World Emergency Relief UK (WER-UK) is the former name of emerge poverty free.
emerge poverty free was founded in 1995 as World Emergency Relief UK. The name change in 2011 reflects the evolving mission of the charity which is to break the cycle of poverty by enabling communities to address their needs and priorities themselves.
Established in 1995 the organisation provided humanitarian relief following natural disasters, conflict or famine. With the generous support of the UK public, we were able to send cash grants and donated goods to many places around the world, helping thousands of people in desperate need. Some of the major disasters we responded to were in Indonesia and the Philippines following the 2004 Tsunami, Guatemala following huge mudslides, Myanmar after cyclone Nargis in 2008, and Haiti following the massive earthquake in 2010.
Our work saved many lives but it became increasingly clear that our approach was not the most efficient or effective in bringing about long-term help. Furthermore, we found that communities which were poorest were particularly vulnerable in a disaster and only by addressing their needs, and increasing their resilience prior to a disaster, could we limit the impact when a disaster occurred. Increasing their resilience and addressing their needs is a longer term approach and is achieved most effectively through a process of community development.
Following each disaster we found that we were staying longer to establish positive development programmes and eventually we were beginning to engage in places where the only emergency was poverty itself.
In order to be true to our projects, and from our desire to make a greater long-term impact, we joint branded our name in 2011 and fully changed our name in 2013 from World Emergency Relief UK (WER-UK) to emerge poverty free. This clarified our distinction from organisations of a similar name and enabled us to further tighten our focus on community development work.
Our vision is of a world where every person has the opportunity to achieve their full potential poverty free, and our Mission is to empower people to fight poverty themselves. A big thank you, to all those who have been with us on this journey and we look forward to the many years ahead as we seek to empower communities overseas to meet their own needs and lift themselves out of poverty.