SAWSO releases annual report
By Sam Elders –
The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO) recently released its latest annual report, providing an overview of its efforts and accomplishments in 2013 alongside stories that highlight its global operation. The report’s overarching theme, “Love Works,” begins with introductory letters from National Commander David Jeffrey and Executive Director William Mockabee.
“As we work, the love of God cuts through obstacles of geography, fear, ignorance, violence, hopelessness, and poverty,” Jeffrey wrote. “Aspiring to love God as He loves us requires a commitment to removing the limitations that hold us back from fully serving our brothers and sisters in need around the world.”
As detailed in the report, SAWSO was active in 62 countries in 2013. It joined forces with local Salvation Army units in communities worldwide to combat poverty and disease, and assist with disaster response in affected regions. SAWSO prides itself on taking a proactive approach in its efforts, locating the root cause of the issues at hand and working to provide lasting solutions. Mockabee, who recently visited Haiti to aid with its ongoing recovery after the devastating earthquake in 2010, said he is pleased with the 2013 operation.
“I’m proud of the fact that money is put to use to leverage resources and to help people with an incredible need,” he said. “Not just to throw money at the problem, but to create capacity and sustainability. That’s really encouraging.”
This hands-on philosophy is evident in some of the success stories included in the report. From providing alternate employment opportunities and vocational training for sexually exploited people in India, to supplying polio vaccines for children in Angola, SAWSO worked in tandem with local leaders and other organizations to provide a better foundation for communities in need.
“When you come from the outside like we did, you can see how these people are really changing the world, and it’s long-term change,” Mockabee said. “I wish every donor, every Salvationist, every American could see the significant impact.”
The annual report emphasized SAWSO’s global impact, the launch of a new development team that interacts with corporations and other potential partners, and compliance. “You can see all through the report how we are highlighting compliance, and how we are very trustworthy with the money that is being given to us,” he said. “We are being very transparent, very candid, in how we operate.”
The organization’s financial policy for donations is a testament to his statement as SAWSO ensures that 96 cents of every donated dollar is sent to its intended recipient.
Just as it tries to build a new and better foundation for poverty-stricken communities and regions recovering from disaster, SAWSO hopes to build upon the foundation of its work from year to year. The organization looks to draw from its experience in 2013 so it can better serve.
“One of the things we tried to do this year at SAWSO is to have an arch of knowledge where we learn by things we did right, and replicate that, take into consideration things we may not have done as well, and learn from those mistakes,” Mockabee said. “What happened in 2013 is a great springboard for this year.”