It’s customary in an annual report to tell the reader of the accomplishments of the previous year. This I am glad to do. With the generous help of our supporters, the American Friends Service Committee worked in more than 25 countries, engaging untold thousands of people in our economic, food security, and conflict resolution programs. Across the United States, we mobilized propeace events to end the war in Iraq, supported the immigrant communities
that contribute so much to our labor pool and vibrant community life, and focused on channeling our nation’s resources into human needs.
I also want to note the AFSC’s 90-year history which we celebrated in 2007. From the beginning in 1917, donors and volunteers have been the backbone of our world-ranging work. Whether rebuilding after war or a natural disaster, being present as an advocate for peaceful resolution of conflict in neighborhoods in turmoil, or listening and supporting those in grassroots struggles, the Service Committee has benefited from their commitment.
We asked our long-time partners to share their “Reflections” on the organization and what AFSC has meant in their lives. You will find some of their submissions throughout this report.
As one loyal donor said, “Thank you for teaching by touching the lives of those who give and those who receive that heroism and hope, like hunger and anger, that courage and caring, like poverty and pain, are part of the human condition, and that we connect with the best of ourselves by reaching out for friends we’ve not yet met.”
AFSC is glad to be your connection with friends whom you “have not yet met.”
As you read this report and learn about our accomplishments, know that you who make our worldwide programs possible are present in the lives of children in Haiti, in homes in Indonesia, in training workshops in Afghanistan, in schools around the United States, in pro-peace demonstrations in our communities, in lush gardens in Bosnia, in reconciling encounters in Africa, in youth poetry jams for peace and human rights, and in meetings at the United Nations.
As we celebrated our 90th anniversary, many of you wished AFSC well and a long life—and promised to continue your financial support. In turn, we promise to honor your confidence and take strength from your encouragement in the years ahead.
With warm wishes and prayers for peace,
Mary Ellen McNish