On Nov. 15, Carolyn Vanderlip briefed the Council of General Synod about the aims of its new Canadian Anglican Partnership Program, of which she was appointed director in May.
“We have a network of diocesan reps, youth council and youth ambassadors, and parish representatives, and what we want to look at is how can we better support this amazing network that we have, to take action where they are, in their own context, in their own communities and around the world,” said Vanderlip.
For example, she said, Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) brought together diocesan representatives from 25 out of 30 dioceses, along with Geraldine Labradores, a PWRDF partner from the Philippines, in Peterborough, Ont., for three days of learning in October about the work of PWRDF. On a visit to a farm to learn about local food security issues, they met migrant workers from Mexico. “We were equipping folks with information and stories about PWRDF to take back to their own networks, their parishes, their dioceses and to share,” she said.
Six new PWRDF representatives have been appointed in the dioceses of Western Newfoundland, Qu’Appelle, Edmonton, Moosonee, Montreal and British Columbia.
Vanderlip also highlighted the next phase of PWRDF’s three-year “Fred Says” food security campaign, noting that the four new slogans are tied to PWRDF items in the General Synod “Gifts for Mission” guide that allows people to support specifiic General Synod ministries. “Rice is Nice” points to an opportunity to fund a rice mill in the Philippines that pays farmers more for their rice and charges less for milling it. “Kids Rock” is tied to an opportunity to provide a dairy goat for single mothers living with HIV/AIDS. “It’s easy being green” refers to Tamil refugees who cultivate a nutritious algae called spirulina and the cost of outfitting one tank. And “Veg Out” connects with a project that provides farmers in Tanzania with seeds and training.
She mentioned that PWRDF’s trial run as a partner in the national fundraiser Ride for Refuge was a success. With 10 teams from coast to coast, 40 riders and 383 donors, participation helped raise more than $18,000. “For our first year, it was an amazing event,” she said, adding that proceeds, which will be matched four times by the Canadian government, will support the Canadian Food Grains Bank project in South Sudan. Ride for Refuge is an annual continent-wide, non-competitive bike-a-thon that partners with more than 175 charities to raise funds for “the displaced, vulnerable and exploited.”
Vanderlip also highlighted two new resources produced by PWRDF. “Hunger is not a game” is a resource for youth, based on the Hunger Games movies. “Sharing Bread” was developed at the Sorrento Centre in B.C. and includes interactive modules and activities. It can include visiting a local farm or creating a meal with food produced within 100 miles, Vanderlip said.
Simon Chambers, communications co-ordinator, also updated the council on PWDRF’s work in the Philippines, helping people there to rebuild their lives and livelihoods in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful tropical cyclone ever to hit land. PWRDF raised more than $800,000 in relief funds, much of which was matched by the Canadian government. (See related story)