FORT WORTH, Texas â€“ The future of the Anglican Relief and Development Fund is one of nearly unlimited growth. In meetings here on Sept. 21 & 22, the Fundâ€™s international Board of Trustees heard about significant milestones of the past year, approved $400,000 in projects for the year ahead, and began to dream of a global future.
Founded just six years ago, the Fund has attracted a Board of Trustees that includes six Anglican Archbishops representing the Global South, the numerical majority of the Anglican Communion, and Baroness Caroline Cox, a member of the British House of Lords who is a champion of humanitarian causes. The Boardâ€™s Global South trustees take responsibility for approving all ARDF projects, which are carried out primarily in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. North American trustees, now including two members from Canada, are responsible for funding, though funds have begun to flow from Australia, Singapore, and other parts of the Anglican world.
In the fiscal year ending this past June 30, ARDF doubled its income as well as its number of donors. Donor supported emergency relief projects totaling $647,000 for Chile, Haiti, Indonesia, Malawi, Myanmar, Samoa, and Uganda. Development projects were completed in Ethiopia, Nepal, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. ARDF also made a significant investment in planning for its future, looking at ways to increase the organizationâ€™s capacity to develop and fund mission projects and to invite more individuals to participate in ARDFâ€™s mission to transform lives by bringing help and hope to those in need.
Chairman Bill Deiss, a member of The Falls Church in Virginia, challenged the Board with a 10-year vision that would increase the Fundâ€™s budget to $12 million by 2015 and an additional $24 million by 2020. Jennifer Pioch, ARDFâ€™s International Project Director, reported on the assessment process that evaluates each project upon completion to insure the effectiveness of every dollar spent and to improve the success rate of future undertakings.
At the direction of the board, the six development projects approved on the second day of the meeting are all to be based in Congo. Projects in Ghana and Cameroon are in the pipeline for 2011, and ARDF will launch an initiative in Sudan as soon as the political situation there stablizes. The projects include skills training for former soldiers, small business for women, an agricultural cooperative, and building projects.
Australians invited to our meetings expressed interest in the feasibility of establishing an Australian entity which could mirror the vision, objectives and methodology of ARDF. The Board spent part of its time in worship and prayer, with special intentions for victims of natural disasters and civil unrest.
Bishop Tito Zavala of Chile reported on the situation in his diocese following the earthquake earlier this year. A full list of the bishops and archbishops present at the meeting is below.
ARDF Director Nancy Norton joined the board in extending thanks to the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth for its hospitality, especially the parish of St. Andrewâ€™s Episcopal Church, where the meetings were held, the local families who were hosts to the visiting leaders, the diocesan World Mission Committee, and the sponsors of a dinner held in Fort Worth to introduce ARDF to the clergy and lay leaders in Tarrant County.
The visiting Anglican bishops and archbishops were:
â€¢ The Most Rev. Justice O. Akrofi, Bishop of Accra (Ghana) and Primate of West Africa
â€¢ The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Anis, Bishop of Egypt and Primate of Jerusalem & the Middle East
â€¢ The Most Rev. John Chew, Bishop of Singapore and Primate of South East Asia
â€¢ The Most. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh and Archbishop of The Anglican Church in North America
â€¢ The Rt. Rev. Don Harvey, Moderator Bishop of the Anglican Network in Canada and Dean of the Anglican Church in North America
â€¢ The Rt. Rev. Abraham Yel Nhial, Bishop of Aweil (Sudan)
â€¢ The Rt. Rev. Hector â€œTitoâ€ Zavala, Bishop of Chile