ELCA World Hunger Responds to Christ’s call to “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37)
Thursday, February 21st, 2013 at 1:35 pm
ELCA World Hunger responds to hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world by addressing root causes. Through a comprehensive program of relief, development, education, and advocacy, people are connected to the resources they need to lift themselves out of poverty. Between 70-75 percent of ELCA World Hunger funds are spent internationally, and 20-25 percent are spent domestically. Together, in Christ’s name, we experience the transforming power of connection. As individuals, congregations, and synods, our humble offerings and actions are gathered, blessed, and multiplied. Together, we are ELCA World Hunger.
The international work of ELCA World Hunger is carried out through ELCA companion relationships as well as through trusted partners like Lutheran World Relief (LWR) and The Lutheran World Federation (LWF). Because of these long-held connections to partners around the world, ELCA World Hunger efforts are efficient and effective. The domestic work of ELCA World Hunger is carried out primarily through the Domestic Hunger Grants Program (relief, development, and community organizing projects) and Education and Advocacy Grants.
In Colombia, Life Must Go On: Gladys could have easily given up – and she admits to having thought about it. She lost her husband, five of her brothers and a stepson from the conflict in Colombia that has been afflicting the country for six decades. She was driven from her home four times and eventually became a refugee in her own country.
But – “Pa’lante pa’ya!” says Gladys: “Life has to go on!” Today Gladys is the coordinator of a self-help group, made up of women who have lost almost everything to the conflict. “Many of us were driven off our own land, and in many cases our husbands have been killed,” explains Gladys.
The women in the group, including Gladys, had to pick up and start over. Many ended up in slum-like communities – without a means to sustain themselves and with little hope for the future – until they became organized.
The women formed a group and received a grant from The Lutheran World Federation, supported by your gifts to ELCA World Hunger. Now, thanks to your support, the women grow organic vegetables and raise chickens.
“We have clean, healthy food for our families and recently we have had a bit extra that we can sell,” stated Gladys. She is proud of the group’s success. “But it’s not just about producing food. We organize, help ourselves and advocate to improve the situation for women in our society.”
Colombia has the second highest number of refugees in the world. The Lutheran World Federation provides service and care for 1.2 million of the world’s refugees. Your gifts to ELCA World Hunger help make this work possible – providing opportunities to those who otherwise wouldn’t have it.
MEET MARIA JOSE
In Mozambique, Learning to Lead: With the support of the ELCA Malaria Campaign and our companion church’s malaria project, 34 leaders from seven area churches gathered at a Lutheran church to learn how to help neighbors prevent and treat malaria.
For two days, the leaders learned together about how the disease is transmitted, how to prevent infection, and how and when to seek treatment.
And most importantly they learned how to pass on this vital information in a simple, effective and memorable way. At the end of the two-day trainings, they all took what they learned into action.
Mosquito nets were distributed to pregnant women and mothers of small children. They also taught women in the community how to use the nets to keep their families safe from malaria.
Maria Jose was delighted to receive a net that day from the Rev. Eduardo Sinalo.
In the less than two years since the ELCA Malaria Campaign joined the global movement to fight malaria, reduction from the number of deaths has been significant.
We are a church that believes God is calling us into the world – together. Working with local congregations, global companions, ecumenical partners and trained leaders we achieve more than we ever could alone. And your generosity is the spark that makes it happen.
MEET HASSAN AND MAKO
In Ethiopia, Training to Improve Lives: Farming is the way of life for Hassan and Mako. In the past, it was always a challenge to yield enough crops to feed the family. There often wasn’t enough and they were left hungry and weak. Hassan and Mako weren’t sure what to do.
All of that changed when they decided to attend training sessions on how to improve their lives and grow more vegetables in their garden. They not only learned how to produce more vegetables, but also learned how to raise and distribute seeds to sell.
The health of the entire family has improved and they are now earning an income.
Hassan eagerly speaks about the change in his family’s life. “There is a big difference. We are now much better off than we were before. My family used to be very weak. We had never received any training on how to improve our lives.”
The Lutheran World Federation, supported by your gifts to ELCA World Hunger, is working to make a difference and improve people’s lives through programs like the trainings Hassan and Mako attended.
With enough income to sustain their family, they are one step closer to breaking the cycle of poverty. Your gifts to ELCA World Hunger support this program and others like it in Ethiopia and nearly 50 countries around the world.
In the United States, Hope During Hard Times: Jason Williams had fallen on hard times. He lost hope and didn’t know where to turn. All that changed after he visited Family Promise – a ministry in Bozeman, Montana, supported by gifts to ELCA World Hunger.
Family Promise works with homeless families and individuals to tailor personalized plans to help take the necessary steps toward lasting independence.
“I cannot contain the joy the program left me with and continues to instill in me today,” says Jason.
Family Promise provided Jason with food, clothing and shelter. He worked with a case manager to get back on his feet and become self-sustainable.
Many lives, including Jason’s, have been touched and changed forever with the help of Family Promise. Jason put in a lot of hard work and with a little help from Family Promise, he is back on his feet again.
Jason is thankful for the help and support he got when he needed it the most. He says, “I am grateful every day for Family Promise!”
Because of the support from people like you, ELCA World Hunger is able to give grants to organizations like Family Promise. Together, we are addressing the root causes of hunger and poverty in communities in the United States and around the world.
Your gifts are urgently needed to support the response to the root causes of hunger and poverty. Donations to ELCA World Hunger support relief and development projects in over 50 countries worldwide, including hundreds of anti-hunger ministries in the United States. You may make a gift online Visit www.elca.org/hunger to learn more.
ELCA Word Hunger welcomes your questions. Call them at 1-800-638-3522 or e-mail us with any questions.
Stories courtesy of ELCA World Hunger.