Covenant World Relief & Development
We partner with local Covenant-connected organizations and churches around the world who are experts in their communities. These local partners initiate projects and run programs to transform and bring hope to their communities. CWRD partners provide regular reports to CWRD for evaluation about the progress of projects and share stories of how lives are being transformed every day.
Empowering Women in Congo
During a recent visit to Goma, Congo to visit CWRD partner HOLD (Humanitarian Organization for Lasting Development), I (Director, Dave Husby) had the chance to hear many stories of transformation. Most began as stories of hopelessness and despair. Young mothers, some of whom became pregnant after being raped, were living with the shame and ridicule from their families and community because they have given birth to a child without being married.
HOLD has provided a means to rise out of poverty through vocational training in cosmetology, tailoring, culinary arts, professional cleaning, and well as literacy classes. But it goes far beyond just training. The young women learn about their rights and the rights of children. They pray together. They support and care for each other. Many start their own savings accounts. They gain confidence and self-respect. Some become peer educators who bring about change in their communities. I was inspired by the dedicated, professional leaders of HOLD who are committed to seeing God’s transforming power in the lives of these young women.
Rohingya Refugee Care
The day the army came to Redwan’s village in Burma his family heard gunshots and ran out of their house. The entire village of 700 people fled toward a lush hill to take cover. Redwan and his family stayed hidden throughout the night, watching to see if the military would leave. The next morning Redwan and a few others returned to the village to grab essentials. But while he was there, his father was shot up on the hill. Redwan’s wife and two children escaped with his mother and ran toward the border.
Redwan went back to the hill and found his father, bleeding, but thankfully alive. Redwan carried his father for six days toward the border of Bangladesh. Along the way they were reunited with the rest of the family. Redwan spent his entire savings to get them on a boat across the Naf River.
By the time they reached the refugee camp, his two-year-old son, five-month-old daughter, and his father-in-law were sick. He brought them all to be treated at the clinic led by Covenant World Relief & Development partner, Medical Teams International (MTI) and their local partner, Food for the Hungry.
Soon Redwan met the Community Health Worker supervisor in the camp and asked to join the program to teach others on hygiene and sanitation. He was intrigued by the opportunity to teach people about proper hygiene and learn how to spot diseases in the community.
Just ten days after the MTI team trained Community Health Workers on how to detect diphtheria, Redwan’s two children started showing symptoms. He immediately took them to the clinic where they received the proper medication. He then went to each of his neighbors’ homes and made sure everyone was healthy. Since his training, Redwan has referred nine positive diphtheria cases.
Redwan is one of forty-one Community Health Workers, all Rohingya refugees, who go from house to house in the camp teaching on hygiene and sanitation, delivering needed supplies, and referring patients who might otherwise go overlooked. Redwan’s work as a Community Health Worker provides the opportunity to care for his people in an impactful way. “Sometimes I worry about all the things I had to leave behind, but then I look around and I’m happy to live in community with other refugees. I’m happier than I ever was in Burma because I get to be involved in such important work.”
Project Blue Continues to Bring Clean Water
Project Blue continues to raise funding and awareness for clean water access and sanitation projects in twelve countries: Cameroon, Colombia, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, India, Kenya, Nepal, Somalia, Thailand, US, and Yemen.
This year a new water project is nearly completed in Lexi, Haiti. This is the fourth well constructed by our partner, The Haiti Christian Development Fund (HCDF). Leaders of HCDF identified six of the most vulnerable villages in the Fond-des-Blancs area that had little or no access to clean water. Many of these villages previously had working water systems, but after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016 the water access points were filled in with debris and sand, making them unusable and their sources contaminated. Thankfully these areas were not devastated by the recent Hurricane Irma, so the rebuilding of new wells in these villages continues. Several of the water systems in Haiti are using solar power, which is the most reliable and environmentally-friendly method for electricity in Haiti.
In Lexi, children have been constantly getting sick with bellyaches, diarrhea, and allergic reactions to the impure water. The new water source in Lexi will be located at the local school so that children will have clean water throughout the day. The entire community is then able to access the water after hours.
The new source in Lexi will reach a community of 900 people who previously had to walk two miles to the nearest common water source. Often the previous source was overcrowded, and at times women would have to walk home with empty jars, unable to secure the water needed for their families. Now clean water will be available within Lexi at 50 gallons of water per minute from the new pumps.
Thank you for your continued support of Project Blue! You are truly making a difference in lives around the world.