(People in western Myanmar evacuated due to conflicts)
The Myanmar military and the Arakan Army, an armed group fighting for greater autonomy in western Rakhine, has been in conflict in Rakhine and Chin states since December of 2018. The conflict has caused over 30,000 people to flee from their homes . The Myanmar military oppressed the rebels by bombing villages and executing extrajudicial murder, which resulted in heavy injuries and deaths of the innocent. In May this year, Amnesty International gathered evidence and said that the military is committing war crimes and other human rights violations.
The conflict in Syria begins its ninth year with no sign of ending at the moment. As global attention drifts away, more than 6.2 million internally displaced people are still struggling to shelter and feed themselves. The most critical time for these refugees is to live through the brisk winter every year. Between December last year and January this year, it was reported that at least 29 children and newborns died, mainly from hypothermia, while fleeing to refugee camp in the eastern region of the country or shortly after arrival .
Pastor Julio Martinez distributing supplies and aids.
In the past April, Ecuador was struck by 7.8 and 6 magnitude earthquakes, leading to high death tolls and the urgent need for emergency shelters. The local reconstruction work has continued without cease since the earthquake, yet it takes time to have the situation resumed to what it was before the disaster.
CEDAR’s partner Peace and Hope, together with Tearfund UK, a fellow member institution of Integral Alliance (IA*) joined the relief work after the earthquake. After visiting the quake-affected regions to better assess the needs of the victims, they then distributed food and water to remedy victims’ pressing needs. The first stage of relief work has been completed earlier, let’s hear from the quake-affected victims’ sharing. Bahia de Caraquez, where Luciana, Theofanis and Susana live, was one of the severely hit regions. They lost all they have in the earthquake, yet with a grateful heart, they hope to share the grace and the peace they received by cooking and distributing food packs to others Being a part of the Missionary Alliance Church, they hope other people can receive more than only the tangible packs but also the love and care in them.
Every evening, the three ladies helped the relief organization – Peace and Hope, and Tearfund to distribute food packs to victims. Their church building was also badly damaged in the quake, however, this never stops it from being the hub for collection and distribution of food, water and power supply.
On top of that, Pastor Julio Martinez, from Christian and Missionary Alliance Church of Portoviejo, Manabi in Ecuador, also contributed his effort to the post-quake relief work. The quake wreaked havoc across his city and over 40% of it was destroyed. The churches and families are facing harsh challenges and difficulties, yet they stay in solidarity to help people in need.
Martinez has been reflecting on the same question over and over again, “Why did God allow the earthquake to happen?” Instead of receiving a direct answer to his question, he realized this is the chance for church to be mobilized and to act. He takes the lead to act – never does he view himself, a pastor, as too superior to conduct relief work with other people. Collaborating with villages nearby, Martinez sent ambulance teams and supplies such as water filters, food and hygiene kits to victims.
As the first stage comes to an end, the second stage tightly follows. We are grateful for your support which allows us to be a part of the relief work. Our partners are striving hard to achieve the following to enhance the resilience of both the victims and communities as a whole:
To set up psycho-educational groups for children and adolescents focusing on post-traumatic stress, including the threat of sexual violence;
To provide workshops on entrepreneurial strategies and self-employment skills, especially for female-headed families, to rebuild their livelihoods; To train leaders of shelters to establish and enforce Child Protection Policy so as to ensure the children in the shelters are under appropriate protection;
To help ten churches and ten communities to develop disaster response plans, in order to improve their ability to respond to disasters.
Please continue to pray for Ecuador:
For the local relief and reconstruction work. Pray that victims and the communities can resume to normal lives as soon as possible;
For the strengthening of the faith of local Christians that they can wholeheartedly rely on God and follow His will even in times of crisis;
For Christians and Christian organizations across the globe to have unity in Christ and to watch over one another.
*Integral Alliance is a global alliance of 23 Christian relief and development agencies, working together to present a more effective response to poverty worldwide.
[Annual Report 2011-2012] A Word from the Chairman
> Rev Raymond LO, Chairman of the Board
Strain Toward What Is Ahead
In 2011 and 2012, large number of children, women and poor people suffered from ethnic conflicts, natural disasters and kinds of economic and social injustice. Out of the love of Christ, CEDAR’s partners and staff have worked very hard to respond to various disasters by providing emergency relief assistance and recovery support in Africa and Asia. Through our development projects, our supported groups and communities not only received concrete help but are also able to learn to be self-reliant. Seeing the needs around the world are so great, CEDAR has tried to support more in response to partners’ requests. But in past few years, the donations received by CEDAR have not been able to match up a budget for giving those supports. Last year we had reluctantly to cut some of our programme supports for partners who are also suffering from financial difficulties. May I request your prayers and supports on our ministry so that more of those in needs may feel the love of God?
In the coming year, CEDAR will seek to visit more Christian churches in Hong Kong and prepare some material for better understanding by church members about our ministry and the needs around the world. In Christ let us live out our integral mission together! Annual Report 2011-2012 [Download full version]