Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
visiting partners at an Afghan girls' school
finding what is possible in troubled times
In the midst of holiday cheer and the turn of year, devastating and difficult news from Afghanistan came to light last week. The Afghan Ministry of Economy has banned women from working in local and international humanitarian organizations. This follows news just days earlier that the Taliban government has again barred women from attending public and private universities (essentially, from pursuing any education beyond sixth grade).
On this International Women's Day, Week of Compassion celebrates the strength and resilience of women worldwide. Your gifts to Week of Compassion support development programs that empower women through education and opportunity. When women are empowered to grow crops, go to school, learn a trade, become entrepreneurs, and work together towards their goals, the whole community thrives through their success!
Supporting women’s empowerment is a mission priority for Week of Compassion, especially now. During the pandemic, many of these life-changing programs experienced significant setbacks. Investing in women is of urgent concern and will help communities around the world move forward from the challenges of this season.
From Guatemala to East Africa; from Haiti to Serbia; from Iraq to South America, and so many places in between, the work of empowering women is the work of compassion, and that work empowers whole communities to grow and plan for the future.
If you’d like to honor the women in your life today, consider making a gift to Week of Compassion and designating it to the Women’s Empowerment Fund. Now, more than ever, your investment in the lives and futures of women will have a lasting impact and change lives for generations to come. We are grateful for your continued support in helping women thrive around the world, around the year.
In Thailand, a 13-year-old girl arrives at The New Life Center, seeking relief from the cruel conditions that have brought her here. Her life up to this point has been mostly about survival. Here, she meets others like her. Some of them are survivors of sexual abuse, domestic violence, or human trafficking. Some have been forced to work when they wanted to go to school.
What will the future be like when she is empowered to share her gifts with her community and the world?
Most folks know Week of Compassion as the disaster response ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). When there is a fire, we’re there. When there’s a flood, we’re there. Hurricane, tornado, earthquake: there. We respond to meet immediate needs in the aftermath, and we commit to sustained presence as communities look ahead and rebuild.
Those are important parts of our ministry. But it isn’t the entirety of what we do. Week of Compassion also supports sustainable development projects all over the world. We empower families and communities to better support themselves, using resources that are often already available to them. Sometimes, this type of work does not feel as urgent as the devastation of a natural disaster, especially one that is trending on our local news every day. But this work is every bit as important and lifegiving as the other side of our ministry.
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