CWS Annual Report 2020

You’ve been there for some of the most extreme events around the world this year: disasters, climate change, war and conflict, pandemic, political upheaval... all things that can devastate normal life in an instant for any person. Every single gift, every dollar you’ve raised, every volunteer hour you’ve put in protects families who are recovering from this devastation.

You’ve provided emergency support and long-term help so that communities can adapt—and once again thrive—despite these changes. Below you’ll find examples of the many ways you’ve stepped in. Thank you for being an incredible friend who cares.

Program Highlights

Standing for Refuge

We joined with other faith-based refugee resettlement agencies to challenge the Trump administration’s unlawful executive order (EO 13888) that would give state and local officials the power to veto resettlement in their jurisdictions and stand in the way of communities’ ability to welcome the stranger. Following an outpouring of support from elected leaders on both sides of the aisle, faith leaders and refugee communities, the Court quickly blocked the order from moving forward.

Building Livelihoods

When a family raises chickens, they can add eggs and meat to their diets or sell eggs or chicks to earn money for other needs. Because of you, more than 7,300 families worldwide started raising chickens this year.

Supporting Sustainability

You’re helping families in Moldova use renewable energy systems to lower their energy bills while protecting their environment. This year, for example, Diana’s family was one of 25 that installed solar panels or solar water heaters at their home.

Reuniting Families

Despite delays and a very limited number of refugees arriving in the United States, we helped dozens of families reunite after years of painful separation—like Asmeron, a refugee from Eritrea who waited 8 long years for his wife and daughter to finally come home and rebuild their lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Helping People Find Home

Families are fleeing for their lives at record rates, but this isn’t about numbers. This is about real people like Julia, who you’ve been helping this past year.

Julia grew up in South Sudan. Her father was a human rights lawyer—a dangerous job in her country.

When Julia was 16, the danger materialized. “They killed my father in front of me,” she recalls. “Then they killed my elder sister. Then they arrested me.” She spent about a month in prison before she ran for her life to Cairo, Egypt.

You support a Community Hosting program that finds safe, nurturing homes for refugee children who are alone in Cairo. It was a gift to Julia; it changed everything. She met her “host mom,” Alawiyah, who is herself a refugee from Sudan. Julia finally has a place to be long.

“I’m happy to be with her,” Julia says of Alawiyah. “She’s like my mom... it has helped to feel like a human being again.”

Food, water, shelter, safety, healing—we are committed to helping refugees like Julia around the world in every way we can. You are part of that story. You are a force of kindness for each refugee in need of welcome.

Your Response to a Climate Crisis

Kenya is experiencing a deadly weather pattern. Communities are scorched by long, ravaging droughts. Then the cycle flips. Heavy rains trigger floods and landslides that wash away homes, crops and roads.

You support families as they navigate this new reality. This year, that meant emergency food packages and blankets for thousands of people who lost everything in floods, and supplies to help as they rebuild. Your gifts create healing in the long-term, too. Here’s how:


Because hives hang above floodwaters, bees outlast the heavy rains. With this eco-friendly livestock, farmers now have confidence in their harvest... whatever the weather brings.


Neighbors are pooling their money into savings groups that they can access during times of emergency. In stable times, savings can also be used to start new businesses!

CWS Board of Directors FY2020

  • Rev. Patricia de Jong, Chair
  • Daniel Hazman, First Vice Chair
  • Katy Keck, Second Vice Chair
  • Laura Roberts, Secretary
  • Roland Fernandes, Treasurer
  • Phil Atkins-Pattenson
  • Dr. Paul Chan
  • Dr. Elizabeth Ferris
  • Caroline S. Gesami
  • Dr. Jeffrey Haggray
  • Neven Hendricks
  • Beth Houle
  • Rev. John L. McCullough
  • Rev. Vy Nguyen
  • His Eminence, Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos
  • Peter Persell
  • Dr. Shirley Cason Reed
  • Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson
  • Rev. Dr. Earl Trent, Jr., Chair-Emeritus
  • Rev. Dr. David Vásquez-Levy

Church World Service
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