When Poverty Becomes a Sin

The author (far right) and other trippers visited ethnic minorities in northern Thailand

 

[“SHARE” JUL – SEP 2019 ] TAKING ACTION

Written by: Janice Cheng (participant of CEDAR’s exposure trip in 2018; church pastor)

 

In December last year, I went to the Thai-Myanmar border with CEDAR to learn about their poverty alleviation projects in the area. The 8-day trip enabled me to understand more about the region. We visited some villages with CEDAR’s local partners and spoke to various individuals during our time there.

 

The residents are mostly ethnic minority groups from the mountainous areas, and they all have their own predicaments to overcome. There are abandoned single mothers and minority groups who have been relocated to the border area in northern Thailand due to warfare and other problems. Since they have not been granted Thai citizenship, they do not enjoy any social welfare, employment or education benefits or support.

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2018 CEDAR’s Exposure Trip – A Tale of the Border Towns

(Starry sky in a Thai-Myanmar border town)

 

(CEDAR’s note: The writer, Dr Ho Shun Yee, joined CEDAR’s Exposure Trip to the Thai-Myanmar border towns and the northern regions in Thailand at the end of last year. In this article, Dr Ho shares her experience and thoughts about the tour. CEDAR will host another in-depth tour to Bangladesh to visit the poverty-stricken communities. For more information, please visit: https://cedarfund.org/trip/)

 

In mid-December 2018, more than ten of us from CEDAR arrived at the Thai-Myanmar border – a place that turned out to be quite different from the land of orchids, Thai silk, massages and water fights that most people would have in mind when the place is mentioned. There were cloud-shrouded mountains and singing streams, but what we heard was a song of a thousand sorrows from the border towns. Yet, in a way, it was also a song of hope.

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Uprooting Poverty: The Perspective of Christian Faith

[“SHARE” OCT – DEC 2018 ] FOCUS ~ Christian Response to Poverty

Written by: Raymond Kwong (CEDAR’s Chief Executive) and Jady Sit

In recent years, the international development sector began to emphasise the importance of human inner transformation for uprooting poverty. For instance, Cornell University Professor Kaushik Basu, who serves as the chief economist of World Bank from 2012 to 2016, shared in a public lecture, that no matter what kind of models of poverty alleviation is, one of the key factors to its success is whether people are willing to let go of some of their own interests or economic benefits and seek higher purposes, with which human being in general are common, and so, he advocates strengthening values education in society. This is about changing hearts and minds.

Impoverishment is a consequence of mankind’s broken relationship with God, with each other, and with the rest of the Creation. This broken relationship does not limited to the poor, but also to the non-poor. That is to say, for the sake of ending poverty, inner change has to happen with both the haves and the have-nots.

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The Answer to Disaster

[“SHARE” JUL – SEP 2018 ] FOCUS ~ Disaster Management

Written by: Jady Sit

 

Every time there is a disaster, we feel sad and anxious for the suffering victims. While some people would pray for them, others would donate generously or organise a fundraising campaign, and some people would form a volunteer team to serve the devastated survivors through humanitarian work or counselling support. Although we try to give what we can, in the face of a natural disaster, we still feel helpless and powerless, because what could we do to stop tragedies that are not of our control?

 

In 2015, the massive earthquake in Nepal brought irreversible destructions: close to 9,000 casualties, 3.5 million people lost their homes, and Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was severely damaged. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated that the overall damage of the quake was about US$10 billion (about half of the country’s GDP). So, is it true that we cannot prevent a disaster from happening?

 

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This is Community Development

[“SHARE” JAN – MAR 2018 ] TAKING ACTION

Written and edited by: Jojo Poon

I enjoy hearing stories and sharing of different development workers very much. If we put their sharing together, then we would get a complete picture of God’s purposes for the poor and the world. For this issue’s “Taking Action”, we invited CEDAR’s staff from different eras to share about their learnings and experiences along the way to put together a blueprint for CEDAR.

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