Church World Service assists communities in responding to disasters, resettles refugees, promotes fair national and international policies, provides educational resources, and offers opportunities to join a people-to-people network of local and global caring through participation in CROP WALK and Tools of Hope. Church World Service stands with impoverished people as they envision and fashion a better future. Through their hard work and our long-term commitment of support, people who once had no hope are discovering the means of transforming their lives and their communities. Since 1946, when six Protestant denominations joined their resources to respond to the humanitarian crisis in post-war Europe, CWS has operated on the principle that churches working in partnership can accomplish more than anyone can alone. Today CWS is the development and refugee assistance ministry of 36 Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican denominations — comprising 50 million U.S. Christians — and have partnerships in more than 90 countries. Our mission puts faith into action by serving those in immediate need and by addressing the root causes of their suffering — poverty and injustice.
The most effective way to provide aid is to empower individuals and communities to help themselves. CWS works with and through local agencies to minimize overhead, shorten response time, and make the most efficient use of resources. With more than 400 partner agencies around the world, we respond to natural and human-made disasters, provide assistance to refugees, promote improved nutrition and sanitation, and help educate some of the one billion adults in the world who cannot read.
It is not enough to simply deliver aid packages. The struggle against poverty and injustice demands long-term commitment and long-range planning. Wherever we go, our goal is to facilitate sustainable self-help development. Our experience has taught us that to be successful, projects and programs have to come from the people themselves. Only then will communities thrive after aid workers have departed.