The American Friends Service Committee has a specific way to address poverty: striving for peace. The organization was created in 1917 by young adults who wanted to help bring peace during wartime. The committee’s first project was conducted in France, where they helped care for World War I refugees and built homes and hospitals. Since then, the organization has traveled all over the world visiting war-torn areas to provide aid.
The American Friends Service Committee has fought famine in Russia, built orphanages in Poland and Serbia and fed the hungry in Germany and Austria. They not only helped victims on both sides of the Spanish-American War, they also helped people escape Germany in World War II. In 1947, the organization was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their commitment to aid.
Now, The American Friends Service Committee has developed even more ways to help. They not only attend to victims of war, but fight for the rights of immigrants, address high prison rates and criminal justice and challenge discrimination. They believe that every human life has value and try to speak up for those who may be voiceless in their communities. They also give speeches around the United States to inform other Americans about their cause and to advocate for peace.
The American Friends Service Committee states that they envision “a world in which lasting peace with justice is achieved through active nonviolence and the transforming power of love.”
“From our experience, we know that peacemaking requires more than merely advocating against one war or another,” says the American Friends Service Committee. “Real peace is more than the absence of war. Rather, we need to change the culture, situations, and systems that lead to violence. When people understand the terrible consequences of violence and witness realistic alternatives, they come together as a powerful force to address the underlying causes and lay the foundation for lasting peace.”
By spending $10.3 million dollars on international aid, this organization is well on their way to having their dream realized.
– Melissa Binns