Global Encounter: one year later

03.24.2017 Global Encounter Review 2_lr

Photo provided by Isabel Hilgendag

From where I lay in my tent, I heard the chirps of the vibrantly blue-coloured birds, signaling that it was time to get up if I wanted to watch the sunrise. Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined I would be lucky enough to see the sunrise and sunset in Ethiopia and to have had a wealth of new experiences between those two spectacular moments each day.

 

It has been a year since I travelled to Ethiopia for two weeks as a youth delegate on Canadian Lutheran World Relief‘s Global Encounter. We visited a variety of places learning about how organizations such as Support for Sustainable Development, Lutheran World Federation and Canadian Lutheran World Relief work with communities to help improve their circumstances.

Continue reading

Fighting drought

I have reported in previous blogs about the drought crisis facing Ethiopia today. The numbers continue to add up:

Over 400 rural districts (woredas) affected.

  • 1 million affected so far and 1 million in January 2016 alone
  • 400,000 severely malnourished
  • 7 million moderately malnourished
  • 0 million without safe drinking water
  • 800,000 displaced
  • 400,000 livestock deaths

.“The people of this beautiful country are facing their worst drought in 30 years,” United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said from Ethiopia during a visit with representatives of the United Nations World Food Programme.

“The impact of El Niño is unpredictable, but experts say it is likely to affect food security for the next two years,” he said. (Ki-Moon Quotes from CFGB)

The Ethiopian government is responding as much as it is able, trying to mitigate the results, but US$1.4 billion in international aid is still required.

During our recent visit to Ethiopia as part of CLWR’s Global Encounter, it was obvious that the various CLWR program partnerships are making a difference for large numbers of people by providing the infrastructure to make the best use of the small amounts of precipitation to bring about abundant crops.

Here is what one of the participants, Rev. Doug Reble, wrote in the Eastern Synod Lutheran:

“Here is some of what we saw : Working with our partners, CLWR is helping to diversify the pastoral livelihoods of target groups in a sustainable way thereby contributing to the enhancement and attainment of food security for the most vulnerable; natural resource conservation practices are being promoted and

taught; irrigation schemes are being developed; trees are being planted; farmers, women as well as men, are being trained in best nutrition practices; how to conduct dairy farming and artificial insemination so herds can be increased  and excess product sold to benefit the community. I continue to marvel how just a little bit of water well-directed can produce abundant crops of carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, Swiss chard, garlic, peppers, papaya, apples and so much more.

Let me repeat. CLWR is making a difference, a positive difference, a life-changing difference. That’s what we went to see and experience and we most certainly did. The vision of Canadian Lutheran World Relief is to work for a “world where people live in justice, peace, and dignity, united in diversity, and empowered to achieve their universal rights to basic needs and quality of life.” Your prayers and financial gifts allow this to happen. I have seen it firsthand. May they continue. Together, we can make a difference, In the name of the God who loves us all.”

From Hetosa where value is being added to agricultural outputs through processing dairy and vegetable production; to Telalack where small-scale irrigation projects bring great abundance and communities from the area are learning how to help themselves by visiting the demonstration farms; to Lalibella where tree planting is bringing the watershed to life and irrigation and terracing are turning the desert green, CLWR’s partners – LWF-Ethiopia, Canadian Foodgrains Bank and Society for Sustainable Development change lives.

Tom Brook, Community Relations Director

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 11.52.44 AM.png

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 11.53.15 AM.png

Tree Nursery

LWF-Ethiopia Photos

Visit Ethiopia or Uganda with CLWR in 2016

Global Encounter 2016: January 16-30

Our biannual Global Encounters take Canadian Lutherans like you to the communities of people you support through CLWR. These unique trips are tailored as an educational experience for a small and flexible group of travellers.

We’re inviting people to register for our 2016 Global Encounters. There will be two separate trips (see below). Those needing more information or interested in registering should contact Tom Brook, CLWR’s Community Relations Director, at tbrook@clwr.mb.ca or 1.800.661.2597.

Ethiopia: Food Security

Water in the form of an irrigation system fights hunger for the Eyasu family. “Before we were livestock people,” Mohammed says, “but now we have learned how to grow food.”

Water in the form of an irrigation system fights hunger for the Eyasu family. “Before we were livestock people,” Mohammed says, “but now we have learned how to grow food.”  Photo: CFGB/A.Thorsteinsson 

Travellers will leave Canada on January 16 and land in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. From there, the group will travel to Hetosa, Lalibela, and Afar to visit people benefitting from projects that fight hunger and build skills in agricultural production.

Participants will also have the opportunity to visit medieval rock-hewn churchesin Lalibela, Ethiopia, during Epiphany. This UNESCO heritage site consists of 11 cave churches, a “New Jerusalem” constructed in the thirteenth century that is still a place of pilgrimage and devotion.

This trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit people your donations support, experience Ethiopian culture and history, and learn about food security and international development.

Important notes on mobility and transportation: Participants must be able to walk up to one kilometre at a time over uneven terrain. Some in-country travel may be by small aircraft.

Cost: Approximately $5,000 per person (an exact number will be available in the coming weeks). Cost includes domestic and international airfare, accommodations, all meals, ground transportation in Ethiopia and admission fees to parks or national sites.

An initial deposit of $1,500 is required by September 18, and payment in full must be received 30 days before departure.

Uganda: Refugee settlements 

Amach, 13, is a young South Sudanese Refugee coming from Bor. She came to the camp as an unaccompanied minor (without her parents or adult relatives). CLWR partner the Lutheran World Federation built her a house, and provides her with school materials and cash. LWF/M.Renaux

Amach, 13, is a young South Sudanese Refugee coming from Bor. She came to the camp as an unaccompanied minor (without her parents or adult relatives). CLWR partner the Lutheran World Federation built her a house, and provides her with school materials and cash. LWF/M.Renaux

The Uganda trip is limited to 10 people. Travellers will leave Canada on January 16 and land in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. From there, the group will travel to northern Uganda to the Adjumani refugee settlements, where over 100,000 people have found refuge from conflict in South Sudan.

Participants will meet people hosted in the settlements and learn more about delivering aid there – including food, water, sanitation, shelter (pictured), basic household items and livelihood training.

Participants will also have the opportunity to visit one of Uganda’s national parks, home to great apes and other wildlife. (The particular park has yet to be confirmed.)

This is a valuable opportunity not usually open to the general public to learn more about what refugees experience in camps and settlements, and to experience Ugandan culture and the country’s rich natural environment.

The trip will end in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where you will meet up with the Ethiopia Global Encounter group.

Important notes on mobility and transportation: Participants must be able to walk up to one kilometre at a time over uneven terrain. Some in-country travel may be by small aircraft.

Cost: $6,000 per person. Cost includes domestic and international airfare, accommodations, all meals, ground transportation in Uganda and admission fees to parks or national sites.

An initial deposit of $1,500 is required by September 18, and payment in full must be received 30 days before departure.

Photo: LWF/M.Renaux

http://www.clwr.org/Get-Involved/visit-our-program-communities.cfm#geethiopiaanduganda