A 6.6 earthquake hit the boarder areas of Minxian and Zhangxian counties, Dingxi city in Gansu on 22 July, followed by over 500 aftershocks. Up to 23 July, the disaster has caused 100 death and over 1,200 injured. Rain and low temperature at nights are expected in the affected areas in coming few days. Victims are in dire needs of relief items including blankets and tents. The affected areas are restricted only to official teams for rescue and emergency relief works. CEDAR is keeping a close watch on any needs there.
Pray for Gansu Quake victims:
May His comfort and protection go to the victims and families suffering in loss of lives;
Pray for the on-going emergency relief work and appropriate response to dire needs of victims.
Bangladesh on 15 July amended its 2006 Labour Act, to include freedoms of association and collective bargaining. Hoping it a milestone in promoting workers’ rights and occupational safety and health. The new law also contain provisions for improved safety measures at workplaces. Requirements in sending employers the names of union leaders on registration are abolished. Workers may call on external experts assistance at collective bargaining sessions. However, ILO said the revised laws still fail to address a number of concerns: a 30 per cent requirement in forming trade unions; and freedom of association and collective bargaining are excluded to workers in labour-intensive export processing zones. It also fails to prohibit discriminations in employment or remuneration, debt bondage by children or punishment in form of compulsory labour. [UN News, ILO]
Pray for workers in Bangladesh:
Pray that the Bangladesh government will continue law reforms for more comprehensive workers’ protection, in fulfilling its obligations under ratified conventions;
Remember the workers in getting their rights, safety and health.
UNICEF reported over 125 million women and girls in 29 countries across Africa and Asia have undergone female genital mutilation (‘FGM’). 30 million girls are still at risk of suffering FGM in the next decade. Egypt is top-listed with 27.2 million females having got FGM. The highest percentage among female populations suffering FGM is in Somalia, 98%. The younger generation of girls is less likely to undergo FGM and is more educated and aware of the negative consequences of FGM. Men need to be included in the fight against FGM as many males are reported willing to see an end to this traditional practice. More community protective measures including supports to girls evading FGM are suggested. [IPS]
Pray for the elimination of FGM:
Pray for concerted effort around the world for FGM elimination;
Pray that both men and women can speak out that they want this harmful practice eliminated;
Pray also for FGM victims in overcoming any traumatic effect.
[ePrayer – Pray for the community development projects in India]
Partner EFICOR, in partnership with SCOPE, launched community development projects aiming at sustainable livelihood and capacity building in villages in Orissa, India. It is glad to note reduction in seasonal migration (poor peasants getting to work far from home after the harvest season) and there is increase in crop yield and household income. Local leaders in a village have got involved in resuming water supply. Treatments with medicine and operation by an eye hospital nearby are extended to the villagers. SCOPE staff is graceful in receiving various trainings in skills and knowledge fit for the projects.
Pray for the community development projects in India:
Pray for further reduction in seasonal migration;
Village children used to quit their studies in response to parents’ command to collect plants for making wines and cigarettes. Pray for these families!
 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.
[ePrayer – Pray for development rights of adolescent girls]
There are over 600 million girls in the world today, more than 500 million of them in developing countries. About 16 million girls under age 18 give birth each year. Another 3.2 million undergo unsafe abortions. The vast majority — 90 per cent — of the pregnant adolescents in the developing world are married. But for far too many of these girls, pregnancy has little to do with informed choice. Often it is a consequence of discrimination, rights violations (including child marriage), inadequate education or sexual coercion. Complications from pregnancy and child birth are the leading cause of death among girls aged 15 to 19. On World Population Day 2013, UN raises awareness of the issue of adolescent pregnancy in the hopes of delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. [UN]
Pray for development rights of adolescent girls:
Pray that the value and rights of girls will be truly recognised and legally protected.
Pray that adolescent girls can have their say on marriage, life development and pregnancy.
South Sudan marks two years of independence on 9 July 2013, but the millions who continue to face displacement, hunger, disease and extreme poverty will be hard pressed to find any reason to celebrate.
Over the past two years, inter-communal violence and conflict between the rebels and Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) have caused nearly 350,000 people displaced. Fighting in southern part of Sudan has forced over 220,000 people fleeing into South Sudan. In addition, nearly two million South Sudanese have returned home since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, and so the country is facing serious food shortage. Further, South Sudan is in dire need of trained health workers and health centres and the government has faced criticism over its poor human rights record, such as poor prison conditions, widespread child and forced marriage, arbitrary detention and deteriorating press freedom. [IRIN]
Pray for South Sudan:
Pray for peace and reconciliation in South Sudan;
Pray for timely food and medical relief, and for comprehensive and appropriate rehabilitation.