Catholic Relief Services Launches Innovative Fundraising & Awareness Program for U.S. Donors

Catholic Relief Services
Thursday, 20 May 2004

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has unveiled a new fundraising and awareness program to bring essential aid and relief to endangered and impoverished villages around the world. The initial launch of the "Global Village Program" will direct funds to specific villages in India, a country where CRS has been operating since 1946.

Rather than focus on telling the story of individuals, the "Global Village Program" is a vehicle for telling the story of entire communities, and how the families within them struggle to remedy the root causes of poverty, sickness, and poor education in the townships and surrounding areas. The goal of the program is to educate U.S. donors and to provide them with a deeper, more profound understanding of CRS' work. Emphasis is placed on the outstanding needs of communities for effective irrigation systems, health clinics, schools, and other essential development assistance.

Select donors are being contacted now through mailed invitations, and anyone can follow the progress of the villages being covered by the program by visiting the dedicated www.myglobalvillage.org website. An online tour will provide the donor with timely dispatches from CRS representatives who visit the villages, and who collect human-interest stories, photographs, messages, progress reports, maps, and lists of pressing needs of each community.

"We are excited about the Global Village Program," says Ken Hackett, President of CRS. "It's a tool that allows us to tell the full story of our work and the people we serve—entire communities and areas, rather than the story of just one individual at a time. So many regions where CRS operates have endured great suffering for generations. The people may need a clinic, a source of portable water, decent classrooms, education in successful farming techniques, enlightenment about HIV/AIDS, or a safe haven from violence. Every community has unique needs, and our challenge is to help them address those needs and when we do, our actions can change these people's lives forever."

CRS is launching this unique program in two villages in India: Saraitoli and Sonmuth, both in the state of Chhattisgarh. Two additional villages in India will soon be added to the program, as well as villages in Malawi, Southern Africa and Guatemala. Other sites in Africa, Asia, and Latin America will follow.

For more information, or to contact Catholic Relief Services, see their website at: www.catholicrelief.org

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