Many of you may have seen the December 12th edition of 60 Minutes on CBS, which featured a long segment entitled “Negotiating With The Taliban.” While the international community has had little success so far in negotiations that would alleviate Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis, 60 Minutes’ interviews with the World Food Program’s and the International Rescue Committee’s country directors reported that many aid agencies have, in fact, been given permission by the Taliban to expand in areas that were once off limits. IRC has been able to maintain a staff of over 1,200, nearly all Afghans, providing help in villages across the country. Conditions are dire but their humanitarian work goes on.

Our Board of Missions has supported the International Rescue Committee’s work with refugees and the displaced around the world for many years. In 2003, in response to the Taliban’s ban on women and girls attending all schools and universities, a Board of Missions’ grant helped launch an “underground school” for girls in Herat, Afghanistan. This past October, the Board once again confirmed its support for girls’ education in underdeveloped countries with a grant of $2,000 to IRC’s women and girls projects in Afghanistan.

 

 

All the agencies supported by this church in 2021 are listed below in random order:

 The United Church of Christ; One Great Hour of Sharing (UCC); Homeless Hospitality Center of New London; the Hospital Chaplaincy Programs of L&M and Middlesex Hospitals; Habitat for Humanity of SECT; Bethlehem University in Palestine; Safe Futures of New London (formerly the Women’s Center of New London); New London Soup Kitchen on Montauk Avenue; Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries; The Diaper Bank Project of FCCOL; The Crosby Fund for Haitian Education; Thames River Family Program; the Martin House; the Alliance for Living of SECT; the Covenant Shelter of New London; the ThusShepherd’s Field School of Beit Sahour; Lymewood Senior Housing; Church World Service; the Ministers’ Discretionary Fund of FCCOL; FRESH New London; Tree of Life Educational Fund Inc.; Tribal Crafts; Humanitarian outreach on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota; Ecuador Foundation Fund for the relief of hunger, a project of the Southington Congregational Church; Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, Inc. of New Haven, Ct; PARJE (public art for racial justice education); Doctors Without Borders (targeted for HAITI relief following the earthquake there); International Rescue Committee (a gift specifically directed for relief in Afghanistan); CAIR (Committee for American Islamic Relations); the Refugee Resettlement House of FCCOL.

Additionally, as this Christmas Eve bulletin goes to press, the Board of Missions has just made a gift of $3,500 to relief work in the tornado ravaged towns of West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.