UMCOR / News Room / Hotline News Update / Archives 2009
  • July 14, 2009

The UMCOR Hotline

In Today's Hotline:

*US: Experiencing the Life of a Refugee

*CENTRAL ASIA: Health Education

*US: “Drink it for Justice”

*DRC: Reviving Samuteb Hospital


On World Refugee Day, June 20, a group of youth and adults in the Western New York Annual Conference gathered to learn about what it means to be uprooted and displaced. Groups from seven churches assembled at Grand Island, NY to experience a simulated refugee journey.

Individuals were assembled into “families” and traveled more than a mile from Sudan (St. Martin’s Episcopal Church) to Kenya (Trinity UMC) and were confronted by “bandits,” who robbed and kidnapped some of the sojourners. When they arrived at the refugee camp, modeled after Camp Kakuma in Kenya, some were harassed by the guards while others quickly learned to avoid harassment by paying-off the guards.

“Getting a glimpse of what it might be like to be forced to leave your home, and live in a refugee camp was a humbling experience, and one that I will never forget, said Joya Colon, an intern for UMCOR.

Support refugee ministry by giving to Hope for Newcomers, UMCOR Advance #901779.Click the button to give now online


In Kazakhstan, a republic in the former Soviet Union, 59 percent of the region’s women and children suffer from health problems. Over 50 years ago, the region was exposed to harmful radiation from a nearby nuclear test site in the city of Semey, causing the people of Kazakhstan to experience heart disease, cancer, anemia, diabetes, congenital birth defects and more that continue to this day.

Helping Hands, an UMCOR-supported primary health care project, addresses these health concerns through educational workshops that include information about the health and nutritional needs of women and children as well as maternal and newborn care to help reduce infant mortality rates.

UMCOR works with Helping Hands to train community health workers in organizing women’s groups, communicating health messages and enrolling children in school health programs. Helping Hands is also improving the quality and accessibility of its community-based primary health care services to those in need.

You can support this work with your gifts to Hospital Revitalization, UMCOR Advance #982168. Online Giving


"If we are going to drink it, we should drink it for justice!" expressed Carolyn Hardin Engelhardt at the New York Annual Conference meeting.

During the meeting, a resolution went before the New York Annual Conference urging United Methodist congregations to use only fair trade coffee in their fellowship and to consider selling Equal Exchange fair trade coffee and product.

Engelhardt, a member of the Social Concerns and Missions Team of Cheshire United Methodist Church in Connecticut, discussed Cheshire UMC’s experience of incorporating fair trade issues into learning groups such as Bible study. She explained how members of the church’s music committee and church council use Equal Exchange coffee for fellowships and sell fair trade products as a fund-raiser for the production of Lazarus, a Bread for the World musical opening Spring, 2010.

Make the fair trade switch at your local church and support the livelihood of small-scale farmers by giving to UMCOR-SA&D, Advance #982188. Online Giving


Samuteb Memorial Hospital deteriorated significantly during the prolonged war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The absence of water, electricity, lack of essential medicine and medical equipment have made it increasingly more difficult for the hospital to treat sick and injured people. UMCOR is equipping Samuteb Hospital staff to provide quality care for patients in need.

Through the purchase of new medical equipment including an ultrasound unit, provision of fresh medicine, reconstruction, hospital staff training, and community education, more lives are being saved and diseases are being prevented.

Learn more about Samuteb’s revitalization work here or support this work by giving to Samuteb Memorial Hospital, UMCOR Advance #00596A. Online Giving

UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR's ministries, please visit You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. You can also give online by clicking on any of the "Give Now" links. UMCOR is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors.

And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of these and other natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.

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