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LATEST NEWS

THE CAUSE: Who Pays The Hidden Cost of Consumption?

-LEARN_TO_DO_RIGHT__SEEK_JUSTICE_DEFEND_(29).pngUNDERSTANDING THE LINK BETWEEN POVERTY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

We all need a healthy planet. Sustainable ecosystems give us clean air to breathe, the water we need and the food we depend on. Caring for our environmental systems needs to be addressed as a poverty and justice issue, as many of these naturally available building blocks for human life and well-being are being denied to those with small political voice and little economic power.

Sustainability is about generational justice - both between generations and within our present generation. It is about finding ways to live now that do not compromise the ability of future generations to live well. It is about fair distribution of resources, so that the present needs of many are not denied in order to meet the temporary ‘wants’ of a few. Development - in both rich and poor nations - must be environmentally sustainable or it will harm the most vulnerable. 

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THE CAUSE: Addressing Trafficking and Exploitation in SE Asia

-LEARN_TO_DO_RIGHT__SEEK_JUSTICE_DEFEND_(28).pngCambodia is a nation facing overwhelming problems of sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking. It serves as an origin, transit and destination country for victims of trafficking in persons, commonly for the purpose of commercial sex work. Women and girls are especially vulnerable to sexual exploitation and trafficking.

Founded in 2005, ACCI Partner Chab Dai works in Cambodia to address trafficking abuse and exploitation through NGO collaboration and informed practice. Chab Dai currently has 50 faith-based member organisations who all work towards addressing this issue, and who are supported by Chab Dai to build their capacity and work towards best practice. By investing into these organisations Chab Dai is assisting to raise the level of care provided to survivors and those at risk of being trafficked or exploited. 

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THE CAUSE: Zaabu 'Gold' Group for Women

-LEARN_TO_DO_RIGHT__SEEK_JUSTICE_DEFEND_(27).pngCOME Uganda is a ministry run by ACCI Associate Field Workers Frank & Michelle Heywood. In 2009, COME Uganda started the Gold group, a self-help group for women who are HIV-positive.

There are well accepted and globally documented links between gender inequality and HIV transmission. In Uganda, gender norms that endorse unequal power relationships between men and women significantly increase women’s risk of HIV transmission. Early marriages, gender based violence, and women’s low economic power, which can lead to women engaging in high-risk behaviour such as transactional sex for survival, are all such examples. 

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THE CAUSE: Holistic Development, Action Overseas


-LEARN_TO_DO_RIGHT__SEEK_JUSTICE_DEFEND_(26).pngMen are like gold and women are like white cloth’.

This well-known Cambodian proverb captures something of the gender disparity that continues to oppress millions of women in the country. Gold, no matter how tarnished it becomes, can be easily cleaned, polished and restored to its original value. White cloth however, once stained is ruined. For a single Cambodian woman the stains that render her worthless in her culture’s eyes refer to the shame of sexual impurity. When a single woman finds herself pregnant, regardless of the circumstances, she is often shunned, rejected by her family, and left alone with little means of support. Many single women facing a crisis pregnancy not only experience gender disparity in society’s rejection of them, but their pregnancy is often the result of gender based violence such as sexual assault and trafficking. 

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THE CAUSE: Holistic Development Part 2

blog0042.pngIt is well recognised that men and women do not benefit equally from development activities due to gender bias and inequality. Differing priorities and obstacles for women and men can greatly affect women’s involvement, reduce opportunity to benefit from programs and minimise potential leadership roles within their community.

Overwhelmingly, it is women rather than men who experience these gender-based forms of exclusion and discrimination. Without their voice, the way in which development priorities are determined becomes skewed, hampering efforts to achieve holistic change. 

Holistic change, by definition, needs to impact all of society at multiple levels - not just the dominant social group. Effective development and change requires an understanding of both women’s and men’s roles and responsibilities within the community and their relationships to each other (1). 

 

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Syrian Refugee Crisis: How to Help as a Church in Australia

a_guide_to_big_city_life___love..pngOctober  2015 - Information and guidance for ACC churches wishing to get ready to offer a welcome and assistance to Syrian refugees arriving in Australia.

Background

The escalating Syrian refugee crisis continues to make news headlines around the world and in recent weeks European countries have been gathering to discuss what they can do to assist.  Several countries have committed to increasing resettlement places for Syrian refugees.  On 6 September 2015 (then) Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that Australia would consider how it could further assist Syrian refugees, including through resettlement.  As a consequence, it is expected that 12,000 refugees from Syria will be resettled in Australia, starting in the near future.

Churches in our movement are aware of the recent ACCI Relief appeal for funds to provide emergency relief, counselling, migrant assistance and other services to displaced families in transit countries, in conjunction with Samaritan’s Purse.  Some are now asking what they can do to get ready to help refugees arriving in Australia.

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THE CAUSE: Holistic Development, An Impossible Goal if Half are Held Back

blog0039.png“One of the best ways to promote economic growth and to achieve stronger communities and societies is to empower women and girls.” Hon. Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. Improving Economic Outcomes for Women, 2014.

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:28-29

Here's a curious question - Why would it be that feminine-names hurricanes kill about twice as many people as similar-strength hurricanes with a male name?

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Nepal Update: September 2015

SUMMARY OF ACHIEVEMENTS

NEPAL_Blog.pngIn the last four months since the Nepal earthquake ACCI Relief in collaboration with our on the field partners have been able to achieve the following:  

  • 1,915 households have been provided with emergency supplies such as food and blankets.
  • 11 child friendly spaces have been established to prevent family separation and trafficking.
  • Over 6,000 vehicles have been stopped by volunteers at key checkpoints to check for children potentially being trafficked.  36 children have been identified and removed and these cases of trafficking are now before the courts.
  • 2,500 people in rural areas have received emergency medical treatment.
  • Over 400 earthquake victims have been treated at Anandaban Hospital in Kathmandu.
  • Over 3,500 people have received temporary housing assistance. 
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Syrian Refugee Crisis Appeal

10975822305_5ba6288673_b.jpgWell over 4 million refugees have fled Syria since the start of the now four-year-old civil war. The war has killed over 200,000 people and millions have been left homeless and in desperate need of safety. Many families have no choice but to risk their lives to flee war and persecution. 
 
Hundreds of thousands of refugees are now streaming across Europe in hopes of building a new life. It is the largest refugee crisis of its kind in the region since the Second World War and has overwhelmed the capacity of countries along their path to respond. 
 
The conditions these refugee families face during the journey are very difficult. Along the route, many refugees have faced hostility and a lack of support with some forced to resort to journeying by foot and sleeping in public places. 
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THE CAUSE: Clean Water, A Foundation for Development

-LEARN_TO_DO_RIGHT__SEEK_JUSTICE_DEFEND_(22).pngPositioned in the Mekong Region, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) is endowed with a huge supply of river and rain-water, yet only 65% of the rural population has access to improved drinking water. Even water from improved water sources are frequently unsafe to drink to due faecal contamination at the water source and during collection, storage and use in the home.

Lao PDR is considered a least developed country, ranked by the Human Development Index as 138 out of 187 countries. With a population of 6.2 million people, 66% of people live on less the $2 USD per day. The under-five mortality rate is 54 deaths per 1000 children, more than double the average for East Asia and the Pacific (World Bank, 2010). Faced with so many challenges and limited resources, the Government of Laos has trouble delivering basic services to its poor and highly-dispersed population (AusAID, 2010). 

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