September 17, 2012—With 50 successful years of international development work and disaster intervention under its belt, the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) is not only celebrating its golden anniversary this year, it is publicly changing its name to World Renew.
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,” CRWRC U.S. director Andrew Ryskamp said. “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.
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.”
Members of the media who would like to interview about CRWRC’s name change to World Renew, contact Ida Mutoigo, director, at 800-730-3490, or Tom McWhertor, development director, at cell 616-491-9013. Or call media contact Beth DeGraff at cell 616-648-7821.
World Renew is launching a new website today! You will find more information and FAQs about the organization’s name change at worldrenew.net/namechange.
In 2012, World Renew is celebrating 50 years of ministry around the world as the community transformation and disaster response agency of the Christian Reformed Church in North America! For more information about area celebrations in the U.S. and Canada, or to read 52 historical stories about World Renew’s work, go to worldrenew.net/50.
For more information about the work and programs of World Renew, go to worldrenew.net or call 800-552-7972.
Ida Kaastra-Mutoigo, Director
Tom McWhertor, Development Director