Engaging With Canadians

News from PWRDF

To work towards its vision of a truly just, healthy, and peaceful world, the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, and all similar humanitarian agencies, must be about the business of public engagement. Simply put, PWRDF needs to connect with people in such a way that they become interested enough in the work of PWRDF that they want to support it in some way—gaining knowledge through reading its publications, joining its webinars, or perusing its website. Spreading the word about PWRDF’s work and impact in Canada and around the world, becoming a parish or diocesan PWRDF representative, becoming a one-time or regular donor, or upholding and joining PWRDF in prayer are all essential.

It will not matter that PWRDF is a well-run organization with laudable goals, ethical practices, and global partnerships if it does not have the support of everyday Anglicans like you and me to allow its work to continue to change lives. So this task of engagement is an ongoing and core function for the PWRDF staff, board, and volunteers. Work in the development and humanitarian aid sector is never a case of a quick fix, but of partnering with knowledgeable experts on the ground and walking alongside them as supporters. The global climate crisis has exacerbated existing challenges around food insecurity, access to clean drinking water, health and wellness, displacement and homelessness, violence, and injustices of many kinds. War, conflicts and gang violence also continue to rage around the world, and in our own country the work of indigenous/settler reconciliation and responding to natural disasters is ongoing.

Whether intentionally or not, the methods used by PWRDF to engage with Canadians bear a strong resemblance to those used by Jesus in his earthly ministry: story-telling; gathering helpers; traveling lightly; welcoming and respecting women and children; and upholding everything in prayer.

It is the sharing of stories that really makes the work of PWRDF come alive. These stories may be told by Canadians who have visited projects and partners abroad and come back sharing the good news and impact they have observed first-hand. Sometimes the stories are told by in-country partners who are invited to come to Canada and tell their own stories. Those involved in the actual projects on the ground are the true experts and can make the stories come alive for us. Videos of these visits, as well as videos produced in the field, are easily accessible on the PWRDF website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, and X accounts. There is no lack of compelling stories of empowerment, education, environmental protection, improved health outcomes, and more.

The “helpers” are individuals and organizations around the world and here at home who participate in or support PWRDF and its projects through partnerships, donations, and supportive relationships. It is a large and varied team, with each one contributing their own gifts. The modest donation from a small Sunday School class in rural Newfoundland and Labrador is as important, and as appreciated, as large matching donations from wealthy individuals or organizations.

Jesus appreciated the offerings, the faith, and the opinions of women, children and the otherwise marginalized in society, and specially ministered to them. We know well the story of a young boy’s lunch of bread and fish that contributed to the feeding of multitudes of people one day in Jesus’ day. In many countries, the lives of women and children are especially imperilled still today, and PWRDF is aware that empowering the women leads to improvements for their families and communities, too. PWRDF also highly values the contributions of its Youth Council. The Youth Council is a forum for significant dialogue and engagement by and for youth with the wider PWRDF organization, including a seat on the PWRDF board. Recognizing the importance of educating a new generation of Canadians about global and humanitarian issues, as well as important domestic social justice concerns, PWRDF produces the SUPERFRIENDS resource for parish and home use. (You can order copies for free each year.)

For Jesus, traveling lightly meant being without a home of his own and accepting the hospitality of friends and supporters. For PWRDF, it means not having a large administrative footprint either at home or abroad. The 2022-2023 annual report reveals that Administration accounts for just 7.6% of the total PWRDF expense budget, and PWRDF does not have offices around the globe, but partners with and supports the work of other international organizations to maximize the impact it can make. As an organization, it takes seriously its responsibility to use all donations ethically and efficiently.

As Jesus modelled, PWRDF offers opportunities for staff, volunteers and supporters to come together to pray and to study scripture and to apply it to our world today. This is done through excellent Advent and Lenten resources for home or group use and through monthly Praying with PWRDF gatherings on Zoom. It takes place on the second Thursday of every month at 2:30 p.m. Newfoundland time, 2:00 p.m. in parts of Labrador. To participate, just sign up at this link: You will receive the Zoom link every month.

With summer surely just around the corner, may you enjoy rest and refreshment with those you love. And watch for information about this year’s Wild Ride, an opportunity for your group to come up with a simple fundraising activity to support PWRDF. We need you to share the stories and to share the load. Come, join the team.

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