(Theit Theit Shwee sewing face masks made by cloth [photo from CEDAR’s partner])
“Kacha…Kacha…” Theit Theit Shwee, a woman from the slum area of Myanmar, sat in front of a sewing machine and sewed the fabric. She carefully wrapped the two white bands and sewed them with the fabric and finished making a three-layer cloth mask. This has been her daily job, making cloth masks with other women in the community center of CEDAR’s partner.
The significance of cooperatives serving as associations and enterprises has been recognised, because through which citizens can effectively improve their lives while contributing to the economic, social, cultural and political advancement of their community and nation. Cooperatives have also been recognised as a distinct and major stakeholder in both national and international affairs.
In the second half of 2011, south-east part of Ethiopia was hit by the most serious drought and famine in 60 years as the country experienced the impact of climate change. The victims lost their livestock and crops. 3.5 million people were affected. In partnership with local Christian groups, CEDAR’s partner Tearfund UK provided emergency relief in Borena zone.
15,000 people were benefited from the drought relief
In our children ministry we emphasise our walk with sponsored children and their parents in an equal relationship(relationship or partnership?). We are delighted by our partner Addis Ababa Guenet Church (AAGC)’s new approach. On top of providing basic needs to impoverished children, AAGC is now helping the parents to form self-help savings groups. Some of the groups have achieved good saving target. The parents are very exciting with the accumulated saving records and have gained hope on the future.
7 parents self-help savings groups were formed in 2011
Prospect in the Coming Year
In the coming ministry year, CEDAR will focus on responding to the need of impoverished children families and the challenge of climate change. Partner AAGC will start business training and micro-credit loans among parents saving groups to lend money to different group members at low-interest rate for developing their livelihoods, with the hope that at the end parents can meet the needs of the children.
For the climate change, CEDAR supports partner Tearfund UK to start a post-disaster rehabilitation project in Borena zone, including provision of livestock, training on cultivating the high-productive agricultural products, set up of water system, organisation of self-help groups and farmers’ cooperative for sales and marketing, to help local impoverished families to recover from the drought and enhance their ability on fighting against the impact of drought and climate change.
7,000 people will be benefited from the drought rehabilitation
‘I thought that the Ethiopian are very nice and full of life-force. Although their livings are very desperate, they always encourage, support and help each other. For example, the drought victims will share their food aids freely with other victims, and the saving group members will try to help each other if any one of them cannot pay the deposit of that month. They do not want to be aid receivers only, but wish that they themselves can be self-reliant and get involved to improve and develop the livelihoods of their communities as well. What they need is the opportunity to develop their potentials.’
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.