(Aashima Samuel, the National Director of EFIC@R, interviewed by CEDAR)
“In Indian villages, when we and church pastors advocated anti-child trafficking, some Hindi nationalists accused us of, or even attacked us for ‘brainwashing’ villagers to convert them into Christians. In fact, among them, there were traffickers slandering us to extinguish our anti-trafficking voice,” said Aashima Samuel, the National Director of Evangelical Fellowship of India Children At Risk (EFIC@R), CEDAR’s partner.
Christianity was born in the Middle East, a region rich in culture, history, yet also, full of turbulence and persecution.
SAT-7 is a Christian media network, making God’s love visible across the Middle East and North Africa through uncensored satellite television programme. Satellite television effectively break the barriers of religions, literacy, and censorship, making SAT-7’s programmes available to be broadcast across the Middle East and North Africa and accessible online internationally.
Twenty two years ago when the United Nations General Assembly saw many innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children became the victims of Israeli invasion, dedicated June 4 of every year to be “the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression”, hoping this would serve as a constant reminder to all UN members of their holy obligations, which is to ensure that every child in the world enjoyed the protection vested by the “Declaration of the Rights of the Child”, and to raise people’s concern for those physically abused and/or spiritually afflicted children around the world.
Partner EFICOR has just started an initiative project in slum in Delhi. There are at least 900 households in which 80% of its populations are Muslims and 20% are Hindus. It aims to adopt a combination of direct service, technical support, advocacy & networking to facilitate community development within three-year project cycle. It will specially focus on right-based gender issues and children-at-risk, and will partner with Child Evangelism Fellowship to provide value education.
Pray for new project:
Pray for His guidance to this initiative project. Hindus and Muslims have many conflicts, in general. Pray that EFICOR can be peace-makers to bring shalom to the community;
The sexual violence in Delhi is still intense. May Lord use this project to empower women & men to safeguard their family members.
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Yunnan pastors map out the progress and achievement to evaluators on their social ministries in the past six years.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
In early March, CEDAR invited several experienced development workers to evaluate our six-year Church Mobilisation programme in Yunnan, China. Their findings and appreciation give us great encouragement.
Since the second half of 2011, CEDAR has put in much attention to evaluate and reflect on the impacts and directions of our children ministry. After a year of study and discussion, we finally set our focus to encourage community-based children development projects and to provide training to child care givers and service providers. This will be an collaborative effort with experienced overseas partners in order to give children better rights to protection, provision and expression.
Children at risk are the main target of our projects in Myanmar in partnership with local Christian partners. Full Moon is one of our local partners, founded in 1997 to provide hostels to conflict affected children. In January 2012, due to the ceasefire agreements reached by the Karen armed groups and the Burmese government, the local situation has so improved that our partner can start planning to help older children/youth to return and reintegrate into their home villages.
Prospect in the Coming Year
Conflict is a cross-cutting issue in Myanmar, having impact on various social issues, such as ethnic conflicts, education, health and hygiene, and human trafficking. Women and children are most vulnerable in conflicts. Therefore, in coming year we will endeavour to assist the resettlement of conflict-affected communities, particularly of the Lisu people in Kachin State and the Karen people in Mon & Karen State, and seek protection for women and children from human trafficking and exploitation, child labour and abuses through education and empowerment.
‘During a monitoring visit to Myanmar at one children home with children affected by cyclone, I used a “River of Life” exercise to encourage children to explain the events that they believed are important in the past, present and future of their lives. In the exercise, a girl drew picture of a school of fish swimming together before the cyclone in 2008, followed by a fish left along in the river after the cyclone. At the end of the river of life she had three fishes swimming together again. It breaks one’s heart to see her River of Life yet it helps us to understand the painful experience in her, allowing her to express this feeling and hopefully we and our partner can better response to her needs.’
After the exposure monitoring trips and discussions in the past two years, according to a series of measurement, such as the human development index (HDI), Gini coefficient, political and social stability, uniqueness and the possibility of monitoring project, we have finally chosen Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, India, Nepal, Myanmar and China to be the focus countries for our projects.