We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.
-- Archbishop Oscar Romero
Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) works on behalf of Canadian Lutherans to plant seeds of life and hope in many of the developing areas of the world. The staff and board of CLWR are grateful for the ongoing prayerful support and partnership of members and friends of the Lutheran churches in Canada.
The following is a brief summary of the year in review.
Vision 2005, our five-year Strategic Plan, provides us a guide for implementing the mission of service that is our mandate.
CLWR is convinced that one of the best ways to reduce extreme marginalization and poverty is to strengthen the ability of communities to effect change themselves. Whether in programs that are in the process of growth and consolidation, as in Mozambique, or in long-established programs like those in Bangladesh, this strategy is central to our programming assistance. The challenge to assist with the transformation from a dependent and impoverished community into a vibrant and self-reliant one is a formidable task. CLWR therefore works in partnership with other like-minded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to realize sustainable food production and environmental conservation, micro-credit and employment programs, primary health care services, and enhanced educational opportunities.
In Africa, the programming is diverse and done within the framework of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). CLWR participation in the LWF-led consortium is also demonstrated by the Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Services work with landless peasants in Bangladesh. In Latin America, CLWR’s Andean partners champion an approach to development assistance that is participatory and inclusive.
With the Canadian International Development Agency’s (CIDA) Peacebuilding Fund, CLWR continues to play a lead role in a unique international development initiative which follows our mission goal of the advancement and development of human dignity and community. CLWR is working in support of an ethnic reconciliation programme with and among ethnic minorities of Burma. This project strives to provide the opportunity for these ethnic communities to consult and negotiate amongst and between themselves on the means to achieve a peaceful transition to a democratic society.
Members of the CLWR Communication Cadre are available to tell the CLWR story upon request. These trained volunteers are prepared to address both Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and Lutheran Church–Canada congregations on the work of CLWR in the developing world.
Regular updates are available on-line at CLWR’s web site, www.clwr.org, or via a monthly one-page news brief, emailed to interested congregations and individuals. This brief provides short items suitable for inclusion in congregational bulletins and newsletters. A more detailed email goes to those who request background information on our projects, emergencies etc.
As this report is being prepared, the self-financed Tour of Discovery for 2003 is traveling in Ethiopia, seeing firsthand some of the work of this agency. The resulting presentations on behalf of CLWR will further spread the development story. The 2004 Tour of Discovery will visit projects and sites in India and Bangladesh.
During 2002, a total of 96 refugee sponsorships were approved for a total of 215 refugees. Most of these are from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sierra Leone and Colombia. Fifteen have arrived. Most of the arrivals are jointly sponsored by the Government of Canada and CLWR.
In the 2001/2002 fiscal year, CLWR was again enabled to meet the challenge of the assistance requested from our partners in Tanzania, the war-stricken area of Afghanistan, the flooded area of Blantyre, Malawi, and Bolivia. Five shipments of commodities, valued at approximately CDN$309,120, were sent abroad by Canadian Lutheran World Relief and consisted of 32,733 kg of quilts, clothing and various kits.
In addition to the monetary aid that was channelled from donors through CLWR to Afghanistan, CLWR cooperated with the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in delivering 3079 blankets to Afghanis made vulnerable by the war.
We value our ongoing relationship with the members and friends of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and praise God for the opportunities we have as partners in the important work of this Agency. Together we continue to strive to bring new hope and life to the poorest of the poor in the developing world. Thank you for your prayerful support.
Ruth E. Jensen, D.D.