[“SHARE” JUL – SEP 2019 ] FOCUS ~ The Poor and Dignity
Written by: Tony Chan (Senior Partnership Development Officer)
“Although I’m HIV-positive, you can take photos and videos of me. I’m not scared of being seen,” said Branda, a 17-year-old girl grown up in a Zimbabwean village in Africa.
Branda lived in in Bulawayo Province of Zimbabwe. Many young people left their homes to South Africa or Botswana for a better life. However, in view of financial restraints, Branda stayed with her mother and grandmother in the village.
Branda in red long dress stood in front of my camera and performed her poems enthusiastically. Her smiles and actions showed her extraordinary self-confidence.
“We used to think about being doctors or teachers. Now all we think about is how to feed our families. We’re carrying a heavy load on our shoulders. It’s beyond our age.” A 17-year-old Syrian refugee in Turkey said.
[ePrayer – Pray for the post-war development in Myanmar]
The prolonged conflicts lasted for 60 years between Karen armed groups and the Myanmar Government finally came to an end and this indeed symbolizes hope and unity for the people and the country. It is encouraging to see different groups of entities, including state officials, village leaders and church members putting effort together to rebuild their community. What is more exciting is to see displaced orphans and youths returning to their hometowns. Yet, the children will continue to experience the damaging effects brought by the conflicts. Due to limited skillsets, the children and their families feel unsecured and live a future with uncertainty.
CEDAR FUND supported our partner Full Moon in launching their reintegration programmed in the Mon State. Apart from improving the infrastructure and facilities to deliver a better and safer environment in the compound, education and trainings are provided to the youth and women’s groups. Full Moon wishes to see that the youths after acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills, particularly in agricultural and vocational aspects, are then empowered to make contributions to their home community. Full Moon also witnesses the change in the women, that they become more confident after receiving trainings in farming, health and environment preservation. Some of the youths are able to complete their tertiary education due to tuition fee sponsorship from Full Moon. In 2013, Full Moon arranged two trips for their kids to return to their communities. Many of them reunited with their families and their stories touch many people’s hearts.
Thanks Lord for His blessings on this project. Full Moon’s achievements created a ripple effect; not only the children affected by the conflicts are benefited, the volunteers and workers are also blessed from their involvement and many joined the Christian fellowship and started to know God. The government officials also recognized the achievements and invited CEDAR FUND and Full Moon to continue the community work in Mon State.
“The children are excited about the school life but what is most precious is due to the community rebuilt programme, the kids now have dreams and visions for the future.” Lydia, the teacher in TWT village, told us
Pray for the post-war development in Myanmar:
Pray for the work of partner Full Moon as they are now engaging their youth facilitators in 5 target villages in Mon State to bring about unity and meaningful development. These are newly settled villagers in which many are returning from different areas including the jungles.
Pray for the 10 college youths who are receiving trainings in the fields of education, community health and agriculture. May God grant them wisdom in their studies and sustainable positive experience in their exchange with the Community Based Organizations. May God also lead their spiritual development and give them determination to serve the needy.
Pray for unity and harmony in Myanmar. Our partner is acting like a bridge between the different ex-armed groups, Government and villagers, and may the Lord give them wisdom to handle complex issues and negotiate with different parties.
 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.  Donations over $100 are tax deductible in Hong Kong with our receipts.  Please DO NOT fax any donation information.
[ePrayer – Pray for global efforts to end poverty]
The theme of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty for 17 October 2013 is ‘working together towards a world without discrimination: Building on the experience and knowledge of people in extreme poverty’ The progress in reducing poverty world-wide has been uneven. Although some regions experience poverty reductions, in many countries poverty has been on the rise, especially among women and children. After the first UN Decade for Poverty Eradication (1997-2006), the second UN Decade (2008-2017) sets ‘Full employment and decent work for all’ as the theme for the Decade. Its particular focus is given to employment and decent work, including youth employment, the working poor, social protection in particular to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in the light of the current global crises, support for sustainable enterprises, gender equality, standards and rights at work, and social dialogue. [UN News]
CEDAR is calling churches and Christians to join EXPOSED during the week of 14 to 20 October, making appeals to the church, business and governments to operate with integrity and advocate an end to corruption which is a huge barrier to ending extreme world poverty. Please click here for more details.
Pray for global efforts to end poverty:
Remember the needs and situations of the poor especially those vulnerable and disadvantaged groups including women and children ;
Pray for good progress made in implementing internationally agreed development goals ;
Pray also for churches and Christians worldwide to care for the poor together.
[Annual Report 2011-2012] Mobilising Churches and Christians
Heep Woh students served in the tutorial class for minority ethnic students and learnt about difficulties face by the these students studying in Hong Kong
Review of 2011 to 2012
Last ministry year, we worked with HeepWohCollege to conduct a series of workshop to 15 Form Four and 5 students on concerns for the minority ethnic groups. The students visited the minority ethnic families and provided tutorial class to their children. Clara, one of the participants, used to think the minority ethnic people looked aggressive. After the five workshops she changed her impression on them and found that they are no different with other people and can be friends.
A group of teacher-to-be joined a workshop to learn how to build a hawker trolley and be a hawker at Sham Shui Po mid-night market
Learning and Prospect
In recent years, we tried to integrate theatre education in our sharing among Christian youth and students, encouraging them to reflect about poverty issues, share their thoughts and give response. From our experience, we found that a good theatre education can make students enjoy the class and lead them to explore new point of views and feeling and think about problems behind poverty through post-drama debriefing.
In coming ministry year, we hope to strengthen and emphasise the link between poverty and Christianity, encouraging the youth to think about the Gospel and mission from different angles. We begin to talk more emphatically about global poverty issues to widen their worldview. Next we will gather youth leaders sympathetic to helping the poor to specially equip them as organisers to mobilise the public to respond to poverty locally and else where.
We used drama to facilitate the sharing to the youth from Operation Mobilisation (HK)
‘In past three years, I held talks for the youth. Quite often these talks are not “incarnated”- my talks are not the same as what I do in my daily life. The difficulty of “incarnation” is not only on understanding the different structural sins, it is about whether I can win over my weakness on an appetite for food, fame and power. A pursue of an “incarnation“ education is about a consistency in our teaching and lifestyle, this is a challenge to an educator. It is only by this our sharing can be truthful.’