Founded in 1931, CFSC provided relief for victims of the Spanish Civil War. CFSC was begun by representatives of the three different Quaker Yearly Meetings in Canada at that time, much as American Friends Service Committee was founded by representatives of American Quaker Yearly Meetings in 1917. During World War II, CFSC organized a Friends Ambulance Unit to bring medical care to the Chinese frontier. In the 1960s, CFSC followed its tradition of providing aid to all who suffer in war, regardless of partisan affiliation, by sending medical supplies to the Red Cross societies of North Vietnam, South Vietnam and the Viet Cong.
The Canadian Friends Service Committee continues these traditions today, assisting projects in support of Friends' concerns around the world. In Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam CFSC supports the promotion of organic agriculture. In Canada, CFSC helps refugees from regions of conflict around the world, supports aboriginal people in their struggle for justice, and promotes conflict resolution and alternative responses to crime in the community.
Funding for CFSC comes from individual donors who support Friends' witness for peace, our commitment to international service, and our work for justice. CFSC is a registered charity for income tax purposes and donations to CFSC are received with gratitude. Quaker Concern, our quarterly newsletter, brings news of our activities to more than 4000 donors and supporters. For qualified international projects, Canadian Friends Service Committee receives matching funding from the Canadian International Development Agency.
CFSC supports 15 international projects ranging from vcational training for the victims of landmines in Cambodia to a rural training centre in Zimbabwe, and more than a dozen projects in Canada ranging from the Quaker Committee on Jails and Justice to the Alternatives to Violence Project.
The co-ordinator is Peter Chapman, and CFSC's other staff members are Marc Forget (Jails and Justce) and Mike Call (International). Former CFSC staffer Susan Reesor, who has been active in prison, justice and international development work, is now working in Cambodia.
In 1994, RSWR approved funding for 6 continuing projects and 11 new ones. A small program, its budget in 1994 was $76,559 U.S. It supports local grassroots initiates among people in developing countries.
Among the programs supported in 1994 include a sheep rearing co-operative and a farmers' credit union in Manjampoondi, India, a Women Development Society in central Nepal, an agricultural cooperative in Papaturro, El Salvador, and a skills training program for young women on the outskirts of Kinshasha, Zaire.
A Quaker in Residence is being supported at Ramallah Friends Schools, West Bank. Retha McCutchen of Northwest Yearly Meeting will serve as a teacher in Christianity and ethics, facilitator for visiting groups, and in general, a Friends presence to provide "sensitive access to the foundational Christian Quaker witness of the Friends Schools" in Ramallah. The influence of Ramallah Friends Schools is great. They are among the best schools in the West Bank, and have as graduates Palestinians such as Hannan Ashrawi, former negotiator for the PLO.
Other new FUM initiatives include sending two Friends from Iowa Yearly Meeting (FUM) to work at Friends Theological College in Kaimosi "in an important project to revitalize this leadership-training resource for East African Friends". Also in Kenya, a release African Friend, Isaiah Bikokwa, has been released by the Turkana Friends Mission to be in a ministry among the Samburu people in Kenya.
Last revision: Jan. 14, 1997 by Carl Stieren