Briefly noted

June 16, 2009

Christian Children’s Fund, an organization that helps needy children across the globe, has decided to change its name to ChildFund International as part of its plan to broaden its outreach. “We are now part of an alliance of 12 organizations around the world who have the same goal of working to help deprived children in developing countries,” said Anne Lynam Goddard, president and CEO of the Richmond, Virginia–based charity. “All members of the alliance are taking on the same name, ChildFund.” The charity was founded in 1938 by a Presbyterian minister and originally called China’s Children Fund.

Sri Lankan church leaders say the government’s announcement of the end of the country’s 26-year civil war is a signal to address grievances and to ensure that citizens from all ethnic and religious groups can feel proud of their nation. The island nation’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, on May 19 declared the end of the bloody and protracted civil war, in which fighters seeking autonomy for the minority Tamil population were the first combatants to use suicide bombers with explosives strapped to their bodies. Anglican bishop Duleep de Chickera said, “We must become a nation in which every woman, man and child, regardless of religion or ethnicity, is made to feel equal, free and proud to call themselves Sri Lankan. Now is the time . . . to take prayerful, purposeful and collective steps towards an integrated, united and just Sri Lanka that has eluded us for decades.”