A day of remembrance

Hold the date! Special event July 21, 2011, in New York City to mark a CWS anniversary, two U.N. conventions, and a birthday!

Children re-settled following WWII
These children were among the first refugees CWS resettled following WWII.
Photo: CWS archive

Hold the date!  Special event July 21, 2011, in New York City to mark a CWS anniversary, two U.N. conventions, and a birthday!

From the day it was founded in 1946, Church World Service has worked continuously to find durable solutions for refugees and relieve hunger worldwide.

CWS brought together a chaotic proliferation of humanitarian agencies for coordinated relief and reconstruction following World War II.  In fact, in 1946, CWS provided 80 percent of all relief goods shipped from U.S. voluntary agencies to Europe and Asia.

Church World Service also was instrumental in developing the use of voluntary agencies for resettlement of refugees.  Before the end of 1946, CWS had resettled 1,488 refugees from war-ravaged Europe to communities across the United States.

Fast forward to 2011.  You’ll find a CWS that continues to mobilize $80 million a year for a now-global program of support for sustainable grassroots development, hunger relief, disaster response and refugee assistance.  

On July 21 in New York City, Church World Service will celebrate its achievements over the past 65 years, especially in the area of refugee protection.  It’s not an exaggeration to say that countless millions of lives have been saved because of the work of CWS.  These include the nearly 500,000 refugees from around the world whom CWS has helped resettle to the United States since 1946.

The July event will be held in conjunction with the CWS Immigration and Refugee Program 2011 National Conference (July 19-22), and will also mark three other anniversaries:

  • The 60th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, an international convention that defines who is a refugee, and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum.
  • The 50th anniversary of the UN Convention on Reduction of Statelessness, dealing with the issue of nationality and the still unresolved problem of stateless persons.  A 2010 United Nations report estimated 12 million of the world’s people to be stateless.
  • The 150th birthday of Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen, a Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat and humanitarian who in 1922 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work as the League of Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees on behalf of the displaced survivors of World War I and related conflicts.

Want more information/an invitation to the July 21, 2011, CWS anniversary event?  Send an email to irp@churchworldservice.org or write CWS Immigration and Refugee Program, Attn. 2011 Event Team, Suite 700, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115.  Please include your postal address.


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