The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) is the relief and development arm of the Christian Reformed Church. CRWRC involves churches and individuals in showing Christ’s compassion to people who live in poverty, survive disaster, and suffer injustice.
CRWRC involves communities in their own development by helping them to identify and build on their own resources. The agency also responds quickly to suffering unleashed by both human-made and natural disasters. Paid and volunteer staff work together with local agencies to distribute food, medicine, blankets, and temporary shelter, offering a practical testimony of the hope found in Jesus Christ.
In 2004-05, CRWRC worked with 3,926 impoverished communities in 35 countries. A total of 226 churches and local Christian organizations partnered with CRWRC to improve family income, health, agriculture production, and literacy. In economic development, Partners Worldwide worked with CRWRC to increase employment among 458 participants in 41 income-earning projects.
This year almost 1,200 CRWRC volunteers gave 128,000 hours of their time and skill to complete 150 disaster-response projects across North America. Internationally, 120 volunteers worked in 14 countries, giving 43,000 work hours in disaster-recovery services and refugee camps. In tsunami relief alone, 16 International Relief Managers (IRMs) gave 15,000 work hours. And in Darfur, nine IRMs gave 9,000 work hours in unsecured circumstances.
Synod 2004 recommended that CRC denominational agencies take specific roles in addressing HIV/AIDS and global efforts to alleviate poverty. CRWRC joined with the Office of Social Justice and Hunger Action (OSJHA) in the Micah Challenge--a global call to halve poverty by 2015. CRWRC and OSJHA are represented on the Micah Challenge board, and CRWRC is a member of the national campaigns in the United States and Canada.
CRWRC has been working in HIV/AIDS response in Africa since the mid-1990s and has increasingly addressed the growing epidemic by coaching churches in caring for those who are dying or left behind. In 2004-05, CRWRC received $3 million in grants specifically targeting children’s health programming and HIV/AIDS prevention and care in Africa and Latin America.
Through a generous outpouring of gifts in response to the South Asia tsunami, CRWRC continues to rebuild homes, replant crops, supply school materials, and restore livelihoods in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India.
The tsunami response is one example of a new volunteer effort called the International Relief Manager (IRM) training program. One hundred twelve volunteers participated in six training workshops in the United States and Canada. Six of these trained volunteers have been placed in Sri Lanka and Malawi, and four more were deployed in September 2005.
Across North America, CRWRC Champions are helping raise awareness in their regions and congregations about poverty and CRWRC’s work to address it. More than 100 volunteers have been identified and trained to champion the cause of the poor.
Financial and program data are preliminary for fiscal year ending June 30, 2005. Audited financial and official program information will be available in our Annual Progress Report, which will be sent to churches in December.
United States 800-55-CRWRC or 616-224-0740
Canada 800-730-3490 or 905-336-2920
In 2004-05, CRWRC was active in