Community Development

There is enough for all

Developing strong, self-sustaining communities is at the very heart of the CWS mission to eradicate hunger and poverty in the world. Based on the premise that there indeed is enough for all, CWS joins with local partners in developing countries to improve lives by making available the tools, resources and opportunities necessary for impoverished people to develop stepping stones for their ascent from poverty.

CWS works hand-in-hand with some of the world’s most vulnerable people with programs focused on increasing skills that improve income; on making safe water for household and farm use both accessible and sustainable; on building skills so that local people can manage their own resources; and on initiatives designed to strengthen the ability of communities to advocate for their rights.

South American Chaco

The enormous inequality in South America’s vast Chaco region, including parts of Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay, is felt strongly by marginalized groups, including indigenous people and small-holder farmers. CWS’s Chaco program helps these communities secure legal title to ancestral lands and then use the land in an environmentally sustainable manner that increases their economic and food security.

Photo: Paul Jeffrey/CWS


Improving public health is the focus of our village-based program in Cambodia’s Central and North Central provinces. The project provides refresher training for traditional birth attendants and makes it possible for health volunteers to educate local volunteers in remote areas about disease, risk and prevention. The volunteers then share information about common diseases like malaria, dengue fever, diarrhea and HIV.

Photo: Annie Griffiths/Ripple Effect Images

Sustainable energy

In Moldova, Bosnia and Georgia, CWS’s Innovative Energy Technologies program helps create self-sustaining communities through skills building, jobs creation and income generation. Vocational training program participants learn to build solar energy products, including warm water collectors and fruit and vegetable driers, for local use and sale. These products mean less money spent buying wood for heating and more earned income when the products are sold in neighboring regions.

Photo: CWS