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

Community Networks Building a More Prepared Future

CWS Indonesia | May 26, 2019

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 […]

Alternative Idea for Raising Awareness About Reducing Disaster Risks

CWS Myanmar | March 6, 2019

In working in hard-to-reach areas of Myanmar’s Ayeyawaddy River delta region, where many disaster risks from seasonal flooding, riverbank erosion and cyclones affect many vulnerable families, CWS works to help these families, their community leaders and the local government, building both resilience and response capacity. In the past year, in the face of continuing out-migration […]

Asia-Pacific Regional 2018 NGO Partnership Week In Review

CWS Japan | January 20, 2019

In December, a packed partnership week was organized by CWS Japan team members in partnership with colleagues from the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN), the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) and the United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Office (UNOCHA) in Bangkok. In addition to CWS Japan senior leadership – Board Chair Rajib […]

Climate Change Is Real: CWS and Partners Help Indonesia Farmers Understand and Adapt to the Change

CWS Indonesia | December 27, 2018

“The weather is unpredictable now,” says Buttutasik, a fiftysomething farmer in Bau village in South Sulawesi, who is chairman of the Harapan Lembang Bau farmer’s group. “This leaves us feeling confused: some of us continue planting our seeds, knowing we are risking crop failure from weather change and pestilence; others of us are reluctant to […]

Continuing Current Engagements While Planning to Increase CWS Japan’s Public Engagement

CWS Japan |

Following western Japan’s July 2018 floods, with support from United Church of Canada, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and generous individual donors, CWS Japan successfully augmented government and other groups’ response activities by supporting local organizations’ emergency medical operations; information-sharing management among evacuees and, thanks to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a series of weekend camps […]

“Our community will be more resilient now!”

CWS Myanmar | December 25, 2018

A key part of success and sustainability for the disaster risk reduction activities that comprise our Integrated Resilience and Development in Myanmar, are the Community Volunteers who join the Training of Trainers, so they use their new knowledge, awareness and skill to help their neighbors and village leaders undertake all key aspects of community-based self-help […]

Challenges and Rewards in Helping Myanmar Communities Build Resilience

CWS Myanmar | November 28, 2018

In a part of Myanmar that is especially susceptible to natural disaster, primarily related to yearly monsoon rains and flooding, CWS has led Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) activities for several years with a focus on two townships initially, and now just one: Maubin Township in the Ayeyarwaddy region. In the past two years CWS […]

International Day for Disaster Reduction Celebrated in Japan

CWS Japan |

October 13th marked the international day for disaster reduction with this year’s theme – reducing economic loss – being highlighted as one of the global target of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. CWS Japan stepped up to represent some of civil society’s perspectives on this theme by focusing on how recurrent disasters, exacerbated by […]

Gaining Important Practical Knowledge for Life Is Its Own Reward

CWS Myanmar | September 20, 2018

Thin Thin Soe, who is 24, lives with her family in Sit Kone village in the Ayerwaddy River delta region of southwest Myanmar. She finished Grade 8 at her village school and then decided to leave school to help her family grow winter crops. Because CWS has been working with many of her family’s neighbors […]

An Ounce of Prevention …

CWS Indonesia | September 19, 2018

Yohanis Toding started working for his local government in North Belau village in 1999 when he was 28; and, since 2005, he has been the Deputy Chairman of the North Belau village parliament***, which led to his election as Chairman of the North Belau Village Disaster Preparedness Team last year. “Joining activities in partnership with […]

LembangBau Will Be A “Disaster Prepared” Village!

CWS Indonesia | August 19, 2018

Oktovina Sari Andilolois a Village Disaster Preparedness Facilitator in LembangBau village in South Sulawesi; and she came to hold this important position when she first heard about a disaster resilience initiative called DREAM. “When I first heard about the DREAM project I was immediately interested. My neighbors and I talked about our experience with disasters […]

“Japan’s Dilemma”: Continued Lesson-Learning From the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

CWS Japan | July 23, 2018

CWS Japan represented the Japan CSO Coalition for DRR at the annual Asian Ministerial Conference for DRR, which was held in Ulan Bator, Mongolia this year. Since 2012, the Coalition has advocated for nuclear disaster risk reduction following the power plant accident in Fukushima; and, this year, wrote and shared “Japan’s Dilemma”, a pamphlet featuring […]

Knowledge Is Power

CWS Indonesia |

Doris Datupasau is from Lembang Pondingao village in a far northern district on the island of Sulawesi province in eastern Indonesia. Doris and her husband are farmers who have five children. “We plant rice primarily, and some coffee and cocoa, in our fields, and our family income is solely from selling these crops. However, over […]

Strengthening Disaster Preparedness and Response Teams in Tana Toraja

CWS Indonesia | June 20, 2018

Henra Rante Allo is a 40-year-old member of the Disaster Preparedness Team (TAGANA is the Indonesian acronym) in Tana Toraja District of South Sulawesi – a team that was created by the Ministry of Social Affairs several years ago as part of a nationwide program designed to support community volunteers for disaster preparedness and response. […]

“Already, I can see a change in the way … we view disasters and risks …”

CWS Indonesia | May 18, 2018

Surianti Todingbua is a 39-year-old nurse in a sub-district Health Center on Sulawesi island in eastern Indonesia. She is also a member of the Indonesian Red Cross North Toraja District Branch and, for two years, has been active in the SOLIDARITAS initiative, which is led by a local CWS partner, INANTA. Since she lives in […]

Japan’s Private Sector and CWS Team Up To Assess Disaster Risk Reduction Needs and Opportunities

CWS Japan | May 17, 2018

While it is still quite rare for non-government organizations and private companies in Japan to partner on development projects, starting with baseline assessments of needs and opportunities, CWS Japan Board and senior staff believe that such partnerships, and joint assessments, can help ensure stronger programming by bringing together key strengths from NGOs and private companies. […]

It Takes a Village

CWS Indonesia | April 16, 2018

To be prepared to respond to natural disasters, especially mudslides and localized floods from too-heavy rains, it is most important, Father Yos concludes, to maintain coordination – not only among individual people taking action but also among organizations and groups, like local government and the Indonesian Red Cross, which are responsible for people’s survival and […]

NGO2030 Initiated in Japan

CWS Japan |

CWS Japan is part of a new Japanese initiative, NGO2030, in anticipation of that year being an important one for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Paris (climate change) Agreement, and in self-recognition that Japanese NGOs have a timely chance to renew their vision and purpose to […]

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