CWS Asia


Disaster Risk Reduction

CWS-village WASH team on the new bridge supported by our Week of Compassion friends at Maubin, Myanmar. Photo: Leslie Wilson

Recently, SOLITARITAS was celebrated by project partners and beneficiaries during a visit with Disciples of Christ pastors and seminarians, who were joined by the CWS Indonesia Country Representative and the Asia Regional Coordinator, along with CWS Tanja Toraja team members. Photo: CWS

Practicing First Aid in Indonesia. Photo: CWS

Japanese Sphere Standards Handbook Launch. Photo: CWS

Despite such vulnerability to the hazards like earthquakes, typhoons, floods, drought …, most people in Asia do not know how to anticipate and be prepared to respond to them. Increasing communities’ awareness and knowledge to mitigate and also prepare to respond to common hazards is critical to helping them protect and save lives and material assets.

At the global level, we actively network with the most influential disaster risk reduction organizations to advocate for better and stronger comprehensive policies.

We have developed a 3-pillar approach to reduce a community’s exposure to disasters and improve their resilience:

1. Community-based activities
From raising awareness to contributing to preparedness measures, hazard mapping and mitigation plans, CWS is working closely with communities to ensure that disaster risk reduction is a sustainable, integrated and community accepted concept leading to concrete improvements and strengthening community resilience.

2. Education and capacity building initiatives
Based on the belief that knowledge and interest lead to desire and action, we integrate disaster risk reduction education into school curriculum in close cooperation with local and central governments.

3. Advocacy
CWS and our partners jointly advocate for improved disaster risk reduction policies at international and local levels. We are active at international conferences and global platforms while also facilitating better policy practices and addressing implementation gaps at the local level.

Countries: Myanmar and Indonesia and Japan

Latest News

“Now we can take part in saving ourselves”: Disaster Resilience Grows in Sulawesi, Indonesia

CWS Indonesia | November 27, 2019

Lembang Pondingao village of about 700 people in remote mountainous South Sulawesi, Indonesia. As such it, like much of the country, is earthquake-prone. This is a big concern for 45-year-old Dolo Karua, the village’s leader since 2007. “Every time there is an earthquake, people panic”. Understandably. Because of his responsibility for 700 people, Dolo Karua […]

South Sulawesi Organizations Join Communities to Build Disaster Response Awareness and Skills

CWS Indonesia |

In mid-October, CWS joined Pusbinlat Toraja Church and the South Sulawesi Indonesian Red Cross Society to lead First Aid skill-building activities with the Lembang Disaster Preparedness Team and Disaster Risk Reduction Forum. The activities included an information exchange as well as hands-on learning for saving lives, preventing disabilities and providing comfort and support during emergency […]

Being Tired from Teaching Is Worth It for One First Aid Expert in Myanmar

CWS Myanmar |

Red Cross volunteer, U Myint Swe, has helped drowning and bike accident victims since 1979. The 54-year old retired police sergeant first earned a First Aid Trainer certificate in 1986. Then, he took a refresher course in 2000. Since then, he has led or co-led 30-plus basic First Aid courses with the Myanmar Red Cross […]

Water management innovation initiative starts in India!

CWS Japan | November 26, 2019

For a second year, CWS Japan is hosting the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network’s Innovation Hub. This year, in partnership with the London-based Humanitarian Innovation Fund and Seeds India, the Hub’s focus is on promoting grassroots disaster management innovation in India. A new initiative is now under way to help the country address some […]

CWS Is Supporting Community Inclusion in Disaster Reduction Policy Advocacy

CWS Myanmar |

Views from the Frontline is an initiative to support inclusion of local perspectives and voices in disaster reduction and response policy making. The project’s first survey and report were in 2009. Ten years on, the 2019 edition continues as a 50-country independent global review of disaster reduction efforts, successes and lessons learned. Views from the […]

Supporting Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Emerges as a CWS Priority in Vietnam

CWS Vietnam |

Vietnam is one of the most natural disaster-affected countries in the world. And, in recent years, Vietnam is like the rest of the world in experiencing more frequent weather-related disasters. With more extreme and unusual new characteristics, storms are having disastrous and deadly effects. The economic and social impacts of these storms and related disasters […]

Leading by Example to Promote Village-led Disaster Risk Reduction and Response Planning

CWS Indonesia | October 27, 2019

Rano is a village high in the barren mountains of western Tana Toraja in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Because there is very little vegetation around Rano, seasonal rains make the area prone to landslides. Since Rano’s families are already vulnerable from poverty and lack of basic public services, like a clinic or government-organized emergency responders, the […]

Elsi Is Leading Other DREAM-ers to Succeed

CWS Indonesia | October 2, 2019

Because of its valley location, Rano, which is in South Sulawesi, Indonesia has temperatures that are hotter than other Tanja Toraja villages. This location means families there experience harsher drought most of the year when it doesn’t rain in the area. Harsher still are landslides that come along with the rains. In late 2016, deadly […]

Views from the Frontline 2019: Disaster Risk Assessment Continues Raising Grassroots Perspectives

CWS Cambodia |

Funded by European Commission through the Global Network for Disaster Reduction (GNDR), Views from the Frontline 2019 is a project being implemented in 50 countries across Asia, the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa. The project is designed to seek and understand perspectives on risk and resilience in remote villages and towns across […]

Global Network for Disaster Reduction Asia Regional Strategy Workshop

CWS | August 30, 2019

At the opening session of the Global Network for Disaster Reduction Asia Regional Strategy Workshop in August 2019, CWS Asia Regional Director, Leslie Wilson, joined a panel, Creating the Big Picture, during which she addressed the much-discussed “shrinking space for civil society engagement” in development and humanitarian action, including disaster risk management. Leslie is the […]

CWS Partnership with the UK’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund Is Strengthening in Asia

CWS Japan | August 27, 2019

Since 2017 CWS Japan has been hosting the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network innovation hub, and this collaboration has led a partnership agreement with the UK-based Humanitarian Innovation Fund. In 2018, the Tokyo-based innovation hub team for Asia started to focus on addressing metropolitan earthquake risks in Manila, where with innovation partners, including universities, […]

Turning Loans into Savings

CWS Indonesia | August 26, 2019

Reni Sattu and her family live in a rural village about 25 miles from the nearest town. Among other services she has no access to, safe banking is one. And, as she learned when she approached a bank in a bigger city, she could not borrow money from them anyway because her husband’s income barely […]

From Small Actions to Big DREAMS

CWS Indonesia |

In October 2016, a landslide destroyed houses and farmland in Lembang Rano, which is a small, mountainous village in southern Tana Toraja, Indonesia. CWS was already working with communities there, and so partnered with the district Disaster Management Agency to strengthen its disaster response. Then, after the community’s recovery from the disaster, CWS staff and […]

Blessed Are The Poor (Luke 6:20)

CWS Myanmar | August 5, 2019

By Yukiko Maki, Program Manager CWS Japan. My first visit to the Ayeyarwady River delta and the Myanmar villages where CWS Japan supported a nutrition education project was in 2017. This work was done in partnership with the Japanese food products company, AJINOMOTO; and, it was a success despite the challenges families face every year […]

A Bit of a Dream Come True: Affordable Loans for Women Farmers

CWS Indonesia | July 31, 2019

Yuliana La’lai, like many of her neighbors in South Sulawesi, has always relied farming for her family’s income. However, slowly but surely climate change is making the region’s harvests less fruitful. Gradually, Yuliana notes, “unpredictable rainfall leaves us not knowing when to plant rice; our cacao pods and coffee plants are affected too”. These crop […]

Launch of ’30 Innovations for Disaster Risk – CWS Japan Showcased at a Disaster Risk Reduction Festival

CWS Japan | June 16, 2019

Because Japan, like much of Asia, is increasingly natural disaster-prone municipal governments are joining with others to highlight the importance of everyone’s actions to reduce disaster risks. At one of the best organized events – the Lake Town DRR Festival 2019 at the Aeon Mall in Koshigaya – CWS and other NGOs were active participants […]

Launch of ’30 Innovations for Disaster Risk Reduction’

CWS Japan | May 26, 2019

CWS Japan continues to strengthen its partnership with the academic / science community and was part of the 30 Innovations for Disaster Risk Reduction launch. The collection details innovative products and approaches assessed to be effective in contributing to reducing disaster risks as well as a summary the survey used to determine the DRR innovations […]

Community Networks Building a More Prepared Future

CWS Indonesia |

In early March, 45 community leaders from five in Central Sulawesi villages started their community disaster preparedness networks by considering natural disaster threats in each of their villages. After discussing as many aspects of natural disasters they have experienced or heard about, the women and men in the room put their ideas for contingency action […]

Using Local Resources to Improve Livelihoods and Build Resilience and Diversification

CWS Indonesia | March 28, 2019

Buttu Tasik, his wife and four children live in a village in South Sulawesi. They, like many rural Indonesian families, raise pigs for income while continuing to learn how to adapt their farming for climate change. “Changes in the weather here are quite extreme and we have not yet been able to [fully cope] with […]

Sphere info-sharing workshop has inspired me!

CWS Vietnam |

By Do Van Khai, Muong Te District Red Cross Chapter. In mid-March 2019, a workshop about Sphere project minimum standards for humanitarian response was hosted by Vietnam’s NGO Disaster Management working group (DMWG), its Disaster Management Policy and Technology Center (DMPTC) and the CWS team in Hanoi. The aim of the gathering was helping participants […]

Church World Service is a faith-based organization transforming communities around the globe through just and sustainable responses to hunger, poverty, displacement and disaster.

Church World Service, Inc., is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

ACT Alliance InterAction ICVA BBB Accredited Charity Charity Navigator

Church World Service • 1.800.297.1516 • info@cwsglobal.orgPrivacy