Lutheran World Relief (LWR) was created in response to U.S. Lutherans' desires to find ways to send aid to Europe after World War II. Every day in 35 countries, LWR works to combat the causes of poverty and the dignity it robs from people's lives.
-We advocate for fair trade that helps farming families earn a better income.
-We teach people to better care for themselves their communities and the environment.
-We teach people how to be less vulnerable to natural disasters.
-We advocate with and for them for policy change that more fairly represents them.
-We counsel them after manmade and natural disasters, and help them recover with material aid.
LWR is often present in a crisis long before, and after, the headlines. We do all of this exclusively with partners from the communities we serve. Our partners help us remain incredibly efficient and effective. Our partners let us help people help themselves, for a day when they won't need us at all.
WHAT WE DO
Our development projects focus on issues at the root causes of poverty. These debilitating causes tend to domino into more and more problems that trap people in poverty.
By the same token, attacking just one of these issues can help break the cycle, making people’s lives better and freeing them from suffering in many ways.
LWR works with local partners to improve rural communities’ access to water, digging wells and drilling boreholes, building and restoring irrigation systems, providing clean drinking water during emergencies, and training communities on sanitation practices and water management.
Emergencies take many forms, and they can change life in an instant. When disaster strikes, LWR is there, providing life-saving relief and support to those most in need. And LWR’s response continues long after the headlines have faded, working with communities to rebuild their lives, recover their livelihoods, build resilience and pave the path to a brighter future.
LWR is a signatory to the Code of Conduct for NGOs in disaster relief and serves those in need regardless of race, religion or ethnicity.
In the countries where LWR works, agriculture is the backbone of rural life and of the economy. Almost everyone is a farmer: 70 or 80 percent of the labor force work on small farms. Yet despite the important role small farmers play in the world’s food production, they rarely benefit much from their labor.
LWR works with small-scale farmers to increase their food security and their participation in the agricultural value chain: helping them access credit, learn about improved agricultural inputs and techniques, increase their yields, access markets and, ultimately, improve their incomes — so the people who feed the world don’t have to worry about feeding their own families.
Lutheran World Relief helps rural communities adapt to the detrimental effects of changing weather patterns by focusing on agricultural techniques that make the best use of the land and water resources available. LWR is also increasingly incorporating mitigation activities like reforestation and alternative energy technologies into its climate work.
And with natural hazards like floods, droughts and severe weather ever more frequent in a changing climate, LWR also implements Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programs on the principle that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Investment in prevention now saves money on relief costs later; and by addressing the root causes of vulnerability, we can actually reduce these events’ impact on communities.
Health & Livelihoods
Diseases like malaria and HIV disproportionately affect people living in poverty. While being poor makes individuals and communities more vulnerable to the disease, its direct and indirect costs can also cripple economic vitality, and have lasting detrimental effects on local livelihoods. LWR works both to educate people about malaria and other diseases of poverty and to improve their economic situation so they are able to access health care services. By improving health care access and availability and ensuring proper use of preventive measures like bed nets, LWR is helping stem the tide of malaria and other devastating diseases.
In many of the rural communities where LWR works, people may not be aware of some of their basic rights as citizens. Grounded in the belief that the only lasting way to eradicate poverty and injustice is for impoverished communities to exercise their rights, LWR educates and empowers marginalized people to raise their voices, advocate with their governments, and participate in the decision making processes that affect their lives.
Where is Lutheran World Relief (LWR)