CWS teams first served the people of Indonesia through the Communion of Churches in Indonesia in the 1950s. Then, following decades of humanitarian and development work, and a brief hiatus in 1997, CWS partnered significantly with the U.S. government through USDA and USAID funding after a series of crises, both natural and manmade, caused a dramatic increase in food prices and pervasive poverty, as well as high malnutrition rates among young children.
As the economy stabilized and grew – before the ongoing COVID-19 socioeconomic and public health crisis – many people’s lives and livelihoods improved. However, even before the Coronavirus hit, there were countless communities and families living in poverty and with hunger and malnutrition in many places. So, CWS continues its original work through our signature Timor Zero Hunger initiative. Based on known best practices, Timor Zero Hunger integrates agriculture and livelihoods improvements with water and sanitation improvements. In 2020, we added COVID-19 hygiene promotion in partnership with CROP Hunger Walks, CWS Members, Week of Compassion, Latter-day Saints Charities and some individual donors. And, despite COVID-19, Timor Zero Hunger continues to contribute to achieving United Nations Zero Hunger Challenge and the collective goals of the 1,000 Days partnership. While West Timor is far away from reaching these goals, and Indonesia’s Sustainable Development Goals related to poverty, hunger and malnutrition, CWS is committed to continuing our long-standing partnership.
CWS also works with communities in Central Sulawesi to promote and support continuing recovery and rebuilding from the 2018 earthquake and tsunami. Now, our Australian partner Act for Peace is funding a second phase of Disaster Resilience through Enhanced Adaptive Measures (DREAM²). DREAM² aims to support communities to reduce and adapt to climate change-related risks and build resilience. DREAM² aligns with a pilot project funded by CWS members and the David and Carol Myers Foundation, Moving Toward Resilience. In this initiative, CWS teams are partnering with communities to assess the relationship between climate change and migration in some Central Sulawesi villages, and to address climate change-related risks to farming.
In a different direction, CWS partners with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the US Department of State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration, the Australian government and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to protect and support refugees and asylum seekers predominantly from Afghanistan, East Africa, the Middle East, and Asia by Protecting Urban Refugees Through Empowerment.