Serious Migrant Worker Abuses in Qatar

[ePrayer – Pray for the Migrant Workers in Qatar]


According to the Nepal officials, among those Nepali migrant workers involving in the construction work for the World Cup event in Qatar, at least 185 died last year. Many of them died because of acute heart disease and injuries at work. The total deaths of Nepali migrant workers total to 382 in the last two years, in Qatar alone. An Amnesty International report released last November informs us that migrant workers in Qatar suffer a series of abuses such as working 12 hours per day during the summer months when temperatures regularly reach 45C, long delay in receiving their wage payment, harsh and dangerous working conditions, and squalid and overcrowded living environment. FIFA and Ministry of Labour in Qatar promised to take action to ensure the safety of workers but no improvements are made so far.

Qatar is an Arab country locating in south west of Asia. The decision to host the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was made in December 2010, and since then, Qatar has made use of migrant workers to fulfill the huge construction need. At present, over 2 million migrant workers are working in the country and one sixth of them are Nepali. Others come from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. According to the official 2013 statistics, Qatar has a population of about 2 million but only 10 percent of them are Qatari citizens. The number of migrant workers is expected to rise further with burgeoning construction demands.

Migrant workers are subject to a labor system which is the source of trafficking and forced labor. Qatar follows the kafala sponsorship system in regulating the non-technical migrant workers. This system ties a migrant worker’s legal status to his sponsoring employer The sponsor is a legal control to secure the funding in obtaining the working visa, accommodation, and other legal benefits. If a migrant worker wants to change job or exit the country, he needs to obtain consent from his sponsor. Qatar prohibits migrant workers from unionizing or striking, and this makes them very difficult to seek assistance if face unjust treatment. Despite all these, tens of thousands of impoverished Nepalis continue to head every year to Qatar fighting for a job. [Guardian#1][Guardian#2][Asiaone][HRW]

Meditate on Scripture:

When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.’ Leviticus 23:22

‘For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.’ Deuteronomy 10:17-19

The Israelites were oppressed as forced labours in Egypt, and God rescued and brought them out of Egypt. God ordered the Israelites to love the foreigners since they should know how it feels to be foreigners as they were foreigners in Egypt before. Though we might not experience foreigner’s life now, God watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow. Hence, we should reflect His nature and character in our manners and behaviours. We should also learn how to see the world through His eyes, understand and remember the needs of the poor. May His justice and mercy prevail.

Pray for the Migrant Workers in Qatar:

  • that Qatar will soon abolish the kafala sponsorship system and stop any forms of abuses arising from it;
  • that FIFA and the Ministry of Labour in Qatar will take action to ensure the safety of the migrant workers;
  • that the working and living conditions, salaries and lives of the migrant labours will be improved and secured.

Cold Wave Relief in Bangladesh

people are suffering outside having no warm clothes

Cold wave is sweeping across countries in South and East Asia, including Bangladesh. Bangladesh has been reeling under bitter cold weather from mid-December 2013. Thick fog added with the lowering of temperature has been causing immense suffering to people. The wind blowing from the Himalayas has intensified the cold and will continue over North, North-West and South regions of the country. The meteorological office warns that another one or two cold wave will hit the country in this month. The lowest temperature of the country is likely to be 6.5°C – 9°C. The cold wave has also caused crop and other natural resource losses. Winter crop failures will result in greater poverty, poor dwellings, and seasonal unemployment.

CEDAR has granted HKD 46,800 to support partner KOINONIA to provide shawls to 2,350 people of 8 districts especially to the helpless cold victims, children and elderly people to save them from dying of cold chill and of diseases.

Support CEDAR’s Relief Work

CEDAR responds to the need of various disasters with ‘Emergency Relief & Disaster Preparedness Fund’. Please donate to support our relief work.

Emergency and Relief Donation

(Please mark “Emergency Fund”)

[1] CEDAR is an approved charitable institution and trust of a public character under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. Please click Inland Revenue Department website to check for details.
[2] Donations over $100 are tax deductible in Hong Kong with our receipts.
[3] Please DO NOT fax any donation information.

Contact Method

Add>G.P.O. Box 3212Hong Kong

CEDAR’s Relief and Rehabilitation Work in Past:
CEDAR Approach on Relief and Rehabilitation:

Who Is Willing to Be Their Neighbour?

[ ‘SHARE’ Jan-Feb 2014 – Who Is Willing to Be Their Neighbour? ] FOCUS ~ SOCIAL CONCERN


Interviewed and written by> Jojo & Tiffany

In September 2013 the HKSAR Government has set the poverty line for Hong Kong to be 50% of median monthly household income, and the Policy Address in January 2014 has announced a series of poverty amelioration measures. A poverty line may help the Government set appropriate poverty alleviation policies, but data and a line cannot define or reflect the real situation of poverty and the voices and expectations of marginalised groups.

The three interviewees below are from different origins and backgrounds. You may see from their sharing how the personal experiences and life expectations of different social groups among them display the uniqueness in life value that is beyond numbers and a line.

Continue reading Who Is Willing to Be Their Neighbour?

Support the Community and Churches in Pakistan in Facing Domestic Violence

[ ‘SHARE’ Jan-Feb 2014 – Who Is Willing to Be Their Neighbour? ] STEP INTO THE WORLD


In Pakistan, women are often victims of domestic violence and they are traumatised both physically and mentally. Yet, the society they live in rarely acknowledge the situation.

CEDAR’s partner CGDC launched amongst churches in Pakistan the first ever project that focuses on women abuse, and advocates on Christian family values. It also teaches what the bible says about family violence. In the first six months of project period, CGDC provided related trainings in four churches and held a nation-wide conference against violence on women.

Partner will continue their advocacy in Pakistan seeking to eliminate any form of women abuses:

  • mobilising local churches to care for and support affected families through visits, seminars and conferences;
  • holding nation-wide conferences for more awareness on how to respond to and prevent women abuses;
  • collaborating with organisations and churches in raising community awareness and understanding of women abuses.

Please support the ministry of CGDC, bringing to the vulnerable women in Pakistan safety and dignity!

Donate Now! Click here.

Other Methods of Payment

  1. Cheque payable to ‘CEDAR FUND’
  2. Deposit to HSBC A/C No. 600-385678-001, enclosing with the Pay-in slip
  3. Autopay (only applicable to regular fixed donations), enclosing with a completed Autopay Authorisation Form (Download: WORD or PDF)
  4. Visa/ Master Card

Download Donation Form

Please send a completed Donation Form, enclosing with cheque or pay-in slip, to CEDAR FUND, G.P.O. BOX 3212, HONG KONG.

Donation Form: WORD or PDF

[1] 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.
[2] Donations over $100 are tax deductible in Hong Kong with our receipts.
[3] Please DO NOT fax any donation information.

Participation Is Good, Mobilisation Is Better | Wendy

[ ‘SHARE’ Jan-Feb 2014 – Who Is Willing to Be Their Neighbour? ] TAKING ACTION


Author> Wendy FUNG

Thank God for leading me to a number of CEDAR’s events in the past two years. In January 2013, I joined the exposure trip to Ethiopia where I learned and witnessed God’s power; the trip also helped me understand CEDAR’s operation. The impact of CEDAR Carbon Fast during Lent on me is the most apparent; I was invited to be a member of ‘Carbon Fast Army’, assist posting photos on Facebook about Carbon Fast. With the aid of Scriptures prepared by CEDAR, I have gained better understand of the purposes of our daily Fast actions and God’s will at creation. Some of the Fast actions such as waste sorting and bringing my own water bottle/cutlery have become my daily habits.

On a missions trip to Madagascar in 2012, the missionary not only took home leftovers from the table, she also reused plastic boxes after cleansing as the refuse collection system there is inadequate and people just dumped all wastes into big garbage bins on road-sides. Besides doing evangelisation and church planting, I saw the missionary’s effort not to produce waste and perceived her integral love towards the land and inhabitants thereon.

The Philippines was hit by severe Tropical Storm Haiyan that killed thousands and affected over nine million people. It is irrefutable that human activities aggravate extreme climate changes and the frequent natural disasters make the poor’s lives harder, even taking away many precious lives. Isn’t it ironic that we seek to take the gospel to the ends of the world, whilst our lifestyles bring about changes that would reduce the chance of the poor hearing the gospel?  I used to question the effect in turning off one lamp on carbon emissions reduction!  But if all Christians change our current lifestyles and practise the bible’s teaching, I believe that by the Holy Spirit we can change the world. Living an Integral Mission may sound grand and hard to start, but we may live it out a bit in a day. Let us start today and with God’s help exert influence on people around us doing small things in loving our world. (Watch a clip by Tearfund UK:

In January 2013, Wendy joined CEDAR’s exposure trip to Ethiopia; taking part in Carbon Fast and as a member of ‘Carbon Fast Army’ practising and mobilising low carbon living for better environmental protection in February and March; Wendy further joined CEDAR Barefoot Walk in November showing support for impoverished children.

If It Is without You … | Sandy

[ ‘SHARE’ Jan-Feb 2014 – Who Is Willing to Be Their Neighbour? ] CEDAR’S BLOGGER


Author> LAM Wai Shan Sandy, Education and Promotion Officer

I have been in poverty relief work for nearly ten years and during this time I not only got opportunities to see the world and broaden my horizon, but also met many ‘life mentors’.

If I had not met underprivileged families, I might not have known that sympathy is not necessarily what the poor want! They yearn more for affirmation and recognition, they long for chances that their dreams may come true, being able to give back to the society their contributions.

If I had not met frontline workers, I might not have believed in God’s grace being all over the world; He moves different people so that they will put aside preconceptions, step out of their comfort zones and go to faraway places to minister those isolated and unreached groups.

If I had not met the sincere and friendly ethnic minority peoples and villagers in rural China, I might not have realised that those who live not so prosperous being more eager and generous than the rich in sharing their possessions with others.  Non-material trove such as human dignity, values, temperaments and joy are priceless!

If I had not met Christians in Ethiopia, I might not have appreciated such a situation when daily life conflicts with the faith and our faith challenges our way of life; still our choice is to abide by our faith, despite difficulties we are able to live out the faith in boldness after the struggles!

If I had not met faithful volunteers, I might not have discovered that I am not working alone, and that volunteers are indispensable. They are willing and conscientious and I have learned much from them.

If I had not met generous givers, I might not have known that some give not because they have a lot in spare, but they give what they just have; some even lending hands, in order to help those in needs. Their acts of charity encourage me and show me the good and beautiful side of humanity.

If I had not been in a close-knit team of co-workers, I might not have understood that it is precious to work out the team spirit: working together in hands, having mutual support in prayers, putting to the greatest effect each member’s potential and growing together in works.

Because of you, I have become what I am today – being able to hold on to my faith and love others, just as Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, ‘Christ did not, like a moralist, love a theory of good, but He loved the real man.’