Just last month in December, I went to Nepal for project monitoring, not only to review the local projects, but more importantly, to meet up with our local partners. The situations that they faced were easily beyond what I could imagine or comprehend by being in Hong Kong. The hard work they have put in to serve the local people often brings me great encouragement and touch.
I am always encouraged by the pleasing results of what our Nepalese partners have achieved over the years, and there are many successful examples of community transformation, such as transforming women in grass-roots communities to have more opportunities to get more choices in life or to be educated; enabling the children in the community with access to basic education to fight poverty; and improving the sanitation in the village that allows a significant decrease in communal diseases.
However, it still puzzles me that they are doing the exact same things for 20 years, and it does not mean their efforts were in vain. It is due to the government’s fragmentary management systems that poverty persists. Their work has remained as providing primary needs, and faces extreme difficulty to further advance.
Last September, I went to two countries that represents very different situation, and met with our local partners at these places. We all recognise the growing number of natural and human disasters around the world.
According to a recent report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in May, the pandemic has resulted in an increase in drug production and sale. In July 2021, the United Nations also pointed out that human trafficking is on the rise. In addition, the crises of embargo and climate change have exacerbated global food security risks that developing countries already face. On the medical development side, The Global Fund recently announced that they are in arrears of US $28 billion for the funds that are dedicated to the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis, malaria and AIDS in 2024-26. In other words, such humanitarian works in different places would be severely affected.
It is ironic how numerous people in developing countries die from the lack of resources to treat simple diseases, while the amount of money for weapons development in developed countries only keeps increasing.
In the past, we used to raise money for once-in-a-century disasters, hoping people could rebuild their homes after the disaster. In recent years, however, what we are facing is more than solely natural disasters, but many protracted wars and armed conflicts. Some civil wars have lasted for more than one or two decades, with millions of refugees fleeing from their home countries and evading military attacks every single day. They have no idea when they will be able to return home. The effects of these human warfare are far more profound than natural disasters, making us feel powerless.
As I write about these, I recall that during my visit to Lebanon last year, one of the local colleagues shared with us how when he was facing obstacles, he heard the voice of the Lord saying to him ‘This is not your people, this is my people, this is not your ministry, this is my ministry.’
This verse has given me strength to face the challenges of the world every day, and I hope it has encouraged you too.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
It is not easy to choose kindness in the midst of difficulties, and I am thankful that you have chosen to walk with CEDAR in the past year. To share more about what we, as an organisation, have done the past year, we have enclosed our Annual Report for you, please click here for details.
Chan Pui Si