The Rapidian

Relief & development organization changes name

With 50 successful years of international development work and disaster intervention under its belt, CRWRC is not only celebrating its golden anniversary this year, it is publicly changing its name to World Renew.
Underwriting support from:

CRWRC continuing as World Renew

World Renew is a registered non-profit organization in the U.S. and Canada that works to live justice, love mercy, and serve Jesus Christ through community development, disaster response, and justice education programs among people who live in extreme poverty around the world. For more information about the work and programs of World Renew,go to http://worldrenew.net/or call 800-552-7972.

The change, after vigorous debate and ultimate approval among the organization’s stakeholders in the last year, became a clear choice that received the endorsement of Synod, the Christian Reformed denomination’s decision-making body, in June.

“The organization has broadened and its scope has expanded exponentially since its start 50 years ago,” U.S. director Andrew Ryskamp said of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC). “Our work reaches well beyond the Christian Reformed Church, involves much more than disaster response, and has been overseen by a board, rather than a committee, for decades.”

Shortly after CRWRC became the denomination’s benevolence organization in 1962, its leaders began to add long-term solutions to extreme global poverty to their emergency disaster efforts, so that emergency assistance and sustainable community-building are carried out collaboratively among vulnerable people groups.

Today, World Renew responds to disasters in North America and in 27 developing countries. It works in 24 of these and other countries in sustainable transformation; it coordinates thousands of local and international volunteers; it encourages advocacy initiatives; and it helps build the capacity of impoverished communities by working with 76 faith-based and government organizations around the world.

Last year, World Renew touched the lives of 1.75 million people in more than 4,050 poor communities.

In Grand Rapids, World Renew supports community development through its partner Communities First Association, of which Wayne Squires of Partners in Neighborhood Transformation is a member. The purpose of PiNT is to train and mentor leaders, support organizations, and form coalitions in the ongoing work of Christian community development so that the health of churches and neighborhoods is increased. This purpose is being achieved through a team of gifted, experienced coaches who facilitate the application of asset-based principles and practices in particular neighborhoods.

Why the name World Renew?

“The name better reflects who we are and what we are about as a trusted, established non-profit that is working to help eradicate the root causes of extreme global poverty through the renewal of relationships with God, neighbor, and the environment,” says the organization’s Canada director, Ida Mutoigo. “Changing our name doesn’t change our work or convictions. As World Renew, our values and mandate as a Christian ministry are the same—to reach out to those who are struggling to survive poverty, hunger, disaster, and injustice around the world.”

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