Kids at Risk Project: Suriname

By | WDP2018

Bible Society Australia

Goal

The goal of this project is to help children who are living in circumstances that are not ideal for their growth. Most of these children are neglected by their families and come from one-parent homes. With this project the Bible Society is aiming to reach a helping hand towards these children by providing them schoolbags with school supplies a snack and a bottle of juice. The distribution of the schoolbags is part of a special day of celebration program where the kids are encouraged in a child-friendly way to keep on doing their best in school. As part of the Bible Society’s strategy, children’s Bible are also distributed to these children so they can receive and hear the message of God’s hope and love.

 

Introduction

In the preparation phase of this project (February-April), the Bible Society has selected schools in the different districts of Suriname. Based on this selection, the Bible Society sent a permission letter to the head of these schools for permission and also to inform them about the implementation of the kids at risk project. The head of these schools are asked to select a number of children from their schools that are living in circumstances that are not ideal for their growth. The Bible Society purchased the schoolbags and school supplies locally. Therefore, requests for quotations have been sent to different suppliers and also letters for donation to various companies in Suriname. It is worth mentioning that 2 suppliers were willing to offer discounted rates for the schoolbags and the school supplies. Only 1 institution reacted positively on our request for donation. The institution donated 250 lunch bags for this project. The Bible Society decided to purchase the schoolbags and the school supplies at these 2 suppliers because they are sold for a reasonable price and their offer for the discounted rates, this compared to other suppliers. At some point the suppliers did not had the requested amount of schoolbags and school supplies in stock so the Bible Society had to wait for their order. In May Suriname was surprised with heavy rains were streets, schools yards were struggling with waterlogging. Despite the disadvantages, the Bible Society was able to implement the project in May with God’s grace and wisdom. The children were very excited about the day of celebration and were very happy when they received their schoolbags with school supplies and their children Bible. The teachers were also happy and thankful to the Bible Society for this kind gesture. In some cases, children went to school without having a decent schoolbag, so they have to put their school stuff in plastic bags. After the celebration day, these children went home with a happy face, a thankful heart and a new schoolbag. For many of the children they never had their own children’s Bible. Receiving their own Bible was for them like receiving a present for the first time. When the Bibles were given to the children, you could read the joy from their faces. It went on these to toddler and child Bibles which were given to children from the toddler to the fourth grade. The pupils of the fifth and sixth grades were given the Bible in plain language. They flipped enthusiastically in the Bibles. With permission of the teachers and parents, the Bible Society took pictures and testimonies of the children who received schoolbags and a children’s Bible. All the schools have extended their gratitude.

 

Testimonies

At the end of each celebration day, testimonies were taken from children. At Sunny point 1, Sunnypoint 2 and Clarkeschool, each 3 children were interviewed for testimonies.

  • Name: Ligium

Ligium is 14 years of age and is a pupil in the 4th grade of Pontbuiten. He lives with his grandparents together with his 2 brothers and 1 sister. He goes to church with his grandmother. In church he learns songs, how to pray and to be obedient. He is very happy with his new schoolbag because it was time to replace his torned schoolbag. My grandparents are retired, so they are financially dependant on the money of their retirement. It is very difficult for them to raise 4 children on their own. Ligium is also very happy with his new Bible. He will bring his own Bible to the church and he will share his testimony with the children from the church. On the celebration day, Ligium had nothing to eat at school. He was very happy and thankful to receive a snack and a bottle of juice to consume.

 

  • Name: Cheniva

Cheniva is 12 years and goes to Ephramzege (6th grade). She lives with her mother and 3 sisters and 2 brothers. She is happy to receive a new schoolbag with school supplies because each year she had to bring the same old schoolbag to school. It motivates her to do her best in school. She does go to church with her mom but not very often. Receiving her own Bible motivates her to go to church frequently so that she can listen to God’s word and read out of her own Bible.

 

  • Name: Fanara

Fanara is 15 years and goes to Marowijne 2. Fanara is very happy to receive a new schoolbag and her own Bible. She is thankful to be selected to receive these because she does not get a new schoolbag every year. She will make good use of the schoolbag an the Bible with special care because it is for the the first time to receive a Bible.

  • Name: Joel

Joel is 10 years of age and also goes to Marowijne 2. Joel does not go to church very often. But by receiving his own Bible and a new schoolbag he wants to go to church fequently to thank God for the schoolbag and the Bible. He will tell his family and friends about the celebration day so that they will also go to church with him. He will make good use of the schoolbag and the school supplies because schoolbags and supplies are very expensive in Suriname.

 

  • Name: Cedric

Cedric is 16 years and goes to Sunnypoint 1. He lives with 7 people in one house. He has never visited a church. He is very happy to be selected to receive a schoolbag and a Bible. He has to repeat classes over and over again. With this gesture, he is inspired to and will do his utmost to get excellent grades.

 

  • Name: Angela

Angela is 9 years and goes to Clarkeschool. She lives with her mom and 4 brothers in one house. She goes to church with her mom if her mom is free from work. My mom is the only breadwinner in house and she has to take care of 5 children. My mom works very hard to buy school supplies for all her children. Due to the economic situation of the country, everything has become very expensive. Angela was not sure if her mom is able to buy new schoolbags and school supplies for all her children. Angela is very surpirsed and happy to receive a new schoolbag with school supplies. She will tell her mom about this celebration day and will read the Bible with her housemates and friends. She will make good use and with special care of the new schoolbag and the Bible.

 

Quotes

  • Name: Siarra

‘I’m happy with the new schoolbag. I am also very happy with my own Bible because I have never had a Bible. I will tell all my friends about this day’.

 

  • Name: Marches

‘I’m happy with the new schoolbag, this is a very good inspiration for me to do my best in school.’

 

  • Name: Usher

‘The schoolbag is very nice. I am thankful to receive a schoolbag and a Bible. It is for me the first time I have my own Bible in my hands.’

 

  • Name: Tadjeirio

‘I’m very grateful that the teacher selected me to receive a new schoolbag and a Bible. My parents will be very happy that they don’t need to buy me a schoolbag this year. I find the Bible very nice, now I can read out of my own Bible.

 

(Children of Marowijne 2 with their new schoolbags and Bibles)

Coming up

Month District Number of selected schools
June, 2018 Nickerie 3
July, 2018 Brokopondo 4
Sipaliwini 3

 

World Day of Prayer Report 2018 – Suriname

By | National Liaison Officer

 “All God’s Creation is Very Good!”

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER REPORT 2018 – SURINAME

In March this year, across our wide country of Australia, more than 965 prayer services and events were held, with approximately 30,000 praying participants in churches, schools, hospitals and homes. What a fantastic celebration of God’s creation and great love for us all!

Reports so far have all been extremely positive, with those in attendance learning – some for the first time – about the tiny country of Suriname in South America.

The theme for the year – All God’s Creation is Very Good!” – had us thinking carefully about our impact on the world. We were challenged to consider how we might change the future by changing our habits of waste and thoughtlessness. Many of us made commitments to reduce, re-use and recycle. We also joined in prayer for children at risk, domestic violence and poverty within the country.

Prayer venues were decorated in a colourful, tropical theme, and a highlight of many services was the reading of the poem “One Tree”, written by a member of the writing team in Suriname:

one tree
so many leaves
one tree

one river
so many creeks
all are going to one sea

one head
so many thoughts
thoughts among which one good one must be

one God
so many ways of worshipping
but one Father

one Suriname
so many hair types
so many skin colours
so many tongues
one people

Many of our States have elected to send their offerings to the Bible Society for the support of their “Kids at Risk” program in Suriname. A number of other respected Christian ministries across Australia will also receive support as a result of the generosity of our praying communities.

However, as positive as our State reports have been, they also share their universal concern for the future. Sadly, World Day of Prayer is often perceived to be only for women, and only for the elderly. Neither of these is correct, but we – along with the rest of the world – are struggling to find ways to engage younger people on our State and local Committees. Without their support, World Day of Prayer will not survive for many more years.

I urge you to be praying with us about the future, and if you are interested in serving on a Committee, or becoming involved at a local level, please contact your local State office through our website: www.worlddayofprayeraustralia.org.

We look forward to praying with you in 2019 for Slovenia, under the theme: “Come, everything is ready!”

Jan Peddersen, National Liaison Officer, World Day of Prayer Australia

UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62)

By | Media Releases

CSW62 (2018)

The sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 12 to 23 March 2018. Women of faith are present to affirm the rights of women and girls and to advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals. Let’s send our prayers to them!

The theme of this Commission is “Empowering Rural Women and Girls.” It reminds us of the theme for World Day of Prayer 2018, “All God’s Creation is Very Good.” Women and girls are part of God’s Creation and those living and working in the rural areas of the world are more likely to be negatively impacted by climate change, land grabbing, forced migration and economic inequalities.

If you would like to learn more about the CSW62 2018, please visit their website: http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw62-2018

Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world are welcome to attend the session.

Themes

Priority theme:
Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls;

Review theme:
Participation in and access of women to the media, and information and communications technologies and their impact on and use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women (agreed conclusions of the forty-seventh session)

A Word from Suriname

By | Media Releases

From http://worlddayofprayer.net/latest-news/a-word-from-suriname

The World Day of Prayer 2018 is soon to be celebrated around the world on Friday the 2nd of March.

Suriname as the theme country is very excited and also humbled to be the center of all your prayers.

We enjoy and thank you all for your interest in our country, culture, music, artwork and the service. It was very beautiful to see and hear about all of your preparations for the different services. The Suriname committee is very proud and enthusiastic as well, and we have also brought this celebration to the attention of our government.

However, along with the enthusiasm to celebrate we must also reflect on the fact that we have to take better care of our environment and of God’s creation. God prepared and created a world for us that was very good. Unfortunately we did not appreciate what we got as a gift, and treated it very poorly. Today we, and also the whole creation, suffer from the damages that we have brought to it mostly because of our greed and strive for comfort and/or convenience.

The earth where we have to live in is suffering. Our rivers, oceans and air are polluted, the ozone layer is damaged, and many countries suffer from terrible disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis and so on. Even the animals in the rivers and seas get wrapped up in our plastic waste. Beautiful creatures go extinct because we do not care enough to stop hunting them. Many children are born with disabilities because of the pollution in the rivers and the air. In the various visits we brought to the government we also expressed our concern for our environment.

Today and every other day, we the women of the Suriname World Day of Prayer committee want and will take a stand to plead for God’s creation.

We will confess our shortcomings before God and ask Him to forgive us and to help us be better care takers of His very good creation.

“All God’s creation is very good” (Genesis 1:31)

Rosana Pindon
WDP Suriname Chairperson

2018 World Day of Prayer Media Release

By | Media Releases

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER
Media Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: Friday 2nd March 2018

Since 1887, on or near the first Friday in March every year, millions of Christians have gathered worldwide to pray for the issues of family violence, child abuse, human trafficking, and other forms of injustice.

In 2018 that prayerful support will be directed at the 540,000 inhabitants of the Republic of Suriname, on the north-eastern coast of South America.

Despite a history steeped in slavery and political coups, this tiny nation has achieved remarkable progress since its independence in 1975.

Suriname enjoys multi-ethnicity and biodiversity, freedom of religion, free primary and secondary education, and free medical care for children and seniors.

But behind closed doors, family violence, abuse and neglect are ongoing issues. Children are particularly vulnerable, many growing up in orphanages or one-parent families. While education is free, there is no compulsory school attendance. Child labour in the form of street selling is common, but of far more serious concern is the fact that many children are labouring in the gold mines of Suriname.

You are invited to join us in prayer for the needs of Suriname and its people at a World Day of Prayer service or event near you.

Contact your local church for details, or check the list of services online at www.worlddayofprayeraustralia.org.

World Day of Prayer 2018 – Artist

By | News, WDP2018

Alice Pomstra – Elmont

I am Alice Pomstra – Elmont, born on 20 January 1947 in a very special place in Suriname. I am a member of the Hervormde gemeente (Dutch Reformed Church). At an environment exhibition, I was asked to participate in designing a cover for WDP program.

I was born on the ship ‘Paramaribo’ in the Cottica River near Mocca in the District of Marowijne. My mother was travelling from Paramaribo to Moengo, which in those days could only be done by boat. After I turned 6, my parents moved to Paramaribo, the capital, where I spent most of my youth. I worked in general education in Suriname where my creativity soared. After some years, I moved to the Netherlands where I worked in special education. By working with children with disabilities I learned to enjoy the little things. Now that I live in Suriname again, I enjoy this wonderful country with its rich nature. It is delightful to see the sun rise in the morning and see the birds flying. What a precious gift. Let us keep it as beautiful as we received it.

We live in a beautiful country that we received from our Creator. I see this as a special gift that we must cherish – a beautiful nature with wonderful forests and mountains that boasts great rivers with impressive rapids. It is a rich country with beautiful flowers and animals, but also sufficient food for everyone. Let us cherish this beautiful gift so that we can pass it on in its beautiful state to the coming generations.

The painting:

Here we symbolically see the hands that receive the divine gift and pass it on to the next generations. Every day the sun shines over the land where animals and plants have found a place. The vegetables and fruit tell us that there is enough food for everyone. The blue hummingbird, the white ibis and the macaw are a few of the many bird species our country boasts. The blue frog (okopipi) is one of the protected animal species that can only be found in Suriname. The red and yellow heliconia is native to our country and the majestic kapok (ceiba) tree is a beautiful giant in our forest. The Voltzberg (Voltz Mountain) is one of Suriname’s many granite mountains. The seven women symbolize all women in Suriname who cherish this gift to pass it on to their children. Seven also symbolizes the seven days of God’s creation.

World Day of Prayer 2018

By | News, WDP2018

All God’s Creation is Very Good!

Program written by the
World Day of Prayer Committee of Suriname for WDP 2018
Genesis 1:1-31
A heri grontapu di Gado meki bun doro, dóro!

As in the beginning, God created from chaos. But everything that was created found its place in creation. All were related to each other – the earth with the light, the waters with the sky, the tree seeds with the living creatures, and the humankind with God. None could exist without the other, and the source of all was God.

There was goodness in that integrated system of relationships. But essential to that was the commitment to care. And we know that we are failing!

Women from Suriname lift up their voices to remind us that we are caretakers of God’s creation! They are bringing to our attention the urgent need for caring at a time when more than 180 countries have signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. A commitment to keep the earth cooler depends on public policies implemented by governments, but also on our personal lifestyle.

As one of our Guiding Principles affirms “prayer is rooted in listening to God and to one another.” Through the worship service, we listen to the multicultural and multi-ethnic people of Suriname. They take us to their communities and through their concerns. History is before our eyes! The flora and fauna are remarkable! The everyday life is weaved into the prayers.

How good is God’s creation? That is the question to meditate and respond to with a personal commitment to care for creation. But it can also be an opportunity for the WDP motto “Informed prayer and prayerful action” to be affirmed in the community. What is it that we, as the WDP movement, can do to keep God’s creation good?

World Day of Prayer 2016 – Artist

By | News, WDP 2016

Ruth Mariet Trueba Castro is the artist for the World Day of Prayer 2016 theme.
Ruth Mariet Trueba Castro lives in Jaimanita, in the city of Habana. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts San Alejandro, Habana, 2009; and from the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA); major in Plastic Arts, Habana, 2014.
She is a member of the Methodist Church in Jaimanita, Habana, Cuba. She is currently coordinating the Liturgical Renewal Program of the Cuban Council of Churches.
She has won awards at numerous events and competitions for Literature, in the genres of poetry, short stories and epistle. She belongs to the Asociación Hermanos Saiz for young artists. In the past five years Ruth Mariet has participated in several exhibitions and collective productions as a member of the collective art “the 4th Pragmatics”. She has also participated in biennials and art fairs: Eleventh Biennial of Habana, Cuba – 1 Triennial Offside Effect. Tbilisi, Georgia. – Handcrafts. XVII International Art Fair. Moscow, Russia – ArtFest @ 2013. Doral Miami Campus of Carlos Albizu University. Miami, United States.
Although I can explain in a rational way the drawing, based on the symbolic elements that I used: the palms, the windows, the hands and the colors of the Cuban flag, I wanted to complement the art of drawing with the art of words, which is the poetry.
On the threshold of childhood
We open the door to the childhood within us and Jesus enters
As light transcends the stained glass windows
It is made flesh on the games of laughter
As child hugs the palms
In the middle of the day.
Our prayer is like a sparkling pupil
Sweat from white, yellow, and black hands.
Who receive Jesus, once again
Along with all who are waiting
On the threshold of childhood.

World Day of Prayer 2016

By | News, WDP 2016

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER
Prepared by the Cuban WDP Committee
March 4th, 2016
“Receive children. Receive me.”
Receive children. Receive me is the theme for the 2016 WDP celebration prepared by the WDP women in Cuba. The art to illustrate the theme was created by Ruth Mariet Trueba Castro. “The WDP theme suggests welcoming and openness. The image evokes a welcome door, a path, an openness to hope. We are on a permanent journey. These human beings, whom I imagined as a mother and a child, in the miscegenation of Cuban families, enjoy a walk in the countryside, which is the concrete and living environment of many children in Cuba.” – Ruth Mariet Trueba Castro. Gracias, Ruth!