International news briefs: 8 February
Australian officers Commissioners Mark and Julie Campbell, territorial leaders of New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory, joined other officers, soldiers, employees and friends from many corps and centres in New Zealand to commemorate the 184th anniversary of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi) on 6 February.
“On this day every year [in Waitangi], we meet to commemorate and honour the covenant in which Māori and Pakeha together made a nation, Aotearoa New Zealand. As Te Ope Whakaora,” the commissioners shared.
“As The Salvation Army, we are committed as God’s people to work together in unity, love, peace and respect to live out the good news of Jesus.”
As quoted in the event’s order of service: “The Te Tiriti o Waitangi commemorates and honours the covenant which brought Māori and English together as a nation – Aotearoa New Zealand. We recall the faith which enabled the foundation of this agreement and to invite all peoples of this nation to find direction, belonging and hope – together. God bless our nation with peace and unity.”
Breaking the cycle
The Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission (ISJC) this week highlighted the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on 6 February. This day serves as a reminder of the urgent need to bring attention to this devastating practice that violates the rights of millions of girls and women.
“Female genital mutilation is a severe form of gender-based violence. Unfortunately, we do not speak enough about this human rights violation that affects millions of girls and women. As survivors are willing to speak out on this issue, it is important to listen and learn from their experience and support them,” the ISJC stated.
“The United Nations has set a goal to end this practice by 2030, but it will take all of us to make it a reality. Education is critical in understanding the harmful effects of FGM and breaking the cycle. We must educate ourselves and our communities on protecting girls and women. Together, we can create a future where all girls and women can live free from this violation of their rights.”
WASH project RWANDA
Rwanda and Burundi Territorial leaders and local officials opened the Rwimiyaga WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) project in the Nyagatare District of Rwanda (the largest district in Rwanda).
The aim of this project is to improve the water supply in the Rwimiyaga community, along with improvement in hygiene and healthy and nutritional practices among its members.
Four boreholes were handed over to the district for a clean and safe water supply. This included 10 water tanks, each with a 5000-litre capacity, and 10 street rubbish bins to help raise awareness of the importance of a clean environment.
During the inauguration ceremony, Territorial Commander Lieut-Colonel Jean Laurore Clenat emphasised The Salvation Army’s commitment to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs without discrimination.
“These boreholes are for you, and you should always take good care of them so that your children and future generations will be able to enjoy clean and safe water,” he said.
Juliet Murekatete, vice mayor in charge of social affairs for the district, commended the role of The Salvation Army in transforming the lives of the community into positive and sustainable development.
“We are lucky to have the Salvation Army in our district as a good partner. We do appreciate their activities ... we call upon the Rwimiyaga community to protect all activities that are being implemented for the common interest of everyone.”
This event also launched a campaign on hygiene and sanitation, with the theme “I am responsible for a clean environment.”
Ending generational poverty
The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope program was launched in 2011 in the United States to provide targeted services to families wanting to break the generational cycle of poverty and enable a path out of constant crisis.
It is based in a case management approach, focusing on the client’s individual needs and mastery of different life skills.
This program is designed to have an impact on how poverty affects multiple generations. By positively changing the lives of parents, The Salvation Army can create better living conditions for children. Educational and support programs for children in their development years are crucial.
The Pathway of Hope initiative will be showcased at the Gallery 101 exhibition in IHQ London from 5-16 February 2024.
For more information, and to view the display, click here.
As Canada deals with a blast of frigid temperatures, Salvation Army warming centres work hard to ensure high priority populations can remain safe and warm.
The Salvation Army in Calgary offers a unique program called the Mobile Warming Stations that can help more people across the city escape the bitter cold.
To view the video, click here, or on the video below.