From the President & CEO
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there ‘is’ such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”
Fifty years ago, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. concluded that racial and economic injustice was an unsustainable formula for the future of America. He was right, and together we have been part of the vigorous and positive action that has improved the quality of life for millions of people around the world. However much progress has been made over five decades, though, it is not nearly enough for us to now take a rest. Clearly for the 795 million people who are food insecure, and the 66.5 million who are displaced, there “is” such a thing as being too late.
As the church in the world in service, this year we have learned the necessity of intensifying our efforts. We have dramatically increased our public witness on five continents, have expanded our capacity to provide better access to clean water and sanitation in Asia and our work with farmers in rural Africa. Together we have become a leading advocate for indigenous land rights in South America and for children with incarcerated parents in Central America. Our team in Cambodia celebrated with their nation as it became classified as a lower-middle income economy, and we are continuing to develop our programs in Myanmar so that people in these communities too can begin to experience greater fullness in life.
Every five seconds in our world, someone is displaced by disaster or conflict. From the United States to Egypt, Tanzania and Indonesia, we are determined that hospitality and welcome will be extended to families seeking relief from deprivation and persecution.
In September 2015, world leaders agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets that build on the Millennium Development Goals to complete what they did not. These Global Goals are a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity and will stimulate action over the next 15 years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet. Our team understands the linkages between the diverse parts of our work, and we, too, are committed to transforming communities around the world through just and sustainable responses to hunger, poverty, displacement and disaster.
Although families in Nicaragua are facing challenging climates, they are doing it hand-in-hand with CWS-supported training centers. Children in Moldova are benefiting from solar energy being introduced to their schools. Young refugees are now living in safe houses in Indonesia, and many Burundian refugees are no longer in harm’s way because of our partnership with the government of Tanzania.
Fifty years ago, we said people don’t need a handout as much as they need a hand up. In this report, you will not only read about the impact you have made, but also of the great vision that stretches before us. For more than 70 years Church World Service has believed in the urgency of now. Tomorrow is today. Thank you for your generosity of heart, mind and spirit, and for your faith in the goodness of others.
Rev. John L. McCullough
President and CEO