Keyhole garden: Zimbabwe

Keyhole garden: Zimbabwe

Christian Care Zimbabwe

We have been supporting Christian Care Zimbabwe's outreach to the famine-stricken nation.  A three-year drought has destroyed traditionally grown crops and killed essential livestock.  Some 3 million people are currently impacted.

Christian Care Zimbabwe is helping to finance low input “key-hole” gardens in the hardest hit Chipinge district.  One hundred “nutritionally vulnerable” households were selected to participate in this project. Eligibility required family units to have at least one member in the following categories: pregnant and new mothers, families with kids under the age of 5, persons living with HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis, or individuals with disabilities.  Each household receives training and supervision to grow mineral rich vegetables, despite climactic challenges - including temperatures that soar to 113 F.  To date, 75% of the households have been successful in meeting their daily vegetable requirements.  Some have even grown surpluses that are sold at local markets.

Christian Care Zimbabwe is a self-development of people program -  Zimbabweans training fellow Zimbabweans - to promote agricultural sustainability during perhaps the most challenging humanitarian crisis of our time.

Syrian Refugee Crisis

The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program  (USRAP)

A letter co-authored by Senator’s Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and James Lankford (R-OK) was recently sent to Secretary of State Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelley asking for clarity about the status and future of the United States Refugee Resettlement Program.  This bi-partisan inquiry is also signed by fifteen other Republican and Democratic colleagues, including Connecticut’s Chris Murphy.  The letter asks for specific information in light of an Executive Order that temporarily suspends refugee resettlement, now being prevented by a court injunction.

The letter states:  “The USRAP is a critical pillar of our national foreign policy and enables the United States to fulfill key international commitments.  Refugees come from the most vulnerable and persecuted populations around the world and are the most securely vetted travelers to the United States.  According to the United Nations, we are in the midst of the largest refugee crisis in modern history.  We must not lose focus of our need to protect others fleeing persecution around the world.”

Needless to say, we are all eager to learn about the responses from Secretaries Tillerson and Kelley.  The United Church of Christ and its Church World Service partners stand ready to work with the Administration and the USRAP in securing a path for refugees seeking safety around the globe.