In 1967, led by the Rev Pat Ashe, a group of Christians from St Mary’s Church in Leamington Spa were deeply moved by the plight of people who were suffering because of the Vietnam War.
The organisation quickly grew. During the 1970s vital support was given to people fleeing terrible violence in Cambodia. Supporting refugees became a key focus and is still a significant part of what Cord does today.
During the 80s and 90s Cord was on the frontline of some of the biggest refugee crises. As a result, we expanded our projects to other countries, including Sudan, Iraq, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Eritrea, Albania, Zambia, and Afghanistan.
Over the decades the focus has shifted towards helping people for the long-term. This includes empowering refugees and their communities to access essential services, including health, education and employment.
Peaceful relationships, which we believe can transform lives and communities, are key to supporting lasting change. This means resolving conflict and developing trust between different parts of society. For example, we train local organisations and enable them to engage with authorities. These groups are building bridges with local and national government, even in areas where tensions have been rife.
We play a leading role in our sector. Our approach to peacebuilding is influential, with a number of our methods being adopted by other organisations. Today we work in Burundi, Uganda, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Bangladesh.
Hope on the horizon
Thousands of families around the world face the threat of losing their land, and with it, their homes and means to survive. But hope is uniting these poor communities; they are rising up against injustice. And you can stand shoulder to shoulder with them.