Canadian Lutheran World Relief

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Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) is a humanitarian agency engaged in community development, refugee resettlement, emergency relief, basic commodity shipments, volunteer placement and alternative trade.


CLWR was founded in March 1946 by Lutherans in Canada who wished to respond to refugee and relief needs following the Second World War. This facilitated the sending of clothing, bedding, blankets, and food to displaced persons in Europe. Also, thousands of refugees were assisted in finding a new home in Canada.[see Grams]

Current Scope of Work[edit]

Development work is focused in Zambia, Mozambique, India, Bolivia and Peru. A small scale irrigation program is operated in Ethiopia through Canadian Foodgrains Bank, of which CLWR is a founding member. Relief commodities are shipped to where needed most and to where they can be most effectively transported, this being primarily in Africa. Recent shipments have been directed to Mauritania, Zambia, and Tanzania. Refugees come from Africa, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Community Development[edit]

Community development is undertaken in partnership with the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), with support funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)[1] and donations from individual supporters. CLWR works with other local partners in Bolivia and Peru as well as in Ethiopia, where food-for-work programs assist communities in constructing water projects. In all project countries, goals include food security, economic development, environmental protection, gender equality, organizational strengthening, and HIV and AIDS prevention. CLWR recognizes the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals in planning community development.

Refugee Resettlement[edit]

Since 1979, CLWR has sponsored refugees as an official Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) with the Government of Canada. Each year, roughly one hundred refugees are resettled by CLWR into Canada. CLWR’s Toronto and Vancouver offices administer the refugee program.

Emergency Relief[edit]

CLWR responds to natural and human disasters in partnership with other members of the international aid networks of the LWF and Action by Churches Together (ACT) International. 100 percent of all donations designated for emergency response measures are forwarded for relief activities; CLWR retains no portion for administration costs.[2]

Basic Commodity Shipments - We Care Kits and Quilts[edit]

Through the We Care program, thousands of donated kits and quilts are delivered annually into situations of need around the world. We Care kits are assembled by individuals and groups who are interested in supporting this part of CLWR’s work. Kits contain clothing, hygiene products, school supplies, sewing goods and more.

International Volunteer Service[edit]

CLWR offers volunteer opportunities in developing countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia. The duration of these placements range from six months to two years and are organized in cooperation with partner organizations in the country of destination. Often the partner is the LWF. The variety of work is broad and is based on the skills of the volunteers and the needs of the host organization.

Working in Alliance[edit]

CLWR is a member of ACT Development, a global alliance of churches and related agencies working on development that are committed to working together.


  1. ^ "Main CIDA Partners"
  2. ^ "CNW Group news release - Aid agency, CLWR, calls for more support for relief efforts in Haiti following Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike"

External links[edit]

Grams, Grant W.: T.O.F. Herzer and His work with German speaking Immigration to Canada, in Journal of Canadian Church Historical Society, XLVII (2006) pp. 161–183