Sharing projects – Lent 2013

Alms-giving Sharing Projects

During Lent 2013, our congregation’s alms-giving focused on TWO Sharing Concern Projects:

We are so pleased and thankful to announce that giving totaled CHF 7,471.05.

1. Kalingap Marikina Watershed Association, San Jose, Antipolo City, Philippines

Kalingap Marikina Watershed Association is a church-initiated organization established in April 2009 to restore, protect and preserve the Marikina watershed and help alleviate the suffering of the people living within the area. The organization strengthened its resolve when in late September 2009, Metro Manila and its nearby towns of Marikina, Cainta, Taytay and Antipolo were hit by a rain-filled typhoon

‘Ondoy’ (International code name: Ketsana). It left the Philippines with hundreds of people that perished due to sudden rise of floodwaters and thousands left homeless as the above-mentioned areas remained submerged after the typhoon.

The disaster instilled upon the people the importance of restoring the watershed and became more conscious of their environment. Kalingap Marikina Watershed Association then set a goal to reforest five thousand hectares of the twenty thousand hectares watershed area. It has established in 2010 an agro- forestry demo farm cum training center project using sustainable agricultural practices as a means to rehabilitate the Marikina watershed area. It also promotes farm-based livelihood utilizing agro-ecological farming systems as an alternative to the destructive slash and burn farming, and charcoal making as local source of income.

The demo-farm and training center also serves as the site for environmental awareness programs of churches, schools and other civil society organizations in Metro Manila. Kalingap also offers values education and other skills based farming and livestock trainings.

2. Aakkam Revolving Fund for Girl’s Education and Empowerment, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

The Aakkam Revolving Fund for Girl’s Education and Empowerment is part of Bala Shanti Scholarship programme managed by Shanti Ashram Youth Leadership Section. The program focuses on vulnerable girls, with the following objectives:

• Create awareness on the importance of education for the girls among their parents, families and communities

• Help adolescent girls with eareer guidance and educational loans • Reduce the incidence of child marriage which is currently around 49% of India’s adolescent girls

The program aims to support 50 adolescent girls from selected five villages in Perur and Madukkarai blocks, whose families lack the resources for the girls’ education. The program will provide regular counselling, educational loans and continuing follow up guidance. Through this process, it is perceived that the girls will receive higher regard and better treatment within their families and in their communities as they increase their level of learning.

This also increases the girls’ motivation to find opportunities to uplift themselves from the cycle of poverty. Moreover, the aftermath of the girls being active in their education and also the awareness of their families of its importance would reduce the chance of child marriage.