
Pray for domestic workers:
Pray that the rights and protection of domestic workers can be upheld;
Pray that God will rescue them from unjust bondage and exploitation.
Last June, the conflict between the Burmese government and the Kachin rebel group in Myanmar has forced some 75,000 people displaced. CEDAR has been supporting one local Lisu church partner to provide emergency relief (food items and clothes) to displaced refugees. Unfortunately, the conflict has intensified recently.
For many years the Lisu people are caught in between the fighting and conflict of the KIA armed group and Burmese military forces. The Lisu people have no arms and do not fight but often out of their will reluctantly became a source of supply to the two armed groups. Their crops & livestock get taken away, their children get kidnapped and conscript to work as porters and child soldiers.
Our local church partner is now taking care of displaced Lisu people who are seeking safety at their churches and student hostels. As these newly arrived Lisu children and youth do not speak Burmese, our partner is hoping to provide tutoring lessons to assist them to pursue an education while giving the the children protection at the hostel. The annual cost to recruit four teachers is US$7,200.
Pray for the displaced Lisu:
Pray that our partner is able to hire teachers to give lessons to the war affected Lisu children;
Pray for more humanitarian access into the conflict area to meet the dire needs of the large displaced population;
Pray for a long-lasting peace in the affected areas.
[ePrayer – Pray for Cold Wave victims in Bangladesh]
The country has been experiencing its record lowest temperature since 1968. Severe cold wave is sweeping over the north and west regions of Bangladesh. CEDAR’s partner KOINONIA said, ‘People there are crying for the support while near about 100 people died in last 24 hours [on 8 January] according to the Disaster Management Bureau of Bangladesh.’ Many people have suffered from cold-related diseases. Another one or two cold waves will hit the country in coming two months. CEDAR is going to allocate funds to our local partner KOINONIA to respond to the dire needs of the victims.
Pray for Cold Wave victims in Bangladesh:
Our partner KOINONIA has collected warm clothes for sufferers; pray that partner is able to raise sufficient fund to purchase 10,000 blankets;
Pray for involvement of local churches in distribution of blankets to the victims;
Pray also health and survival of Cold Wave victims.
[ ‘SHARE’ Jan-Feb 2013 – Green Notes Or Green Life? ] FOCUS: TOPICAL INTERVIEW
Last year Vince worked as a volunteer at a wetland forest in Vietnam.
Reporter> WU Ying Lun
In recent years conservation and development has become a hot topic locally, but other countries are also facing similar struggles and challenges. Dickson Wong, Vince Cheung and Samuel Chiu, three Christian conservationists, tell us about different countries’ stance on development and the church’s involvement.
[ ‘SHARE’ Jan-Feb 2013 – Green Notes Or Green Life? ] STEP INTO THE WORLD
While hoping to economically develop, the Lahu people of Northern Thailand borrowed money to buy fertilisers and pesticides for growing cash crops. Then crop prices fell but they could not return to growing rice because the soil was too contaminated. Like many young Lahu people, Jam and his wife moved to the city but contracted HIV/AIDS from drug abuse. Jobless and rejected by their people, they resorted to stealing food.
Thai-Lahu Foundation (TLF) carries out agricultural development projects in eight local villages teaching production of organic fertilisers and pesticides, supplying seeds, livestock and equipment to encourage organic farming. They help the people to resolve community problems, encouraging them to learn the traditional Lahu language and reinforcing their native knowledge and life skills.
After training, Jam and his wife now grow vegetables and raise pigs. They are also involved in establishing a local HIV/AIDS support network. You only need to give a little yet many Lahus like Jam and his wife will have hope again!
HK$200/month facilitates one village’s leadership training on assessing and resolving community problems
HK$420/month provides seed farming for eight villages (3,500 inhabitants)
 CEDAR is an approved charitable institutions and trusts of a public character under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. Please click Inland Revenue Department website to check for details.  Donations over $100 are tax deductible in Hong Kong with our receipts.  Please DO NOT fax any donation information.
[ ‘SHARE’ Jan-Feb 2013 – Green Notes Or Green Life? ] TAKING ACTION
Author> Dr. Chris FUNG
Environmental protection is the secular version of Creation care – the biblical task given to every person. For Christians, it starts with a grateful heart for what God has provided us through nature directly or indirectly. Directly: treasuring nature’s provision of clean air, water, food, sunshine, ventilation, shade …. prompts us to minimize our disruption to nature after appropriating from it no more than we need. Indirectly: appreciating the work of others in providing for our other needs – food, clothing, running water, medicine, electricity …. would prompt us to conserve and to act justly towards each other, e.g. paying a ‘fair’ price for what we use.
With these guiding lights, we naturally practise what society calls ‘green’, but our faith takes us further. When the Bible is read properly from beginning to end, with God’s first creation (Gen 1), Jesus’ life, death & bodily resurrection and the renewed creation (Rev 21&22) as fixed references, we understand what God’s redemption encompasses, how and through whom God is effecting this redemption. This holistic awareness, rather than the piecemeal attempt to extract quick ‘biblical’ answers to fit our agenda, would lay a strong foundation for our actions. Organising such Bible discovery sessions would enrich us with many refreshing findings.
This understanding could lead to countless creative ways to fulfill our divine mission, from ‘green’ baby diapers to paper coffins and anything in between. An example: I usually wait to share an elevator with others and then tell the grateful co-passenger my reason for doing so – creation care.
The conclusion: creation care tends to both human and nature’s needs. This stands in irreconcilable opposition to ecological degradation and human poverty, which are two sides of the same disharmony. A practical remedy then is to give whatever money one saves through creation care to build up the needy.
Dr. Chris Fung works in the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department. Out of office, he endeavours to mobilise poverty alleviation and environmental protection. In recent years, he is also keen on sharing the relationship of Sabbath and theology of creation care, including a published paper in a journal of theology. Besides research and study, Chris also practises creation care thoroughly in his daily life: He prepares a lunch box everyday, goes to Wan Chai to work and back to Midlevels on foot; only brings a small towel and a few clothes for a trip overseas, and seldom turns on the air conditioner even in hot summer.