“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ” (John 3:16) Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross and sacrificed for us, reflecting the Lord’s love for us and the importance he attaches to us. However, human hate each other, and even regard lower social status and poor people as goods, using various bullying methods such as coercion, abduction and deception to trade and sell people on the global market.
Human trafficking has become the world’s second largest illegal trade after drugs, with more than 40 million people being trafficked worldwide. CEDAR promotes fighting against human trafficking in different developing countries to help victims of human trafficking and the poor who are at risk of being trafficked in different directions of rescue, prosecution, recovery and prevention.
“It takes ten years nurture a tree, but a hundred years to train a man”, nurturing a child requires a lot of resources and responsibilities. Children not only grow up at home, but also at schools, churches, communities and etc., these places affect a lot on whether children can grow up healthily. In many poor countries, some children do not have parents, teachers, schoolmates and pastors in church. They are regarded as the lowest slave in the society and even as a “goods”. CEDAR meet children in different countries, some are people with AIDs, some are the victims of child marriage, some are refugees, some are children grown up under war.
CEDAR’s work included improving children’s families’ income, providing educational opportunities, enhancing children’s rights, supporting sex education and etc. To change the society, children must have a chance to grow up healthily, so that they can become leaders with good characters and fit God’s will in the future.
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.” (Genesis 1:31 – 2:1)
The public’s concept of poverty alleviation is to help the poor get over difficulties and improve their living conditions. From the perspective of Christianity, the Lord value not only human. This is because He see everything He created is good and everything in the world is His masterpiece. In this case, except human, the things we care is the place, animals and plants created by Him. Due to the gred of human, they abuse the resources on earth, the environment is destroyed, the relationship between human and the earth has broken. CEDAR promotes projects of Creation Care, teaching farmers how to cultivate under care of the land and the environment, which can increase their income and achieve sustainable development at the same time.
The First World War, the Second World War, Syria has been in a state of war for many years… The fights between mankind has never stopped. Talking about peace and reconciliation is like a fairy tale. However, the Lord’s requirement is: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” ; and, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27). In this turbulent era, we must do our best to bring peace to the community. CEDAR promotes the project of “Peace and Reconciliation”, hoping that people of different ethnicities and religions can live in peace in the same world.
“love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” is difficult, but God has taught us how to do it.
What is the mission of the church? Apart from preaching the gospel and making disciples of Christ, what else should the church do?
The church is a part of the community. For community residents, what role does the church play? Is the church dispensable for non-believers?
For a long time, CEDAR not only cares about the poor who we help, but also promotes the integral mission, nurturing and encouraging churches, Christian institutions and believers to live out what we believe in preaching and practicing, and to witness the power of the gospel in the community.
Matthew chapter 25, verses 31 to 46, talks about the rules of God’s judgment, including whether we have took care of hungry, sick, or naked people. Taking care of the physical needs of the poor is no less than taking care of their spiritual needs. CEDAR set up a savings group in slum areas and established a small loan fund. Villagers participating in the group can start small businesses with loans and improve their livelihoods in the long run, which is more effective than one-off relief assistance.
Natural disasters are inevitable, and man-made disasters are helpless. What believers can do is lend a helping hand in times of difficulty, and live the gospel.
Whenever a disaster occurs, CEDAR adopts the method of “funding first, then fundraising” – first remit the funds needed for the rescue project to partners in the disaster area, so that the victims can receive assistance as soon as possible, and at the same time appeal to believers to contribute. This will prevent the frontline rescue work from being affected by the level of fundraising. If we raise more funds than we have allocated, we can allocate more funds according to the needs of the victims, so that more victims can receive practical help.
Since the establishment, CEDAR participated in the rescue of floods in East China in 1991, until recent years of emergency assistance such as floods in South Asia, large-scale wind disasters, earthquakes, wars and famines in various regions. Thanks to the dedication of our loving supporters, we are able to walk with the victims again and again.
Except disaster relief, we are also implementing disaster prevention and reconstruction work in poor areas vulnerable to disasters to mitigate the impact of disasters to the communities. For example, we help residents to form disaster management committees to enhance residents’ awareness of disaster prevention and disaster relief, and organise alternative livelihood skills training so that they can still make a living in disasters. We also assist in disaster reconstruction after major disasters, including providing trauma counselling, building schools and houses, and protecting affected children, so that the victims can start a new life.
Pregnant women and newborn babies cannot receive medical and health protection. Ethnic minorities with AIDs delay treatment due to language barriers and lack of knowledge of AIDS. Families in slums do not have masks and soap under the severe epidemic. All this is still happening among poor communities all over the world today, and living healthily is a luxury for them. Even though they may not die immediately, their health is getting worse by the day due to insufficient medical resources, lack of hygiene knowledge, and the meager salary.
CEDAR helps the poor and hopes them to have a healthy life. We not only fund the establishment of community clinics in slums, but also support partners to provide health and nutrition knowledge to poor communities, reducing the risk of infectious diseases spreading in the community, and protect the health of the entire community.
To change the lives of communities, apart from the efforts of community residents, it also requires the cooperation of public policies. Residents, social welfare organisations, and regional officials should all participate in public policy discussions and make suggestions for improvement, so as to enhance the rights and interests of poor communities. CEDAR believes that the poor have the ability to contribute to their communities. Therefore, we not only make advocacy from an institutional perspective, but also promote citizen participation, educate residents in slums to understand the issues that affect the well-being of the community, drive discussions among residents, and organise various issue groups to allow them to participate in the advocacy work.
Slums are a phenomenon of economic takeoff and rapid urbanisation in some developing countries, and they are also a symbol of inequality between the rich and the poor. Next to the modern skyscrapers, there are a dense pile of old houses. Sewage, narrow alleys, and broken walls have become “scene panels” for poor areas; helpless and lost faces are reflected in the cameras of tourists.
Poverty is not a problem to be solved overnight. Only by allowing poor friends to discover their own potential and realise that they are also self-sufficient can people who are on the edge of the poverty line live with dignity. CEDAR provides resources for poor families in different countries to learn livelihood skills, and also provides support in religious, family relations and financial management, so that they can see a little bit of light in their hard days.
As for remote mountainous areas, due to the underdeveloped local communication and transportation network, it is not easy for residents to obtain public resources and development opportunities. However, villages often have abundant natural resources, such as arable land, sea water and other water sources. If villagers learn how to use what God has given them effectively, they can also be self-reliant and develop.
CEDAR provides agricultural trainings and education, financial management trainings for the rural poor, and supports community health care.
“But whoever is kind to needy honors God.” (Proverbs 14:31b)
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- CEDAR is an approved charitable institution and trust of a public character under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. Please visit Inland Revenue Department website for details.
- Donations over $100 are tax deductible in Hong Kong with our receipts.
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