Catholic Relief Services and the National Council of Catholic Women
As a result of our ongoing partnership, NCCW and CRS work together as messengers communicating the needs of our family around the world. NCCW members support the Church's global social mission and the work of CRS through their prayers, donations and legislative advocacy. They also educate dioceses, parishes and individual Catholic women about global social justice issues.
The National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW) is a member-based organization whose activities are centered on the principle that all people, regardless of nationality or background, are entitled to be treated with respect and to have access to the key elements of a just and humane life—sufficient food, clean water, shelter, the opportunity to earn a living, education and health care.
Works of Peace and Reconciliation
In Guinea-Bissau, the Madonna Plan has supported the Maternity Without Risk program. Maternity Without Risk works to reduce maternal mortality by increasing community capacity to prevent delivery complications and increasing access to quality maternal health services among pregnant women, particularly those considered to be high risk. The project supports two houses for mothers so that pregnant women at risk receive care. A number of community members are also trained to be community health agents and traditional birth assistants, and to provide care and support for pregnant women.
Water for Life
Access to safe water can improve food production and overall health. In Ethiopia, NCCW has supported a watershed management program that focuses on providing community access to clean water and helping neighboring communities conserve natural resources. Hillside terracing and sustainable land use planning helped to naturally replenish exhausted water supplies. Communities have gained access to more water, which has increased crop production, generated more income and improved overall health.
Refugee Women Emergency Fund
Even before the earthquake in January 2010, Haitians migrated daily to the Dominican Republic to find dignified work and meet their families' basic needs. According to official Dominican government statistics, between 500,000 and 1 million Haitians resided in the Dominican Republic before the earthquake. Only 5 percent had entered the country legally. Many groups and individuals in communities have attempted to address this issue by providing Haitians with basic services and by raising awareness to reduce the incidence of violence and discrimination. This project ensures that Haitan repatriates/deportees receive the care, protection and support they need while helping to prevent abuse, exploitation and violence. Particular services will include education, birth registration and placement with foster families for homeless repatriated children.
According to a United Nations report, about half of global under-five deaths occurred in just five countries in 2009: India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan and China. UNICEF indicates that the burden of war has taken an enormous toll on Congolese children. Each year, more children under age 5 die in the DRC than in China (a country with 23 times the population), and in all the Latin American countries combined. The goal of the child survival project in the DRC, which received support from NCCW, is to reduce morbidity and mortality in children under age 2 and pregnant women in targeted, underserved rural health zones of the Kasaï Oriental Province of the DRC. The program works to improve the health of children between the ages of 0 and 23 months— and the health of pregnant women—by providing malaria prevention, control of diarrhea, expanded immunization for children and pregnant women, and improved access to health care in rural areas.