Week of Compassion has been assisting relief efforts in Nepal through our partners at ACT Alliance since the massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the country on April 25, 2015. Our partners were already present in Nepal prior to the earthquake and within the first days following the earthquake, ACT Alliance distributed ready-to-eat food, water, as well as blankets and tarpaulins for emergency shelter to over 2,100 displaced families in informal camps within the three districts of the Kathmandu valley. Week of Compassion has sent significant funds to our partners to continue supporting their recovery and emergency aid efforts and have been praying for the displaced individuals, their families, and the first responders.
Within the last week we have heard and seen many incredible stories of people being rescued and pulled from rubble and damaged buildings; yet, there is still much work to be done. As Nepal's efforts shift from search-and-rescue to relief efforts, ACT Alliance and other teams continue working to provide immediate relief, including the distribution of food, water, medication, and emergency shelter, despite the heavy rain and aftershocks that are still hitting the area. These relief efforts will go on for weeks, and the rebuilding of many of these impacted communities will take years. Through your generosity and support, Week of Compassion is already planning long-term recovery efforts with partners whom we have collaborated with in other major disasters, such as the 2004 tsunami and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Thank you for your support, solidarity, and prayers for the people in Nepal as we work and rebuild with them in the days and years ahead.
Our Partnership with CWS
By Carol Fouke-Mpoyo, CWS
As head of U.S. disaster response for Church World Service since 2011, Barry Shade says he has developed a strong appreciation for the contributions of each of the participating communions.
Still, it’s not hard to get him talking about the particular gifts that Week of Compassion brings to the ecumenical whole. After all, Shade also is an active member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
“Week of Compassion and CWS share a deep commitment to serving the most vulnerable, wherever they live and whatever their background,” Shade said.
Deeply involved in U.S. and international disaster response, Week of Compassion provides solidarity grants and produces hundreds of volunteers every year to help rebuild communities ravaged by disaster, he said.
In addition, it supports ecumenical disaster response work by helping to fund CWS emergency response staff, to pay for shipment of CWS Kits to disaster-affected communities, and to support CWS long-term recovery trainings with funds for speakers’ travel expenses.
Just last year, Week of Compassion and CWS collaborated to produce “Help and Hope: Disaster Preparedness and Response Tools for Congregations." The book, published by the Disciples’ Chalice Press, is a practical guide to preparing congregations to help themselves and their communities when disaster strikes. “Week of Compassion is one of CWS’s most faithful contributors,” Shade affirmed.
For his part, Shade – a member of Saint Andrew Christian Church in Olathe, Kansas - has participated in several Disciples mission trips to New Orleans to help rebuild homes damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
He retired from a 30-year U.S. Air Force career in 2002 and worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency before joining the CWS staff. May 15, 2015 he will retire from CWS.
This Week’s Responses:
Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance
Central African Republic, Humanitarian Assistance
Burundi, Emergency Evacuation
Vanuatu, Cyclone Relief
Nepal, Earthquake Assistance
Development, Long-Term Recovery and Rehabilitation
Colorado, Flood Recovery