Adventists Call for Elimination of
Violence Against Women and Children
ive Seventh-day Adventists were among thousands of women who voiced their concerns in deploring violence against women and the girl child at the United Nations’ fifty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), held February 26–March 9.
Viola Poey Hughes, associate director of Marketing for the Hope Channel, led the Adventist delegation and said CSW member states and experts “provided alarming statistics” on the conditions of women and the girl child.
“About 55 million girls are out of formal school and 82 million girls will marry by the age of 13,” reported Hughes. “A frightening 2 to 3 million live in sexual servitude and will never have access to basic human rights, while 218 million are child laborers.”
She added that “while policies and collaborative efforts were among items on the agenda, there remains a need for accountability at every level of government, home, society, and institution.”
Attending this event for the first time, Linda M. L. Koh, director of Children’s Ministries for the Adventist Church, spoke of the importance for the church to be involved in eradicating violence against women and children.
“As a church, we need to be more organized, specifically to minister to the victims of this problem at all levels,” Koh said. “In many parts of the world girls face harmful social and traditional practices, such as child brides, genital mutilation, and denial of an education.”
In the church’s statement to the CSW, Adventist Church officials stressed the importance of developing concrete and practical programs, such as literacy projects, more ministry involvement by women, and a four-level leadership training program—all developed by the General Conference Women’s Ministries Department.
“We have a strong conviction about freedom and responsibility, and the human rights of every person,” said Jonathan Gallagher, UN liaison for the Adventist church, who generated this year’s statement. “Our theology mandates our support of attempts to aid the oppressed and violated, to bring comfort and healing of God’s children.”
Nancy Kyte, director of marketing for Adventist Mission, was also a first-time attendee. “Statistics presented at the session boggled my mind,” Kyte said. “According to UN and US government reports, more than 12 million people around the world are being trafficked—are victims of modern-day slavery—for exploitation purposes at any given time. About 80 percent of them are women and girls. We need to consider what we can do to help the survivors of this kind of slavery.”
This year’s CSW drew more than 5,000 women worldwide and about 100 member states from countries such as Morocco, China, Indonesia, Romania, Italy, Ghana, Kenya, and Australia.
The two other Adventist participants were Deborah Rapp of the Carolina Conference and Yvonne Knight of the Greater New York Conference. —AR
EGYPT: Treading New Paths in the Middle East
Nearly 50 youth leaders and pastors from across the Middle East pledged to launch about a dozen new Pathfinder and Adventurer clubs within the next few months during a week-long training seminar in Cairo, Egypt, in mid-February. This was the first seminar of its kind held in the region.
“There is an eagerness to launch clubs across most of the 14 countries which comprise our territory,” said Amir Ghali, Youth Ministries director for the Adventist church in the Middle East. “This is very good news for all our young people who are looking for outlets which are inspiring, recreational, and confidence-building.”
The adaptation and translation of the Pathfinder and Adventurer curricula and awards into Arabic was the key to facilitating the launching of the program, said event organizers.
“With the help of generous funding from offerings contributed at the 2004 Oshkosh [Wisonsin] Pathfinder Camporee in the United States and the 2006 European Camporee in Stevninghus, Denmark, we were able to undertake this huge task, which puts instructional material in the hands of all local Arabic-speaking clubs,” Ghali says. “This is the only sure way of guaranteeing the long-term success of this venture.”
—TED Communication Department/AR
A research foundation recently awarded a 30-month grant to Andrews University (AU) to evaluate factors potentially affecting African-Americans’ access to outpatient substance abuse treatment.
The purpose of the project, funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Substance Abuse Policy Research Program, is to examine whether state Medicaid policies governing outpatient substance abuse treatment coverage help or hinder access to treatment services by African-Americans.
Duane C. McBride, director of AU’s Institute for the Prevention of Addiction, will serve as the project’s principal investigator. Jamie Chriqui, director of MayaTech’s Center for Health Policy and Legislative Analysis, a consulting and technical services company headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, will serve as the co-principal investigator.
“Concern about equal access to drug treatment services has become a major issue in our society,” McBride says. “Considerable evidence suggests that substance abuse treatment is effective and that state policy can play a major role in determining access to these necessary services.”
State Medicaid data will be compiled by the study team and linked with treatment program and client admissions data collected by the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Administration. Analyses will focus on identifying differences in policies that are related to equal access to services.
“Many African-Americans face barriers in accessing treatment services, which include lack of resources, transportation, and childcare,” Chriqui says. “Recent data also suggest that African-Americans participate in Medicaid as the only or primary insurance at a higher proportion than other racial or ethnic groups, and that is why the analysis of these state programs is key to evaluating access.”
—Andrews University Media Relations/AR