The Salvation Army Continues Response to Drought in Kenya

Kenya (October 28, 2011) — Turkana, in North West Kenya, remains the major focal point for The Salvation Army Kenya West Territory’s drought response activities. Short-term relief programs are being delivered for struggling communities suffering the direct effects of the drought.

A Salvation Army International Emergency Services (IES) team has been working in the area for a month. The situation remains fragile as communities wait for the anticipated seasonal November rains in the hope that they will begin to replenish the dwindling water table. Water continues to be delivered to primary schools and outlying village communities around Lodwar, and the community of Lokitaung which is around 200 km north, close to the Ethiopian border. The water deliveries are providing much needed relief for communities that are considered vulnerable to the effects of the drought. Discussions with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government agencies have been held regarding the water table level.

The Salvation Army is assisting one school to drill a much-needed borehole in an area where neither the school, nor the local community have adequate access to regular water supply. The borehole is almost completed with the water tank stand already built.

The Food for Fees project remains the main focal point for the IES team. With the excellent assistance of personnel from the local department of education, the team has contacted all 19 secondary schools in the Turkana area. This valuable project enables students, who are often required to board far from home, continuing access to secondary school education and is an effective investment for the future of Kenya.

The team is also actively involved in local committees partnering with other NGOs and government departments to assess the likely scenario for 2012.

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

10 For Haiti: First Round of School Repairs Nearly Completed for First Day of Classes

First Round of School Repairs Nearly Completed for First Day of Classes in Haiti

Nearly 700 students started the school year in newly repaired Salvation Army school buildings. The HRD school renovation and construction team worked hard during the summer months to start, and finish, repairs on four of six priority schools scheduled for improvements in 2011.

Not only were project manager David White and assistant project manager Raymond Cédoine working hard to ensure schools were ready for the start of classes, but they were building local capacity by training a maintenance team in repair and upkeep of the buildings. The work included masonry and carpentry work, roofing, latrine and electrical repair and installation of water catchment systems.

Heavy rains contributing to impassable road conditions have slowed progress on schools in Bellegarde and Campeche, but work is set to be completed by Christmas. “We have met many challenges and overcome them with everyday problem solving and great determination,” said David White.

By the end of 2014, some 20 schools affected by the earthquake will have been repaired and reconstructed. There are seven schools slated for 2012, including two new constructions. “We are excited about the wonderful repaired and constructed schools The Salvation Army in Haiti [is] receiving,” said David.

Social Services Conference 2011

There is archived video footage of the three plenary sessions that was webcast during the September Territorial Social Services Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. It is available for viewing here.

Southern Spirit TV Episode 11 and Ministry Toolkit Resource Podcast

We’re happy to present you with Southern Spirit TV Episode 11, from Southern Spirit Online. This month, Lindsey traveled to the Worship Arts Retreat in Florida and recaps the weekend. Major Lisa Davis also shares the top news from around the territory. Field Reporter Chris Priest also brings a report from the two new Kroc Centers which opened in Biloxi, MS and Greenville, SC.

Also, feel free to view “Partners” the latest Ministry Toolkit episode.

Global Christian Forum Convenes in Indonesia

Indonesian Officers With Lieutenant Colonel Munn

London, England – Under the theme Life Together in Jesus Christ, Empowered by the Holy Spirit almost 300 denominational and ecumenical leaders from more than 60 countries convened in Manado, Indonesia, for the Second Global Gathering of the Global Christian Forum (GCF).

The GCF uniquely brings together all the great streams of modern Christian faith: Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and many contemplative communities. Leaders from the World Council of Churches, the World Evangelical Alliance and the Pentecostal World Fellowship also joined the proceedings.

The purpose of the GCF is ‘to create an open space wherein representatives from a broad range of Christian churches and inter-church organizations, which confess the triune God and Jesus Christ as perfect in his divinity and humanity, can gather to foster mutual respect, to explore and address together common challenges’. All GCF gatherings include ‘shared stories’ in which delegates can relate in small and large group settings the work of the Holy Spirit individually and within a community of faith.

The Salvation Army has been an active contributor to the GCF since its inception 12 years ago and was represented at this gathering by Lieut-Colonel Richard Munn (Secretary for International Ecumenical Relations) and Major Sasmoko Hertjahjo (Indonesia Territory).

The gathering assessed and reported the recent significant demographic shifts in world Christianity. It is apparent that the center of gravity of the church is shifting away from the old heartland of Europe to the global south. Pentecostalism continues to grow and is affecting many of the churches belonging to the historic traditions. New, non-denominational forms are emerging.

Representatives from many diverse denominations and traditions participated. Contributions ranged from a report on the growth of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church in Albania to a history of Catholic charismatic renewal.

Future long-range guidelines for the GCF were established, including the summary acclamation that ‘while the fact that Christian churches are divided causes no small amount of pain and struggle, we do not doubt it is the will of God in Christ that we be one’.

For more information on the Global Christian Forum go to www.globalchristianforum.org.

Report by Lieut-Colonel Richard Munn

Global Christian Forum delegates

 

Texas Wildfire Survivors Still Served By Salvation Army

Texas Wildfire Survivors Still Served By Salvation Army

Dallas, Texas (October 18, 2011)— Local Salvation Army staff and volunteers in Bastrop, Texas, continue to serve residents who are battling to recover from the devastating wildfires that tore through the area a little more than a month ago.

The Salvation Army first opened the doors of its Central Texas Wildfire Relief Center, located in Austin, on Friday, September 16. After four days unloading and sorting donated items received through the KXAN/Walmart “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” campaign the distribution center was made available to wildfire survivors. However, it quickly became clear that those most in need of assistance were unable to make the trip to Austin so the decision was made to deliver the emergency supplies directly to the people in Bastrop. Beginning Thursday, September 22, a truck loaded with food, water, toiletries, and cleaning supplies was staged in the parking lot of the Walmart in Bastrop, where items were available for collection.

In addition to donated items, volunteers from The Salvation Army Bastrop Service Unit have distributed more than $100,000 in Walmart gift cards to wildfire survivors who lost, or sustained damage to their homes, or suffered power outages. Families who have not yet registered with The Salvation Army for help, and have a FEMA number, will qualify to receive assistance. Generous grants to the disaster relief from The Meadows Foundation and Walmart have enabled The Salvation Army to provide this practical help to the people most affected in Bastrop. The remaining items from the “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” campaign are now being delivered to local agencies and churches who have established long-term distribution programs in the community.

Doris Kershaw, a Salvation Army volunteer in Bastrop said, “The first day of the gift card distribution we had 40 people in line by the time we were ready to begin at 9:00 AM. The line never got any smaller until we eventually ran out of applications at 1:30 PM.” She continued, “The need is incredible. Many of the people we see have lost everything. The community has really come together despite this tragedy and many of those lucky enough to still have their homes, have taken in families who have been left homeless by the wildfires.”

The Salvation Army was well represented at the Bastrop State Park media event, October 13, where County Judge Ron MacDonald and Senator Kirk Watson expressed their gratitude and admiration for the service being delivered. Staff and volunteers plan to provide similar assistance in Smithville on October 29, another community in Bastrop County affected by the wildfire. Additionally, Bastrop Salvation Army Service Unit Chairman Jim Kershaw hopes to have sufficient funds available to help volunteer firefighters, police and other emergency responders who served so tirelessly, despite the fact that many of them had also lost their homes.

Financial contributions to the Central Texas Wildfire Relief can be made by:

· MAIL to The Salvation Army, PO Box 36607, Dallas TX 75235

· PHONE at 1-800-SAL-ARMY

· ONLINE at www.salvationarmytexas.org

For more information about The Salvation Army’s disaster response effort, please go to www.Facebook.com/SalvationArmyTexas, www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org, or www.salvationarmytexas.org.

Great new video podcast from Ministry Toolkit

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMJqYz-GZt4&feature=plcp[/youtube]

This is a great new video podcast highlighting resources available to everyone from around the Southern Territory. Thanks so much, Lindsey!

For more great videos from Lindsey and the Ministry Toolkit crew, please visit their Youtube Channel. For resources for your ministry, visit the Ministry Toolkit at http://www.tsamtk.org.

The Salvation Army’s Kenya Territories Continue Drought Response

Young people from Turkana, Kenya, collect water from a Salvation Army bowser.

Kenya (September 30, 2011) – The Salvation Army’s two Kenya territories are pushing on with their drought relief activities. Both territories continue to monitor the situation, constantly looking for relevant, innovative ways of responding to the drought crisis.

The Kenya West Territory is concentrating its efforts on Turkana, a desert area in the north, where access to water is the biggest problem. In the previous major drought during 2006 The Salvation Army bought tractors and bowsers (mobile water containers). These are being fully utilized during the current drought transporting water to more than 20 remote areas. Around 2,500 families and nine schools are benefitting from weekly water deliveries.

This is obviously not a permanent solution but there are plans to drill boreholes, ideally linked to solar-powered pumps – there is definitely no lack of sun in Turkana! The first borehole project is under way and the hydrological survey has started. The borehole will be located in a school and benefit the surrounding community as well as the 500 schoolchildren.

A ‘food for fees’ program is being put in place. In Kenya parents usually have to pay school fees in order for their children to attend secondary schools. The fees cover food, water, materials, and transport. In Turkana many families – often pastoralists whose small flocks of sheep or goats have died because of the drought – have no money for food, let alone school fees.

The Salvation Army’s project will provide all 17 secondary and high schools in Turkana with food, benefitting a total of 5,886 children. There is an agreement with the schools that in exchange for food, school fees will be waived for the coming term. This will benefit the school, which can concentrate its resources on teaching materials, as well as the children, who will be able to continue their schooling and know they will get at least one good meal a day.

Meetings have taken place with the Ministry of Water, the Ministry of Education, Oxfam, World Vision, the Kenyan Red Cross, the World Food Programme (WFP) and other helping groups. Elizabeth Nabutola, the Head of WFP’s Turkana Office says “No one is targeting secondary schools. The Salvation Army would really fill a gap.”

An international Salvation Army emergency response team is now in Turkana and others will be sent in support of the territory during the coming months.

In The Salvation Army’s Kenya East Territory, following a thorough assessment, the initial response will be to help drought-affected people around the town of Isiolo. One of the projects being undertaken is emergency food provision to 5,000 people for the next three months. Funding is being provided by The Salvation Army’s Hong Kong and Macau Command.

The second major project now under way concerns the alleviation of hunger among primary school children in and around Machakos. More than 3,500 children in 16 primary schools will be provided with a lunchtime meal during the next two school terms to ensure they survive this very difficult time.

Funding is in place for the current projects but the drought is likely to get worse over the coming months, with the amount of money available directly limiting the number of people who can be helped.

Donations to the Africa Disaster Fund at International Headquarters can be made online at www.salvationarmy.org or by clicking the ‘donate online’ button below: