Canadian Lutherans ship relief supplies to the African Sahel

CLWR’s We Care program is loading a shipment of donated goods today. They will be going to Mauritania to help Malian refugees and Mauritanians in need. We’ve prepared a media release:

A Mauritanian woman receives some blankets. Photo courtesy of Lutheran World Federation Mauritania

September 26, 2012

Contact: Patrick Stewart   (204) 631-0112

Winnipeg, MB – Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) is shipping supplies to help Malian refugees in the Mbere camp in Mauritania, and other Mauritanians in need. A 40-foot shipping container is being loaded at the CLWR warehouse, located at 549 King Edward Street in Winnipeg, on Wednesday, September 26, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

The shipment contains over $100,000 worth of donated goods, including blankets, clothing, school supplies, hospital beds, and wheelchairs. The medical supplies were provided by International HOPE Canada, an organization that redistributes surplus hospital equipment. All other goods are donated by Lutherans from across Canada.

“It is only through the outstanding generosity of our supporters that we can send items to those in need,” says Patrick Stewart, coordinator of CLWR’s We Care (donated commodities) program. “This is one very real way that Canadian Lutherans can make a difference in the lives of those far away from them.”

The Mbere camp is currently home to over a hundred thousand people fleeing violence and famine in Mali. The region is part of the Sahel, where drought and poor harvests have created food shortages for over 18 million people.

Most supplies will be distributed to refugees in Mbere. Some of the blankets will go to people affected by flooding in eastern Mauritania, and most of the medical supplies, which includes 10 hospital beds and 20 wheelchairs, will help outfit health centres in rural communities.

CLWR shipped over 22,000 kg of commodities in 2012, and does not ship promotional or religious material along with relief supplies.

Photo Opportunity:

What: Loading of the shipping container and supplies.

Where: CLWR warehouse, 549 King Edward Street.

Date / Time: Wednesday, September 26, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

CLWR is accepting donations of money to help those in the Sahel. All donations will be matched by the Canadian government until September 30. Visit www.clwr.org to donate.

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Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), with international headquarters in Winnipeg, is one of Canada’s most experienced relief and development agencies. Formed in 1946 as a response to the humanitarian crisis in post-war Europe, CLWR has grown to serve the world’s poor and disenfranchised in many ways. Funding comes from Lutherans, other Canadians of goodwill and various levels of government. http://www.clwr.org

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