CWS Asia

Transforming communities around the globe

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Church World Service (CWS) is a faith-based organization working to help communities around the world transform through just and sustainable responses to hunger, poverty, displacement and disaster.

ACT Indonesia Forum preparing to respond if Bali’s Mt. Agung volcano erupts

Since September 22nd, Mt. Agung on Indonesia’s Bali island has shown increased volcanic activity, prompting the government to order the evacuation of around 75,000 people living nearby. Today, ACT Indonesia Forum members YEU (YAKKUM), ICCO-Cooperation and Lutheran World Relief are on the ground in Bali assessing the situation to identify possible gaps in the assistance said to be planned by government agencies and local churches in anticipation of further displacement. The ACT Alliance has issued an Alert for this emergency.

At this time volcanologists are saying that an eruption is more probable than not, which means that people already displaced will have a long wait, and possibly a protracted displacement, before they can return to their homes. The ACT Indonesia Forum is therefore preparing a support Appeal for funds to address critical identified needs.

CWS staff are monitoring the situation and are ready to respond together with the other ACT Indonesia Forum members.

(For more information please contact mkoeniger@cwsglobal.org )

In Asia, Church World Service (CWS) works with families, communities, governments, ecumenical and technical partners and other non-government organizations to help some of the region’s most vulnerable people. Most often we partner in support of long-term socioeconomic development and, when needed, we help people cope with the effects and aftermath of increasingly frequent natural and manmade crises across the region.

Recently, CWS colleagues Suchawalee (Bon) Mankhong and Ponsawan (Cake) Lysoowan, who are seconded to work with the Office of Child Protection at The Church of Christ in Thailand, traveled to west-central Thailand to lead an information-sharing session about the CCT Child Safeguarding Code of Conduct.

Since many church members in the six Thai provinces whose leaders joined the workshop are from ethnic minority groups, especially Karen, the Code of Conduct document was translated into Karen language, and the session was co-led by Pastor Yohan Dumrongpanawan from the Sangklaburi church.

During the Q&A session, after the document was reviewed, everyone shared appreciation for a better understanding of the Code of Conduct itself, and for the issues it addresses, which they will share in their communities and churches throughout the six provinces, especially with parents. Several people said they would love to partner more with the CWS/CCT child safeguarding team for more awareness-raising and understanding, which Bon and Cake are happy to hear, and stand ready to share more.

Members of west-central Thailand CCT leadership meet with Ms. Mankhong (left of screen) and Pastor Yohan (right of screen) to hear details of the Child Safeguarding Code of Conduct, which Church leadership adopted in 2016 for all church members to follow in its affiliated schools, orphanages, universities, hospitals and parishes. Photo: CWS

CWS works in partnership with communities and families in six Southeast Asian countries – Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam – to help them improve their lives. We do this by enhancing access to information, education and hands-on training for development and disaster preparedness. National teams and local partners follow up with individuals and communities with coaching and monitoring to help ensure quality, accountability and sustainability.

In mid-September, CWS Vietnam’s team worked with other emergency responders to support vulnerable families in Mu Cang Chai village, whose homes were damaged or destroyed in a landslide following severe rains. After first sharing hygiene kits for immediate use, it was agreed that CWS would follow up to mitigate future safe water shortages by supplying household water storage tanks to be retrofitted to Government-provided gravity-fed water pipes. This way, families can at least have clean water while flooding, landslides and other changing climate effects harm so many other aspects of their lives.

CWS staff share emergency hygiene kits and water tanks with people affected by flash flooding and landslides in Mu Cang Chai. Photo: CWS

In Japan, CWS supports the work of CWS Japan: its advocacy and humanitarian initiatives in Japan as well as its development outreach and emergency response in other countries.

While our U.S.-based team has been responding to hurricanes in Texas and Florida, our team in Japan has been responding to flooding caused by unusually heavy July rains in northern Kyushu island. Tragically, 36 people died in the flooding and aftermath. CWS has deployed Program Officer Yukiko Maki to help coordinate this response to unprecedented climate change alongside partners.

Yukiko Maki. Photo: CWS

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