LWR: Board reviews Work in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Future

Report
from Lutheran World Relief
Published on 03 Oct 2000
Baltimore, Oct 3, 2000 -- Lutheran World Relief's board, meeting in regular session here September 28-29, reviewed $9 million worth of new projects and helped shape future plans. Projects before the group included efforts to relieve the food crisis in the Horn of Africa, especially a major food-for-work and seeds program in Southern Sudan. Other activities begun since the last board meeting in June included a project to engage and train youth for leadership in community development in Peru, the provision of $625,000 of medical supplies and quilts to five rural hospitals in India, and a 20-village partnership in the Philippines that addresses basic needs by drawing on the specialties of various community agencies.
LWR Andean Regional Representative Pedro Veliz gave a special report on Colombia. "Amid increasing corruption and violence related to the drug trade, the church is the only space in society for moral authority," Veliz said. "We must accompany the church in its response to those who are suffering." LWR has helped launch El Nino-related prevention and rehabilitation work with parishes and farmers in Colombia. Now the main focus for LWR's church partner agencies there is the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by civil war and local church-related initiatives at conflict resolution.

The board also met with a special planning group gathered to chart major trends and opportunities facing LWR in the years ahead. The expert group, drawn from international church, humanitarian and academic circles, is identifying issues of strategy, purpose and identity critical for LWR during the next 20 years.

Two new staff with key roles for Africa will be joining the organization soon, LWR President Kathryn Wolford announced. Tamara Duggleby will take over leadership of LWR's Africa program this month. Duggleby has worked with Christian non-governmental organizations, the Ford Foundation, and the UN's development agency. Asenath Omwega, who currently helps manage an LWR partner organization in Kenya, will become the regional representative for eastern and southern Africa, based in Nairobi.