The Committee for Week of Compassion held its first of two annual meetings last week to review and approve the works of this ministry you support. The committee approved a designated gift procedure, which outlines a process for designating gifts for specific projects, designed to strengthen both our relationships and accountability with our partners and donors. The committee also reviewed the 2015 budget, which reflects a 1.7% increase in unrestricted gifts-the highest undesignated contributions for Week of Compassion in five years. These gifts allowed us to expand our support to our partners in the areas of refugee support, sustainable development, and disaster response.
Our work around the global refugee crisis, specifically within the Middle East and Europe, has been a major focus for Week of Compassion for the past year. Since the start of 2015, Week of Compassion has provided close to $200,000 to our partners so they can provide humanitarian aid to the many families and children fleeing conflict. Week of Compassion is committed to and will continue to work with our partners to offer aid and hope to the millions of individuals affected.
The committee also approved 12 sustainable development projects in 12 countries totaling $217,220. Some of these projects include supporting the creation of small businesses for refugee mothers and widows in Iraq through our partner at Prosperity Catalyst; vocational training for youth Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone through Global Ministries; and a Burkitt's Lymphoma (a common childhood cancer predominantly affecting young children in areas with a high prevalence of malaria) treatment program in Tanzania through IMA World Health. In addition, the 3-year earthquake recovery plan in Haiti that the committee approved in 2014 will be completed this year. Over $700,000 in designated gifts, which fund the earthquake recovery plan, have helped families and communities to rebuild their lives after the 2010 earthquake.
Week of Compassion continues to strengthen our relationship with our partners in responding to the many recent tornadoes, floods, and wildfires in North America. We continue to work closely with Disciples Volunteering, the United Church of Christ, and the Church of the Brethren, and with these partners, we are in the process of launching the Disaster Response Support Initiative. This initiative will deploy recovery specialists to communities after disasters, where they will remain for a period of 2-12 months as a resource to the local recovery effort.
Week of Compassion continues to be a presence on behalf of the church in places where we are most needed and where we make a difference. Your gracious and generous support makes possible this remarkable work and the witnessing of the resurrection throughout the world. The Committee for Week of Compassion and the staff are grateful for your continued support and partnership.
Our Global Responses Since May 10th, 2016
Where you built relationships with struggling neighbors