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Southwestern

June Lucas

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Burkina Faso flood stirs believers to action

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (BP)--When a catastrophic flood inundated half of Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou, in early September, Baptist congregations in the city seized the opportunity to live out the love of Christ ...

Therapy helps Sichuan children, teachers

WENCHUAN, China (BP)--Schoolchildren in China's Sichuan province -- which was devastated by a massive earthquake 19 months ago -- have new opportunities to experience full and meaningful lives, thanks in part to a long-term development project assisted by Southern Baptists.

Meals brighten childrens’ faces in Macedonia

SKOPJE, Macedonia (BP)--Roma children commonly watch from the public school yard as their classmates purchase snacks during the lunch hour. Many of the Roma children will wait several more hours for their single meal of the day -- mainly bread, most likely.       The Roma are among the poorest people in Europe. In Macedonia, the unemployment rate among the nearly 200,000 Roma is around 80 percent. Children from these families commonly suffer from malnutrition, evident in anemia, hair loss, loss of skin color, an increasing occurrence of tuberculosis; lack of concentration and attention span; and decreased retention of material. Bread, which is both inexpensive and filling, makes up the bulk of their diet but does not provide the protein and many of the vitamins the children need.       A lunch program supported by Southern Baptists through their World Hunger Fund helps fill the rumbling stomachs of nearly 400 Roma schoolchildren each day.       The meal program, modeled on the Headstart program in the United States, was identified as a way to counter the effects of hunger on the children. Through the initiative, conducted in partnership with Baptist Global Response, an international relief and development organization, 400 Roma schoolchildren are provided three meals a week, consisting of milk, an egg, bread and chocolate-covered raisins or peanuts.       The lunches are served in two education centers that help prepare Roma children for school and assist them with homework once they begin school. One center serves about 300 children daily in Topana, the oldest Roma community in Macedonia's capital, Skopje. The other center, located in Shutka, the largest of Skopje's Roma communities, hosts 75 to 100 children a day.       Field partners working with the project will be able to literally measure the program’s impact.       "One of the things we are doing in conjunction with this project is compiling statistics of various physical measurements -- height, weight, arm measurements, general physical health -- as well as looking at scholastic results," project director Betty Easter said.

Meager crop threatens lives in Asian valley

ISTANBUL (BP)–An especially meager crop in an isolated valley in Central Asia created a food shortage — and an opportunity for Southern Baptists to help meet the physical needs of approximately 530 families. At an altitude of almost 11,000 feet, villages in the area have the latest spring and earliest winter in the region. The […]