To others_ through others

Document Sample
To others_ through others Powered By Docstoc
					                           To others, through others.

                                                                                                                                             august 2004
                                                                                                                                             vol. V.III
                                }        LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF WORKS WITH PARTNERS IN 50 COUNTRIES TO
                                         END CONFLICT, BUILD LIVELIHOODS AND RECOVER FROM DISASTERS.

LWR employees from around the world met recently in Baltimore
to share learning, receive training and interact with U.S. staffers.

LWR...                                                                 A CLOSER LOOK
                                                                       This edition of TOTO will introduce you to some of the many
                                                                       special people who make us who we are. You’ll also read about
On any given day, it’s not hard to realize that Lutheran World         our organizational efforts to capitalize on our collective talents,
Relief is a collection of some very talented, very passionate          to continue to be the most effective organization we can be. And
people. When our international staff converge on one place,            as our 60th anniversary approaches in 2005, you’ll learn about a
however, it’s more than obvious. That was the case this summer,        new effort to help celebrate the occasion while supporting this
as employees from many cultures and diverse backgrounds                ministry we share at the same time.
speaking many languages met in Baltimore for our bi-annual
international staff meeting. It inspired us to take a closer look      LWR benefits from dedicated employees, trusted and loyal
at what motivates and inspires and sustains those who contribute       partners, tireless volunteers, devoted parishes and parish groups,
so valuably to this ministry.                                          insightful board members…the list goes on. Thanks be to God.

     Making good
             even better.                                             CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT FOR LWR AND ITS PARTNERS.

                                                                           Opportunity knocking.
                                                                           Organizational Effectiveness means that an organization is
                                                                           performing at the highest level—continually improving and
                                                                           ready and able to respond to, and even anticipate, the many
                                                                           continuous changes that affect its work. Being responsive to
                                                                           changes and opportunities, and taking advantage of them,
                                                                           is crucial for organizations to achieve their missions.

                                                                           CODHES is a Colombia-based organization committed
                                                                           to the protection of human rights, especially among the
                                                                           almost three million Colombian civilians displaced by

}    LWR Program Manager, Gilbert Ravichander (in blue),
     leads a group of partners through a self-assessment
     exercise in India to identify their organizations’
     strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.
                                                                           conflict (IDPs). In forging a partnership, LWR has clearly
                                                                           strengthened CODHES’ capacity to raise awareness and
                                                                           offer policy alternatives related to Colombia’s IDPs. And,
                                                                           in turn, CODHES has strengthened LWR’s advocacy efforts
                                                                           on U.S. policy toward Colombia. LWR has “opened doors”
                                                                           for CODHES to other U.S. organizations, including a major
                                                                           philanthropic foundation. CODHES was recently honored
     LWR knows that more effective organizations yield more
     effective results. Strengthening the capacity of partner
     organizations in areas like project planning and evaluation,
     financial management, governance, leadership and in
     managing change leads to more positive, longer-lasting

     changes in the lives of people we serve. With organizational               An Organizational Development workshop in West
     development expertise among LWR’s headquarter and                          Africa produces an impressive turnout, and even
                                                                                more impressive results —equipping LWR partners
     regional staffs we assist every group we work with,
                                                                                with the tools they need to improve themselves
     including ourselves, to be the best they (and we) can be.                  and their services.

     Stronger organizations mean better programs. But, they also
     create another important legacy—vibrant civil society
     organizations. In the U.S., we have a strong tradition of
     citizen’s groups, voluntary organizations and not-for-profits.
     In many societies, this is still an emerging trend; in fact,
     it is one of the most positive trends we see in our work to
     eradicate poverty and empower communities. Strong civil
     society organizations can model solutions to urgent problems,
     promote good governance and give voice to people who are
     normally ignored in policy discussions and decision-making.

“Organizational Effectiveness” would be a good way to sum up the criteria used to award
LWR the Standards of Excellence Award from the Maryland Association of Nonprofit
Organizations. LWR was the first international relief and development organization to
earn the award, based on our score on a series of benchmarks for strong management,
our internal evaluation system for measuring effectiveness, and responsible governance
and fundraising. This highly regarded certification process is now being adopted nationally.

with the 2004 InterAction Humanitarian Award, in recogni-
tion of its leadership in defending human rights in one of
                                                                      A case in point.
the world’s most difficult contexts.                                  A shining example of how LWR works with
                                                                      its partners to make them better.
Effective organizations grow and evolve just as people
do. And just like people, organizations can optimize their
health — and how well they achieve their mission—with                 KVI is a school and home for impoverished youth and AIDS
                                                                      orphans in southern Uganda. KVI teaches construction
careful monitoring, evaluation and exercise. That’s where
                                                                      skills, tailoring and agricultural techniques that allow youth
organizational development comes in.
                                                                      to support themselves and their families.

                                                                      When LWR first began working with KVI, they were
                                                                      struggling to survive, suffering from a lack of organization,
LWR’s approach.                                                       inadequate funding and no vision for the future. LWR
                                                                      immediately went to work to help KVI become a better-run
LWR empowers an organization’s staff to strengthen itself.            group. Using experience we’ve gained working with other
Typically, an outside “expert” comes in to tell an organization       groups throughout our sixty-year history, we helped KVI
what it is doing wrong and how it must change. LWR works              strengthen its management and administrative systems.
closely with our partners so that they are equipped to diagnose       We advised them in hiring relevant and qualified staff. We
themselves. This self-diagnosis reveals what is healthy and           helped re-orient them into a more businesslike operation.
what needs attention, and cultivates greater commitment and
                                                                      We also coordinated a tour for KVI’s president, Brother
enthusiasm for making the needed improvements. LWR under-
                                                                      Hillary Kazoora, to visit a similar group in Ethiopia. Thanks
takes a similar self-assessment as well as external review.
                                                                      to LWR he returned with the vision of a successfully run
                                                                      organization and some specific ideas that he would later
Just like LWR, one of our longest-standing partner                    incorporate into KVI.
organizations is also committed to continuous improvement.
So recently LWR and the Churches Auxiliary for Social                 Today, KVI is the epitome of success…as are its
Action (CASA), in India, worked together to prepare CASA              students, who have built all of the school’s buildings
for a joint LWR-CASA grant from the U.S. Government.                  and who grow all of their own food. KVI teaches students
With LWR, CASA also reviewed their financial management               specific trade skills, and how to market themselves and
and personnel policies to assure better compliance in dealing         save for starting their own businesses. Some alumni are
with new funding sources. With LWR technical assistance,              entering university to earn Civil Engineering degrees.
they implemented a computerized financial accounting                  The government of Uganda has recognized KVI’s impor-
system to increase efficiency. All of which enables CASA              tant role in its community with two scholarships per
                                                                      year. KVI even provides technical assistance to other
to better serve the more than three million people in India
                                                                      community-based organizations.
they serve each year.
                                                                      The crowning achievement though, the validation
LWR helps the groups it works with be the best they can               of our work with partners like KVI, came when Brother
be. We work closely with our partners to help guarantee               Hillary recently informed us that our financial support
their long-term effectiveness, while ensuring the financial           was no longer required! KVI was healthy and able
investment we make into each of them on behalf of our                 to serve Ugandan youth without our assistance.
donors is money well spent.                                           Mission accomplished.

     Wearing his faith
     This is the first of a series about people in the LWR family who put their faith in action, typifying the passion

     Kirk Betts is a successful lawyer by any stretch of the imagi-     Kirk says his faith has shaped him professionally and that
     nation. He’s in Who’s Who in America, has represented clients      it continues to influence his law practice. “I just as often
     in matters submitted to the Supreme Court, has co-authored         tell clients ‘no,’” says Betts, in describing his professional
     legislation and is the managing partner of the energy law firm     approach. “I steer them toward reconciliation and solving
     of Betts & Holt in Washington, DC, a practice that specializes     bigger problems; I counsel them that justice involves more
     in negotiating power supply arrangements for municipal utili-      than just winning or getting back at someone.” He’s surround-
     ties and large consumers of electricity and natural gas. But
                                                                        ed himself with like-minded professionals, adding, “We
     start up a conversation about what drives Kirk, and you’ll soon
                                                                        started this firm to capitalize on the fact that people of charac-
     get to the heart of his personal and professional success.
                                                                        ter, whose faith is important to them, can resolve problems
                                                                        without always resorting to litigation. It’s easier to reach
     Kirk’s faith plays an important role in his life. An active mem-
                                                                        consensus when all involved share this view,” he continues.
     ber, and former VP of the church council of St. Luke Lutheran
     Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, Kirk also is Chairman of
                                                                        In addition to his law firm, Kirk also founded Angel Energy,
     the Board of Managers of his church’s Hallowood Conference
                                                                        a buying cooperative that provides free legal services for
     and Retreat Center. He also is on the President’s Council of
                                                                        churches and other non-profits to help them save money on
     Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and is active
                                                                        their utility bills. Angel Energy was formed to allow these
     in ELCA’s Metro DC Synod.
                                                                        organizations to reinvest their savings into outreach activities
                                                                        they might not otherwise have been able to afford.

                                                                        speaking .
                                                                        Hearing Kirk Betts speak about his faith is an easy way to
                                                                        get to know him better. This is an excerpt from a sermon
                                                                        Kirk preached on Pentecost, 2004, “Promises, Promises.”

                                                                        I witnessed how the Holy Spirit—and Jesus’ promises—work
                                                                        through us several years ago when I went to Guachipilin, a
                                                                        small village in El Salvador, and one of four communities
                                                                        where LWR had a nutrition project. “Nutrition project” sounds
                                                                        like food, but it is so much more. Of course, it involves learn-
                                                                        ing how to grow a crop—in this case soybeans—but it also
                                                                        includes building a seed bank for the next crop, preparing soy
                                                                        meal to make soy bread and soy milk, sanitation and health

            LWR established a nutrition program to help
           mothers better care for their children. And it
     worked…reducing the death rate of children under
     age five from 70 percent to less then ten percent!
                                                            {           care, a plan to relocate houses out of flood prone areas, and
                                                                        the type of support that helps a community plan for itself
                                                                        how to accomplish these tasks. LWR provided the seeds and
                                                                        fertilizer, an agronomist, physician, and teacher, and materials
                                                                        for a community shelter and a high efficiency wood-burning
                                                                        stove made out of mud, to prepare the soymilk and meal.
  on his sleeve.
n for this ministry and living out their Christian faith in their everyday lives.

                                  Dressed for success, Kirk Betts, vice-chair of
                                the LWR board bundles up in the high plains of
                                 Bolivia to visit with partners and beneficiaries
                                                    of an LWR lima bean project.
       Guachipilin was selected because seven out of ten children           helped change the community with these construction projects,
       died before the age of five from dysentery or malnutrition.          but then he said this: The best thing to ever happen in
       A 70-percent death rate! Can you even imagine that? Within           Gauchipilin was LWR’s nutrition project. And here is why:
       28 months of starting this program, the death rate for children      Over his lifetime, he had watched most of his children die.
       had fallen to single digits; I saw no distended bellies. I saw       He thanked the Lutherans for making it possible for his
       children in school, and I saw hope, not hunger, in their eyes        children to watch their children grow up without the fear and
       and in the eyes of their parents.                                    pain of watching their children, and his grandchildren, die.

       You would be proud of Guachipilin for many reasons. To           Like ripples in a pond, LWR’s work in Guachipilin has had
       succeed, they had to organize themselves into functioning        other benefits. As a result of LWR and the faith-driven gen-
       committees. (Now, do we call this an oxymoron or a miracle?)     erosity of Lutherans, the inspired people of Guachipilin took
       There was a committee of men to collect fresh water—             their success on the road to four neighboring communities to
       meaning, every day for most of the year, they transported        share what they had learned. It is amazing to me that one
       water almost five miles—two barrels at a time—loaded on a        grant of only a few thousand dollars, literally seed money,
       cart drawn by an ox! Others worked the                                                     was the catalyst to change the lives
       fields. A women’s committee met three        It is amazing to me that one of people in eight communities. You
       times a week to grind the soybeans into grant of only a few thousand                        changed their world forever. And just
       meal for soy cakes and to boil the                                                            one other note: One of the women
       beans to make milk. Lacking bottles dollars, literally seed money, was                         who developed community organizing
       and refrigeration, they bagged the                                                           skills through this project shared with
                                                  the catalyst to change the lives
       milk in small plastic bags, and each                                                       us that what she had experienced gave
       child under five would get a bag and     of people in eight communities. her hope, and emboldened her to send
       soy cake four times a week; the older You changed their world forever. her daughter to high school, which
       children received milk and soy cake                                                         she was about to finish, and to start
       twice a week. The little children would bite the bag and sip     college—the first high school grad and the first college
       nutritious soymilk from teeth holes. With the help of a visiting student from Guachipilin in its history!
       physician who provided immunizations, they became healthier
       and stronger—physically and emotionally. As part of what we      In these foreign lands so often racked by war and dislocation,
       call capacity building—the community developed the plans         in the spirit of the living Lord, Lutherans, through LWR,
       and skills to make this opportunity work. They were genuinely    bring people hope, not handouts; we stand with them and
       empowered by their success.                                      accompany them in their journey. Through God’s grace, we
                                                                        share our incredible blessings—our time, ourselves, our
       You would have been moved, as I was, by the testimony of the     possessions, signs of his gracious love—and the promise
       village leader. This was a man who, over time, had secured       that he will be with us when we do things in his name.
       grants from German and French non-profit organizations to
       build a three-room school and a large water tank to store water  You can read this sermon in its entirety on the LWR website
       during the dry season. He proudly told everyone how he had       at Grateful appreciation to Kirk Betts.
     Edna Wagschal…
     still going, and going, and going.
     A great way to learn about the history of LWR, and about
     what motivates both staff and ardent supporters, is to
     spend some time with Edna Wagschal. During her fifteen-
     year tenure with LWR, from 1975 to 1990, Edna worked as
     a congregational liaison, an early Study Visit coordinator and
     as a creator of communication materials. She’s still at it
     today, teaching people about LWR and our ministry. TOTO
     caught up with this star from our past to shed some light on
     her remarkable, and still-active energy and passion for LWR.

                   “LWR is the perfect Christian response to
                 meeting the needs of so many in this world,
              and of sharing our blessings with others,” says
               former LWR employee Edna Wagschal, shown
                here with husband, Pastor Francis Wagschal.
     TOTO: What changes did you experience during your                In its concern for all people and for the responsible use of
     career with LWR?                                                 the earth’s resources, LWR is a living model of God’s call
                                                                      for all the faithful to be God’s witnesses on earth. Its work
     EDNA: Besides the obvious ones in personnel, an important        combines all of my concerns for equality and justice for all,
     change was our understanding the importance of working           and for good stewardship of the earth. And LWR does so
     with others in full partnership…that we learn from them as       with good stewardship of the gifts it receives.
     they learn from us. We learned that we were most effective
     when we did not approach the needs of others as if we knew       TOTO: What reactions do you get from people
     what was best for them. We learned to listen and then work       who learn about LWR for the first time from you?
     together on agreed-upon goals.
                                                                      EDNA: Often the first reaction is, “Why hasn’t someone
     TOTO: What is it about LWR, versus other worthy                  told us all of this before?” Not everyone will make LWR the
     causes, that compels you to support us so vigorously             main focus of their ministry; but being knowledgeable about
     and faithfully?                                                  LWR means they are aware of this special ministry and proud
                                                                      of what is being done in their name. That is why I am happy
     EDNA: I’m committed to LWR because I firmly believe              for the activity of the Speakers Bureau and the Study Visits.
     in its integrity as an organization and the work it does
     responsibly throughout the world. That integrity is why I        TOTO: Any closing thoughts?
     have always been able to speak with assurance and passion
     about LWR’s ministry. As a Christian, I take seriously God’s     EDNA: Including LWR in a will is a perfect way to continue
     commands, in both Old and New Testaments, to work for            supporting what is so important now with a gift later. That’s
     justice for all, including those we don’t know or with whom      why I put LWR in my will, and I encourage others to do
     we don’t agree. God loves all people and has given us the        likewise. Lutherans should be so very proud of LWR!
     commission to minister in God’s name.

a $500,000
vote of confidence.
Every time someone supports Lutheran World Relief with
a monetary gift, it’s a vote of confidence for how effective
                                                                                                            Photo: Hege Opseth, NCA/ACT/Caritas
LWR is in helping people live, as our Vision Statement says,
“with justice, dignity and peace.” LWR received just such a                    LWR and its partners are adept at providing
vote recently when the founders of eBay awarded Lutheran
World Relief a gift of $500,000 through the Pierre and
Pamela Omidyar Fund at the Peninsula Community
Foundation® of Menlo Park, California. The Omidyar’s
                                                                       }       protection and counseling for women traumatized
                                                                               by rape and violence. Many still are subject
                                                                               to assault outside the camps and, with their
                                                                               children, are vulnerable to abuse that can occur
                                                                               within camp communities.
gift was a response by the Foundation to provide for people
in greatest danger in what is judged to be the world’s worst           The Omidyar’s $500,000 gift was awarded only after a
current humanitarian crisis. In providing this much-needed             review of LWR’s work, management and successful relief
funding for the Western Sudan/Chad Darfur crisis, the                  and development track record. Their generous gift is already
foundation cited LWR for its work.                                     providing life-saving assistance to families in Sudan, where
                                                                       LWR and our partners have a long, successful history. The
                                                                       gift will be used to provide water, sanitation, and shelter to
                                                                       vulnerable persons displaced by the conflict. LWR’s work
                                                                       surpasses just meeting these immediate needs, however.
                                                                       Already we’re taking our hallmark longer-term vision of
                                                                       restoring dignity and livelihoods and re-weaving the social
                                                                       fabric that is torn apart in such situations.

                                                                       You can give LWR a vote of confidence, and help the people
                                                                       displaced by this violence, by making your own gift to LWR.
                                                                       For more information on our advocacy efforts related to the
                                                                       humanitarian crisis in Sudan or to help LWR respond to the
                       Photo: Hege Opseth, NCA/ACT International
                                                                       needs of the people in Sudan with a contribution, please visit
       LWR and its partners are supporting camp
   construction, including water and sanitation for
 as many as 30,000 refugees in neighboring Chad.                   {   our website at The need in Sudan is immedi-
                                                                       ate. And unfortunately, it will also be long lasting. Help
                                                                       support LWR’s efforts in Sudan with a contribution today.

Seeing her through.                                                                   “My faith is at the center of whatever I do.
                                                                                         Although I am answerable to my bosses,
                                                                                         I am aware of my higher accountability
                   As impressive as her professional qualifications
                   are, and they are, LWR’s East Africa Representative,                    to God. So in times when I feel almost
                   Asenath Omwega, has a personal and spiritual                         overwhelmed with work, I am inspired by
                   resolve that is inspiring to all who meet her. A                    the promises that God has given us in His
                   popular and unforgettable addition to LWR Study                        word — that He will be with us always.
                   Visits to East Africa, Asenath has this to say                          I take the word ‘always’ quite literally,
                   about her spiritual side.                                            meaning regardless of the circumstances.
                                                                                         That’s what gets me through the despair
                                                                                               and injustice and oppression I see
                       }     A strong personal faith in God strengthens
                             LWR employee Asenath Omwega during
                             difficult times.
                                                                                                                 on a daily basis.”
THE 90-TON CHALLENGE…what challenge?
                                                  Thanks to lots of word-of-mouth promotion, some
                                                  fervent coffee drinkers…and some excellent coffee,
                                                  the LWR Coffee Project’s 90-Ton Challenge has nearly
                                                  accomplished its lofty goal. With room to spare!

                                                  As of July 31, 2004, sales through the project had
                                                  reached 82 tons! And we’ve still got until September 30th
                                                  to go. So if you haven’t already, get your parish involved in this simple
                                                  project that has profound effects on the lives of small-scale coffee
                                                  farmers around the world. And don’t forget, fair trade coffee makes
                                                  wonderful gifts (the holidays are approaching: hint, hint).

                                                  Pour justice not just to the brim, but let it overflow! Order your fair trade
                                                  coffee today at or by calling 774-776-7366. Remember to
                                                  mention LWR when you order. And remember that a percentage of your

    Buying fair trade helps farmers and workers   purchases through the LWR Coffee Project gets returned to LWR, which we
    like these in a Nicaraguan co-op that         reinvest through our Small Farmer Fund to coffee-growing communities
    processes coffee for our partner there.       throughout the world. Drink up!

       Participants in LWR Study Visits learn about fair
       trade coffee firsthand. And two trips are planned
                 for 2005. Learn more at                    }
A gift for all reasons.

                                                                                Keep your eyes peeled for a brand new way to
                                                                                support our ministry...and to honor someone on
                                                                                your holiday gift list. The LWR Community Quilt
      Give a new well in                                                        is a creative way for individuals, families and
   India, a bag of seeds
                                                                                groups to support the many ways LWR fights
                                                                                poverty, hunger and oppression.
 in Bolivia, a bicycle in
    Uganda, a teacher’s                                                         With giving opportunities ranging from $5 and up,
  salary in Equador…or                                                          the LWR Community Quilt helps support those most
any number of creative                                                          deserving of your graciousness. Your gift recipient
      gifts in support of                                                       will receive an invaluable gift from you when you
     LWR’s work around                                                          honor them with your support of LWR’s ministry.
               the world.
                                                                                When you give a quilt square from the LWR
                                                                                Community Quilt, you give children hope. You
                                                                                give women a voice. You give families a better
                                                                                chance to live a life of dignity. With each quilt
                                                                                square you give, you let communities in need
                                                                                around the world know you’re here for them.
                 COMING SOON!
                                                                                      NON-PROFIT ORG.
                                                                                      U.S. POSTAGE PAID
                                                                                         Baltimore, MD
                                                                                         Permit No. 355
    700 Light Street
    Baltimore, MD 21230

A gift for all reasons.

                                                   Keep your eyes peeled for a brand new way to
                                                   support our ministry...and to honor someone on
                                                   your holiday gift list. The LWR Community Quilt
      Give a new well in                           is a creative way for individuals, families and
   India, a bag of seeds
                                                   groups to support the many ways LWR fights
                                                   poverty, hunger and oppression.
 in Bolivia, a bicycle in
    Uganda, a teacher’s                            With giving opportunities ranging from $5 and up,
  salary in Equador…or                             the LWR Community Quilt helps support those most
any number of creative                             deserving of your graciousness. Your gift recipient
      gifts in support of                          will receive an invaluable gift from you when you
     LWR’s work around                             honor them with your support of LWR’s ministry.
               the world.
                                                   When you give a quilt square from the LWR
                                                   Community Quilt, you give children hope. You
                                                   give women a voice. You give families a better
                                                   chance to live a life of dignity. With each quilt
                                                   square you give, you let communities in need
                                                   around the world know you’re here for them.
                 COMING SOON!