by A. Scott Moreau and Mike O’Rear
We write this in the immediate aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001. We had previously decided to focus this installment on relief and development organizations.
We write this in the immediate aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001. We had previously decided to focus this installment on relief and development organizations. Now the need to be able to access information and organizations that focus ministry on disaster relief and local development has increased in importance. What does the Web have to offer in practical areas such as relief in the face of disasters and the skills to enable a community to develop? We provide access to two types of resources (www.mis links.org/practical/rdorgs.htm).
First, we link you to gateways of information resources on relief and development. Second, we provide links to 60 Christian organizations that offer relief and development services.
CHRISTIAN DIRECTORIES AND RESOURCES
Several sites provide links to multiple Christian organizations offering relief and development services. AERDO offers a list of their 41 member organizations (www.aerdo. org/member.htm) ranging from Adventist Relief & Development Agency (www.adra.org) to World Vision (www.worldvision.org/). In addition to the Web links, this list includes addresses, phone numbers and the names of selected officers for each organization. Through The Christian Mission Network Website SIM also provides a list of links to 36 relief and development organizations (www. christianmissions.net/missions/relief.html). CrossSearch (www. crosssearch.com), a service of Gospel com.net, provides a directory of more than 100 relief and development sites ranging alphabetically from ABECAR (abecar.org/)—a non-profit Brazilian organization dedicated to promoting education, culture, religion and assistance to homeless and abandoned children, to World Wide Disaster Relief by His Glory (www.wwdr.org)—a nonprofit global organization trained to search for and rescue people of nations hit with disasters, aid in relief from destruction, and help with their needs.
CrossDaily also provides links to 35 organizations (awesome.cross daily.com/list.php3?cat=200). Visitors can vote for the sites listed, with the top-vote getting sites placed at the top of the list.
The Network for Strategic Missions site provides a Knowledge Base (www.strategicnetwork.org/index.asp?loc=kb) with over 7,000 articles on missions organized by topic. On our Mislinks page we provide direct links to the topics “development.” Each topic has numerous articles as well as multiple sub-topics with further articles.
Wheaton College offers a course Web page for INTR 621, “Principles of Development” (www. wheaton.edu/MissionsCourses /621). Offered in the course materials are several items in Adobe Acrobat format which can be printed in the same format as the original documents. (Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to view these files. It can be downloaded for free from www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html). These include a bibliography of holistic resources (www. wheaton.edu/Missions/Courses/621/Bibliography.PDF) a list of organizations offering training in relief and development (www. wheaton.edu/Missions/Courses/621/Develop ment.PDF) and a list of holistic relief and development organizations with postal, phone, Web information, current chief officer and brief descriptions for each (www.wheaton. edu/Missions/Courses/621/Organizations. PDF).
Christian organizations are not the only ones involved in relief and development work. Several sites have lists that offer connections to the broader relief and development community. The Disaster Relief Center (www.disastercenter.htm) provides almost 90 links to agencies providing disaster assistance, most of them Christian organizations (www.disastercenter.com/agency.htm).
Disaster Relief (www.disaster relief.org) is a site sponsored by the American Red Cross, CNN Interactive and IBM. The mission of the site is “to help disaster victims and the disaster relief community worldwide by facilitating the exchange of information on the Internet.” Their links page (www.disasterrelief.org/Links/) offers connections to various Red Cross groups, disaster relief agencies, weather sites, government agencies and so on. They also offer an up-to-date disaster relief map of the world with links to in-process disaster events (www.disaster relief.org/EarthWatch).
Eldis (nt1.ids.ac.uk/eldis/), funded by Danida and Sida and hosted by the Institute of Development Studies (Sussex), is a massive gateway site. It offers a constantly growing set of links to online documents, organizations, databases, bibliographies, e-mail discussion lists, research project information, map and newspaper collections.”
MAP International has posted a page of several disaster and emergency links (www.map.org/disaster. htm). This is the best site for in-depth research.
HungerWeb (www.brown.edu/Departments/World_Hunger_Program), out of Brown University and funded by the World Hunger Program at Brown (www.brown.edu/Departments/World_Hunger_Program/
hungerweb/WHP/overview.html) supports the fight against hunger by making it possible for people to freely exchange problems and solutions related to world hunger. The site is divided into four categories accessible from the home page and each with dozens of links: research (“Institutions, research results, and major hunger related data sources”), field work (“NGOs, UN Agencies, situation updates, and reference materials”), advocacy and policy (“Organizations and materials, upcoming legislation”), and education and training (“Training materials for hunger education at all levels”).
Praxis (www.ssw.upenn.edu/~ restes/praxis.html) is a site maintained by Prof. Richard J. Estes of the University of Pennsylvania and is intended to be used as a resource and reference desk for educators and students. The goal of the site is to provide a “vast array of archival resources on international and comparative social development”—and it does this quite well.
USAID International (www.usaid. gov/) provides a page with over 140 links to government sites (US and other), NGOs, international organizations, and other reference links (www.usaid.gov/about/resources/).
The Virtual Library on International Development (w3.acdi-cida. gc.ca/virtual.nsf), which is maintained by the International Development Information Centre (IDIC) of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) contains a wealth of resources, including articles, links, statistics, reports, databases and the like. Like Eldis, but with French and English versions, it is a must for those who want to dive deeply into the development arena. World Vision also provides links to various organizations (www.worldvision.org/world vision/comms.nsf/stable/links) ranging from the United Nations (www.un.org/) to the World Health Organization (www.who.int/).
Finally, in this category, the WWW Virtual Library (http://vlib.org/) offers two sections that provide help. The Microcredit section (provided by Global Development Resource Center at has links to articles, news, and research projects related to microfinance. The Sustainable Development section (vlib.anth rotech.com/bin/jump.cgi?ID =1956) has a massive collection of resources, with hundreds of links to sites that offer research, more links, organizations, events, discussion groups, documents, electronic journals, databases, and more.
Relief and development is not a typical category found in Web-based directories. We have found several that have these or similar categories; they are in the third column of the table on the MisLinks page. It should be noted here that the numbers of links we list were current at the time this article was written. Because they are growing on a regular basis, the exact number may be much larger when you browse them.
The Eldis site (nt1.ids.ac.uk/eldis/eldsea.htm) has a search engine devoted to development issues; a search on the term “microenter-prise” and limited to documents yielded 692 results! No other site reviewed for this column offered so much relevant material exclusively devoted to developmental issues.
Since its development, many have consistently rated Google (www. google.com) as the best search engine available. Google’s Directory has several relevant categories. Society/Organizations/Development, in addition to providing dozens of links, lists 5 subcategories with over 100 links as well as 4 other related categories that can be browsed with more than 800 links. Society/Organizations/Humanitarian/ Religious/Christian/ and its sub-categories lists over 100 organizations.
Looksmart.com’s directory of relief organizations (www.looksmart.com/eus1/eus317836/eus317916/eus
65566/eus63968/eus230781/r?l&) includes 8 sub-categories of listings including Global Relief (50+ links), Regional Relief (15+ links), Disaster Relief (7 links), Hunger Organizations (5 sub-categories), and Children (30+ links). They also have a category of rural development (www.looksmart .com/eus1/eus302562/eus317836/eus317916/eus65566/eus933284/r?l&) with several sub-categories that focus on the US. For those who may be interested, Looksmart invites you to join them in building their directories.
The Lycos directory’s section on Development (dir.lycos.com/Society/Organizations/Development/) lists more than 80 organizations. Its Disaster Relief and Recovery section (dir.lycos.com/Society/Organizations/Humanitarian/Disaster_Relief _and_Recovery/) has 24 links. The Economic Development (dir.lycos.
com/Science/Social_ Sciences/Economics/Economic_ Development/) category contains over 50 links, with a sub-category Urban Community Economic Development (dir.lycos.com Science/Social_Sciences/Urban_and_ Regional_Planning/Community_ and_Economic_Development) that lists over 25 more.
Finally, the Hunger Relief category (dir.lycos.com/Society/Organizations/Humanitarian/Hunger_Relief) points to an additional 22 sites.
The final directory we provide access to is Yahoo. Relevant sections of the directory include Disaster Organizations (dir.yahoo.com/Society_ and_Culture/Environment_ and_Nature/Disasters/Organizations), which provides 19 links; International Relief and Development (dir.yahoo. com/Health/medicine/organizations/international_relief_and_development), which provides almost 80 links; and Relief Organizations (dir.yahoo.com/Society_and_Culture/Environment
_and_Nature/Disasters/Organizations/Relief_Organizations), with 36 links.
CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT
The rest of of our Mislinks page is devoted to presenting Christian relief and development organizations from Adventist Development and Relief Agency (www.adra.org) to World Vision (www.worldvision.org). We provide links to the organizations as well as descriptions of and basic information on each. We offer a special thanks to Stephen Bauman, a student at Wheaton College, for doing the initial work in developing this section of the MisLinks page. For this section, we’ll highlight the Web sites of three lesser-known organizations and leave the rest for you to visit.
The first site we’ll explore is Bright Hope (www.brighthope.org). Their focus is on serving the poor around the world, and they provide a first-class Web site towards that vision. They provide a world map indicating locations of involvement, a description of who they are and what they believe, project updates, an on-line gift store and a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ). The Web site is clean, fast, and visually attractive without being cluttered or overdone. The on-line store lets you purchase products by the type of person you are particularly interested in benefiting: evangelists, handicapped, prisoners, urban poor, women or farmers.
One of the sites worth exploring is Learn to Earn (www.learntoearn. org.za), an indigenous South African holistic ministry with three operational centers that offers training in practical, business and spiritual courses to the unemployed as a means of offering them a hand up rather than a handout. They note, “Through a wholistic approach, we seek to develop people, especially unemployed people, socially, economically, emotionally and spiritually.” Included on the site is an on-line shop that provides the opportunity to purchase products produced by those who have received vocational training (www.learntoearn.org.za/shop.html).
The final site we invite you to visit is Shelter Now (www.shelter.org), an organization begun as a response to the war in Afghanistan in 1979. Their purpose is to “respond quickly and with compassion to those who as a result of war, persecution or natural disaster are homeless and in desperate need of shelter and in doing so to be instruments of God’s love for refugees and the poor” (www.shelter.org/about.html). Their Web site offers newsletters, current projects, information on refugees, news releases and opportunities to donate. The site is clean, fast and visually well organized.
The events of September 11, 2001 stand as sharp reminders of the need for resources and organizations able to provide help for those who face violence, persecution, systemic oppression and injustice. Today there are many Christian organizations that seek to meet their desperate needs without losing focus on the greatest need of all—the need of people to engage in a fruitful relationship with Jesus Christ. We encourage you to take advantage of the sites listed here as well as passing on to us sites not listed so that we may update our links on behalf of “the least of these.”
Scott Moreau is editor of EMQ and associate professor of Missions and Intercultural studies at Wheaton College Graduate School (Wheaton, Ill.). His e-mail address is A.S.Moreau@wheaton.edu, and the Wheaton Missions Department Web address is: www.wheaton.edu/missions
Mike O’Rear is the president of Global Mapping International (Colorado Springs, Colo.), which is dedicated to providing access to information for church and mission leaders, especially in the Two-Thirds World. He also serves as Lausanne senior associate for information technology. His e-mail address is email@example.com and the GMI Web address is: www.gmi.org/Mislinks
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