ISSUE / OCTOBER 2013
ACTION PUT TRAFFICKERS OUT OF BUSINESSPAGE 4
SYRIA WINTER IS COMING PAGE 6
LEGACY OF WAR
LOST INNOCENCE: Children exposed to conflict are never the same.
Story and picture by Helen Manson
ith its sunny skies, swaying coconut trees and luscious palms it’s easy to see Sri Lanka for its beautiful beaches, fertile surrounds and soaring temperatures. But beneath the surface, you find a land recovering from a 25-year civil war that has left an indelible mark upon its people. My briefing before my trip to Sri Lanka was with our programmes officer who plonked a map on the table, followed by a land mine. That was a conversation starter. The civil war, fought between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and the government troops, took the lives of over 70,000 people and displaced more than 280,000. The LTTE were fighting to establish a separate state in the north. On August 22, we headed into the north of Sri Lanka with TEAR Fund’s partner, World Concern. We handed over our passports at the check-point and after the security procedures were complete, made the 1.5 hour trip into what was the centre of the war zone a mere four years earlier. As I looked out the car window with land mine fields, burnt-out buildings, and bullet holes filling every blink; my heart sank. How
had I missed this? We arrived at the home of a farmer and his family. Outside their house there was a massive hole about four metres in circumference. He told us it was from a bombshell. The trees in front of his home were riddled with bullet holes and his former home was a pile of rubble. He told me: “My wife and I were forced to flee our home due to the war, 11 days after our first child was born. I took everything I could carry.” Both his mother in-law and brother died. Because they had little food to eat, his wife was unable to breastfeed their daughter. “I had to take out a loan of US $100 and give a pint of my blood to buy 400gms of milk powder.” They moved 25 times before they settled at the refugee camp. “I saw shell attacks and plenty of bombing and thought I would die. When we were told we could finally re-settle, I couldn’t even get to the road to reach my land. Even though our situation is improving, I still believe I will never have a good future. My only hope is my children’s future. I do not feel safe. I wish I could leave.” Later that day, we drove through the place where the war was concentrated. As you look out the window, all you can see are houses, libraries, orphanages, businesses and buildings that are
nothing but a taunting reminder of the aftermath of the conflict that ended in 2009. Bullet holes fill everything from concrete to palm trees. Abandoned ruins line the streets. The silence and stillness as people carry out their lives amidst this backdrop, is palpable and haunting. We finished our day in silence, standing on the beach where the war was reported to have come to its bloody end. Digging my toes into the warm sand and watching the sunset felt surreal. It was here that tens of thousands lost their lives in a designated `no fire zone’; many of them were civilians. I can’t even begin to describe how I felt driving away in my air-conditioned car to the safety of my motel an hour-and-a-half away from the war zone these resilient people call home. For these people, I have no deeply satisfying answers. I can’t see justice on the horizon for them. But I can see the first ray of hope. Justice is God’s and he promises this life is not the end. When I came home I was so deeply moved by the time I spent in Sri Lanka that I spent hours ‘debriefing’ with my husband. You know it’s an important conversation when your 6’1 hunter-gatherer has tears running down his cheeks. Of course, that set me off.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the scene in the Book of Esther where Mordecai is outside the gates of the palace pleading for Queen Esther to save her people. We too could have been the ones outside the gate. This ‘accident of latitude’ means we could have been the ones born into war, raped for profit or starving. This Christmas, TEAR Fund is doing all we can for these people. Our campaign, Wipe Away their Tears is our opportunity to declare God’s promise in Revelations 21: “He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good— tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” May your kingdom come. Read more about how TEAR Fund is Wiping Away Their Tears and rebuilding communities in Sri Lanka, on page 6.
PRAY • Pray for the healing of those whose lives have been torn apart by Sri Lanka’s civil war. • Pray for the strength of our partner, World Concern, as they play their part in rebuilding the country. • Pray for generous support of our Wipe Away Their Tears campaign.
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2 | TEAR CORRESPONDENT
Wipe away their tears Father of all Creation, You created an amazing world full of wonder and splendour. That world is broken. We see it when people abuse each other, it’s there in conflict, and it’s there in the tears of those caught in slavery. These were not things intended for your world, and they will have no place in the world you have promised will come. Give us what we need to show glimpses of your renewed world now.
WHO IS YOUR NEIGHBOUR?
Son who brings freedom,
GLOBAL VILLAGE: You can help your neighbours overseas.
By Keith Ramsay
n Revelation 21:3-5 (The Message), it says: “…God has moved into the neighbourhood, making his home with men and women”. In our so-called global village, brought closer through ease of travel and technology, our neighbours are nearer than ever before. Through the barrage of media and other sources, we hear daily about our neighbours’ suffering and need and their triumphs as well. As in the parable of the Good Samaritan, we may well ask today: “Who is our neighbour?” The answer is: Our neighbour is every person who needs our help, everyone who is wounded and bruised and bowed down by life’s circumstances; everyone
who is made in the image of God. Unlike God further in the passage in Revelation, we may not be able to banish death or wipe away every tear, but we can do something that will put a smile on the face of one of our neighbours in need or relieve their suffering. This Christmas, through our Wipe Away Their Tears programmes: our Dairy project in Sri Lanka, and antislavery programmes in Asia, you can help rescue a trafficked or enslaved child from a life of misery and put their abusers behind bars. You can help dairy farmers in Sri Lanka recovering from a brutal civil war to make a decent living so that they can put food on the table, send their children to school and prevent them from becoming victims of
PICTURE / HELEN MANSON
trafficking. By sponsoring a child you can give them a chance of a better life and ensure they are not trafficked. You can read more about these programmes in this issue of the Correspondent, and how you as one of God’s agents on earth, can play a part in helping our suffering neighbours. Revelation 21: 3-5 (The Message) “I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighbourhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” The Enthroned continued, “Look! I’m making everything new.”
Ian McInnes — CEO.
child; is there anything more precious and more vulnerable on this earth? This Christmas we remember God’s coming to earth
as a child. Not just any child; a homeless, unwelcome, refugee child, born in disgrace. Such is the lot of so many children on this earth today. TEAR Fund has tirelessly championed the rights and dignity of children for decades, and we work with some outstanding international partners who ensure children are protected and given a chance in life. This Christmas, we are appealing for children. We’re getting straight to the point with our ‘Wipe Away Their Tears’ campaign. Given love, basic protection and an opportunity in life, children can be remarkably creative and resilient in the poorest of contexts. The sad fact is that millions of children are denied these basic rights and necessities. From Cambodia to the Philippines, and from Syria to Sri Lanka, too many children lose their battle for a decent life. They are victimised and traumatised by civil war, exploited for the work of their hands, abused by sexual traffickers and
their clients, forced into the unknown as fleeing refugees and denied an education because their parents lack the means to pay for it. So little is written about Jesus’ childhood, but between his vulnerable beginnings in an animal shelter in Bethlehem and on the run (from Herod), to when he entered the temple at age 12 and astounded those who heard him speak, we can only conclude that he was given everything a growing child requires. My prayer is that this Christmas you will be moved by the suffering of the children TEAR Fund works with who live lives of such unnecessary vulnerability and tragedy. Human traffickers can be stopped, trauma can be addressed, refugees can be given dignity and care, and parents can be assisted so they can provide for their child’s education. Help us protect vulnerable children. Pray with us for those who provide for them. Help us wipe away their tears.
You see where freedom has been stolen. You know the struggle of those caught in slavery, and you know how vulnerable children are all over the world. You came and made your home among us to be near all of it. You took the form of a slave so that freedom could break through the darkness. Make your freedom known. We ask that you wipe away their tears.
Holy Spirit who dwells with us, You are near, and you are close. You hear and know the marvel and wonder we feel at creation, and you also hear and know the pain of those who struggle and suffer. You know and are within the inner being of those whose humanity has been torn apart. You grieve with the vulnerable – you are in their tears and prayers. May their prayers for freedom reverberate around the world. Through your presence may the tears of a broken world be wiped away.
In the name of the eternal Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
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A Letter from Esther
ear TEAR Fund, My Name is Esther Coenradi and I received your letter about Syria not long ago. I wish there was more I could do to help and maybe one day I will be able to help you guys more. I am only 15 so there is not much I can do at the moment. I went around to some of the people in my neighbourhood to ask for
donations but they generally weren’t hugely generous. I probably didn’t look authentic enough and everyone worried whether the money will get to the kids at all. Anyway, I hope you are getting enough donations to help these people. I think you guys are amazing for what you do and if there are any other ways I could help, let me know. Although I know that prayer will help
heaps. Honestly I’d say it’s the best weapon (if that’s the right word) you have got to help these people. I hope to pray for you more. I know that sounds slack, especially after what I just said but I am trying to be truthful. I may forget, but if God will it, then I won’t forget and I will pray. You guys are on my heart if that’s not cheesy enough for you. So God bless, hope you are doing
MOVIE AND BOOK REVIEWS: Trade of Innocents Directed by: Christopher Bessette. Reviewed by Murray Sheard
estern travellers in SouthEast Asia don’t often look at each other and ask; “is that one a sex tourist?” And yet, this film lifts the lid on an ugly underside of international tourism. Cambodia is famous for its ancient temple area of Siem Reap but something unholy lurks in the shadows. Set in Cambodia, Trade of Innocents follows an American couple working against sex trafficking while struggling with their own grief-filled past. Army vet, turned human trafficking investigator, Alex Becker, attempts to expose child prostitution cartels and the tourists who use them. His wife, Claire, is a counsellor, volunteering in a home for rescued girls which provides therapy and refuge. But there is a twist. Trafficking is no arm-length issue for this couple as their seven-year-old daughter was kidnapped and killed a number of years before. To what extent is their work to rescue girls on the other side of the world a sublimated outworking of guilt and grief and a shot at redemption? Recognition of this question surfaces differently for each of them and provides a subplot and personal counterpoint to the wider horror of child prostitution. It is a study in loss. Alex goes undercover, posing as a customer, staking out child sex slaver, Duke, who finds very young girls for foreign paedophiles. In common with many brothels, Duke’s young women shockingly include girls as young as seven. These are particularly targeted by sleazy American businessman, Malcolm, the best-acted character in the film, who
is cynical and disconnected from any care. In one phone call, he speaks to his wife. In the next, he chillingly orders girls like courses from a menu. Many of the girls are simply stolen. In other cases, we see the conflicted faces of the families, not being able to feed all their children, deciding to sell their daughters to the brothel-keepers. This is a gritty film. If you feel a reluctance to watch this evil while impotently sitting on the wrong side of the screen, you are not alone. However, that hesitation is a stark reminder that we do not have the right not to know. The film highlights, sometimes almost as educational asides to the audience, the question of where advocates can best intervene to generate change. Cut the demand or the supply? Close down the cartels? Educate children and families to the trafficking risk? Put pressure on the Malcolm’s of this world? Having recently visited Cambodia to report on TEAR Fund’s partners working on rural microenterprise development, I appreciated the filmmaker’s awareness of the lack of simple solutions due to multiple challenges that undermine attempts to change. This includes corruption, shown here by the police who have been paid off. The couple encounters all the complexities of a preyed-on poor community, finding reluctance to talk, shame and fear. One child is sacrificed for the others. What would we do? But can we know the answer when we are not in the desperate situation of the urban poor? Suspicion and rejection of cultural differences cut both ways between the Americans and the Khmer. The film is at times marred by stilted dialogue. At other times its overscripted, unsubtle and lacking drama and passion. The movie doesn’t quite
PICTURE / DANIEL ALEXANDER
well, From Esther
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Half the Sky
Written by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Reviewed by Beth Harper
know what it is, starting with drama and becoming a thriller, walking the line between movie, educational film and morality play. Alex uses other characters as teaching moments, awkwardly inserting educational statistics about sex trafficking. Yet, we also see him on edge, thinking on his feet, carrying the risk he could be caught out. We see Claire, taking courage while carrying her wounds. With moneyhungry and creepy Duke, and callous unfeeling pleasure-seeker Malcolm, we see graphically, disconcertingly how self-interest blinds us to morality. The heart-breaking stories of kidnapping and “training” from the girls make it a compelling watch. It is hard to watch and not want to do something. Now we are aware, what can we do? TEAR Fund is active in antitrafficking work in the Philippines and Cambodia.
See page 5 for details.
f there is one “must-read” book of our times it is Half the Sky. This is a call to all of us to wake up to a social problem which threatens the globe. The struggle for gender equality is, according to the authors, the central moral issue of our times; as slavery was to the 19th Century and totalitarianism was to the 20th Century. The most dangerous phrase in many parts of the world is: “It’s a girl!”. The preference for a boy leads parents to terminate the life of their girls either before birth, as female feticide, or after birth as infanticide. Sex selection ultrasound has made termination of a girl easy. Preferential treatment also extends to medical treatment and food. The most alarming statistic in Half the Sky is that we are missing 107 million girls due to pregnancy terminations, and every year we lose 2 million to infanticide. The statistics are alarming just as they are tragic. However, while these girls are missing from our planet or are invisible to their communities, they hold the key to poverty alleviation. Girls can be the most powerful agents of change for their families, communities and nations! Quoting the chief economist of the World Bank, Lawrence Summers, the authors build a compelling case that, “Investment in girls’ education could be the highest-return investment available in the developing world.” Half the Sky draws the big picture and then takes you behind the curtain into the lives of females whose suffering is due to their misfortune of being born a girl.
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4 | TEAR CORRESPONDENT
HELP PUT HUMAN TRAFFICKERS OUT OF BUSINESS SUPPLY CUT: Help end the trade in human lives and bring justice for victims.
By Keith Ramsay
usiness all over the world depends on two key things; supply and demand. This is no different when it comes to selling big-screen TVs or trading in human lives. So while there is a large and willing demand, what about the supply? In the case of human trafficking, it is not so much the demand that drives supply as much as it is abject poverty. Poverty creates the conditions in which trafficking, especially of women and children, can thrive. People in low-income countries love their children just as much as we do and want the very best for them, but economic vulnerability makes them a target. Like all predators, traffickers seek out the most vulnerable; those in communities who are struggling to feed their families. They tell them they have a good job away from their home from which they can earn money to send home. So there is one less mouth to feed and there will be another earner in the family helping to boost the family income. It sounds like an answer to prayer when you are wondering whether you will eat today. Another
tactic of traffickers is to offer to marry one of the daughters in a vulnerable family, or pose as someone looking for a bride for a family member. Often they will have a photo of the suitor who usually happens to be reasonably well off, but in both scenarios, the promises are fictitious. What awaits them is a life of misery. You might wonder why these family members are so gullible as to believe the traffickers. They believe them because they are desperate. If we look to our own context, conditions in New Zealand are not so desperate that we would let our children be sold into slavery, but every year hundreds of New Zealanders are tricked by financial scams. If, for instance, you get an email or text telling you that you have won thousands of dollars, most of us would dismiss this as just another scam. However, if you found yourself in debt or struggling to pay your bills, what then? Would you think; this may be a scam, but what if it is true? I can’t afford to leave this to chance; if it is true, all my troubles will be over, so you buy into the scam. Often those who are targeted by traffickers are suspicious, but their desperate circumstances lead
PICTURE / ISTOCK
them to hope for the best. TEAR Fund has a range of antitrafficking programmes that start with reducing the vulnerability of families by educating them on the tactics of traffickers to ensure they do not fall victim to them and at the same time help to raise family incomes, so they do not become desperate. For instance, in our Sri Lankan Dairy project, we are helping to raise incomes through improving the dairy industry. Built into this dairy project, we have a child protection programme to help prevent child trafficking, which has been a problem in the country following the civil war that destroyed the livelihoods of thousands of people. TEAR Fund also works with other partners such as International Justice Mission (IJM) who focus on the rescue and rehabilitation of victims and prosecute those responsible. TEAR Fund’s partners are making life very difficult for traffickers to operate by strangling their supply chain, shutting down their brothels and sending them a strong message that if they continue, they will be punished. For instance, IJM commenced Project Lantern in Cebu, Philippines and over four years,
working alongside local police and training them in methods to break sex trafficking rings and rescue victims, more than 220 trafficking victims were rescued and over a 100 suspected traffickers in Metro Cebu were charged. More results since the operation was launched: • External researchers found that the number of minors available for exploitation in the commercial sex industry in Metro Cebu plummeted 79% from their initial study before IJM began its casework. • The researchers also found that Project Lantern led to: an increase in law enforcement activity in sex trafficking cases, an increase in commitment to resolving sex trafficking cases among law enforcement officers trained through the project, and an increase in services—like shelter, counselling and career training—provided to trafficking survivors. While you may not be able to do much about the demand, you can play a part in putting a strangle hold on the supply, helping to force traffickers out of business and rescue children through supporting TEAR Fund’s antitrafficking programmes.
BIBLICAL SNAPSHOT: REVELATION 21:3-5 By Frank Ritchie
ne of the biggest periods in the Christian calendar is the lead up to Christmas. It’s known as Advent and when we engage with it, it reminds us of who we are and retells our story as followers of Jesus. The key theme of Advent is hope and that hope is wrapped up in Jesus. Advent is about reminding ourselves that our Saviour, the King, has come (Christmas) and that he is coming again to make all things right. That sense of his coming brings with it the understanding that things are not right – we are still in need of a Saviour. That’s evident in things like human trafficking and slavery. It’s also evident in the vulnerability of so
many children around the world who lack access to basic needs and safety. So we live in a tension; God, in the form of Jesus, has moved into the neighbourhood (John 1:14 MSG) and given us a glimpse and the start of a renewed world in his Resurrection, but that movement isn’t complete. Advent renews our desire for his return and for the world to be made new. The book of Revelation connects to this. It takes us on an amazing journey through pain, suffering, triumph, glory, good, evil, warnings and assurances. It gives us maidens, villains, heroes and epic cosmic battles, and it culminates in the writer reflecting the visions and words of the prophet Isaiah, closing out with an image of the returned Saviour
and God’s new heavens and new earth. Revelation 21:3-5 paints a succinct picture of that renewal. God’s home is made amongst his people and “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more mourning or death or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (v4 NIV). From his throne God says “I am making everything new.” The truth of the matter is affirmed in the second half of verse 5. While the completion of this promise is something for the future, glimpses of that Kingdom are not relegated to only then. Jesus said, “repent, for the Kingdom of heaven has come near.” Through the arrival of Jesus, his life, death, resurrection and ascension, that world broke into the one we know so well.
If we see the Kingdom as the reign of God and the Church as the realm of God, then the Church has the responsibility to give the world glimpses of God’s reality now, amidst the brokenness. I love that line “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes…” That’s a reality of the renewal to come that we can give glimpses of to the world now. One very real way to do this is to tackle the issue of human trafficking; to protect children and free young girls from sexual slavery where tears are all too well known amidst life-breaking abuse. Let’s be people who wipe away their tears. Let’s be people who celebrate that our Saviour has come and is to come, not just with our words, but with our actions that demonstrate the very real hope inherent in Advent.
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IT ONLY TAKES ONE By International Justice Mission
nternational Justice Mission (IJM) Social Worker Sineth Ti sits in a red plastic chair at the Siem Reap Police Station listening to a young Cambodian woman tell her story. A few hours earlier, the Siem Reap police conducted an operation at the karaoke bar where she worked, after investigations conducted by IJM revealed that the establishment was doubling as a brothel and selling underage girls for sex. Under the police station‘s flickering fluorescent lights, the young woman explains how living in crushing poverty and with no other options, she came to work at the large karaoke bar, where managers expected employees—including several minors—to provide sexual services for their customers. Large karaoke bars employing anywhere between 50 to over 200 women and girls are increasingly common in Cambodia. Initially, these karaoke bars seem to offer impoverished and often uneducated girls and women from rural areas the chance to make much-needed income for themselves and their families. But they soon learn that the monthly wages they receive are actually quite small. Furthermore, they are compelled to provide sex to customers for little or no money to pay off inflated debts their employers claim they owe, or for the clothes and makeup they are required to wear. In the past, these larger entertainment establishments have been less likely to be investigated for illegal activity because of their sheer size or the owner‘s prominence and power. The size or prominence of an establishment can serve as an impediment to police who lack financial and human resources to conduct investigations and operations, says Shawn Kohl, IJM deputy director for Cambodia. That is why an operation of this scale is so significant. Through several months of
NOT FOR SALE: Their smiles hide a world of misery. investigation, IJM obtained proof that underage girls working at the large karaoke bar, targeted in this operation, were being forced into prostitution. Acting on intelligence reports from IJM, police intervened and the karaoke bar was successfully shut down. IJM social workers immediately moved into action to ensure that everyone impacted by the operation had the support they needed and a comforting, listening ear. Inside the Siem Reap police station, Sineth is
The woman Sineth is eating with tells her about the terrifying night when a drunk client tried to rape her. The client was never told to leave because he was a good customer and continued to return regularly. After police complete individual interviews the minors are taken to aftercare shelters. Sineth and her colleagues make sure every adult woman choosing to leave is provided with information on clinics, shelters, jobtraining centres, and other resources
Initially, these karaoke bars seem to offer impoverished and often uneducated girls and women from rural areas the chance to make muchneeded income for themselves and their families... eating rice and pork with another young woman who worked at the karaoke bar. A torrential rainstorm pounds on the tin roof and they lean in close to hear each other. Aftercare workers from IJM and a partner organisation are distributing food, coordinating police interviews, and providing support and encouragement to the girls and women. Despite the deafening rain and bustle of activity, there is a permeating sense of peace in the large concrete room. As the women talk, hints of the abuse they have endured begin to emerge.
located throughout Cambodia. In aftercare, the five minor girls receive counselling, medical treatment, and job training. They, along with any adult trafficking victims who choose to, have the opportunity to pursue a civil case against the owners through IJM‘s free legal representation. Pursuing a legal case requires accepting the past and coming to terms with the financial and sexual exploitation that occurred. In order to go to court, the women must be willing to testify that they provided sexual services, which is often perceived
HOW ARE TEAR FUND’S PROGRAMMES BEATING THE TRAFFICKERS? By Keith Ramsay
s an extension to TEAR Fund’s Dairy farming project in Sri Lanka, TEAR Fund’s partner is creating safe havens through a network which raises awareness around trafficking and how to keep kids safe. Sri Lanka has an Act to protect children and women from this sort of exploitation. However, as it has not been notified, it effectively means that traffickers cannot easily be prosecuted.
So the best way to keep children safe is through educating the children and parents to the ways traffickers operate. In Cambodia and the Philippines, TEAR Fund works with an organisation that helps to rescue children from exploitation in forced labour and the sex industry. The organisation uses undercover investigators to rescue victims, trains and works with local police to help catch the criminals, provides legal representation for the victims to put the traffickers behind bars and ensures the victims are cared
for and rehabilitated so they are not revictimised. TEAR Fund also works alongside Kiwi organisation Nvader, set up by Daniel Walker. Daniel is the author of God in a Brothel which tells about his experiences and challenges working undercover to help rescue women and children from brothels, and put the brothel-owners behind bars. Daniel, a former NZ police investigator, started Nvader built on best practice and sound principles employing all the things he learnt in the field to beat the traffickers.
PICTURE / SUPPLIED
as shameful and may require them to share the truth with their families for the first time. However, many courageous women and girls in Cambodia have testified against their perpetrators in the past despite intimidation, endless court delays, and even family connections with the perpetrator. We‘ve had many cases in which only one girl out of many has stood up and told the truth and put exploiters in prison through her testimony, says Patrick. It only takes one. Please help rescue more women and children and put their abusers behind bars by supporting TEAR Fund’s partner IJM. You can fill out the form at the back of the Correspondent.
PRAY • Pray for the successful rehabilitation of minors freed from slavery around the world. • Pray for the growth in global awareness of the human trafficking issue and for effective steps to be taken to stamp it out. • Pray that families of girls freed from sexual slavery would welcome their girls back without shame.
THE FACTS • There are nearly 2 million children in the commercial sex trade. (UNICEF) • Yearly, about 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders annually. (U.S. Department of State) • Approximately 80% of human trafficking victims are women and girls, and up to 50% are minors. (U.S. Department of State)
• The total value of illicit human trafficking is estimated to being in excess of $32 billion. (UN) • Human trafficking has surpassed the illegal sale of arms. (counterchildtrafficking.org)
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6 | TEAR CORRESPONDENT
WINTER IS COMING TO SYRIAN REFUGEES
BRRRR: TEAR Fund supporters are bringing winter warmth to Syrian refugees.
Story and photos by Andrew Robinson
irectly across the border from Syria, separated by a tall, snow-capped mountain range, lies Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. A fertile agricultural area, similar to our own Bay of Plenty, the valley is filled with orchards, vineyards, and farms. As the conflict in Syria has escalated, many thousands of families have streamed into the region seeking sanctuary. Having scrounged together old plastic and vinyl, thin burlap sacking, and discarded strips of wood, these families have built crude shelters to live in. Today, as you drive through the valley, you will see thousands of these shelters scattered amongst the farms and orchards, built wherever Syrian families have found land to rent. I was in the Bekaa Valley last year, working with one of TEAR Fund’s partners helping Syrian refugees. As I talked with families living in these shelters it soon became apparent
that their greatest anxiety was how they were going to survive the winter months ahead. The flimsy shelters they had built offered little protection from the elements. Though facing many hardships, their greatest concern was how they would cope when the temperature dropped below zero, and the snow and heavy rains arrived. Mothers worried over their children, and how they would keep them warm and healthy with few blankets to ward off the cold. Grandchildren looked to their elderly grandparents and wondered if they would survive the long cold months ahead, living in these simple, unheated shelters. Most families had no money, and there were few jobs available for refugees. Without outside assistance, many would struggle to survive the coming winter. In November 2012, I had the privilege to stand in the midst of a group of refugees, outside a small community of 50 makeshift shelters, as a truck stacked high with blankets and mattresses
SRI LANKA DAIRY PROJECT – IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND By Kevin Riddell
he civil war in Sri Lanka fought between the Tamil separatists and the Sri Lanka government which finally ended in 2009, destroyed the hopes and dreams of countless civilians caught in the middle of this conflict. Today, 18 months into a peace and restoration community development programme, TEAR Fund, with its partner, World Concern Sri Lanka, is offering hands of hope and fresh new dreams through its dairy regeneration programme. The programme will: Resource & educate – A breeding and training farm will model the best way for smallholder Sri Lankan farmers to be self-sufficient from dairy farming by offering on-going training and improved breeding opportunities.
As well as this, the project has a children’s health and wellbeing project that aims to support families to improve nutritional health and raise awareness around community rights and child protection issues. Organise & empower – At least 25 Dairy Farmer Cooperative Societies (DFCSs) – established in at least 25 Farmer communities to organise, empower and give farmers better options that help them get the best return from the milk supply. Support & strengthen – Establishing 17 mobile vet clinics effectively extending government animal health and production services into farming communities. Develop & link – Two District Milk Chilling Centres owned and operated by the DFCSs to process 30,000L of quality milk per day, during the peak season.
pulled into view. On seeing the truck, the children broke into spontaneous applause, cheering and clapping excitedly. Many of the men came and shook my hand, quietly expressing their thanks, while others, smiling broadly, slapped me enthusiastically and appreciatively on the back. We spent the morning unloading the truck and passing out blankets and mattresses to these grateful families. It was a very special day—a day only made possible because of donations from people around the world who had given what they could to support refugees—and it meant these families had the means to endure Lebanon’s fierce winter. Only a few weeks later the Bekaa Valley was struck by a heavy snow storm. Roads into the area were closed for a week, and the valley was buried under a foot of snow. Without the materials we provided, many of these
The milk comes from the surrounding farmer communities supplying milk companies for processing into muchneeded milk products that will improve the nutritional health needs of woman and children in the country Restore & revive – At least 1500
families would have suffered terribly. As we, in New Zealand, begin to look forward to the Christmas holidays and the start of summer, Syrian refugees in Lebanon are bracing themselves for the next northern winter. Once again, there are thousands of newly-arrived refugees who do not have the means to cope when the winter snow and rains arrive. New Zealanders have responded with incredible generosity to TEAR Fund’s Syria Crisis appeal. Wonderfully, in addition to the support of many bighearted Kiwis, the New Zealand Government has also made funding available, and we can now do something to help these vulnerable Syrian refugees. Working with our local partner in Lebanon, TEAR Fund will be able to provide 2,200 Syrian families— approximately 11,000 people—with blankets, mattresses, stoves, and heating fuel. In addition, our local partner will continue to provide food aid to refugees, and TEAR Fund will supply water filters so families have clean, safe water to drink. These materials are life-saving; thanks to your generous giving, refugees will have a reason to celebrate this Christmas. Please continue your support for Syrian refugees; for the many families who flee to Lebanon in search of safety every day. Together, we can offer hope to the most vulnerable of these refugee families.
PRAY • Pray that refugees in the Bekaa Valley would be kept sheltered and warm during their winter. • Pray for an end to the conflict that is forcing people out of Syria. • Pray for comfort and healing for those families who have lost loved ones due to the war.
farmers are given the opportunity to adequately support their families’ health and nutritional needs, provide enough income to enable their children to go to school and help strengthen the resilience of their communities to progress and grow economically.
Breeding and training Farm
Dairy Farmer Cooperatives started
Mobile Vet Clinics
Milk Chilling Centres
1500 Farmers targeted
BUYING FREEDOM FAIR PLAY: Consumers have the power to change exploitative corporate behaviour.
If we hope to abolish modern-day slavery we need to consider its root causes. The informed consumer may be our strongest weapon. By Murray Sheard
n the recent movie Elysium, one society slaves under inhuman conditions to serve another whose inhabitants orbit the earth, blissfully unaware. It’s science fiction right? Maybe not. Every 30 seconds another person becomes a victim of trafficking. According to the UN, 126 million work in conditions that affect their education and health. One in five of these are slaves and more than half are children. They risk injuries from lifting, dangerous machinery, poisoning, pesticide exposure and exhaustion. Multinational companies often work in poorer countries because labour is cheaper. At best, this contributes to the local economy. However, pressure to produce cheaply also drives slavery. Farmers, faced with low prices, try to cut costs, and if they can get away with using slaves, they will. But the higher prices and certification systems available via fair trade offer an alternative. Have you ever wondered why you can buy some products so cheaply: imported fruit on our dining table, toys for our kids, garments we wear, devices we use for media? All through the day, from pre-breakfast coffee to after-dinner mints, these products are very likely produced by modern-day slaves. In the 1850s, a slave would set you back the equivalent of NZ$50,000. Nowadays, the cost is NZ$120. While enjoying the bargains, we risk closing our eyes and letting slavers exploit men, women, and children. However, we can make the small changes that add up to a big difference. The Hard Facts Here are two cases. There is a
bitter truth behind the sweet taste of chocolate. A handful of large, multinational companies live off the proﬁts and control 80% of the cocoa market. However, for cocoa farmers, it’s a different story. Two-thirds of the world’s cocoa is produced in West Africa, in countries like the Côte d’Ivoire. Farmers get barely 5% of the proﬁt from the sale of chocolate, compared to 70% received by trading organizations and large chocolate firms. It is estimated that over 10,000 children are trafficked annually in West Africa alone. Most have never tasted chocolate. Thousands of Indian and Pakistani children make soccer balls. Some are in bonded labour—a form of slavery. Their rights to basic education and health are neglected in the process. “I have been stitching balls for as long as I can remember,” says Greeta, a young girl from the Punjab. “My hands are constantly in pain. It feels like they are burning.” But slavery has crept into the supply chain of other products you might not suspect: the mica in your lip gloss, the silver in your jewellery, the steel in your car. Labour intensive manufactured goods such as clothing, rugs, and basketwork are often the product of forced or child labour. Tropical hardwoods like teak and mahogany are logged illegally by criminal gangs using slave labour. To see the ways we can help abolish modern-day slavery, we need to see trafficking and slavery in the full context of economic globalization. And we may need to look in the mirror! The root causes include the enthusiastic Western market for cheap labour and cheap goods, and the poverty and
PICTURE / FRANK RITCHIE
desperation which maintain a pool of vulnerable victims. How Fair Trade Helps Trade rules and regulation, price paid, and community organizing for education and resilience are key. Fair trade certified products attempt to do all three. Producers are given a minimum price which covers the cost of sustainable production. Typically, the importer has a direct relationship with the coffee producer, excluding the middlemen and bypassing the coffers of the giant companies that try to suppress attempts at regulation. Farmers’ organizations are encouraged to organize democratically and pool resources. They also receive a fair trade premium to invest in social and economic initiatives in their communities. Environmental standards restrict the use of dangerous agrochemicals. Consumers are guaranteed that no child or forced labour is used. When children are no longer forced out of school, they can learn—one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of poverty that fuels child trafficking in the first place. Coffee is the fastest expanding fairly traded commodity. Normally, corporations take 60% of the coffee dollar while only 10% goes to the producers. But with fair trade, importers provide credit to certified farmers to help them stay out of debt with coffee traders and they are paid a minimum price of about NZ$3.25/ kg or the market price, if higher. An increasing number of producers are small farmers that own their own land and work in cooperatives. Raise the Bar Chocolate is following suit, but fair trade is under 10% of the market. Imagine the warning “may contain child labour” beside the one that reads “may contain traces of nuts”. Manufacturing giants like Hershey, Mars, and Nestlé threw money into a massive lobbying
effort against proposed labelling systems, but there are changes afoot in this and other products. Raising the (chocolate) bar, Hershey has recently announced that it will commit to 100% fair trade cocoa by 2020. The Foul Ball Campaign pressures the soccer ball industry into improving its human rights record. A more robust, wholesystem compliance mechanism is being developed to make it easier to measure and compare the impact of fair trade supply chains. Consumer Power The story of the first slavery abolitionists in the 19th Century is well known. But they could never have imagined what their fledgling efforts would achieve in law, ethics, politics, and culture. We can help finish the job. The informed consumer may be our strongest weapon. Changes in production methods are more likely when consumers demand change. Look at labels. Through buying fair trade products, you increase the demand for products free of abusive child labour and slavery. If it is not stocked, ask the shop manager. An enlightened public can reward responsibility in ethical sourcing. Lobbying for supply chain transparency can put pressure on those with something to hide. Let’s not live in Elysium. There are 27 million slaves. That gives us 27 million reasons. A chocolate bar: $3. Reducing child trafficking: Priceless.
LEARN • For a list of products: • fairtrade.org.nz/products • www.ethicalshopping.com/ • good.net.nz/goodbook/ • goodguide.com rates companies and products on environmental and social performance • ethicalconsumer.org helps filter the backgrounds of companies.
8 | TEAR CORRESPONDENT
A BUDDING RELATIONSHIP By Rob Reynolds
MAKING ENDS MEET: Tata makes jewellery.
PICTURE / ALEX CARTER
Life is better thanks to you
ou may remember Tata and Nida Lumbanod and their seven children from our Hope Is campaign featured in the Correspondent earlier this year. Thanks to generous Kiwis that helped TEAR Fund raise $142,000, their lives and others around them have been changed. Tata and Nida live in Basak, in a small village in the highlands of northern Mindanao, Philippines. They are subsistence farmers and their income, before GreenMinds set up the agricultural project in their area, would only just reach 200Peso (around NZ$7) a month. All they could plant were root crops, and if people came through their village, they would be able to sell them and have enough money to buy rice to eat. If nobody came, they would only have a diet of root crops like sweet potato for every meal. They planted the root crops an hour’s walk away from where they live (in a house that had a grass roof tied with twine and a dirt floor) because the soil close by is red and too acidic to grow food crops. Tata and Nida wondered how they could improve their lives because they couldn’t afford to send all of their children to school. Nida says, “As a mother, I thought all that I could do is pray, because we were already working so hard. Our main priority was to feed the children, and we could only afford to send a few to school,” Tata says, “As a father, I had a meeting with all my children, I told them, whatever is put on the table,
you eat, don’t be choosey; we all have to sacrifice, so that some of you can go to school. I also told them that one day things would get better.” For Nida, life was difficult as she had to get up at 3am to prepare food for the kids to go to school. Then she would wake them and tell them to bathe and get ready for school. She lets the kids eat first (in case there is not enough food). Once the kids had gone to school, they went to the farm. They would tend the farm until 3pm and return home. However, their day didn’t end there. They also made jewellery so would gather ferns and the materials needed to make the woven jewellery. The GreenMinds project has changed their lives by showing them new farming techniques which have increased their yields significantly. They have learnt to grow crops better, to dig holes around trees, and to cut buyo buyo tree leaves so the plants are fed. The quality and size of their crops is vastly improved. “Now we’re going to venture into new crops, because I can afford to have the land cleared,” says Tata. Nearby villagers have travelled to see the effects of the new farming techniques, which in turn, means they have more visitors to sell their jewellery to, as well as a wider variety of crops to sell. The extra money has helped them to improve their home. It now has a concrete floor, tin roof, and slat walls. Tata says: “We feel like our lives are much better now, compared to where we were.”
t has been 39 years since New Zealand churches came together to start TEAR Fund. In 1975, the Evangelical Alliance in NZ birthed TEAR Fund, so they would have a partner who could help them respond to the needs of the poor and oppressed. We’ve treasured the opportunity to partner with the church as we’ve grown since then to support over 30 partners and projects spread from Colombia to Fiji. There is no way this would have happened if the church didn’t invite us into their space. This year, we’re excited to announce a partnership with Willow Creek and the Global Leadership Summit. Because both organisations see the church as God’s means to reach the world, we see this as a natural alliance to connect with the New Zealand church. We’ve partnered with them to bring Dr Kiran Martin to New Zealand to speak to Kiwis at the Global Leadership Summit throughout the North and South Islands. She spoke live at the Wellington Summit, and will be shown via video at the remaining events in October and November. Dr Martin is an amazing woman who felt compelled to respond to a cholera epidemic in the slums of Delhi 25 years ago. This has grown to an organisation that has transformed the lives of over 400,000 slum dwellers, providing access
to education, health care, land rights, clean water and sanitation. She has an amazing story of transformation to share. To hear Dr Martin speak, sign up to attend the Global Leadership Summit at willowcreek.org.nz. If you attend, come by and say “hi” – we’d love to meet you.
PICTURE / HELEN MANSON
DR. KIRAN MARTIN.
Rob Cooper’s Legacy By Ian McInnes
’d like to recognise the immensely significant work of one of TEAR Fund’s early leaders, Rob Cooper, who sadly passed away on August 18 in Dunedin. In 1985, Rob switched from Chairman of the TEAR Fund Board to Executive Director. Over the decade that he led TEAR Fund, he established two of our most influential partnerships. Firstly, he forged a partnership with Compassion International, our Child Sponsorship partner. This foresight and vision joined TEAR Fund’s work to that of one of the world’s leading child development ministries. Together with his first wife Anne, they sponsored the first little girl in India. New Zealanders now sponsor more than 12,500 children in 25 countries with Compassion, along with thousands of other children who have graduated from the sponsorship programme in the time in-between. Secondly, Rob sought out talented Christian musicians in New Zealand and overseas who cared for the poor and oppressed; Christian musicians like Garth Hewitt, Phil Keaggy, Randy Stonehill, Derek Lind, Steve Apirana, Peter Shurley and Guy Wishhart. Many of you will have enjoyed hearing the music of these talented musicians as they
ROB COOPER. toured through the country encouraging Kiwis to join TEAR Fund causes. Rob also formed a friendship with Cliff Richard, Tearfund UK’s Patron. Cliff performed several times in New Zealand in the years following. I had arranged to meet Rob in August, just prior to his passing, to learn from his 10 years of leading TEAR Fund and to capture some of this history. Instead, sadly, the Lord took him into his care. I ended up speaking briefly at his funeral, sharing of the remarkable legacy he has left at TEAR Fund. Rob is a testimony to what God can make of our endeavours when we are guided by him.
PICTURES / TEAR FUND
Wonder Women Succeed By Beth Harper
ometimes the weight of the world is overwhelming, then along comes something that reminds us of what it means to be human. We’re not defined by the car we drive, or the house we live in. To be human is how we choose to act when we’re confronted with issues that affect our fellow human beings. This is how it was when I was confronted with the global impact of sex trafficking; the fastest growing criminal enterprise in our world. Outraged that this was happening to little children, (with an average age of 12) compelled to act, as a human being and as a woman. I wanted to do something to bring awareness and social change.
I have lots of fabulous girlfriends, but I knew to enter a team in the TEAR Fund Poverty Cycle, I had to win over five of them who had a heart for the poor and a love for cycling. After all, we had to raise $5,000 and cycle a total of 125km in a relay. Out of this, Team Wonder Women was born. Our motivation was how many girls we could save from trafficking. We divided the labour, which included appointing a cycling coach and a fundraising strategist. Saturday training rides began. Our rag-tag group of wannabe cyclists were whipped into shape and emerged with reasonable fitness. The $5,000 target was broken down so that each of us had to raise $800. We held three fundraisers; including
two lounge-room movie nights and a high tea. The team exceeded the target raising $6,100. On September 7, we took the start line in Clevedon, alongside 19 teams. These included corporate teams from: Paymark, Ricoh, ASB, Unlimited Potential, Beca, Orange Scaffolding Ltd and Marbecks. The secondary schools teams, included, Saint Kentigern College and Kings College as well as The Pohutakawa Mountain Biking Club, and a few groups of friends like our team. It was a fun day with a great atmosphere and plenty of spectator support. The TEAR Fund Poverty Cycle tested our mettle and proved we can go the full distance of our potential for causes we deeply care about.
HUGE THANKS TO THIS YEARS TEAMS FOR PARTICIPATING:
e’re stoked to have a new gift catalogue that’ll help you kick back and relax this Christmas while others are sweating to get their present shopping done. This year’s Gift for Life catalogue is a three-in-onesie extravaganza with exciting new gifts and some great old ones. Without a word of a lie, you can get a onesie to keep a bub toasty in the developing world for $10, coffee plants that offer a ‘little pick me up’ for $20 and some items to combat human trafficking and slavery. You’ll be buying one of those cool gifts on
Poverty Cycle; a traffic stopper N ineteen teams, 114 riders, and 125kms, can bring a world of change for children who have been trafficked or are in danger of being sold into slavery. Teams gathered on Saturday September 7 for TEAR Fund’s annual Poverty Cycle Challenge, which supports children at-risk through TEAR Fund’s antitrafficking programme in Nepal. Paymark who entered three teams won the Freedom Cup (for raising the most money), while the Championship Cup (winning the team challenge) once again was won by Unlimited Potential. Funds raised also help the work of Brothers in Arms, an Auckland charity working with atrisk youth in Auckland. TEAR Fund would like to thank all the teams who participated and raised funds with particular acknowledgement of Paymark, Ricoh, Unlimited Potential, ASB, Orange Scaffolding Limited, Beca and Marbecks and Saint Kentigern College and Kings College.
behalf of a friend, workmate or loved one. They’ll get a card letting them know they have re-gifted it to someone in need before they even got it. How generous is that? Chill out with the Gift for Life catalogue to get your Christmas shopping done early and check out giftforlife.co.nz. So not only can you kick your feet up when your shopping is done, you can also kick your feet up while you do the shopping! How’s that for a bit genius? Order online at giftforlife.co.nz or ring 0800 800 777 for a catalogue.
10 | TEAR CORRESPONDENT
A TASTE OF POVERTY PICTURE /HELEN MANSON
By Madina Turgieva
he scales are tipped unfairly in our favour, meaning that for at least the majority of Kiwis real hunger and devastating poverty is a foreign concept. It is something that happens to other people in other countries, who have other lives. For these other people, the reality is that one of them will die every four seconds simply because they were born in the wrong place at the wrong time. Understanding the plight of people whose lives are so radically different from ours is not easy, but through doing Live Below the Line, we can get a glimpse of what it is like to walk in their shoes, even if only temporarily. Live Below the Line is designed to give Kiwis an insight into the lives of people who live in extreme poverty, by experiencing what it is like to live on $2.25 (the equivalent of the extreme poverty line) for their food for five days. In September, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and get a real taste of poverty by taking on the challenge of
living below the line on behalf of TEAR Fund. Signing up proved painless. With a month to go until the challenge, and no imminent danger looming ahead, I left unpleasant thoughts of dhal and rice tucked firmly in the back of my mind. The challenge week came too quickly, and trouble erupted on the very first day. Day one: I started my day without coffee and suffered crippling headaches. Turns out my four coffees habit is, in fact, a full-blown addiction. The icing on the cake, however, were the hunger pangs. They were so intense I thought anyone within a 50 metre radius could hear my stomach rumbling. I lasted the afternoon and started making up excuses to back out. I even cheated a little with a king-size coffee with milk and sugar. Through sheer focus and determination (I kid—I felt terribly guilty) I decided to stick to it. Day 2: I got a terrible stomach-ache which I suspect may have been the physical manifestation of my guilt for the previous day’s transgressions. For those who actually have to live under $2.25,
ummer is on its way, and people are about to emerge from their winter cocoons. TEAR Fund has just the answer for a night out with some great TEAR Fund events coming your way.
2013 TEAR Fund Events Thursday OCTOBER 24, 2013, 7.30pm Ladies Evening with Juliagrace
supper. Entry is free, but a love offering will be taken at the event for TEAR Fund. Saturday DECEMBER 14, 2013, 4pm Omokoroa Christmas in The Park. The Western Avenue Sports Ground, Omokoroa. Featuring Juliagrace, Malcolm Gordon and other local artists. Bring a picnic! Sausage sizzle available and coffee cart. Sunday DECEMBER 15, 10am St Andrew’s Mt Maunganui Christmas in the Car Park, 8 Dee Street Mt Maunganui. St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church will host their annual Christmas in the Car Park event featuring Juliagrace. The event starts at 10am.
JULIAGRACE: NZ singer/songwriter
Changepoint Church, 135 Poike Road, Ohauiti, Tauranga. Ladies, come and enjoy a spectacular evening of great music and comic wit with Juliagrace. Concert starts at 7.30pm followed by
JANUARY 24 to FEBRUARY 9 Dan Bremnes – Follow The Sun Tour Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Bremnes returns to New Zealand and is scheduled to play shows in Whitianga,
there is no decision-making involved. Living on under $2.25 is the only choice. Day 3: My dinner became the topic of heated discussion among my friends, who were curious about my motives for doing the challenge. I told them the money I raised was going to help victims of sex slavery. To my friends, this is something that only happens in films. I told them there are more people in slavery today than at any other time in human history. I told them about traffickers who trick vulnerable young girls in poverty-ravished countries, into becoming prostitutes by offering them false jobs in other countries. As a result, a few friends agreed to do the challenge with me next year. Temporarily, I forgot about the hunger pangs and felt as if I was making progress. Day 4: Although the challenge was hard, on day four, my hunger had subsided. I thought about how easy I have it. I only had to spend $2.25 a day on food, rationing each meal carefully, whereas people, who aren’t playing at poverty, have to stretch it out to include things like accommodation, childcare,
healthcare and schooling. Their resourcefulness amazes me. Day 5: On the final day of the challenge, I felt elated, not simply because the challenge was almost finished, but because I felt as if these past few days had taught me some very important lessons. It was only through “starving” for five days that I understood how privileged and spoilt for choice we really are. I questioned my own eating and spending habits. In the future, I aim to eat for sustenance, not because I have a few minutes to kill. Upon completing the challenge, I looked forward to not having an overindulgent feast, but eating mindfully, remembering that for billions of people around the world, intense flavours and gargantuan portions are never an option. So far, the challenge has raised $69,735, and because poverty isn’t just about food, all the proceeds raised by TEAR Fund supporters will go towards helping to rescue victims of human trafficking in Asia. Now, that’s something I’m willing to go hungry for.
visit tearfund.org.nz for the latest info MARCH 7 – 23 Beautiful Survivor 2.0, featuring Juliagrace and former sponsor child, Lillian Nakabiri. March 2014, sees the award-winning singersongwriter Juliagrace and former
DAN BREMNES: Follow the Sun. Whangamata, Tauranga, Gisborne, Wellington, Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Taupo and Auckland. Dan has garnered numerous song writing awards, toured internationally, and shared the stage with artists such as ‘Jars of Clay’ ‘Mercy Me’ and ‘Chris Tomlin.’ While becoming one of Canada’s most exciting new acts, Dan continues to push his own musical boundaries and inspire audiences who hear him. Don’t miss your opportunity to catch Dan live in concert on the Follow the Sun tour.
LILLIAN NAKABIRI: Beautiful Survivor. sponsor child Lillian Nakabiri, touring around New Zealand again on the Beautiful Survivor tour. The tour serves as a powerful reminder of God’s love and faithfulness to us and reaffirms what can happen when we demonstrate the kind of compassion God has shown to each of us.
ARIF TOUCHES HEART OF TEAR FUND STAFF By Denise Hunter
A RAY OF HOPE FOR A FAMILY
ARIF: The hopes of his entire family rest on his shoulders.
Story and photos by David Adhikary
God’s grace that Arif is the only healthy child in the family without the condition. Though his father is challenged and can’t speak properly, he drives a rickshaw to provide for his family. His feet are not normal and cause problems when driving the rickshaw. He earns less than 100 taka (NZ$1.55) on a regular day and because of his physical disability, he can’t work every day. Arif’s mother suffers more than her husband. She can’t work or speak properly. She struggles a lot with the household work and taking care of her children. Their older son and younger daughter are mentally impaired. Arif’s grandma takes care of the three children. This poor family lives under the grace of Arif’s uncle (his mother’s brother) as he allows them to live in the corner room of his house. The five of them live inside a room smaller than 3m by 3m. When the child sponsorship project started in Arif’s village, he was one of the first to be registered because of his family’s circumstances. It was a new beginning for Arif and his family. Arif was growing up in an extremely difficult home environment where his parents and siblings face huge daily challenges. He used to speak and behave as if he was impaired in similar ways to his family but through
the project staff have helped him to overcome this and he is beginning to thrive at the project and at school. Arif’s family was unable to provide schooling and a nutritious diet but TEAR Fund’s partner Compassion has seen these needs met. Arif’s father couldn’t afford clothes or shoes for his children. He used to go to the project barefooted; now he has a pair of shoes from the project. For many children in this village shoes are a luxury and Arif’s brother and sister never wear shoes. Compassion is now looking for a sponsor for Arif’s younger sister to ensure she gets the medical treatment and other help she needs.
The purpose of TEAR Fund is to glorify God by extending His Kingdom in ministry to the poor, oppressed and disadvantaged, and to encourage God’s people in NZ to live out the values and principles of His Kingdom by sharing with those in need. TEAR Correspondent is published three times a year.
Editor: Keith Ramsay. Contributors: Ian McInnes, Murray Sheard, Frank Ritchie, Helen Manson, Andrew Robinson, Beth Harper, Madina Turgieva, Gavin McCulloch, Denise Hunter, David Adhikary, International Justice Mission, Kevin Riddell. Graphic Designer: Alex Carter. Cartoonist: Daniel Alexander. Printing: Guardian Print.
0800 800 777 tearfund.org.nz firstname.lastname@example.org
irzapur is a typical village in the north of Bangladesh. Poverty is a daily companion to the people of this village. Here, houses are made of mud, bamboo and straw. A government school is located nearby, but in the daily struggle to survive parents don’t see the value of education. In Mirzapur village, there is no hospital or health care centre; most people don’t go to the hospital except for serious cases when they have to walk 4km to reach the nearest hospital. The rate of illiteracy is very high and most parents never had the opportunity to go to school. They don’t understand the importance of children’s education and proper development. Superstition, child marriage, abuse, family violence and malnutrition are part of their everyday lives. Females, even young girls, are considered instruments of reproduction and household workers. One particularly heart-breaking story to emerge from Mirzapur is that of little Arif. This little boy belongs to a family where every single member is mentally challenged. Arif’s father, mother, elder brother and younger sister all have a condition that is similar to Down syndrome. It’s by
Mixed Sources Product group from well-managed forests, and other controlled sources www.fsc.org Cert no. SCS-COC-2324 © 1996 Forest Stewardship Council
met Arif and his family when visiting Bangladesh to see the work of our partners. This family really touched my heart, and whenever I think of them, tears well up. They had nothing but each other. The father was very hard working, even though he had problems with his sight and had deformed feet. If they lived in New Zealand, they would have help to overcome these disabilities. The father has a bicycle taxi—their only form of income. As Arif is the only child sponsored in the family—the whole hope and future of the family depends on this small six-year-old child. This is a huge ask in any culture. His younger sister has similar health problems to the older brother and mother, but if she can be sponsored and get into a programme early enough, they may be able to help her brain develop and increase her function. In New Zealand, they would have activities to stimulate and develop her brain, but as this family lives in extreme poverty, this isn’t as easy. The Compassion community project has realised the need and is trying to help but as I write this, I think of the many other families in the developing world that must be going through similar situations.
PRAY • Pray that someone would sponsor Arif’s younger sister. • Pray for all children in Arif’s community. • Pray for all those who suffer mental illness and for the compassion of the communities around them – that they would know belonging.
I WANT TO SPONSOR A CHILD!
Age 15, From Uganda
Age 3, From Bangladesh
Age 5, From Burkina Faso
At home, Afia helps by carrying water, gathering firewood and buying or selling in the market. She lives with her parents.
Apon lives with his parents. He helps at home by running errands. He loves soccer and attends Bible class regularly.
Bertille lives with her parents. She has partial hearing loss. She loves playing with dolls and hide-and-seek.
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Fill a child’s heart, and your’s, with joy as you love and bless them through sponsorship. You can rescue one of these beautiful children for just $45 a month. Call 0800 800 777 today. TO SPONSOR A CHILD YES! IFORWANT $45 PER MONTH. If you have ticked an image on the left, please leave these preference boxes blank. My preference is: From:
Age 6, From Guatemala
Age 12, From Haiti
Age 7, From Rwanda
Carlos lives at home with his parents. Gathering firewood, caring for animals and making beds are his chores.
At home, Frantz helps by carrying water, gathering firewood and making beds. She lives with her parents.
Ishimwe lives with his parents. His duties at home include carrying water gathering firewood and cleaning.
No Preference Central America Please add Sponsorship Plus for $10 extra per month:
‘justCAUSE’ PLEDGE PROGRAMME I would like to become a TEAR Fund justCAUSE supporter by making regular monthly donations where most needed: $20
Monthly Payments: Please send me a direct debit form.
Age 4, From Colombia
Age 15, From Uganda
Age 6, From Sri Lanka
Juan lives with his grandfather and his mother. He is responsible for running errands and cleaning.
Kenneth lives with his mother. He carries water, gathers firewood, plays Soccer, loves singing and telling stories.
Kishanthan lives with his mother. His duties at home include carrying water, gathering firewood and running errands.
Please take regular Credit Card payments (using the details below) out on the 5th or 20th of each month.
I’D LIKE TO HELP STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING I’D LIKE TO SUPPORT SRI LANKA’S DAIRY AND CHILD PROTECTION PROGRAMME
I’d like to make a one-off donation of: $15
PAYMENT OPTIONS: Cheque (make payable to TEAR Fund)
Age 15, From Brazil
Age 5, From Togo
Age 5, From Bolivia
Leonardo lives with his grandmother. He works at home caring for animals, making beds and running errands.
In his home, Michel helps by helping in the kitchen and running errands. He lives with his grandfather and his mother.
At home, Nicol helps by carrying water She lives with her parents. She enjoys playing house and playing with dolls.
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Age 17, From Honduras
Age 12, From Burkina Faso
Age 5, From East India
Norman lives with his parents. He helps in the kitchen, runs errands and cleans. His father is a seller in the market.
Rachide lives with his parents. Carrying water, washing clothes and cleaning are his chores. He enjoys soccer and singing.
Sudha lives with her parents. There are 2 children in her family. Sudha enjoys playing jacks, dolls and jump-rope.
Information on remembering TEAR Fund in my will
Information on becoming a volunteer Advocate
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Please send to: TEAR Fund, Freepost 140677, PO Box 8315, Symonds St. Auckland 1150
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Age 16, From East India
Age 9, From Mexico
Age 7, From Tanzania
Vikram lives with his parents. His duties include gathering firewood, and trading in the market. He’s in high school.
Yoana lives with her parents. She is responsible for running errands. Playing with dolls is Yoana’s favorite activity.
In his home, Zasham helps by running errands. He lives with his parents. He is in kindergarten and loves group games.
Call 0800 800 777 NOW to sponsor one of these children
Call 0800 800 777 or Visit tearfund.org.nz
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