Usmanpur is a small town on the outskirts of the capital of India. The perpetual smell of damp cow dung, buzzing flies, and patches of murky water are a common sight of Usmanpur, the town seems to be the pictorial definition of dirty itself.
Almost all of the residents in Usmanpur are Dalit (a low caste social group) migrant workers who are employed by landowners to feed cows and milk them, or to sort trash.
Cow owners would have the workers herd the cows on the streets and let them excrete freely. Cowpat covered the only major road and every pedestrian paths in town, turning it into a paradise for flies. The poor hygiene condition affects children the most who would often experience diarrhoea. While the migrant workers could barely endure the situation, the landowners rarely lose any sleep over it as the Dalits are inherently filthy to them.
Continue reading Dirt on the Surface vs. Deep Cleaning
[“SHARE” JAN – MAR 2018 ] FOCUS ~ Community Development
Written and edited by: Jady Sit, Jojo Poon
At noon on 25 April 2015, Nepal was hit by the strongest earthquake in 80 years. Countless families lost their loved ones, homes, and properties. Approximately one third of Nepal’s population, 8 million, was affected by the quake. In the midst of ruthless disaster, people responded with love. Shortly after the earthquake, the world quickly pooled their resources to help. Yet, when global news coverage died down and emergency relief phased out, this was when we began to walk with the affected communities, helping them to rebuild and recover their communities sustainably for the long run.
In the last decade, CEDAR has been supporting partners’ community development work in mountainous communities in Nepal. Our partners mobilised community members to bring gradual changes to their communities, from hygiene improvement to equipping women’s livelihood skills, so they can live better lives. Though the 7.9-magnitude earthquake had destroyed most of the infrastructures and work in project communities, members and leaders of village committees villages assisted in aid distribution. Their help was vital to CEDAR and its partners to carry out post-quake response efficiently, and it also showed the fruits of development work – villagers’ knowledge and collaborative skills.
Continue reading From Desolation to Community
[“SHARE” JAN – MAR 2018 ] BACK TO THE BIBLE
Written by: Lisa Chai (Former CEDAR colleague, currently involved in community development work in Myanmar)
We are in the midst of a global refugee crisis. From Syria to Iraq, DR Congo to Yemen, and today we are witnessing the world’s largest growing refugee influx across the border of Bangladesh after violence broke out at northern part of Myanmar in Rakhine State in late August last year. As of 12 November 2017, the UN estimated that over 610,000 people have fled to Myanmar and the number is still growing. How do we react to all the violence and suffering in the world when their impact comes so strong and destructive?
Continue reading Sow in Tears Reap in Joy
[“SHARE” JAN – MAR 2018 ] JOIN HANDS JOIN HEARTS
“Left-behind Children”, a term describing over 60 million children in China who stayed behind with their grandparents in rural areas while their parents are working in the cities.
While not all left-behind children suffer from poverty as their parents work far away from home, they all suffer the lack of parental care and love, and bear emotional burdens due to this long-term void.
Continue reading Bringing Light to the Youths Living in Darkness
[“SHARE” JAN – MAR 2018 ] TAKING ACTION
Written and edited by: Jojo Poon
I enjoy hearing stories and sharing of different development workers very much. If we put their sharing together, then we would get a complete picture of God’s purposes for the poor and the world. For this issue’s “Taking Action”, we invited CEDAR’s staff from different eras to share about their learnings and experiences along the way to put together a blueprint for CEDAR.
Continue reading This is Community Development
[“SHARE” JAN – MAR 2018 ] TAKING ACTION
Interviewee: Alice Kwan (Former CEDAR Staff)
Interviewed and edited by: Jojo Poon
How far would you go for the poor? Would you visit the Guangdong industrial district alone to investigate sweatshop labour, or venture to Northwest China alone and live among the Hui people, or supervise earthquake rescue efforts while carrying a baby in your tummy and worrying about your husband’s safety who is responding at the frontline, or devote your family as a fulltime volunteer for four years, only to wake more hearts to care for the poor? That was Alice Kwan’s story.
Continue reading She Saw the Beauty of Development