2011Year in Photos

From small fishing villages on the shores of Thailand (pictured) to the urban slums of Mexico, AJWS supported 412 social change organizations in the developing world that helped empower poor communities to reach for and attain their human rights. PHOTO  James Robert Fuller

AJWS worked in communities worldwide in 2011 to address the global food crisis. This young woman from AJWS grantee Southern Farmers Alliance, in Thailand, is using sustainable agriculture practices to increase local food yields. PHOTO  James Robert Fuller

When news of the famine in Somalia hit, AJWS began providing funding for food, water and emergency medicine immediately. We supported established aid organizations on the ground in the Dadaab refugee camp as well as grassroots organizations that were launching a local response to the famine. The food aid that these grantees distributed was locally grown and sourced, helping to strengthen farmers and herders in the region. PHOTO  Women for Peace and Development / IRC

AJWS mobilized the American Jewish community to "Reverse Hunger" in 2011. Aiming to reform U.S. food aid policy in the Farm Bill so that it's more efficient and effective at preventing hunger, 16,500 American Jews have signed our Jewish Petition for a Just Farm Bill, lobbied their representatives in Washington (pictured) and supported the campaign via social media. PHOTOS  Brendan Hoffman

More than 100 of AJWS's grantees worked to defend the land and natural resources of poor and indigenous communities in 2011. When their land is confiscated or made uninhabitable by deforestation, mining or industrial development, indigenous farmers (like this one, from ASPROCIG in Colombia) suddenly face homelessness, deep poverty and food insecurity. PHOTO  Evan Abramson

Kenya's Lake Turkana is the only water source in a vast desert region. The indigenous communities that live around the lake are fighting the construction of a massive dam that would destroy the fragile ecosystem that they depend on for survival. With AJWS funding, 32-year-old activist Ikal Angelei (pictured) has led a campaign against the dam that has succeeded in halting its construction. PHOTO  Courtesy of the Goldman Environmental Prize

AJWS grantee Inter-Ethnic Association for Development in the Peruvian Amazon (whose leaders are pictured here outside of Peru's Congress) won a major land rights victory this year when the government passed a law that guarantees indigenous people the right to prior and informed consent for any land-use projects on their territory. PHOTO  Evan Abramson

In the fall of 2011 AJWS was thrilled to announce that our grantee Leymah Gbowee (left), director of Women Peace and Security Network - Africa (WIPSEN-A), earned the Nobel Peace Prize for her pivotal role in bringing an end to Liberia's devastating civil war. Leymah and WIPSEN-A organized a peace march on Liberian Presidents' Day (right) to celebrate the gains the country has made and urging further healing and development in Liberia. PHOTO  Don Pollard / Stefanie Rubin

AJWS more than doubled its support to Haiti in 2011. We're now funding 40 grantees and have spent $3 million on long-term relief and recovery since the earthquake. Many of these organizations are working with the tens of thousands of people who remain in the IDP camps—teaching them job skills, preventing gender-based violence and working to secure housing rights. PHOTO  Evan Abramson

In March 2011, AJWS and its allies in the Haiti advocacy community brought Haitian grassroots organizations to Washington to advocate for greater accountability for how American aid dollars are being spent. The Haitian groups met with over 34 government officials and at least six members of Congress—and they were heard! A month later, the House passed a bill ensuring greater accountability for aid to Haiti. PHOTOS  Shulie Eisen

In 2011, AJWS granted $1.1 million to support the right of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, and we currently fund 34 groups promoting the rights of sexual minorities around the world. PHOTO  Evan Abramson

In Kenya, having sex with someone of the same gender is a crime. To combat this injustice, AJWS supports Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (members, pictured), comprised of six LGBTI organizations working to pursue a future in which LGBTI Kenyans enjoy equality under the law and in their daily lives. PHOTO  Evan Abramson

In Uganda in 2011, AJWS and our grantees continued a multi-year battle against an "Anti-Homosexuality bill" that would increase existing penalties for same-sex relations and add the death penalty as a possible sentence. Our grantees fought the bill in Uganda and AJWS advocated for the U.S. to pressure the Ugandan government to prevent it.

AJWS worked to combat HIV worldwide, as a core component of our efforts to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights. HIV is a major threat in refugee camps like those on the Thai Burma border, where Burmese ethnic minorities have fled to escape persecution. Here, AJWS grantee Shan Youth Power teaches young refugees to use condoms. PHOTO  James Robert Fuller

AJWS grantee Kilili Self-Help Project produces a nutritious porridge formulated for people living with HIV, which helped Kenyan children like these gain weight and stay healthy in 2011. PHOTO  Evan Abramson

AJWS sent 443 volunteers to the developing world in 2011, where they helped communities build capacity and infrastructure and established relationships that will inspire their activism and advocacy on global justice issues long into the future. PHOTO  Melissa Sobin

Our 2011 volunteers included 32 rabbis and rabbinical students who are working to make pursuit of global justice a greater part of Jewish communal life. Here, Rabbi Michael Goldman of Temple Israel Center in Westchester helped build an IT center for AJWS grantee Challenging Heights, which rescues and rehabilitates child soldiers. PHOTO  Will Berkovitz

From AJWS's leadership to our supporters, every individual did his or her part in pursuing justice in 2011. Here, AJWS president Ruth Messinger joined a group of volunteers in Ghana. We hope you'll continue to join her—and us—in building a more just world. PHOTO  Will Berkovitz

About AJWS

Inspired by Judaism's commitment to justice, American Jewish World Service works to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world.

About this report

This is a Web-only annual report. No paper, period! This change saved AJWS thousands of dollars that we can now spend fighting poverty and defending human rights. Going online also saved 30 tons of wood and 206,173 gallons of water. It prevented 18,575 lbs of greenhouse gases from polluting our air and kept 23,443 lbs of solid waste out of our landfills! Now that's savings we're proud of.