On September 18-19, World Jewish Relief USA attended the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) September meeting with hundreds of changemakers, policy makers and organizations. Rabbi Dina Brawer, Executive Director of World Jewish Relief USA took to the stage to tell the inspiring story of Bishnu, a 58-year-old father from Mahottari, Nepal, and to make a commitment to action on behalf of World Jewish Relief.
The Clinton Global Initiative is renowned for its annual meetings, which bring together global leaders, influencers, and organizations committed to addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The September 2023 CGI meeting provided a platform for World Jewish Relief to showcase its commitment to gender equity within their climate resilience farming programs, particularly in Nepal, a region grappling with the impacts of climate change.
Rabbi Dina Brawer told the audience of changemakers, policy makers and other NGOs about the struggle Bishnu and his family faced after weather patterns shifted as a result of the climate crisis. Despite his hard work, the small plot of land which once fed his family no longer yielded enough for them to survive.
Making a Commitment to Action on behalf of World Jewish Relief, Rabbi Dina Brawer highlighted the critical need to address gender disparities in the context of climate-resilient farming, emphasizing that women play a vital role in food production and climate adaptation efforts but often face unequal access to resources and opportunities.
With their local partner in Nepal, Community Self-Reliance Centre, World Jewish Relief has been supporting marginalized communities such as low caste groups, displaced people, and religious minorities to cope with their changing climates. This has been achieved through livelihood adaptation, training, protecting houses from landslides and floods, and building early warning systems for climate-related disasters.
Bishnu and his family now plant a range of flood and drought resistant crops and produce enough vegetables to sell at their local market. World Jewish Relief is now working with more vulnerable households in Nepal to build resilience to the climate crisis.
Rabbi Dina Brawer, Executive Director of World Jewish Relief USA said:
“By first securing joint land ownership for men and women, and through climate awareness training together with a provision of equipment and seed, we ensure that both men and women are incentivised to invest in adapting their land and are empowered to build a resilient future. Let’s keep them going.”
“As an international humanitarian agency, World Jewish Relief has responded to floods, droughts and typhoons around the world. Unfortunately, as climate disasters continue to increase in frequency, so too do stories like Bishnu’s. It is critical that we do what we can to actively prevent humanitarian crises in high-risk areas with long-term proactive programs.”