This month, the blue envelopes at St John’s support the work of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. As a member of the Board and a former member of the Youth Council, I am passionate about the work done by this organization on behalf of and with the support of Canadian Anglicans from coast to coast to coast.
Why am I involved with the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF)? As a trained counsellor much of what I do is about relationships and connections. As a result, I greatly appreciate the philosophy by which PWRDF operates.
We partner with organizations around the world who are doing incredible work within their communities. We are able to help support, resource, and provide education or other resources needed by the partners in order to accomplish their work. As a result, we are able to develop close family relationships with our partners; we rejoice with their accomplishments and want to roll up our sleeves and work harder with them.
Not only do I love the relationships that develop as a result of this model, but I believe that it is the way we can best honour the knowledge and the experience of our partners. With a partnership model, we understand that local people, embedded in their local contexts, know best what is needed to reach and develop their communities.
We don’t go into communities with the expectation that we know what they need. We don’t export “western” ideas or knowledge but encourage our partners as the experts in their circumstances and support them in whatever ways we are able as they carry out the important and vital work that they do.
For example, instead of us telling people how to get to hospital, our partners came to us and said they wanted to build trailers for their bicycles to use as ambulances. And the PWRDF sponsored Bicycle Ambulance program began! Click here to read more about PWRDF and Bike Ambulances.
To me this is what international development is really about, and I am proud to be a part of the work that PWRDF does.