As you are reading this column, we are just entering the season of Advent and preparing our homes, our hearts, and our lives for the arrival of the Christ. And, too often, we put far more emphasis on cleaning, trimming and stocking our homes than on taking stock of ourselves. Perhaps including PWRDF in your Advent and Christmas preparations this year will help remedy that.
PWRDF’s vision of “working towards a truly just, healthy and peaceful world” is guided by Micah 6:8:
And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
The world of development and relief agencies is a crowded one, with all competing for shrinking government funding and in a post-Covid climate of tightened purse strings for many Canadians. And most of these agencies are doing good work. Besides its excellent track record, impeccable reputation and industry-low administration cost of less than ten percent of total expenses, what makes PWRDF stand out from the crowd is its emphasis on partnership. I believe that is PWRDF’s way of walking humbly with God: realizing that we are all companions on the journey.
And PWRDF partners in two directions: It partners with other agencies here in Canada to pool resources and make a greater impact; and it partners with agencies and organizations in developing countries who best know the situation on the ground and can identify the areas of greatest need. PWRDF is never the partner that implements projects; rather, its projects are locally-led, recognizing and respecting the knowledge and expertise of the partners in the field. Its people-centred approach ensures a respect for human dignity, with both sides of the partnership demonstrating a mutual commitment to quality and accountability.
Besides supporting development projects around the world, PWRDF also finds itself increasingly needing to respond to humanitarian crises—whether as the result of drought in Kenya, hurricane Fiona in Atlantic Canada, or the current wars in Ukraine and Israel/Gaza. In the year just ending, approximately two million dollars went to development projects while close to seven million dollars was allocated to humanitarian relief. As in the development projects, disaster relief efforts also rely on partners on the ground to ensure the aid is directed to the area of greatest need and that it achieves its intended results.
But there is one further partnership without which PWRDF cannot possibly achieve its objectives, and that is the partnership between PWRDF and its donors, people like me and you. Individually, we may feel that we cannot make a difference but together we can make “a world of difference”, as PWRDF likes to say.
So, as we are making our Advent and Christmas plans this year, please consider including PWRDF in those plans. Perhaps your ACW unit or choir would like to take on a fundraising project for PWRDF, or the parish might aim to “buy the whole farm” or purchase an entire irrigation kit to help 20 families in Kenya. There is something in the World of Gifts brochure that is included with this month’s Anglican Journal/Anglican Life to suit every area of interest and budget.
When we partner with PWRDF we are following in Jesus’ footsteps. Jesus’ greatest concern is always for the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized. His was a life of love, justice and mercy. And, as Mark records in one of the stories about feeding the multitudes, he invites us to partner with him. “You give them something to eat,” he says in Mark 6:37. Let us accept the invitation to partner with Jesus, through PWRDF, this year. And remember, the World of Gifts catalogue stays open all year long!
You can find World of Gifts online here: https://pwrdf.org/get-involved/shop-pwrdfs-world-of-gifts/
Christmas wishes for peace, justice, health and joy from your friends and partners at PWRDF.