Posts Tagged ‘India’

Escape for Freedom in India

Post a Comment » Written on August 4th, 2014     
Filed under: Community Development
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CSW PuneM comes from a small village in Karnataka, India.  Her family believed in Devdasi tradition (these days it is considered as temple prostitution and prohibited by law).  Her parents were so poor that they worked as labourers.  But both of them died in a road accident, when M was just ten years of age.  This brought lots of struggles for M and her two siblings.

Few years later, one of her cousin sisters who lived in Pune came to the village.  She asked M, if she would be willing to come with her to Pune and to take care of her baby.  She also promised that she would give some money for the work she would do.  M considered it as a good opportunity and came to Pune along with her cousin.

M stayed with her sister at Budhwar Peth for almost six months.  She also started to realize what all was taking place in Budhwar Peth.    On one evening as M was sleeping at the veranda, police raided the area and arrested her along with other women, considering her as one of the prostitutes too.  They were taken to the police station that night.  On realizing that she was not a prostitute, two of the police officers forcefully took her to one of the hotel nearby and raped her.  She was helpless to resist their intention.  The next day they left her at Budhwar Peth.   She shared her plight with her cousin.  But that day she was shocked to know that her cousin sister too was living all these days in Budhwar Peth as a commercial sex worker.   For almost two weeks she continued to struggle with questions about her life and at last decided to stay back and continue the profession of commercial sex work. Continue Reading »

Meet Surendra from India

Post a Comment » Written on July 28th, 2014     
Filed under: Community Development
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BiharSurendra is a resident of Bihar, India. Since birth Surendra has been labeled as low caste and included on the state government’s Below Poverty Line or BPL list. This status has left Surendra without opportunity to move ahead or even provide for his family. CWR partners with Covenant Social Service in multiple communities across India in providing micro-finance loans and other resources for members of low caste communities.

Surendra received a micro-finance loan in order to purchase a “rickshaw”. A “rickshaw” is a small cart pulled by a person, bike, or motorized cycle as a form of taxi in many parts of the world. By being able to purchase this rickshaw, Surendra is able to have consistent work and bring home a paycheck each week to his family of seven. Through something as simple as a micro finance loan, Covenant World Relief and CSS have been able to make a sustainable change in Surendra’s everyday life. Countless other Indians who have been marginalized from birth due to their caste are receiving these small loans that end up making a huge impact in their lives and for their families.

Human Trafficking–What’s the Answer?

Post a Comment » Written on June 23rd, 2014     
Filed under: Community Development
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It has never made sense to me that there are people in the world who are bought and sold on a daily basis. It saddens my heart to know that slavery still exists, and it has grown since the height of the slave trade in America. According to the 2013 Global Slavery Index, there are around 29.8 million slaves in the world today. This is anything from sex slaves, to brick layers, to families trapped by an unpayable debt.

It can be overwhelming to consider the numbers or try to make sense of the data. I can’t picture it and I can’t imagine the lives that are led by those trapped in that alarming statistic. There is a song I have had on repeat for the past few days by a group called Sleeping At Last. The song is called “Emphasis” and the chorus reads, “The smartest thing I’ve ever learned/ Is I don’t have all the answers,/ Just a little light to call my own./ Though it pales in comparison/ Of the overarching shadows,/ A speck of light can reignite the sun/ And swallow darkness whole.”

These remind me of the 1 Kings 19:11-12 passage. “…the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.” Continue Reading »

Partnering with World Relief

Post a Comment » Written on June 2nd, 2014     
Filed under: Disaster Relief
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Covenant World Relief partners with World Relief on a number of different projects around the world. Here are some updates from this past year:

Sudan, West Darfur: (Complex Humanitarian Emergency)  Since 2005, WR’s program in West Darfur has been providing malnourished children with emergency food, managing health care services,  providing farmers with training, and giving communities and their livestock access to clean water.

S. Sudan, Western Equatoria State: (Complex Humanitarian Emergency) The internal conflict in South Sudan has displaced almost 85,000 people since December 2013.  World Relief in partnership with CWR provides emergency food for malnourished children. They continue to meet the gravest of needs for those who have been displaced. Continue Reading »

Truthseekers: The Truth that sets us free

Post a Comment » Written on May 21st, 2014     
Filed under: Community Development

A longtime partner with CWR is Truthseekers in India. Truthseekers is working with reconciliation between the castes in India. Truthseekers sees casteism as the defining, systemic sin of India.  It dominates the lives of all Indians.  It keeps the nation’s majority population of about 850 million low-caste, untouchable and tribal peoples under the rule and control of the minority upper castes.

India (152)Truthseekers has been working for years to combat the caste system.  One of their main strategies is to hold a series of conferences about the caste system and reconciliation. These conferences bring together people from all different castes (upper, lower, untouchables) to talk about casteism and how the injustices of the system are effecting the people of India. In addition, the conferences work on reconciliation between the castes. A lot of the reconciliation comes from symbolic acts of people from different castes sitting down and eating a meal together and washing each other’s feet. Continue Reading »