Dear CWS friends,

As a vital part of the CWS family, you know that together we speak up for our communities with everything we’ve got. One core value we champion is that everyone deserves a safe place to call home.

This year, too many families have lost their safe homes. Inflation and rising food prices have made it harder for families all over the world to meet basic needs. Changing climates churned up severe storms, droughts, wildfires and floods. Millions of people fled war, gang violence, relentless hunger, punishing drought or other threats for a chance at a brighter future.

As always, the CWS family responded by lifting your voices, hearts and hands to prove that love can be louder than raging storms. You helped warmly welcome Sudanese refugees in Egypt while continuing to walk alongside Ukrainian refugees (and the communities welcoming them) in Moldova and the United States. You helped to make sure that thousands of unaccompanied children arriving in the United States had safe homes to settle into and the education, legal, counseling and other services that they need to thrive. You enthusiastically stepped up to help launch Welcome Corps, a new U.S. government initiative to expand refugee resettlement through private sponsorship. From Guatemala to Cambodia, and in many communities in between, you’ve continued to support families as they improve their harvests, put food on the table and connect to clean, safe water.

You have loved loudly this year, and people all over the world have heard and felt it. It has echoed in the crunch of fresh vegetables harvested from flourishing fields, bounced off the walls of homes filled with fellowship and reverberated in the voices of advocates calling for just policies. I hope you see your love reflected in the rest of this report, because our teams hear and see it every single day.

Yours in mission,


Rick Santos
President and CEO
Church World Service

Our Mission

Church World Service is a faith-based organization transforming communities around the globe through just and sustainable responses to hunger, poverty, displacement and disaster.

Walking alongside our neighbors during times of crisis, emergency or disaster is at the heart of CWS’ mission. Every day, faithful CWS friends and supporters give their time, energy and resources to ensure everyone has the tools they need to live today, thrive tomorrow and build a safe place to call home for years to come.


Our Mission

Church World Service is a faith-based organization transforming communities around the globe through just and sustainable responses to hunger, poverty, displacement and disaster.

Walking alongside our neighbors during times of crisis, emergency or disaster is at the heart of CWS’ mission. Every day, faithful CWS friends and supporters give their time, energy and resources to ensure everyone has the tools they need to live today, thrive tomorrow and build a safe place to call home for years to come.

Responding to Disasters

Pajaro, California

Earlier this year, neighbors in Pajaro, California experienced severe flooding. Many in the predominantly Spanish-speaking migrant community lost their possessions and didn’t have the tools they needed to begin picking up the pieces. Because of compassionate CWS supporters and friends, communities rebuilding after a disaster aren’t left to recover alone. Through CWS Kits and Blankets, individuals and families in Pajaro, California received the essential supplies they needed to help them through the chaos and begin the road to recovery.
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Rebuilding Home

Mark's Story

Children affected by war are often forced to leave behind their carefree life, grow up quickly and become little adults. Last year after Russia invaded Ukraine, 13-year-old Mark, his younger brother and their mother fled to neighboring Moldova, leaving Mark’s father behind to join the Ukrainian army. They struggled to adjust to life in Moldova. For Mark, his father’s absence meant he had little time to be a kid. He needed to take on more responsibility to help his family. After finding a CWS-supported educational center in Balti, Mark was able to continue focusing on his childhood by keeping up with his education and nurturing his newfound passion—painting. Your support gave Mark the freedom to have fun and just be a kid.
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Strengthening Communities

Ana’s Story

Neighbors around the world are sowing seeds of progress and building a path of prosperity and sustainability with help from the CWS community. In rural Guatemala, 63-year-old Ana Brito is one of 917 families committed to understanding the land she lives on and using that knowledge to create a better life. After joining a CWS-sponsored food security program, Ana received a pig and learned how to grow and harvest foods like chili peppers, tomatoes, spinach, radish and beets. “They gave me seeds and I learned new techniques for planting and caring for the land,” she said. Her dedication to learning and nurturing her surroundings has sparked a transformation for herself and her community. Because of caring CWS supporters, neighbors like Ana are building sustainable futures for generations to come.
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From Abandonment to Abundance

Juliana’s Story

From Abandonment to Abundance

Juliana’s Story

When you first meet Juliana, the first thing you will notice about her is her bright and friendly smile. Behind this smile, however, lies a story of abandonment and tragedy that began before Juliana was even born in Guatemala. Just three months before her birth, Juliana’s father passed away. Shortly after, her mother, who was battling with grief and depression, began struggling with alcohol. Before Juliana was even two years old, her mother abandoned her and Juliana was left under the care of her grandmother who she grew up to call “mamá.”

For about 16 years, Juliana lived in her aunt’s home while her grandmother worked. For the first ten years, all was well and Juliana’s aunt treated  her as her own daughter. This ended when Juliana’s aunt went through a divorce and started projecting her unhappiness onto Juliana. During dinner time, Juliana wasn’t allowed to eat with the family and on Christmas, when the family went to the city, she was never allowed to join. Juliana remembered that whenever her aunt needed milk for her coffee, she'd give her enough money for a one-way taxi and say, "You decide if you'll walk there or back." Wanting to save money, Juliana walked both ways, only to be falsely accused of stealing by her aunt.

As she got older, the situation only worsened and tensions continued to rise until one day, Juliana was kicked out of her aunt’s home. Juliana’s attempts to reconcile with her aunt were quickly shut down, and she was mocked by her own cousins who did not want her there. Just like she did when Juliana was just a baby, Juliana’s grandmother came as fast as she could and brought Juliana to live with her. 

During the months she was living with her grandmother, Juliana met her current partner and became pregnant. She was excited to have a baby but was also nervous about the situation she would have to raise him in. “I realized that if my grandmother passed, I wouldn’t really have anyone to stay with other than my baby’s father,” she reflected. Through this realization, and her determination to find a better life for herself and her baby, Juliana decided to leave for the United States. 

At the tender age of 16, and already six months pregnant, Juliana bravely made the journey to the U.S. border on her own. She remembers that, although the journey was exhausting and at times, frightening, she met a lot of kind people along the way. When she arrived at the border, she held onto her belly tightly and crossed the Rio Grande where immigration officials took her to the detention center to process her into the U.S.

In the United States, Juliana went to live with her uncle where she hoped she would find love and support. Unfortunately, she experienced the opposite and felt even more abandoned and mistreated. She stayed focused, however, and enrolled in high school while pregnant. A couple months later she gave birth to her baby boy alone in the hospital. 

The lack of support Juliana had become accustomed to would thankfully come to an end soon. Juliana moved to a different state with her baby and began living with her mother-in-law who welcomed them with warmth and kindness. A few months later, Juliana also received exciting news: her partner was coming to live with them! She remembers the excitement she felt when they were reunited and excitedly shared that shortly after, her baby said his first word, “papá.” 

In those same months, Juliana was also connected to CWS and began receiving support from her case manager, Jose. When asked what it's been like having Jose as her case manager, Juliana smiled and said, “We laugh a lot together!” 

Through this newfound support, Juliana is starting to live the life she always deserved. She has gone back to school where her teachers have pointed out that she is always smiling and call her “la niña mil amigos,” which means “the girl with a thousand friends.” She is also dedicated to her son who napped in her arms during our entire conversation with her. Her biggest dream is to go to college and become a nurse so that she can support other young mothers like her. She also hopes that her son will one day meet her grandmother who Juliana talks to almost every day. 

Although Juliana’s life may have begun as a lonely one, it will no longer be that way. And neither will her son’s. She is now surrounded by a family who loves her, “thousands” of friends and CWS who is backing her up as she pursues her greatest goals and dreams. 

To support youth like Juliana and learn more about our Children Services Program, click here.

*Note: pseudonyms have been used to protect the identity of the client in this story

Path to Safety

CWS walks alongside migrants on every step on their journey to safety:

Central America
We partner with rural communities to provide the resources families need to recover from disaster, put food on the table and stay in their homes.

CWS-supported shelters offer migrants a safe haven and access to legal and medical assistance along their dangerous journey.

Southern Border
The CWS border shelter network welcomes people seeking asylum with open arms, a good meal and a safe place to rest and plan their next steps.

Entering the U.S.
The CWS call center connects asylum seekers and other migrants with our local offices and partners in cities and towns across the U.S.

New Communities
CWS offices help asylum seekers, unaccompanied children and other migrants access legal services, social services, trauma-informed care and other vital support needed to rebuild their lives.

Our Presence

Thanks to the overwhelming compassion of our donors and volunteers, CWS programs operated in 31 countries this year and reached families in dozens more. Check out the maps below to see a sample of what we achieved together this past year.


Funding Our Work



John Backer Champions 4 Change Award

When Kabul, Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in August of 2021, thousands of Afghan friends and allies were instantly in danger of persecution and death. In just over a year, through the Afghan Placement and Assistance program, CWS has welcomed 7,644 Afghan refugees and we will continue providing vital support to Afghan refugees who are building a new life throughout the country. This monumental accomplishment would not have been possible without the Afghan advocates and community leaders who stepped up to share their skills – offering to translate for new arrivals and case management for their fellow Afghans. In the spirit of John Backer and in honor of this group of Champions, we recognize the group of Afghan refugees who are now CWS Staff members:

  • Fatima Mohmand - Interpreter, CWS Durham
  • Hamidullah Amiry - Winchester Office Director, CWS Virginia/Winchester
  • Khovaja Samir Seddiqi - Paralegal for Immigration Legal Services, CWS Greensboro
  • Mohammad Hares Aria - Case Manager, CWS South Florida
  • Sayeed Azhar - Immigration Legal Counselor, CWS Lancaster/Harrisburg
  • Shabina Nasiri - Refugee Health Promoter, CWS Jersey City
They have been dedicated to supporting and welcoming new arrivals over the past year in CWS local communities.

CWS Ecumenical Award

CWS is proud to present this year’s Ecumenical Award to Diaconia Social Mission in Moldova. When Russia invaded Ukraine, millions of Ukrainians fled to the safety of neighboring countries. Moldova has welcomed the highest number of Ukrainian refugees relative to its population. We have been proud to partner with Diaconia for months to offer shelter, supplies and an educational center to Ukrainian refugees and the Moldovan communities who have welcomed them with open arms. The staff and volunteers from Diaconia are role models for what compassion and generosity look like in the face of a humanitarian emergency, and we are proud to recognize them with this award.

National VOAD Member of the Year

We are honored to receive the honor of National VOAD Member of the Year. This past year has brought cascading crises resulting from tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, war, violence and other emergencies. Together with community partners across the country we welcomed thousands of Afghan evacuees to new homes, assisted unaccompanied migrant minors impacted by the deadly tornadoes in Kentucky, and supported long term recovery groups in several states who are making their neighborhoods stronger and more resilient. This award means so much to us and to our many partners, staff, community groups and volunteers whose great compassion and generosity make this work possible.

Take Action. Give Hope. Change Lives.

Volunteer Spotlights

Living a Generous Life

Generosity is a way of life for members of First Congregational Church in Columbus, Ohio. 

With Pastor Tim Ahrens leading the way, everyone is inspired to take action to help others. “ I really think that it's in our DNA to be a mission church,” he said.

The church’s youth ministry is no exception. From serving in soup kitchens to walking in marches and using their voice to advocate for others, the youth are determined to change the world and positively impact the lives of their neighbors. 

Through their partnership with CWS Kits and Blankets, the youth ministry is putting their generosity into action. During a recent youth mission week, 16 year-old Henry Gillies was one of 14 youth serving the community by handing out kits and blankets to individuals and families in need.

“Getting involved is super important because you want to look out for everyone in your community.” shared Henry. “That's what God tells us to do, and that's what we should do as Christians.” He said.

Henry and the entire youth ministry shared 230 kits and blankets with neighbors throughout the city of Columbus.

“That's just what we should do as humans,” he explained. “Looking out for others when they're down because we want others to look out for us when we're struggling.”

Click here to explore the many ways you can share your time, resources and voice with others through CWS.


A Warm Welcome Home

“We are like family.” 

These are words spoken by Mubarak, an Afghan refugee living in Danbury, Connecticut. 

After arriving in the United States in March 2022, he feels a sense of closeness, love and belonging within his community. That closeness is thanks to an unbreakable bond he formed with five women who ensured his welcome home was filled with support. 

Barb Davis, Maureen Devin, Barbara Wolf, Renee Bronner and Lisa Cambridge-Mitchell may have joined the Danbury Area Refuge Assistance (DARA) co-sponsorship team at different times, but they all are dedicated to supporting and guiding newly arriving refugees, like Mubarak, as they rebuild their lives in the U.S.

Community co-sponsorship is all about participation. It brings people together to give practical support to refugees or people seeking asylum. As a co-sponsor, you give your time, resources and expertise to help new neighbors secure housing, employment, language training along with social and cultural assistance.

Mubarak’s team of five did all of this and more. From taking him to appointments to driving him around until he received his driver’s permit, the co-sponsorship team was fully invested in Mubarak’s success.

And just like family, when tough times came, he knew he could count on them.

Mubarak remembers when he was seriously ill. He called Lisa. Without hesitation, she took him to the hospital and stayed by his side until the early hours of the morning. Mubarak is grateful for the unwavering support he received from his co-sponsorship team. Because of them, his life has transformed– he has a driver’s license, a new job, and is able to support his younger brothers who attend school and work part-time.

Mubarak has learned so much from his co-sponsorship team and he’s now sharing this invaluable information with other Afghan refugees in his community.

Co-sponsorship is more than just a formal arrangement– it’s staying in touch, checking in, being there for emergencies or celebrations. It’s agreeing to welcome a new family home. 

That’s exactly what these five women have done.

Click here to learn how CWS works alongside supporters and friends to welcome new neighbors through Community Co-Sponsorship and other volunteer opportunities.

International Funders Spotlight

A Trusted Partner in Delivering Impact

In 2022, nearly 50 government donors, foundations and corporate philanthropy programs trusted CWS to deliver life-changing programs and resources to displaced and underserved populations worldwide. We continue to be a top provider of services for refugees and the displaced for the U.S. Department of State, and have longstanding relationships with private donors such as the Open Society Foundations, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and We are excited about new relationships built with donors like the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Alstom Foundation. For these as well as other donor governments and the United Nations, CWS has been a strong steward of funding to support refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable populations around the world.  

Here are some examples of how our institutional funding changed lives in 2022:

  • UNHCR funded CWS to implement protection monitoring, a new initiative on the U.S.-Mexico border, interviewing over 1,300 asylum seekers.
  • Canadian Foodgrains Bank, through our longstanding partnership with The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, funded solutions to agricultural and food insecurity in Tanzania including food assistance and technical training. 
  • Through partnership with the Arcus Foundation, CWS established a longevity of support among LGBTQI+ persons within Kenya and South Africa.
  • Because of’s support, CWS can provide free and safe temporary housing across the United States to newly arriving refugees.
  • Through support from two church partnerships, United Methodist Commitee on Relief and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, CWS was able to provide services to asylum seekers in Miami, Jersey City, Houston and Chicago.
View the full list of funders

Take Action

CWS is continually inspired by our supporters and their efforts to bring about a world where there is enough for all. Whether through monetary gifts or the gift of your time and energy, your support turns an idea into action, a dream into a reality, and has a powerfully transformative impact on the lives of many.

Here are several ways that you can make a difference:

Board of Directors

Learn More about our Board

Member Communions

See our member communions


With your support, we can continue to impact lives and help transform communities across the globe.
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