It is gratifying to realize how much of our work in the region coalesces around issues of hunger, poverty and livelihoods. These issues have been and remain the reason CWS exists. Another of those reasons, of course, is to promote justice. And justice is, on an elemental level, the right to health, the right to education and the right to protection.
What we see as a team in the coming year is continued consolidation of our focus on issues of water, sanitation, hygiene and how that focus leads to improved basic well-being. We will continue to focus, too, on ways we can help people improve their livelihoods because, at the end of the day, people need to have dignified work and be able to provide for themselves and their families.
Besides our grassroots development work, we also support refugee protection in Jakarta, where we work closely with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. We provide subsistence allowances and care to families who are awaiting third country asylum during what is a very long process. Within this work we also have some opportunities to innovate in caring for unaccompanied refugee minors, which is especially gratifying since they are so greatly appreciative of our support.
In the coming months, we will continue our work in Myanmar, which, in addition to grassroots development work, is focused on disaster risk reduction. At this time, the floods in Myanmar are quite severe, and will soon reach the Irrawaddy Delta in the southwest where our team is already working with communities to help them learn how to prepare for disaster. So now, we are in a bit of an “on the job training” mode with these communities!
In the year ahead in Southeast Asia we see ourselves continuing to pursue CWS core mission, and it’s exciting to be a part of that. And it’s because of our partners – our funding partners, our technical partners – who accompany us on the mission that the work is possible.