6th March 2020

World Day of Prayer

Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk


Introduction to Suriname

As women in Suriname, we believe that the Christian faith community can make a great contribution to the preservation of a living, healthy and safe environment. The future of the earth for the next generations matters to us. We see this as one of the key elements of the Christian faith. It reminds us of the relationship between God and creation, and God and humanity.

Suriname, like many countries, feels the effect of worldwide climate change: drought, hurricane, and storm, due to global warming. Along the Suriname coastal strip it now oods in the rainy season, including Paramaribo the capital city. Other environmental changes have been caused by human activity, like the damage to the local rivers through gold mining and mercury pollution. In the 21st century/24-hour economy, which is striving for good economic outcomes and excellent returns, Christians need to balance God’s Creation with man’s creations. We need to be guided by the theme “All God’s Creation is very good!”

Geography and population

Lies in northeastern part of South America.

Named after Surinen tribe. Suriname is part of the Guianas, meaning “land of many waters”.

15% of land is coastal and less than two metres above sea level. At risk because of climate change and rising sea waters.

Over 90% covered by pristine tropical rainforest. Humid tropical climate.

Average temperature during the day is 27.1o C. January is the coldest month (averaging 26.1oC), and the hottest month is October (averaging 28.3oC).

Environment and biodiversity

Country of beauty and high biodiversity. 715 species of birds, many orchids, over 60 species of lobster claw ower, the blue frog and the giant sea turtle.

Laws passed to ensure protection
of the environment.15% of land surface protected territory. Largest nature reserve is on UNESCO’s list of Heritage Sites.

The situation of women and children

In March 1993, the Suriname government rati ed the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women.

In 2015 there were 15 female MPs and the cabinet consisted of 3 women and 16 men.

Although the interests of the child are protected by the government and UN, there are still violations of their rights.


Agriculture and export of sh. Gold and crude oil are the greatest sources for foreign currency. Extraction of water from subterranean water sources, for global shortage.

In 1995, World Bank classi ed Suriname as the seventeenth richest country in the world for its natural resources.

Health care

Free medical care for 0-17 and 60+
10% of men and 30% of women are obese
20.8% su er high blood pressure
13% diabetes
5.6% cardiovascular diseases
70% of suicides are males

Other health issues include: malaria, HIV/AIDS, dengue, chikungunya, zika, drug addiction and mercury poisoning.


1499 Spanish seafarers arrive in Suriname
Ruled by French, English, Zealanders & Netherlands
1651-1667 English Rule
1853 Indentured Chinese labour
1863 Abolition of slavery
1873 Indentured Indians & Indonesians
1948 Self-government Women get the vote
1975 Independence
1980 Unrest
1987 New Constitution elections