Annual Report 2014

Church World Service

Photo: Paul Jeffrey

From the CEO

Having once lived in abject poverty, I know what it means not to have running water and electricity; to be hungry and to feel hopeless. I know what it feels like to be displaced, to lose everything — including self-esteem and to have to start all over again. I know what it is to worry about my children’s education and the health of my family. Without the help of friends it would not have been possible to achieve a better quality of life.

When people are hungry, a community lacks access to clean water and livelihood is at risk… whether by virtue of a devastating storm or climate disaster, open warfare or civil conflict, the erosion of human rights or the plight of displaced communities…, CWS asks one basic question, “What can we do to help our neighbors?” And then we get busy.

For nearly seven decades the eradication of poverty has been our primary mission. Volunteers annually organize some 1,600 CROP Hunger Walks and assemble CWS Kits for distribution around the world. We train community leaders in disaster preparedness and work with local houses of worship to host refugees being resettled in their communities. We help Europe’s Roma find livelihoods and educate their children, work with parents and civic leaders to make schools safer in Kenya and support indigenous families in the Chaco secure their land rights.

CWS is about helping each other as neighbors. We help our neighbors in need have access to sources of clean water and sanitation in Cambodia. We help women start new businesses in Nicaragua, children get a healthier start in life in Haiti and men train for better jobs in Afghanistan. Your ingenuity and resourcefulness and compassion is the difference that CWS makes.

The eradication of hunger and poverty and promotion of peace and justice are complex challenges. No one of us can do this work alone, so CWS partners with grassroots organizations around the world, giving us the capacity to serve in some of the most difficult places and often under dangerous circumstances. CWS is committed to working with both secular and religious communities, to building reconciliation where conflict exists and finding sustainable and peaceful solutions.

We have built a legacy based on one simple principle: CWS is committed to improving the quality of life for everyone.

Thank you for supporting Church World Service. We are proud of what has already been accomplished and prouder yet for the great work that is still ahead of us.

In Friendship,

Rev. John L. McCullough
President and CEO